Saturday, November 05, 2016

Can "Experience" sometimes work against you?

I've been sewing for 46 years.  I learned to sew back in 1970. My grandmother taught me and I started by sewing clothes for my Barbie dolls by hand. Back then sewing was offered in school, so I had to look no further than my school's curriculum for additional education.

Photo from Better Homes & Gardens Sewing Book

Sewing machines were in most homes when I grew up...either out in the open being used or hidden in a closet...but they were there. Sewing machines were sold in most department stores ~ Sears, JCPenney's and Kmart ~ as well as sewing machine stores. And by sewing machine stores, I mean Singer stores that not only sold sewing machines but also taught classes. As a young girl besides owning my own sewing machine, the other thing I wanted most was to take some classes in those Singer Sewing Stores.


Photo Courtesy of Centre Laval

At that time, information was passed person to person or by books.  There was no internet, no Google, no online sewing boards...well you get the picture. So someone worked with you, guided you and passed a skill along.


Photo from Better Homes & Gardens Sewing Book

I've been sewing for 46 years. I've made my wedding outfit, my maternity clothes, coats and lingerie, my children's clothes and garments for my ex-husband. I have experience. I don't consider myself an expert or even advanced sewist but I do have experience...I just wonder sometimes if that experience holds me back. 

Since I've been sewing for a long minute, I know how to do quite a few sewing techniques. So do I look for new ways to do those techniques or do I fall back on the familiar? Am I comfortable learning a new piece of machinery or do I fall back on the "hand" techniques that I've used forever?  Am I willing to think out of the box for a garment, substituting an unfamiliar fabric for one that I'm comfortable working with? Do I go with a technique that I learned as a teenager or am I willing to learn something new?

I recently had a conversation with a sewist whose work I truly admire and she shared that she still uses a lot of hand sewing techniques for construction. That blew my mind! There is so much on the internet about how to do so much of the construction on the sewing machine that at times I feel that my handstitching is devaluted.

See I've been sewing for 46 years...

I'm sure you're wondering what is the point of this post?  The point is that I've got so much experience I'm wondering if I'm actually learning new things or just repeating the learned things over and over?  For you that learned to sew as a young girl/teenager, do you sometimes feel this way? Or am I alone here? 

This is the Question of the Day so talk back to me!

...as always more later!

54 comments:

  1. I have been sewing since mid fifties, started at school. I try new ways then evaluate them and retain only what gives me good results.

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  2. I started learning to sew 55 years ago at age 11. We had one of those Singer stores in our town. My Mother enrolled me in the 2 week summer class before I knew much at all. And then again the following summer. Then there was sewing in Home Ec at school, and 2 neighbor ladies who mentored me (Mom never learned to sew but she encouraged me).
    I've had a lot of the same thoughts as you wrote about. 10 years ago or so, I realized I hadn't kept up with new techniques, fabrics, tools. I bought a scary serger, started sewing knits that I previously avoided, branched out my style a bit, started reading all sorts of blogs and watching tutorials, subscribed to Threads magazine. You name it, I tried it. Along the way I learned that a lot of our old techniques can't be beat. There's nothing like a hand finished lining. And I hate to see so many machine stitched hems on wovens. Not all these new "machine sewn only" techniques are better.

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  3. I'm in a similar position.
    Of course you are learning new things. One of the major changes has been the different fabrics we now sew with. We have knit fabrics as well as new mixtures eg with elastene added. This changes the way we sew: needles, thread stitch choice etc.

    We neaten seams differently, perhaps with a new zig zag stitch or with an overlocker. Our clothes have a different cut and sleeves need to be sewn in a bit differently.

    Mens clothes have changed so we may now be making soe items for them too. The range of trimmings available and affordable has changed.

    We combine different colours and show stitching that was once hidden. We have different interfaces eg iron on.

    We can buy so many different elastics and use them in ways we never imagined in the 1950s or 60s.

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  4. Oh I forgot: Barbie wears different clothes, briefer, sexier black, and see thru. Plus a range of lingerie your 1960's self would never have dreamed about. And there is Ken to dress now.

