Sunday, December 16, 2007

What do you love about sewing?

It's a cold and dreary day here in New Jersey. The wind is blowing and there is a snowy, sleety rain falling. It is the perfect day to sew but here I am under the covers, watching "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy on television and planning what I'm going to sew during my winter break.

I know that I've asked a version of this question before in a post called, "Why do you sew?" But I am refining the question today ~ "What do you love about sewing?"

So on this dreary day when I have absolutely no desire to sew, can you share a little inspiration with me and talk back to me? What entices you about sewing? What inspires you? Exactly what do you love about sewing?

Okay peoples, I'm laying in bed with my laptop at the ready waiting on your answers...

38 comments:

  1. Heh, Carolyn, Here I sit at my computer. Just spent one hour composing an entry for my blog...and I haven't sewn for a week. But I have the hubris to respond anyway.

    I sew because through sewing I can get EXACTLY the clothes that I want. And they will fit. And I sew because unlike what I do in my 'for pay' job, sewing provides IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION. Well, mostly immediate, anyway.

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  2. Why do I love to sew? Creativity is one reason. Creativity is a driving force in my life and most of the things I choose to do. I am obsessive about fit and well made clothing and frankly I cannot afford to buy clothing of the quality I can make for myself. I also get immediate satisfaction on a job well done.
    Some of my work projects take a while to come to completion so the satisfaction is deferred a bit. Also, while my work as a landscape designer is creative, I have to take a client's wishes and needs into account and they are not always what I would choose if I had free reign. When I sew I get to make all the decisions. I do so understand wanting to cozy up under the covers today; it's bad here on LI too. I haven't managed to accomplish much this weekend in the sewing department either. Well, I did clean up my studio and sewing space today.

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  3. Sewing is something I've always done, since I was a little kid and didn't even realize what I was doing. There's always been something special about taking something from flat paper and fabric to something that I can wear. I love the challenges that sewing poses, and I like that it makes me push myself. I also like all the friends (both real and virtual) that sewing has given me in the past few years.

    I work for lawyers during the day, and have a decent amount of free time, at least in my head. Sometimes that's where hte best sewing gets done - while I'm typing away at a boring brief, I'm figuring out a tough issue with a jacket lining, and by the time I go home that night, I'm ready to sew.

    I really don't know what I would do with that part of myself if I didn't sew.

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  4. I love to sew because it allows me to be as creative as I want to be. I can create something completely new and different or I can make it exactly like in the picture. I like the feeling of accomplishment when I complete something and I actually like it!

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  5. Creativity is a lot of the reason I sew. But I have to confess to a little rebellious streak...I don't want to be told what I have to wear by the RTW industry. If I sew, I can make the styles I like in colors that suit me, regardless of what is in all the shops. And if I want to work at it just a little, I can make it fit better, too.

    Sure, sewing can be frustrating at times, (anyone know anything worth doing that isn't?) but when it works, it's just plain fun!

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  6. I sew because I love the process. I love sewing and I love fashion... is that not the greatest marriage! I love high-end designer clothing and I really get a kick out of challenging myself with duplication pieces that I adore.

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  7. Of course I love the creativity and exclusivity of having clothes that no one else has, and that I fit well, but there's something else.

    What I really love is what I call "the magic moment". It is that point in constructing a garment where within a few seams, you've taken quite a few oddly shaped flat pieces and produced a 3-dimensional, wearable garment. Usually this occurs later in the process, after a bit of preparation and minor seams to the individual pieces, but before the finishing touches of closures, hems, etc. It comes at a time when you're tired of fussing with the pieces and want to get on with the project, and is just awe-inspiring enough to make you want to finish it.

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  8. Dear Carolyn...I hadn't stopped to think about what I love about sewing, even though it has been a big part of my life for...well, let's not date me and say a really long time. What I love about sewing is that everything I create is uniquely mine, and I may see something in RTW or that you have made, or Stacy or Erica, etc. and think..."I really like that but if I added a ruffle, or made it longer, shorter, whatever"...it suits me. I love when someone compliments me on an outfit and wants to know where they could buy one...sorry, it's a Mary original. There are no boundaries when you sew...you decide what's hot and what's not! HTH...Mary

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  9. I sew because I love it--the feel of the fabric, the possibility of the pattern, the creativity of putting it all together in a different way....and because if I didn't sew, I would be broke after 3 pairs of pants. As a petite woman, who is NOT thin, one pair of pants ready made (that does not fit without alterations, to be honest) costs me as much as all the fabric for a cool and complete wardrobe.

