Sunday, September 16, 2007

Why Do You Sew?














I know this is like the most overasked and overanswered question to and from sewists! But I am asking it in a different manner. We all know the "safe" normal answers...great fit, colors you want to wear, to get the latest styles inexpensively, etc.

But let me put it another way..."If you had unlimited funds and time, would you still sew?" Would you still have the same reasons for sewing? Would it still fulfill the needs that it presently fills in your life?

Now, why am I posing these questions? Because when I have the time to sew, and can spend quality time at my sewing machine, I don't just sew. I take on epic projects. I challenge myself, my skills, as well as try to push the envelope creatively. This fills a "need" in my life. A need to create, a need to dream and imagine, a need to "design" something, construct it and bring it to fruition.

I have long moved past the point of looking for a pattern and a piece of fabric that looks like the outfit on the pattern envelope. Or to make an outfit that is similar to something I saw in a department store. Sewing to me now is about design, interpretation and pushing sewing construction boundaries. I don't feel it is necessary to sew like everyone else.

Sewing is MY personal expression. Each garment I make is like a painting a picture. When I sew I am looking at the "hues" or "shades" of sewing. My backstory to the garment is as important to me as the finished garment. And after taking a few courses from Cynthia Guffey, I realized that I needed to learn to enjoy the journey!

I have been sewing since I was 11. And in the last 37 years on this personal journey, sewing has meant so many different things to me. It has accompanied me through all the stages of my life: teenagehood, singleness, marriage, motherhood, divorce and singleness again. My talent ~ and yes I believe sewing is a talent! ~ has developed and grown, has changed and fulfilled different things in my life. I have met some amazing women because I sew and experienced some wonderful times but mostly it has caused me to grow in ways I never would have thought of!

So...if you had unlimited funds and time would you still sew?

24 comments:

  1. I would, and do! I am your age, and taught myself to sew when I was 13. I have been blessed with an adoring husband and plenty of money, although not so much time, but weekend days are my sewing time (if nothing else comes up). He's been amazingly supportive, because he's proud to say that his wife looks like his wife, and not like everyone else on the block. I love your pictures. You do a fabulous job of making looks "your own"!

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  2. Yes, I would still do it. I have a fascination with construction and fitting methods and history (how clothes were made in the past).

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  3. Yes. Absolutely.

    On top of the line machines, in a spacious, light-filled studio, on wonderful silks, woolens and linens.

    While the maids cleaned the house and did the laundry.

    :D

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  4. Absolutely! I would sew even more because time is more of an issue for me than funds. When I can quit my job I will not only do mroe quilting-related sewing but I will get back into garment sewing.

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  5. Absolutely.

    Fiber has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Why change that? My sewing is an integral part of who I am. It defines me and gives me an individuality in a crowd of clones.

    You have echoed many of my own responses in your post! I completely agree that sewing is an artist talent - just as much as musical talent or an artistic talent for painting. It's the same, just a different media - it's the blending of many sometimes disparate elements into a whole piece that is a work of art. That's the magic and that's what keeps me sewing regardless if I *have* to or not.

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  6. I would sew. My love of sewing was passed down to me from my grandmother. She's no longer with me but I feel a closeness to her when I saw. I'm also a gadget freak. I'd be the woman with the brand new sewing machines and sergers :) Let's not forget the fabric...ohhhh...the fabric! I'd fly to New York and raid all the fabric stores

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  7. Lisa and Carla mirrored my thoughts precisely - while my chef makes my low calorie dinners delish, and peels my grapes, I would sew on silks and linens and fine cottons I bought abroad on my top-of-the-line machines. But I would still sew, design, create. And I'd find Cidell's trimmings stores!

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  8. Absolutely....and for the same reasons that you do.

    My fantasy is to build a separate stand alone sewing room - with a view. And of course many overseas shopping trips for the perfect fabrics and accessories! So I still want to win the Big One - I need the money..lol

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  9. First - there is no way you are 48 years old! Wow, I would have pegged you at 40, maybe 42.

    Second - d@mn straight I'd still sew even if I was loaded! I might augment my wardrobe with a few designer splurge purchases, but for the most part I'd rather spend my money on TOL gadgets, fabric and studio space. Sewing is an expression of my creative soul. By day, I'm a logical geeky chemist. By night and weekend, I get to vacation in my right brain. I can't imagine not sewing! Besides, if I stopped sewing, what would I do with the mountains of fabric, notions and patterns that I have?

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  10. The fantasy of unlimited funds-how lovely-then I could make myself a suit from the absolutely beautiful imported wool suiting-at present $95 per metre puts it way out of my current budget. Similar to others who have responded I think that it is a form of personal expression, creativity and in these very technological and often cyber based experiences there is a fundamental appeal for making something with ones own hands. Yes I would continue to sew, to create and to dream.

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  11. Oh definitely I would still sew! I couldn't imagine not sitting at my machine creating something - sometimes I just want a quick fix and other times I want to savor the process. To have unlimited funds would mean the ability to purchase fabrics I can now only dream of sewing on.

