Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why do we sewists point out the flaws?

I have been asked that question or some variation of that question either here or in personal emails and I have even been scolded by a very good friend about pointing out flaws in my garments!

I have one word for this question...perspective...and then quite a few more words! *LOL*

See several of you read my post as the garments are flawed ~ where I saw the garments as unfinished or incomplete. I chose the route of full disclosure because I realize that pictures can and do make the garments appear finished and perfect. Personally, I don't want to perpetrate that fraud so I listed what wasn't finished with each piece or what I will change to the piece...that's Point 1.

Here's Point 2, I think of myself as an enthusiastic sewist who has a passion for sewing, fabric and clothes. In no way do I proclaim to be or want to portray myself as an authority on fit or as a great instructor who knows how to sew each and every piece correctly. There are so many blogs out there authored by some fabulous teachers and sewists who tackle these subjects so much better than I ever could...Don't make me name, names! *LOL*

I write about my sewing adventures to encourage other sewists who are just beginning their sewing journeys, or who are returning to sewing after some time away or even for sewists who sew at the same level that I do. And please understand that I realize that I'm in the middle of the pack when it comes to sewing talent. I am so impressed and inspired by some of the really talented sewing artistes who are blogging. These artistes not only have amazing technical skill, technique and knowledge, they share it so willingly with the online sewing community!

Point 3 - my "Make it Work" post was suppose to be the first post and then I was going to write a follow-up post detailing the changes to the finished garments. I still intend to do this, its just a little hard to do if I haven't had the opportunity to make the changes yet. So let me state here emphatically, that I don't believe my garments were flawed, they were unfinished, incomplete, rushed BUT NOT flawed!

Finally, please understand that I am not looking for affirmation. I know who I am, what I'm capable of doing and what I still have to learn. I am quite pleased with me right here in this place, knowing that there are more sewing journeys to take and learn from. However, if I can inspire just one person to fall in love with sewing as a newbie or again, or one plus size woman can realize that you CAN have a fashionable and fabulous wardrobe no matter your size, or even that being "middle-aged" doesn't mean you have to be marginalized...then hey, I am doing a good thing!

And for the wordsmiths amongst defines "flaw" as:
1. An imperfection, often concealed, that impairs soundness,
2. To make or become defective
3. characterized by flaws; having imperfections

Now talk amongst yourselves, 'cause I have a transitional wardrobe to plan and sew! Til next time!


  1. Point Taken.
    Unfinished, not flawed.
    I for one am glad that you're out there encouraging sewing enthusiasm, because you've developed a great audience, and your enthusiasm and passion for your craft is contagious.

    Transitional wardrobe - can't wait. That must mean you're anticipating warm weather. After these thunderstorms roll through here you'll get them, then maybe some sunshine.

  2. I have to tell you that you have really inspired me! I have just returned to sewing after a long absence, and your blog was one of the first sewing blogs I came across. I love that you share so much information. Your posts are thoughtful and friendly, and I always come away inspired. Thank you!

  3. You inspire me! I may not need a work wardrobe at the moment but you inspire me to sew for myself. I love seeing what you're up to. As for flawed/unfinished. I'm realistic about what I make. I know my sewing isn't perfect and I'll admit it but RTW is even more flawed! Unfinished isn't flawed, just unfinished.

  4. Oh my, I agree, not flawed at all. The garments just weren't at a point where you considered them finished. Wearable, yes, not quite done.

    Great post about being so transparent with you current skills and the fact that you're still learning. I'm still learning, too. Just wait till you see my post for today - the timing couldn't have been better.

  5. You do an amazing job. I love your blog, having found it recently. I have just returned to sewing after a very long break. I have been looking after my son who has been ill for several years - he is now thankfully alot better - and sewing can be a part of my life again. Carolyn I am inspired by everything you do. I too used to make virtually everything I wore and you have encouraged me to realise that I CAN do that again.
    Thank you. Please keep sharing!!

  6. Here, here! I love to know what other sewers had difficulty with because it let's me know that you are human and I am not crazy! LOL

  7. I point out flaws in my sewing on my blog so that the readers get the whole story. I kind of feel like they're there with me and we're sewing and learning together. And, like you said, I don't pretend to be perfect or an expert because I'm so not. If readers also learn from my mistakes, even better. But I *never* point out sewing flaws in real life. (Well, I probably would *in context* if you were here with me in my sewing room and we were talking about mistakes and how to overcome them, but not in general day-to-day meet-ups and conversations.)

  8. I'm like you C. I point out things because no one wants others to feel that projects or sewing is out of their reach. It's possible to make clothes that are wearable and beautiful but are not perfect! There's a reason I rarely show the inside of my things!

  9. I feel humbled by your lovely linings and interpretations of "fashion" to fit you perfectly! I feel awed by your perfectionist tendencies! And I feel that I am not alone when you admit that you had to "make it work just for today" because you wanted that item on that day! BTW, I thought the Easter skirt was pretty with the jacket, but I'm sure I missed something in viewing the pictures. And it's so nice that your daughters want to spend Easter with Mom and Auntie instead of somewhere else. They are lovely (but you already knew that, too).

  10. Well said!

    Even though you don't view yourself as a teacher, you really are in my eyes. Your simple explanations and your commentaries are better than any book!

    Your enthusiam is contagious and inspiring! Angie R.

  11. I went to art school and that is a totally critical learning experience. Every Friday was group crtitque. Hard on the ego sometimes, but a learning experience. Reading your blog is a learning experience too, for all of your audience. It's helpful to remember that we can sew beautiful things that aren't 'perfect'.
    Self criticism is a necessary part of the sewing journey and reading yours helps point me in the right direction in my own sewing.

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  13. Carolyn, your are really a wonderful teacher, inspirational leader, and just plain fun to keep up with! The time and effort you put into your blog is really a blessing to the rest of us. I have sewn for amost 50 years (I'm 57)and my teacher was my aunt who at 92 still sews! I still learn from you and all of your wonderful knowledge.

  14. Dear Carolyn, You and I probably couldn't be more different in that I'm at least 20 years older than you, I'm retired, I live in middle America, etc. I'm coming out of "lurkdom" to tell you what an inspiration and motivator I find you to be via your wonderful blog! You may not consider yourself a sewing artist, or educator, or even "head of the pack" but I do! Your love for sewing, your beautiful clothes and your confidence is what brings me back on a regular basis to see what you're doing! You may not be looking for affirmation, as I'm sure you don't need it, but I need to tell you how much I appreciate and enjoy your willingness to share and teach. Thanks!

  15. Carolyn, thank you for being honest and choosing the full disclosure route. Your honesty and integrity shows in the quality of your garment. Keep those honest post coming, i look forward to reading manyyyyyy more

  16. I never really looked at it as you seeing things as flawed, but rather learning opportunities. I have plenty of those!

  17. You have definitely inspired me.

  18. Carolyn, I love reading your blog and your day-to-day experiences in the sewing room. Not everything sewn is a masterpiece but regular everyday clothing. You give a lot of inspiration to others who seek to improve their skills. I, for one, am thankful.

  19. What brought on this Post? What was it/said that made you feel the need to explain/defend yourself and your sewing? Tut tut.

    At least that is what I am 'reading' into it. I may be sooooo wrong, as usual.

    Keep right on stitching.



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