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  10. I sew for the control. There is so little in life that I can control from beginning to end. I can let my control freak free when I sew. I choose the design, the color, the fabric, the buttons – everything. I certainly cannot control anything at work. My daughter is 18 and I can't control her. The only things I can control are my sewing machine and serger.

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  11. Ok, you are probably out of bed by now and whipping something up on the machine. Gotta be better than LOTR!

    What I love is that in the morning (while still in bed) you have fabric - sometimes groaning against the cupboard door.....and then in the evening you have a fabulous outfit! Something that no one else in the whole wide world has! Now up you get......

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  13. Hmmm. All of the above. I've been sewing off and on since eight years old. It's part of who I am. It reflects not only my taste in clothes, but my way of making sense of life; that is, being active in how I relate to commercial endeavors,(mass produced clothing), thinking through problems encountered in sewing a garment,being excited about a piece of fabric purchased years ago (like rediscovering an old friend). I can't quite remember how Martha Pullen once put it during her show, but it went something like: "the sheer joy of joining together two pieces of fabric with needle and thread."

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  14. I love the sensual experience that is sewing - from walking into a fabric store and seeing the plethora of colors, prints and textures laid out before me, to running my hands over a bolt of fabric, to feeling it between my fingers as I sew it up on my machine. I love the process of envisioning a two-dimensional piece of fabric in its 3D form, then following up with the steps to make the transformation. I love the way a garment fits, how a lapel hugs my neckline or a sleeve hits exactly where I want it to. I love the unique touches that I add to patterns that take them from the pretty to the sublime.

    I love the learning process that I go through each time I sit down at my table to plan a project or make it up. I love my stash! I love being able to teach many of my skills to my students. I love the look of pride on my students' faces when they complete a project. I love having sewing friends to my house for a stitch 'n' b*tch session on a Saturday afternoon.

    I love reading blogs like yours and so many others where I learn new things and get lots of ideas. I love the look of joy on my kids faces when I come downstairs to have them try on something I have just made for them. I love adapting a current trend so it suits me. I love the look on my husband's face when he tells someone, 'Yeah she looks great in that, and she made it!'

    There isn't much I don't love about sewing!

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  15. I relate to all of these wonderful heartfelt responses!

    Bottom line for me is sewing just makes me feel good.

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  16. What I love about sewing is that in this world, which can be a not-so-nice place, someone like me, who is short and not-thin can indulge my fashion fantasies and make myself(and others too) the clothing that I want. Usually, I can't find what I want in stores and catalogs or if I can find them, they are not the color I want or not in a size that will fit me. Making and having beautiful things is important to me and with sewing, I can indulge those two things.

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  17. I agree with everyone above. I think you must be creative in order to sew, and the sisterhood of sewists (brothers welcome, of course) is an added bonus in this era of the internet. When I am in my sewing room I shut the door (literally) on my troubles. It's a cozy, creative, relaxing space and I am also getting something accomplished!

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  18. Like many others have said, I sew because of creativity. Some people get charge up or recharged by being in crowds, others by being alone, some by bringing order to their world. I get recharged by being creative. How does it work that letting creativity out actually fills me with energy? Don't get that but it works. I also love seeing my work around my home, on my littles, and on me. Satisfaction. Makes me feel like I'm taking care of my responsibilities. Then there is the idea - also already mentioned - that I can make what I want - not what is "popular" and in the stores. So, I happily stitch away on garments from my 1940's patterns and grin to see that, they really are pretty stylish even now!

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  19. In my former life as a counselor, I sewed to be able to wear stylish suits that were affordable and to dress in what made me comfortable. I started sewing as a child and have always found satisfaction in picking out the "right fabric" for the "right pattern" and creating a garment for me. As time marches on, I sew for the pure pleasure of creating something unique. Sewing is the one thing where I can go "all out" and have a fantastic outfit to show for my efforts. I love sewing for my family and hearing about how much they love what I have made for them. I love challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone and to try something new. All in all, sewing is such a part of me that I cannot separate it from who I am.