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  12. My husband asked me this same question and my answer was "yes". Actually given unlimited time and funds I would do a 2-year patternmaking course so I could create both custom style and fit.

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  13. Asking why I sew is like asking why I breathe! LOL If I had unlimited funds and time, I would still sew. I would do it on a whole other level. I would have the top of the line EVERYTHING! I'd have my dream sewing studio. I would buy all of the lush fabrics I could every imagine and not worry about the price. Since money would not be an issue, I would uproot the family and enroll in design school (which I may do in the future anyway).

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  14. I certainly would!!! I've only been REALLY sewing since January and I am so in love with it!! It's so soothing!! I love it!! Great questions and reading all the other responses have been great!

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  15. I have often asked myself this question--especially when I buy lottery tickets! Yes, yes, yes, I would keep sewing because sewing is a part of me. Unlimited funds would allow me to take more courses, build the studio I always wanted and not have to think about the price of a yard of fabric. Something I have also thought about was starting a sewing school/stitch lounge and teach others, especially young girls, giving scholarships to those who could not afford lessons.

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  16. Not only would I still sew, I'd do it in a bigger space, with more machines, and for longer periods of time. I've been feeling a little stressed lately and realized that I haven't been sewing in weeks, because my free time was taken up refinishing a chest of drawers for my DD. It turned out great, and was somewhat satisfying, but the project took me away from my therapy - the activity that keeps me happy and balanced (there are those who would disagree...) With unlimited funds, that chest would have been dropped off at the refinishers so I could go home to my large, elaborate sewing studio. Note to self: buy those lottery tickets this week.

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  17. Of course I would. However, first I'd hire the world's best seamstress to help me custom fit some basic patterns - like pants. Then I'd go on a total NY shopping spree to fill up my closet with well fitting RTW clothes so I don't have to make my clothes. Then I'd have all the top machines, notions, a custom studio, and probably would spend more time making cute things for my friends. And I'd never have to worry about housecleaning or cooking because I'd hire people to do that for me.

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  18. oh yes. i have to, it's my sanity, my calm in the storm. bad things happen when i can't create. :)

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  19. For all those who think they'd like housekeeping help, my dearly beloved decided many years back that with a big house, many kids and pets, his wife should not have to clean house, too. Well, for a couple of months it was fine. But, having been raised in a nice, lower middle class household, I never got used to the idea that a stranger was in my house every few days, looking at and touching my stuff, and having her do my laundry gave me the willies. I decided that a little dust around the edges was vastly preferable to feeling like someone was watching the grubby details of my life...so I clean when I must and sew when I can.

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  20. Like all of you here I have a very definite need to stitch. I tend to get sort of withdrawal symptoms if I don't - am I addicted? Probably...
    I do have lots of time - retired widow - enough, but not unlimited cash. Sewing is what I do, is what defines me; technology runs a close second.

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  21. I am a beginner. I have always wanted to sew but never pursued it seriously. After going through a tough 2006, I decided that I was going to have a fantastic 2007. Part of my plan was to get in touch with my authentic self and I really embrace the unique things about me that are unlike my friends and family. So, I decided to get into my knitting and crocheting. After reading your blog along with Adrienne's and Erica B's, i was inspired to learn how to use my sewing machine that I bought about 3 years ago. I have tried to teach myself but after seeking advice from some serious sewists, I decided to hunker down and take a class. I am so excited about it!

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  22. I've always felt that I was "born to sew". I love the feel of fabrics, searching for the perfect pattern, reading about the latest techniques, etc. I can get lost for hours at my sewing machine. Housework can wait for another day. My beloved DH of 36 years has made sure that I have the best equipment to use. Our home is over-run with fabrics, notions, books, patterns, etc. I buy specialty feet for both my sewing machine and serger and practice using them. I'm retired with no children at home so I have the "time" but now it's a matter of having the energy. Health issues sometimes get in the way. When my DD moves into her own apt someday, I'll have my sewing space back. Then it will be like I've gone to heaven.

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  23. If I had unlimited funds I would have all the time I need to sew because I wouldn't have to work!!! Sewing is my "therapy." And even if I could afford a tailor who designed clothes specifically for me (not saying I would love that!).. there is still something to be said for being able to say, "I made it"
    BTW - you've been nominated (see my blog)

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  24. Like many others comments, I can't imagine not sewing. My fantasy has been to win mega millions through the lottery, as it will not be left to me in a will by any family member, and I would then open a fabric and sewing machine store. I would cater to the fashion sewists and provide a little quilting section as well. I would provide sewing classes to the young and not so young and would have some of the top fashion/sewing divas present programs and sew ins quarterly.

    I would have time to try new sewing and fitting techniques and spend time daily sewing as well as embroiderying by machine numerous projects that go through my mind daily now. Of course I would assist my top notch staff working with customers also.

    Meanwhile like Lisa Laree, I would have someone cooking and cleaning for me and DH.

    I really can't imagine not continue to sew and be creative. It is what keeps me somewhat sane.

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