Hi Friends! It has been brought to my attention that someone I don’t know put together a blog post making fun of sewing projects, tutorials, and sewing lessons from around the web.
Stuff this particular person feels is horrible and ruining the sewing community. (many of my tutorials were points of said ridicule)
The discussion she was hoping to bring up; that you shouldn’t be proud of sewing projects unless they are perfect. That you shouldn’t share something like a technique unless it’s “couture” or perfect. That instead of finding something positive to say like “how cute” when someone tries hard (but ultimately fails) instead we should say things like “nice try, but your stitches need to be more straight” “You think that’s good? Your hem is crooked, and your stripes don’t match up”
Here is the thing about sewing, it is a skill and a talent, one that I think ANYONE is capable of. Some people may plug in a sewing machine for the first time ever and sew the most perfect garment ever. Every stitch every seam, everything is just perfect. Others may sew for 25 years and still have crooked stitches, or ill fitting garments, or wavy hem lines.
This may surprise you but I don’t sew professionally. It’s not how I make a living. I don’t sell a single garment that I make. I sew because I love it, because I love taking fabric and creating a wearable garment. I sew because it’s magical. I sew because making special clothes for my kids to wear makes them happy and their smile brings me overwhelming joy. I thoroughly enjoy dreaming up a design and making it a reality.
The only thing I may love more than sewing myself, is sharing the same passion of sewing with others. When I started this blog 4 years ago it was just a place where I shared my creations and how I made them. 4 years ago I didn’t know how to finish a seam, sew a button hole, insert a zipper, sew a collar, or even sew a pocket. (the list could go on really) All I knew 4 years ago was that trying would get me further than not trying, so I tried. As I became more confident in my abilities I began studying books and techniques in hopes that I could improve.
While learning new things I started sewing 101 here on the blog so others could learn along with me. I studied techniques I practiced them I shared them and then I put them into use, this continued on to 5 weeks. Learn, practice, use, repeat.
That was 3 years ago. Since then I have continued to develop my skills and talents and I have continued to share. I look back at old posts and sometimes I smile at how bad they are. Some of my very first projects are downright embarrassing, not a single seam is finished, very few aspects of the garment are sewn correctly at all, but you know what? I loved seeing my kids wear the things I made and I love even more that now I am as proud of the inside of a garment as I am of the outside. Keeping a blog has helped me see how far I have come, and still how far I have to go.
I am not a perfectionist, perhaps that’s a fault? Maybe sewing is supposed to be perfect? I think it’s a lot more fun when it’s not. So it makes me sad when I hear that there are people out there who feel the need to mock and make fun of someones sewing skills. I don’t think the sewing community is dying due to mediocre sewing being shared or accepted, I think the sewing community is dying because people are afraid of not being perfect and being mocked and made fun of if they try and fail.
I sew because I love it and I improve because I want to, but also because I continue to try. Practice makes perfect (or better) The first time you ever try a technique like handworked button holes for example they may look like this. (and that’s OK) but the more you practice the technique and work on it you can get better. Making fun of others or criticizing their work may make them better, but it most certainly won’t make you a better person.
I teach sewing, and share tutorials and sell sewing patterns because I love sewing and creating and I want others to love it too. The joy you will get from creating something is hard to measure. You should feel safe to create freely and share your creations proudly despite the flaws without having to worry about some snooty seamstress mocking or “correcting” your errors.
The conversation we should be having is not about how imperfect tutorials or imperfect sewing may be destroying the art of sewing. The conversation should be about how we as women can uplift and edify each other how we can continue to inspire each other and help each other without being mean to each other. There are plenty of catty, mean spirited, rude women already in the world, there is no need for more. If you have an issue with what is being taught and believe you can do better than share, do better, help others. You can be a positive force in the world and share perfection. As for perfection here on this blog? You won’t find it. Improvement, trying, teaching, sharing, support? You will find all kinds of that.
So I say to all of you out there. Sew and share because you love it. I love seeing everything you are creating, everything you are working on and I love being part of a community of positive supportive woman.