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  5. I've been sewing for a long time too, but there's always more to learn. Right now I'm taking online classes in a range of couture techniques and I'm finding it really helps to know what slow methods can enhance my (personal) traditional techniques.

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  6. I've been sewing for over 60 years. I, too, started by cutting out scraps of fabric to hand-sew into doll clothes when I was very little. I had a sewing class at a Singer store like you mentioned, but no sewing classes in school. My grandmother was always there to teach me a technique, and encourage me, but, I'm mostly self-taught. It's easy to get into a rut and just do things the same old way, but modern sewing equipment and ever-changing fabrics require us to learn new things. Also, I'm in a sewing group with young women who learn from sewing blogs and online videos. Their skills seem to advance very rapidly this way. This challenges me to improve my skills and be more creative. Otherwise, I'll fall into the rut of just doing what's familiar. I have to keep pushing myself past my comfort zone.

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  7. Hi Carolyn,
    I have been sewing for 40 years and enjoy trying new methods. At times the new methods are more efficient but I still use hand sewing throughout my garments because I feel I have more control and get the results I like. Maybe this is just habit and what I am used to, however, I guess I want to enjoy the process of sewing which you said so well not to long ago. Thank you for your blog which is very inspiring for me.
    Marie

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  8. My grandmother and mom taught me. There were far more interesting classes at school to take than home-ec. The big four pattern co. walked me through reading a pattern. Then the internet happened and I never looked back. My engineering personality plus never taking classes made it possible to embrace new (and old) methods with ease. There are no mistakes in sewing.

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  9. With 60 years of sewing under my belt, learning new things with new products keeps me on my toes. But hand sewing is essential in my bridal alteration business. It is also very therapeutic after a long day with frantic picky brides and mothers to just sit down and do some hand basting or opening up of seams or re-attaching beads which cannot be duplicated with machines.I find it funny that after sewing on double knits back in the 70's and everyone poo-pooing them now, up pops Ponte and scuba knits as their reincarnation. If you learned Stretch and Sew techniques back then...you are in business now. One thing that does not change, other than our waistlines, over the years is fit. Boobs and butts have to have the same adjustments we have always done and good old paper pattern alterations remain our best friends.

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  10. Experience is a relative thing, I think. If one has the experience from repeating the same thing over and over, it is not the same as having experience from trying new things and then deciding which is the best way to tackle a certain situation. I started sewing at 11 - in school. My grandmother and mother did not really sew - not much help there. My father was an upholsterer and knew his way around a sewing machine, but nothing helpful about clothing construction. My grandmother was most helpful in buying me books - the Vogue sewing book, which became my "bible", if I could not understand what the pattern instructions were telling me to do. Over the decades, I just kept on sewing, believing that I could create whatever I wanted. As more information became available (TV programmes) I tried every new method that I encountered, and I'm still trying out new methods. Very often, though, I return to an "old" method, just because it gives me better results. At least I can say that I've tried out something else and with that experience I make an informed decision about how I'm going to tackle a project. Luckily, there's always more to learn! Bottom line - I need to enjoy the process, and I have to be happy about the result. Guess I'm not saying anything much different from those who have commented before me.

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  11. I've been sewing for over 50 years -my grandma taught me as my mom didn't sew. I never took formal lessons , it always read,read, read what I could about sewing techniques . I took a couture sewing class at my local community college a few years ago on a whim & it reignited my love of sewing garments . I hadn't really sewn garments for many years. I think I got discouraged by fitting ( I thought garments should fit out of the envelope) . For many years I thought it was just me -bad choice of pattern or not correctly following directions ,
    Now I realize fitting is a whole new art I'm slowing learning to master. So many options to learn & fine tune my sewing skills !!!

