As the secret sewing has ramped up, I thought I would share a couple of wee things I’ve been learning from sewing these past few months.
Firstly, this hobby is fantastic. It’s truly wonderful to be able to create useful and functional things, as well as items that are more out of the ordinary. It’s incredibly freeing to be able to see an outfit, and make a version that works for me. I am very, very happy to be pursuing this hobby in this way. 👚
Secondly, I never thought I’d admit this, but…..
Basting works! I started basting after this post from Male Devon Sewing, and I am so happy that I have. Take my current project: the fabric is rather ‘bouncy’ and doesn’t hold a press well, I’ve basted the collar down to keep the seam allowance even and it has enabled me to work without being stabbed 1000 times by wayward pins! (This is doubly good for this fabric as the loose weave doesn’t really hold onto the pins anyway).
Newly discovered tip: To make straight stitch basting even easier, put something smooth and hard underneath your fabric. This allows your to sew without picking up your fabric. I found that my French curve tool was perfect for this.
Basting, and what it stands for, is really a metaphor for me slowing down my sewing. I’m trying to improve and wanting to learn. I’ve also discovered a new appreciation for hand sewing and I’m actually electing to hand sew rather than use my machine at certain moments. This is progress indeed, and hopefully the results will be worth the extra effort.
Another discovery is that sewing for other people is really fun! I am really enjoying daydreaming of the reactions from my family as they’re presented with home made gifts. And today, at work, we discussed the commercialism of Christmas, and how much more meaningful hand made gifts are (carefully considered and selected gifts come under this banner too 🥰). But creating personalised gifts also come with the concern that they may not like it! Argh, so much time and effort for such a risk! Luckily, I do like what I am making for them, so they could always gift it right on back to me if it’s not to their tastes!!!
While no one would say that sewing is a cheap hobby, making gifts is enabling me to be a wee bit more controlled about my spending, and I am actually happy with the gifts I am giving for without shops on this wee island of mine, I struggle with online shopping, feeling defeated before I even start trying. Many of the gifts I’ve been making have used fabric already purchased, either for the projects themselves, or fabric that’s sourced from the stash. My budget is strict this year, but instead of feeling like the poor relative, I am actually feeling really positive about the whole process.
Overall, I am very much in the festive spirit and I hope you are too. Are you making or creating this Christmas? Have you discovered new joys in the process?
I look forward to sharing my makes with you in the New Year!
Nollaig Chridhiel 🎄🥂