Hi! I’m Rachel and I have a recently-rediscovered passion for sewing.
Hi all, first up I wanted to apologise for my post timings being a little erratic in the past week. I’ve been a little under the weather so have been trying my best to get a little rest and relaxation over the bank holiday week and weekend. You’ll be pleased to know I am feeling a little better now and am very happy to be back posting again.
For today’s post I wanted to keep it light and treat you to 5 of my very best bad sewing habits. Whilst this may not be the most original of posts I always feel I am drawn to finding out seamstresses’ naughty practices as let’s face it, its these compulsions that make our garments a little bit more human and very much handmade!
Without further ado, here are 5 of my bad sewing habits:
1. Thinking several makes down the road…
I am sure lots of you can identify with this one!
I guess you could summarise this as a lack of sewing focus, I start my garment but I’m already thinking one and sometimes two garments down the line. At this moment I’m sewing up my second Anna but I can’t help thinking about some beautiful purple bird fabric in my drawer (you’ve got to see it, it’s divine!), I’ve also got Waffle Patterns’ Zipper Blouson on the mind, oh and a special occasion dress for my friend’s wedding plus two men’s waistcoats….
Ok I’ll stop now but you can hopefully see my point here! I am working hard to slow down and enjoy the process a little more, as we all know, the making is all part of the joy of the finished item.
2. Threading an already wound bobbin…
This is very naughty indeed because you should never disrespect your bobbin, especially if you happen to have bobbin in your blog name! I admit it I do from time to time wind a new thread on a ready used bobbin leading to a messy bobbin and on occasions an angry and confused machine.
My only saving grace here is that this is the habit I am closest to kicking and in the most straight-forward of manners – buying more bobbins!
3. Skim reading instructions…
Ok so we’ve all been here right?
I’ll set the scene… you are sat down to sew after a long day at work and think I’ve got half an hour or so here I may be quite tired but I’m going to sew. With the noble intent of not pushing yourself too hard you resolve to complete one instruction and charge off to do it, complete the task and pat yourself on the back. Fast forward 24 hours and this time you are feeling a little more awake, you sit down again and read on… DAMN I probably shouldn’t have done that…
Yes I speak from personal experience here, it really is worth reading the instructions through before you begin, especially if you’re from the wing it school of sewing like me, it will save you so much more time in the long run.
4. Staying up late to just finish this one little bit…
Sewing has for me become just a little bit of an obsession and I am regularly in danger of getting a little infatuated with my makes and subsequently turning my sewing corner into sweatshop corner. I am often found sewing late into the night when really I should be getting ready for bed.
My entirely hypocritical advice for fellow late night sewers is to remember to slow down and enjoy your makes. I have made so many silly mistakes when I have been tired or have been baffled by an instruction for hours instead of getting up, walking away and returning with a clear and awake mind. Sewing should always be a joy no matter what deadline we set for ourselves.
5. Putting pins in my mouth…
Yes this is just silly. I hiccuped once whilst having pins in my mouth, I was very lucky on that occasion!
That’s all of my bad sewing habits for now. Do you have any bad sewing habits? If so, what are yours?
Last Sunday marked my two month blog-iversary and I’ve loved every minute!
In that time I have made a lot of progress, always a few steps forward even things weren’t quite going to plan. I have also met some amazing people who happen to share my passion. I can only thank you all for your support in the past couple of months, it’s been great to meet you!
To celebrate this occasion I’ve compiled a little collage of first two months. I can’t believe I’ve fit so much into just over eight weeks!
My sewing projects so far have followed a scatter gun approach, like a magpie I have picked and chosen patterns which most appealed to me with the general aim of picking up new techniques along the way. I’ve decided that now I have given my myself a good grounding in dressmaking I feel its time to consolidate that knowledge and set myself some sewing goals for the rest of the year.
By 31st December 2014 I aim to:
I will aim to teach myself something new with every make, be it my first french seam or mastering those pleats which fried my brain the last time around! As always I will seek to pass on everything I learn to yourselves as I go along.
I am also aiming to tweak the design of my blog in the next few months, making it as user-friendly as possible. Fingers crossed I should be mobile accessible very soon – a big milestone for me. You should hopefully have seen a couple of updates already as I tidy things up a bit.
That’s all for now but I will leave you now with my biggest achievement of my fledgling sewing career, my version of 8523 E making it on the Kollabora banner! I can’t begin to tell you how exciting this was (and still is) for me!
Sarai on Coletterie recently posted her three biggest reasons for sewing and posed the question to her readers – you can check out that post here.
I’ve always been interested in oral history and traditions, I’m always the blog reader who clicks on About Me and looks for more if I can find it. This post really got me thinking about why I sew and my journey so far, and today I wanted to take some time to let you all in on some of my sewing story.
Before we begin, I should let you know I open my mouth when concentrating and sleeping, To clarify I’m definitely concentrating here:
My sewing story begins at secondary school where we were tasked with making a pair of tie-dye pyjamas. We were a class of twenty with only six machines between us and as a bunch of surly 14 year olds, me and my friends were more interested in talking boys and drinking Dr Pepper than muscling our way to one of the always reserved machines.
As the term went on we came up with new and more inventive ways to avoid sewing, I took eight hour long sessions to cut out my very basic pattern (I’m still not keen on pattern cutting – some things never change!).
Two weeks until the end of term and confronted with a certain fail I threw myself into sewing, begging my mum to help me and answer that eternal question – how on earth do you thread that bobbin thingy?
In a fortnight I learnt everything I needed to know for making those pyjamas with my weary and clearly astonished teacher admitting they were actually pretty well made. Something strange happened that day and as I thought back as to how I’d transformed some uninspiring plain fabric into a pair of pyjamas I had to admit that sewing might not be so bad all after all.
You might think that this was the start of something special but instead I dropped sewing for two years until by chance I discovered the joys of Textile Art. I have spoken before about my enjoyment at using textiles as medium for artistic expression. It was through Textile Art that I really discovered my love of sewing, Selvedge and the holy grail of a Bernina sewing machine!
Leaving my home city of Birmingham for university and upping sticks four years later for London, my sewing life was on pause and my basic Janome machine sat gathering dust, brought out only to knock up the odd curtain or home furnishing.
After two years of working I began to feel a little lost, as a creative person working in non-creative industry I needed an outlet for personal expression and struggled to find direction. I found myself thinking back to the days of spending hours sketching and sewing and began to dabble. I immersed myself in sewing blogs and purchased my first pattern, working hard to make my very first dress. When complete I felt that rush of pride of actually creating something myself all over again. Eager to continue my passion I purchased a new pattern and rushed to take my sewing machine down from its perch at the top of the wardrobe and then catastrophe! I dropped it! My passion on hold all over again.
A year later my boyfriend bought me the best birthday present I could have hoped for – a new machine! Ever since I have thrown myself into sewing, determined to keep pushing myself further and further. I have found in dressmaking a real outlet for my creativity, I find myself rushing home from work and over to the sewing machine ready to pick up my latest project. So far I have made two dresses and skirt and discovered what it is to really own something that fits! Pretty amazing.
This is only the start of my sewing story and I hope to share much more with you all in the coming months. For the record I haven’t drunk Dr Pepper for well over ten years now, not since my friend dared me to drink a whole bottle in one go. It didn’t end well.
I’d love to hear your sewing stories, how did you discover your passion for sewing?