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  12. I definitely don't feel this way. I am always open to new methods. By that I mean really new, like a trick or two learned from a Kenneth King article or a David Page Coffin book, new to me. I love to try new techniques and machinery. I feel it keeps my hobby exciting and my work "fresh". While I feel this way, I have total respect for handwork and traditional methods and I enjoy those as well. I don't see this as an either or situation. When we begin sewing we are laying a foundation and the skills are added, brick by brick, to the foundation over many years and many garments and experiments. We can choose to be happy with the home we've built or always be yearning for that extra room, or bigger space. It's a metaphor but it explains well how I feel about this. This becomes even more critical as I am aging. I am always open to new ways and methods. I can always toss them aside if they don't work for me. I truly enjoy continued learning but that's me. For those who are comfortable with their sewing level , that's their choice and I respect that. It's just not my style.

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  13. I too have been sewing for um, let's just say a really long time too and learned the craft from my Mother and Grandmother, as well as home ec. I always was a think outside of the box type sewist. My Mom just about had a conniption when she saw me laying in a sleeve flat and then sewing up the side seam instead of setting it. Blasphemy! And zippers? I developed my own technique and at age 12 Mom had me putting in all her zippers. I had my Grandmother's old treadle (still do), but was over the moon when I was allowed to use Mom's Singer! As a young adult I had the great opportunity to work in a sewing factory and learned some more tricks of the trade, and I still enjoy learning (or making up) new techniques. I adore Peggy Sager webcasts! That being said, there are still some tried and true methods that I hold firm to. Woven garment hems are sewn by hand, unless machine stitching is a design element. Knit hems are cover stitched (love, Love, LOVE knits!). I still sew my sleeves in flat whenever possible unless it is a tailored garment. The point I am trying to make is that while I'm an old sewist who may be stuck in her ways about a few things, I am open to trying new things in the interest of evolving my experience. I am so grateful to all of my cyber sewing friends who generously share their knowledge and ideas. Thank you!

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  14. Yes! I find that with a number of skills that I have: sewing, knitting etc. and I recognize it when I do take a new class or read a blog etc. that has something that ignites my creativity again, something new. I love that feeling, and I try to push myself when creating to try something different. I have a serger that does coverstitch, can I use that in this garment? What can I try that I haven't tried with this sock I'm knitting, instead of the pattern that I can do in my sleep. Weaving, can I try a new pattern? This means I spend more time researching on the web for new things, but that is ok. It also means that i'm very picky about classes, because if they do not offer at least one or two new ideas, i'm bored.

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    1. There is nothing worse than paying for and taking a class and realizing that you are not learning a thing.

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  15. This is such an interesting post and reading these comments is such fun. I've been sewing since 9 In the 1950s) under the guidance of my beloved grandma. Having sewn for the public I've been forced to learn fitting tools and read/devour everything I can get my hands on to perfect fits. So while I think of myself as an old-time seamstress, I have opened up to new sewing techniques out of necessity but that's a good thing. Karen

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  16. Hmmm.... I guess my question is, does it matter? If you are in sewing for the mental challenge of learning new techniques, then yeah, you better innovate and not fall back on old tricks. But if you sew for the joy or the process, the end result of lovely clothes, or even for the fun of being part of the blogging world, then I say, "Screw it. Sew how and what you want!" (That's my justification for sewing jersey like a mad woman and not moving on to couture techniques. I'm not in it for the new skills, I'm in it for the relaxation and fun!)

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  17. I have been sewing for about 50 years and I can say that my sewing has changed over the years. But, some things I still love to do as they work the best for me. I really enjoy hand sewing and basting. For me, they give my sewing that look I want. I took 3 courses/workshops from Ron Collins and what he taught us has become a part of my sewing techniques. All fabulous techniques that really compliment the garments. I have also learned some other techniques through the internet and they are a part of my daily sewing. I think we forget that we are learning all the time and what we learn becomes a part of our daily sewing automatically.
    It is good to reflect on our sewing techniques and think about where we started and where we have come to in our journey. How we sew today is full of new techniques that we didn't know about when we first started sewing. Having brought forward those skills that work best then and now is good, adding others is a part of our sewing progress.