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  20. I love all the same things that have been mentioned and for all the same reasons. But, even though I love the whole process, I really, really love that moment when I hang a newly-finished garment in my closet. Besides the satisfaction, there's a feeling of having expanded the possibilities of my wardrobe because of the way the new garment will integrate into the rest, creating new outfits and new combinations and maybe even showing me what I need to make next to create even more possbilities. I mean, really, isn't that a great moment?!?

    Sherry in Little Rock

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  21. It's my place to escape. And get in my own space for awhile. My sewing room is my little get away. And the rewards are great. Plus,
    From whats in the market place I would hate to have only that to chose from.
    And I must confess I look to you for alot of my inspiration.

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  22. I love the smell of wool under the steam iron. . . the feel and rustle of silk. . . .the mental challenge of cutting a 1.5 yard jacket out of 1.25 yards of fabric. . .the connection with my mother, who taught me. . .the inspiration from sewists like you. I just found this post, and look forward to reading what the others have said. Thanks for getting this conversation started!

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  23. What I love about sewing is the feeling of accomplishment it gives me. My job is an endless loop of the same basic activities. Sewing is different with every project--diferent fabics, pattern, challenges, skills. It makes me feel good to be productive; to hold up something tangible that's not edible and say I made that.

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  24. What I love about sewing is being able to make a lot of the clothes I see on television and magazines and somehow making it my own. I love the whole process of choosing fabric and notions. I love to watch the garment come alive going from something flat to a three demensional item. It is like watching those nature shows where they show how the flower goes from spud to full blomm in a matter of minutes

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  25. I sew because it makes me feel deeply content!! I accomplish something. For years and years I never did anything that had "results": I read a lot of books, I work in service, I travel,... all great things, but there was nothing that I could look on as a finished product that I am satisfied with. Now I have fun thinking about a project (I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about what to sew and how to do it), envisioning something and making it real!!

    What got me going though almost two years ago was the lack of RTW that fits me. E.g. I love dresses, but I can never find any that fits, as I am two sizes difference top/bottom. I decided to take matters in my own hands by buying a sewing maschine, not nearly anticipating how very good this would soon make me feel!

    I am constantly learning and am still at the very beginning of this trail, but it is such a wonderful one and I love to take it!

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  26. Hello Carolyn,
    I love your blog! I sew because I don't like to see myself coming or going. I get what I want in the fabric I have chosen. The fit is right (most of the time) for and the colouring is flattering. But most importantly, sewing relaxes me. Yes, even the most challenges projects take me to another level of altered consciousness. I also sew for my son. As you know, teenagers can be particular and just seeing a design or colour combo he has worked out come to life is exciting for the both of us. I get up early just so I have time to do sometime for myself before heading off to work. I am a much nicer (LOL) person when I have my Zen time.
    Carolyn, contact me about the pattern you wanted.

    Angela

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  27. I love EVERYTHING about sewing and I relate to all the comments here. What can I say? I like to MAKE clothes, build up my skills, learn, share, enjoy what the other fellow sewers are doing, share their experiences. Sewing makes me feel one of a kind in a wold where most people seem alike. Sewing and wearing what I've created makes me feel on the top of the world! I wish I could get payed just for sewing for myself, lol! That would be my dream job! When I finish a garment I let it on display on my dressform for a few days... I even pet it from time to time (LOL). It's mine, I made it happen!

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  28. Hi Carolyn,
    Love your blog and the inspiration I get from you.

    I sew because fabric talks to me. Yes, I hear voices. "Jacket! Make me into a jacket", "Think how good you'd look if I were a skirt", "Don't leave me, I go perfect with the knit you bought last week", etc.

    My friends who do more quilting than I, look at some of my choices and say "you're going to make a shirt out of that, aren't you" and I'm thinking maybe they hear voices, too. Just not enough to drive them to sew an article of clothing.
    Vicky F

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  29. Yeah, to pretty much everything that's been said.
    It's really a sensual, tactile experience. It's been part of who I am since I was a wee thing. It's what I DO.
    I love fabric. I love fashion. I love to be able to create what I truly couldn't afford to buy, at the level of construction and quality that I would want to buy it.
    I love to teach sewing. I love to pass along the tradition, the knowledge, the experience.
    so, yeah!
    I can't imagine my life without needles and thread and fabric

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  30. I sew because I get excited about all of the posibilities of creating a garment. There is something inside nudging me, nagging me to be creative. Although I haven't solved all of my fitting issues, and every garment doesn't turn out perfect, there is always the possiblity of the next garment and the next.I relish the possiblity of creating a great garment everytime I sew, something that I will just LOVE wearing.

