Myth Vs. Fact In The Sewing Room
Myth vs Fact in the Sewing Room
The art of sewing is often admired as a talent that only a few select can achieve. Often bystanders see it as a dying talent. However, most of this belief is due to myths that have been passed down rather than facts. Let’s discuss a few of those myths.
Myth #1: Sewing is old fashioned.
Fact: Sewing is not for a certain age or time period. Do you wear clothes? Guess what. Someone sewed them for you. Once you enter into the world of sewing on social media you will quickly realize how big the community is, let alone the age range of sewist. My own 9 year old is sewing and has done quite a few pieces herself ranging from shorts, ballerina tops with a wrap, blankets and most recently a newborn nightgown for her new niece. Her favorite store to visit is fabric shops.
Print from Wal-Mart
Myth #2: Sewing is too expensive.
Fact: Sewing does not have to be expensive. Can it be? Of course. So can eating chocolate. It all depends on where you shop at for fabric, notions, and patterns. However, don’t expect to be able to spend less than what Wal-Mart charges for their $1.97 tank. There is a reason why it’s only $1.97, quality mostly and access to bulk prices on fabric and notions you and I don’t have.
Elli & MAC has great beginner friendly patterns. If you catch them on Wednesdays you really hit a deal for the $1 patterns. There are several other designers as well. You can even hit your local sewing store for paper patterns. My local JoAnn’s has $2 or $1 pattern sales every month. (I prefer pdf patterns myself.)
Several fabric shops such as Girl Charlie, Knit Pop, Surge, Boho Fabrics, Sincerely Riley and Sly Fox have great deals. For customs I frequent Wolf & Rabbit, Raspberry Creek and Wanderlust. You can also join several destash groups online for the more pricey pieces at a discount. By the way, Sly Fox has great reveal videos every Wednesday on their FB page that has loads of info on different types of fabrics. Very educational. Wal-Mart is hit or miss with fabrics. I did finally hit some deals this past week for some good muslin fabrics.
WAWAK is great for cheap notions at bulk. Your local Wal-Mart, JoAnn’s, or Hancock will have notions as well.
Sewing machines, sergers, and coverstitch machines don’t have to be the newest and highest price to do a good job. As a matter of fact, the older machines tend to last longer than the newer ones. So check out thrift stores, Craig’s list, garage sales or estate sales. My sewing machine came from my mother. My serger was given to me by a fellow homeschool mom in exchange for art classes for her child. By the way, you don’t need all of those to create a well structured garment. You only need a sewing machine. The rest is just extra convenience.
Myth #3: Sewing is too hard.
Fact: That one actually makes me laugh. Like I said above, my 9 year old sews almost alone now. She’s been sewing for two years now. Ok, so she’s had a mom teach her. Of course she can sew great! Guess who taught me. YouTube did. That’s right. I hit my late 20’s (don’t ask me how long ago that was) and decided I was going to learn. I’d always wanted to learn. So I bought a sewing machine and watched every YouTube video I could find on sewing. I watched everything from how to read patterns to double needles to sewing with knits vs woven. (I sew both quite easily.) In three months I owned a children’s boutique where I designed everything myself. Sewing is not hard. You do have to be willing to learn, willing to ask questions and willing to make a lot of mistakes you can learn from.
Myth #4: Sewing is boring.
Fact: Back up! Do what?! Give me back that perfectly fitted Cardi I just made you. Sewing is not boring. Now there are parts that I definitely do not enjoy. Seam ripping and taping patterns together I’d love to skip all together. I even tried to convince my 9 year old it was fun so she’d do it. No dice.
Sewing is what I call “functional art”. I’ve been an artist since I could hold a pencil. I was born into a long line of artist. Art is in my blood. Sewing is my “functional art”. My painting or drawing go on the wall or a book when finished. They are admired by a few. However, they just sit there. Sewing my art gives it life that my paintings will never know. My sewing art will walk outside four walls and live a life of its own. It will see the world around me and be admired by many, some that I will never even know about. It’s useful and functional. Sewing is art. So even if you couldn’t draw a stick person to save your life like my mom, you are an artist when you learn to sew. Each piece I do is an expression of me or the person I’m sewing for. Right now I’m loving sewing with my 9 year old and seeing the fabrics she chooses and patterns. They are so very different than my choices. She’s expressing herself in her choices.
I hope after reading this article that those that are on the fence about trying out their hand at sewing will take the leap into those piles of fabrics. Oh how glorious it is, especially the larger it it! You are never alone as a sewist because our community is quite large. There is always someone to answer any question you’d ever have. The articles, videos and sewing groups are endless. So please, flip grandma’s sewing machine on that’s collecting dust (might want to get it serviced first if it sat that long), order you an Ellie & MAC pattern and go fabric shopping. You are about to enter a world where there is no coming back from.
Regan Appleby is the owner of An Abstract Heart, a sewing community on Facebook. She’s also a health coach, homeschooling mom of two, and wife to an amazing husband who has the camera duties down to an art for all those pattern testing pics.