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  18. When I was in sixth grade, the boys had to build something and the girls had to sew something. Most of the work was done outside school since we didn't have equipment there. No one in my family could sew; my friend's mother guided me through and I worked on a handed-down treadle machine. But I was hooked.
    I'm a firm believer in life-long learning, but not forced learning. I read tons of sewing articles and blogs, take video classes, and turn to the Internet and my own books if I have a question. I probably incorporate a very small fraction of that in my actual sewing.
    There is no right or wrong answer here--you need to do what makes you comfortable and happy. If that's relying on the tried and true, then do that. If you want to experiment with a new process, than do that. Be happy with your sewing and don't over-analyze yourself. We are sewists no matter how we approach our craft, whether we make wedding dresses or pajama bottoms.
    PS I have your blog bookmarked and can't wait for each installment.

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  19. Since I have developed arthritis in my thumb, hand sewing is very painful. So I am learning to do as much as possible by machine, and to think about that when I buy buttons, for example, so I can try to get things that can be sewn on by machine. I have also learned a new knitting technique (Portuguese style) of knitting that takes a lot of the work out of my thumbs. In the process I have discovered that there are a lot of videos out there showing techniques that are easier than what I have learned. I'm all for new!

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  20. Like you, I have been sewing a long time. My grandmother first put a needle in my hands when I was seven to tech me basic embroidery stitches and I graduated to a sewing machine when I was twelve. I've seen ever since but it was not until the last ten years (I'm 62) that my sewing really improved beyond the basics. I finally paid attention to the important things, fitting, cutting, pressing and understitching and my clothes no longer look "home sewn" but "tailor made". Like others have said before, don't over analyze things. You enjoy what you make for yourself and others so keep doing what works.
    Theresa in Tucson

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  21. I have much less experience than most of you guys. I've been sewing for about 10 years.I started pretty late in life at almost 30 years old. I always love to hear stories from those who began to sew at a young age. So much has changed in a relatively short period of time as far as learning to sew. I find it interesting how things have evolved. Can you imagine them trying to tell boys and girls today that the boys are going to learn to build something and the girls are going to learn to sew?!And wow the power of the Internet! I've mostly taught myself to sew as my mother didn't sew much. My grandmother did but she passed away before she could teach me. I think what I love most is how for all of us newbie or old pro there is always always something new to learn. That is probably lyrics what has kept me sewing all this time. You can never get bored!! I think handsewing is an invaluable skill. Most couture garments are sewn with hand-sewn techniques. I think even if you may rely on a favorite technique in a few areas I'm sure you'd be surprised to realize that you still are learning new techniques that you haven't even realized. I'd say if it ain't broke don't fix it! If it works for you then keep on doing it! You are still learning- we can't help but learn all the time!

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  22. Let's see, I'm 36 now and have been sewing since I was 5 (also Barbie clothes - thank goodness for Barbie!). Crickey, over 30 years. Not sure what else I've done for as long... Breathe? Haha.
    What I've noticed (and perhaps it's the same thing) is that it's difficult to find things to sew that are stretching me, difficulty wise, that I actually have a desire to sew. Not because I'm so amazing I hasten to add!
    Maybe trying new methods would provide that brain/muscle stretching difficulty that I yearn for, but those methods remain (to me) unknown unknowns!

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    1. Vogue designer patterns from the 70s will stretch your sewing skills, and many look very current. They are beautifully drafted too.

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    2. I started sewing 54 years ago mostly self taught. After I graduated from college I started really learning to sew well and like Heather I started sewing Vogue designer patterns. The details I had to learn how to sew really helped me become a better sewer. I'd also start collecting good sewing books and not leaning on the patterns instructions for construction. There is invariably a better, and often easier way to do it.

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  23. Carolyn, like you I have been sewing a long time, with a few breaks. I try the new techniques, fabrics, interfacing, etc and evaluate the end product and decide which way I will go. Some techniques, tools, fabrics I like the new way better and some the reverse, and still others where I combine like a new technique use the old tools.
    I guess what I am saying is I use the best result and how comfortable I am with the work and result.
    Oh I also have taken a number of Craftsy classes some are great and I learned a lot or I rediscovered techniques I haven't used in a long time. Some classes just were not worth it. On the whole if I learned or rediscovered something then it was a win.
    For me sewing is revitalizing and creative and that is the important part plus the new clothes I get to wear.

