Sewing arghs

I’m temporarily finding sewing frustrating. I should be precise: sewing dresses and blouses is frustrating for me, because the bodice never quite fits right and the neck facings always seem awkward. I need to find something that’ll break me out of that. Maybe it’s just a matter of going ahead and making something. The blue butterfly dress I made was fine, although the dropped waist is something I’d like to fix next time I make the dress. Aside from that, it’s been very difficult for me to be happy with the muslins I’ve made from other patterns.

Maybe I can take the simplest thing I can sew, and just go ahead and make it. And then make another one, and another one, and another one, until I get the hang of it. Or maybe I’ll sign up for sewing classes once I’m halfway through my improv classes, so I don’t have too many things going on at the same time.

So I started working on Butterick 3030 last night. Still not happy with the neck facings – maybe I should just bind all of my tops in the future. But at least it’s progress…

  • The other thing to consider is that what you make with muslin and what you make with the actual fabric you want to use will have a very different feel. A lightweight wool or a thick silk will have a different strength, stretchiness, and fold than muslin.

    Also remember: people who make dresses and other clothes do it for a living. They are doing it 1000s of hours a year with better equipment and a stronger peer group than you have. That’s why I never think: why can’t I cook as well a top notch chefs, or run as well as top notch athletes. There’s talent, obviously, and mental discipline, but very importantly, there is time and practice. (Which is why the famous marathoner Bill Rodgers proclaimed someone with a full time job would never beat him.)

  • Hi!

    I’m the owner of Stitcher’s Guild Sewing Forums, and I just stumbled across your blog post, so I thought I should comment a bit. Sewing can take time and practise to master, but don’t let it scare you!

    Start with simpler things. A pillowcase that is perfect is a wonderful thing! It can make you want to show it off, want to make more, want to try something new. OTOH, a dress that’s unwearable will just make you feel miserable. The wasted time, energy, loss of hope…it can make you want to throw out the sewing kit. So start simple, and make things you’re proud of. Pajamas are a great place to start, as they’re wearable even if there are lots of small mistakes.

    Just take it slow -grab some cute fabric that you love, start with a simple pattern, use good thread and sharp needles, and have fun with it. :)