Sew procrastinating…

I’ve been doing a whole lot of sewing lately. A bit of careful reorganisation of my belongings has enabled me to keep one sewing machine at Dapper’s and one at my wee flat, with a comprehensive sewing kit at each, complemented by Dapper’s own, impressive sewing box of notions. This means that the weekends Dapper has marking or lesson planning to complete provide me with ample opportunity to tackle my sewing projects with gay abandon. Which I do… kinda…

I’m getting expert at completing small projects. Having sorted the stash, I can run up bunting, building blocks, pin cushions and tea cosies in the blink of an eye. What I’m not so good at is tackling the bigger projects – the dresses, for example, that sit, cut and pinned in the box under Dapper’s bed.

See, the problem is that I’m afraid of screwing things up. I’m afraid that the big projects, without the watchful eye of someone more experienced than myself, will go wildly awry despite my best intentions. I’m afraid of making a big ol’ mess!

This weekend I’m going to tackle my second petticoat. By telling you as such, I am forcing myself into action. And after that, I’m going to attempt a dress. Because I have the pattern, the fabric, the notions… I have the power!

(But first I’ve got a pile of bunting to finish up. Well I did say this weekend!)


8 thoughts on “Sew procrastinating…

  1. I am EXACTLY the same. Something I’m not going to wear, that’s ok. Or mending something, that’s fine too. But a complicated dress from scratch? What if it’s rubbish? What if I finish it and it looks dreadful? What a waste of fabric! You see where this is going. We should try and cajole each other into doing more….or doing stuff together and then feel no shame 🙂

  2. Another of my friends is similar to you in that she just seems to be afraid of messing it up. Just start with something not too important and in no time at all you’ll be running up frocks like an expert. X

    • I guess… I keep doing things ilke bunting and bibs and whatnot telling myself it’s all “sewing machine practice” so that when I finally get around to a dress I’ll not be afraid of screwing it up on the machine.

      The stupid thing is that I have made endless dresses before – but always by hand for everything but the simplest seams, and always either by taking a pattern from an existing dress or with not pattern at all! The idea of having a strict pattern to stick to – that’s the bit that terrifies me!

      See, when I read that back it sounds ridiculouis… :S


  3. I can understand that reluctance because the time investment and emotional investment feels like a lot when it might go wrong. That said, it’s rewarding and it’s so exciting when you make something that fits you and looks good – try to throw caution to the wind and go for it!

    • Wise words! Thing is, the first dress I want to run up is using gifted fabric, so it hasn’t even cost me anything… But I’m still scared. Also, am terrified at the prospect of zips. I can just never get them to lie right! :S

      We’ll try the petticoat first, then maybe the dress weekend next, and if I need help with the zip I’ll bring it to a sit ‘n’ sew one evening! xx

  4. I went from a klutzy non seamstress to (eventually) making lined suits and Chanel style jackets but started feeling the same as you do now. It helps to realize once you master a skill, like putting in sleeves, or making gathers, that will be the same no matter how you apply it. You might want to build your skills one garment at a time. Also, even factories have a certain percentage failure rate, so don’t be too frustrated if something doesn’t turn out perfect, especially as you learn. Even if you absolute ruin the garment, you could use the scraps for crafts and know your lesson learned came cheap. I am still picking up better tips & methods from sewing magazines, and online (I’ve learned knitting techniques from youtube!) often the instructions with the patterns aren’t the best or clearest way to do something. With enough experience you will know when you can change them. You’ll also learn how to fit your body, but may want to start with loose simple things. Don’t underestimate the value of pressing when the instructions say to. Those old taylors hams & gizmoes work a treat for pressing sleeves, shoulders, curvy parts etc. They are often very cheap at thrift stores if you find them.

    As for zippers, the best method I have found is to sew the seam closed using the largest machine basting stitch you have, do not trim the seam allowance, press the seams open, pin the zip where it belongs and hand sew it from the outside then remove the basting stiches. I also test the zip before putting it in just of the off chance it doesn’t work well, I’ll know to get a new one before all that work.. While we’re on zippers, I install them a little higher so they end at the top of the garment, saving me the hassel of getting my hair caught in hooks & eyes.

    Finally, if you get started now, just think how good you will be in 5, 10 or 20 yrs. I got my sewing machine the night I went into labor with our son, (figuring if I messed up his tiny clothes, it wasn’t such a waste of money if I tossed them out. ) By the time he got married, I made my own gown because I couldn’t find just what I wanted at shops. It fit great, was unique and I loved the beading I did on the bodice. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can.

    All the best,
    Emily I.

  5. I just wanted to add a comment here to mention thanks for you very nice ideas. Blogs are troublesome to run and time consuming thus I appreciate when I see well written material. Your time isn’t going to waste with your posts. Thanks so much and stick with it No doubt you will definitely reach your goals!
    have a great day!

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