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  24. Interesting question. Ive sewn for 53 years...used to work FT and come home and sew for another 8 hrs to fill my booth at a craft mall so Ive put in thousands of hours. Can I,for example, sew the most complex Miyake pattern with 20 buttonholes? Yes. Would I? No. Im no longer interested in the act of sewing...its more about the design...the creation...t ::) e finished project. I love fashion and cant resist buying every "art teacher" pattern I can find but what do I end up sewing? The patterns I design myself. Im big into lagenlook and love designing interesting layers to wear. Do to health limitations my sewing time has dropped so I want to concentrate on great fabrics combined with great design to make something special. No more buttonholes. I avoid zippers. No patterns with 35 pieces. Life is too short. Ive done it all before and dont miss oh t one little bit but I would miss the design process and the joy in seeing that item that I created in my mind come to life...and wear it the same day!

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  25. I try my best to remain open minded. I see absolutely nothing wrong with tried and true techniques, and definitely feel that hand sewing in some instances is paramount to achieving good results especially when it comes to some tailoring methods. On the other hand I do love learning new things, new techniques and methods of construction. But I find that I have to work hard at remembering to incorporate the newer techniques I learn if that makes any sense.On the other hand, things I learned long ago seem to always be in the forefront of my mind - almost automatic. I feel you would tell me "what ever method you choose to use - just make sure you are enjoying your journey". I've never actually heard you speak, but that sounds like something I think you would say.

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    1. Your comment is so true - a new technique is mostly quickly forgotten unless used at least a few more times.

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  26. You really opened up a subject a lot of us can relate to, Carolyn. I resonate with nearly every comment here. My earliest sewing memory, I sewed a scrap of cloth with a needle and thread at my friend's house and sewed it to the arm of the upholstered chair. Then Mom let me learn on the old treadle machine from my grandmother. As a latchkey kid, I watched Sonny and Cher so I had to recreate their clothes, red and white bell bottomss and a fake fur vest. Home Ec class gave me my best lessons from an outstanding teacher. To sum this up, after many years of occasional sewing, I'm not retired and in love with sewing again. Following the blogs and online classes has opened me up to new and often easier techniques. I got a serger a year ago and it's really inspired me to try new things. And I'm now using patterns from small independent designers helping clothe us curvy girls.

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  27. What a wonderful question! I love reading the responses, and am chiming in even though I haven't sewed nearly as long as anyone else, lol! I think I have sewed about 8 years off and on. Yet I would say that it depends on whether or not you want to learn new techniques. For example, if you are able to sew the clothing creations you desire with the skillset you have, and feel great about the end result, why would you want to learn a lot of new skills you may rarely use? I am always open to learning something new, but what if you do not need to? On the other hand, if you feel like you are in a rut, and have a desire to learn a new technique or try a new look, then go for it! It all depends on what you want to achieve with your particular skillset, in my opinion. I think that is the practical side of me shining through, lol!

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  28. It's easier nowadays to learn new things because of the internet and like you who shares her experience to fellow sewing fanatic.

    Kat
    http://www.calicolaine.co.uk/

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  29. Learning new skills or techniques help keep my brain nimble (I hope) but I am more concerned that he results I get for the time spent be excellent. That means the best tools I can afford - not always the latest or with the most gadgets, but steady & reliable. Also the best fabrics and notions - whether new or old. And that means searching out the right skill or technique for each task - sometimes what I have used for years, something learned from a current class or workshop, or found in one of my books or on line. In the end, the results and the process matter more that whether I am learning a new skill or perfecting an old one.

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  30. I learnt to sew at school then fine tuning from a wonderful seamstress neighbour. Made my wedding and bridesmaids dresses, etc. etc, then baby, toddler, girls clothes including the 'new' stretch sewing with my first overlocker (serger) 36 years ago. Now back into sewing using the internet to guide my making of beautiful silk lingerie - I deserve it but can't afford to buy it - if you can even find it! Love reading yours and others blogs too.
    Cheers Sam the Aussie

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  31. I've been sewing since the early 80s. I'm a technique junkie. I'm not married to any one way of doing something, I'm always open. I'm basically like this on every aspect of my life. Always open to change.