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  31. I sew because I refuse to wear the ugly crap, the fashion industry thinks plus size women should wear.I sew because it relaxes me and gives me another way to be creative.

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  32. I have always played around on my mom's machine and I even bought my own 4 years ago.. I seriously started sewing this year when I just got BORED with what's in the mall. I have high end taste but I'd rather make it myself rather than give it to the retail industry. LOL I sew because lately it makes me SO happy. I can't begin to express that enough. I work in a CRAZY and often DEPRESSING industry (TV news) so this is my way to indulge myself when I get home and regain the "happy" I had before I started my day and had read a dozen "death, death, rape, you are going to die stories." Extreme, hunh? :)

    On a side note -- the community I have found of sewing sisters of all walks of life/ race and size has been the biggest reward. You all make my day sometimes!

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  33. I sew because I am fascinated with how mere flat fabric, needle, thread, and trim can take shape and completely change the way a person *feels* about themselves when they put the garment on - they twirl, feel prettier, stand straighter, walk with more confidence, or become their character. And that feeling endures whenever they wear it. That's what keeps me coming back. I often find I need to really discipline myself during the construction process, it's more work than fun(maybe because I'm fairly new and I still struggle with things, especially fitting which is too often a dang mystery, though I am slowly catching on;) I do love handsewing. I sew for dd 19, ds 17, and myself, also a little costuming for the high school drama dept. I love the thrill of wearing or seeing someone wear something I've made, and the transformation that takes place just lights up all my circuits!!! It's like a piece of yourself, your soul, gets into the fabric. Custom pieces live.

    SherryV

    P.S. - Thanks for the Chanel video link - that was AWESOME fun to watch!

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  34. What is not to love about sewing!? LOL, I love all aspects of it. I love the feel of the fabric, I am even learning to love my mistakes, because there are lessons in them!!! I love being able to create something that will fit me the way I want it to, and not be a carbon copy of someone walking down the street. Great topic!! I loved reading all the other answers!

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  35. What I love about sewing:

    1. the potential and hope you feel when you find a pattern you love, then imagine it in your favorite colors and fabric types

    2. fondling and gushing over beautiful fabrics

    3. the process of making something out of "nothing"

    4. that sense of accomplishment you feel when you learn a new technique - inserting a lining, making welt pockets, etc - and it wasn't nearly as scary as you imagined, plus you now have a new 'weapon' in your arsenal!

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  36. Very late to the comments, and all of the reasons above are true for me too, creativity, making something that really fits, exploring techniques, the joy of seeing fabric becoming a garment, sharing the experience with my daughter, enjoying the sewing world on the internet etc. But there's one other aspect too, to me it really takes my mind off from other things. Early this spring I was as good as "burned out", and I'm convinced that going back to serious sewing helped me get over this. Instead of lying in bed thinking about the current programming issue I have with my work, I now often think of sewing related issues.

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  37. So many wonderful responses-I love fabric and I love the process of starting with a length of fabric and then ending up with something to wear. During that process of transformation-the making of-I experience simple, uncomplicated pleasure-even amidst the occassional drama-even the 'drama queen' in me gets to express herself from time to time-its all good, healthy fun.

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  38. What do I love about sewing? Well, let me think about your question. I was born in Panama. I fell in love with fashion in first grade. All the teachers at school wore beautiful professional clothes. Going to school was like attending a daily fashion show. My love of fashion continued until I graduated from high school. The designers I followed were Christian Dior and Oscar de la Renta. I was in ninth grade when I made my first dress. Of course the collar was lopsided, but I was so proud of my accomplishment that I wore the dress to church. I continued to sew, and I made a gown for my high school prom. In fact I made my weeding gown and all the bridesmaids’ dresses when I got married. What I love about sewing now is that my skills have improved over the years. I considered myself an intermediate sewer and I am always trying to improve my skills. Sewing is my passion; I can spend hours in my laboratory (basement) among fabrics, patterns and books. What I love about sewing is that I sew garments that fit my body proportions. I have become very particular about buying clothes in the stores because the quality and craftsmanship does not measure up to my sewing skills. Well, Carolyn in order to answer your question I had to visit my childhood memories.

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