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  32. I try new techniques when the pattern or fabric I have chosen require me to, for the sake of a good result. Otherwise, I am pretty happy just to have the opportunity to sew, given life's other major focus, making a dollar to pay the mortgage. I borrowed a book from the library on how to get the most out of my machine's feet, and I purchased a few new feet. That was inspiring for a few days as I contemplated all the prescious makes I could create, but then I fell back into what's practical and needed. I would like to borrow that book again and challenge myself by producing some very specific projects from it on the next go-around!

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  33. I was taught sewing by my mother and took a home economics class that touched on the subject. I made all of my maternity dresses, then hand sewed for many, many years. Going on two years now, I have been machine quilting.
    http://thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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  34. I always like your "talk back post"! I learned to sew from my Grandmother, she bought me my first Singer sewing machine. I remember the Singer stores we had one in my home town along with other stores that sold vacuum cleaners and sewing machines. Sears did also and I have my Grandmother's last sewing machine that she bought at Sears.

    We had Belk's and Thalhimers department stores that had a floor dedicated to patterns. notions and fabrics. I also had to take Home Ec where we sewed a blouse and a skirt. The instructor was not that good. After getting married I sewed a lot of clothes for work. I really did not learn a lot about fitting though until I had been sewing for several years. Lucky me that I could cut out a size 8 or 10 and it fit out the envelope. Learning how to make fitting adjustments really pushed me to sew more and better. I have learned a lot over the years and willing to try some new fabrics and sewing techniques. I am still hung up on sewing pants after 50+ years of sewing. I attempted jeans with the Jalie Eleanor pattern and the outcome wasn't bad though I need to make some tweaks;and I basically know what I need to do to get a better fit. I think one does get comfortable sewing similar projects but I am a true believer that you can teach "an old dog new tricks."

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  35. Yes, I feel like you. Sewing since I was 12 years old, I made clothes for my sisters. Every January my mother brought the fabric for our Easter outfits that meant making four outfits. I graduated the High School of Fashion Industries and took some advanced courses. Recently I went to a local Sew and Vic that had classes for beginners. I took a few of the classes to get an idea of new techniques. While I have experience it is important for me to keep my skills current. Also, I must say I enjoy walking with you through your sewing. I am sewgrandmabernadette on Facebook

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  36. I get really up on my own "Im so special" horse, I get in my own way. Luckily I also like to take classes so I get knocked off that pony. I hope that by the time I'm much older (next week?) I will be proud of my inabilities and questioning nature. Because when I'm talking, I'm not listening.

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  37. I am glad to have 50 years' worth of sewing experience. It means that I usually know at least three ways to solve any sewing conundrum, or know which book to look in to figure out what to do. It means that I can happily ignore confusing or outright wrong pattern instructions for all kinds of construction details -- or that I can use couture finishes on basic easy garments, to raise them from mundane to "This Will Never Be Donated to a Thrift Store, Ever" status.

    It means that, when I read a blog by a Sweet Young Thing who is so excited about a "new" technique, I can chuckle to myself at his/her excitement about something that was common practice 30-40 years ago ... and still reclaim a bit of the excitement I felt, myself, the first time that I discovered the technique.

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    1. Oh my goodness. The Sweet Young Thing posts just kill me. Some design or technique that has SO been around for DECADES and they think they've gone and discovered gravity. Makes me smile.

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    2. Yes. Yet we must encourage their enthusiasm, because they are the ones buying new patterns and fabrics and keeping the (fewer and fewer) brick-and-mortar stores in business. Those merchants would starve if they depended on me.

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  38. I have been sewing for nearly 50 years also. I think I do keep up with new techniques and methods. It is much easier now with the digital options. I have had a Threads subscription since year 2 or 3 and I try each new technique that is printed. Threads has also introduced me to many good authors. With each new book and many on-line educators, I look through the option for new techniques. The list of ones I have not tried is diminishing. I also watch my machine manufacturers web site for new techniques and options. Machine feet make many techniques much easier.

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  39. I have been sewing for an age, and was part of the last group of kids who got sewing in junior high/high school. I learned from grandma though as the instructors weren't very good.

    I took classes recently and got up to speed on the new fusibles, and other new technology. Grandma didn't have good fusibles back when she learned or when she taught me in the late 70s/early 80s.

    Sometimes though, just because you CAN do something with a machine, doesn't mean you SHOULD. Some things are just better hand-stitched, though I know many people who simply refuse to hand-sew anything.

    So yeah, learn the new stuff, but by now, we're all a good judge of whether a little practice will make it better, or if it is just not your shortcut. Why change what works and is quick for you for a technique that really doesn't get any better results? There's always many ways to do one thing. I say find what works for you. Same with knitting. You don't have to know all the ways to hold your needles. Just the best way for you.

    Have a fabulous day!

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  40. Hard question to answer for me. I've been sewing for about 40 years (since I could hold a needle, really), and now I'm not so much learning as I am "exploring". I don't know how much I really want to "learn" at this point - it is more interesting to apply what I know, or find a new way!

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  41. I am always open to change and learning something new. I've been sewing a little longer than you have and while I do have a lot of experience, that experience has taught me there may be a new way of doing things! (and sometimes it's faster and easier too!)

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  42. The community of sewers commenting here are as varied and interesting as the materials and equipment that we use. I am continually amazed at how different my sewing is today compared to 50 years ago when my mother was teaching me. The resources seem endless now. I have learned so much from classes, bloggers, and others that have expanded my knowledge and skills in the past 10 years. I know it wil continue.

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  43. I am always open to learning new ways to do things but the freedom that knowing your craft gives you in creativity shouldn't be underestimated. Exploring your craft may lead to learning new ways to do something differently but it's ok if it doesn't.

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  44. I learned something new not long ago! I decided to sew a whole garment on my rennovated 100 year old Singer Treadle. I made a lined wool skirt, and discovered for the first time, why Grandma always sent my garments home with the zipper just basted in. The 1916 Singer did not do zippers, had no zipper foot and no way of doing that close a stitch. Her sewing was fabulous, a trained dressmaker, but she never learned to do zippers for good reason! We move with the times when we can, I think. Her great skill set, as it were, was knowing how to change a fit. Her clothes and mine always fit well. We had short waists and I had long legs, long hip line. Fit is the great technique that needs a lot more attention in the published world of sewing, not least because fit changes with every decade we live and we need to be able to adapt to it.

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  45. I have commented enough that you know my thoughts on sergers. I understand their purpose for knits but for wovens, I prefer as couture a finish as possible. Hence, what with all my health issues, I do not get much made but I am hanging on to the dream.

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  46. The collectieve sewing experience is humbling! I have been sewing since I turned 15, so I've just past the 10 year mark! When I started out no-one around me had great interest in sewing let alone pattern design (what I really wanted to learn). I started out teaching myself mistake by mistake how things should be done. None of the garments I made in the first five years are wearable (although I did wear them with pride). Some education would have spared me all that wasted yardage, but on the other hand I'm gratefull that I learned to destinguish between the important rules (that matter for the result) and the traditional nit-pick rigid rules of Old school sewing teachers (that have put several girls my age of sewing at all). Every item we make has a lesson to teach, wether it's a new technique or some fashion insight about fit or style. Sewing makes you mindfull of the little things in fashion and I think experience is the only path to real creativity: to know exactly what you want and to have the ability to choose from all the experience you had and select the best possible outcome.

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  47. I'm late for this (LOL) I've learned to sew in Home EC in the late 60's and really enjoy. But about 15 yrs ago, most of garment fabric stores closed and turned to quilting/crafts and I did also. Never thought I'd cut up fabric into small pieces and put back together. Really now enjoy doing machine embroidery. I feel that I've gotten so rusty in sewing...just now getting back into garment sewing. My job is casual and I've stopped wearing dresses, So i guess I'll start there. I read blogs, enrolled in craftsy classes and sew some of my grandchild clothes. I use my old skills/techniques. It seems my brain doesn't hold onto new things very well (LOL).I guess that means I need to practice more. I'm just going to start ENJOYING the journey, If I learn/try new things great!!!

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