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Topic: When does it get easier?  (Read 2296 times)
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« on: January 01, 2008 12:50:46 PM »

Hello! I've been reconstructing/making clothing on and off for the past three years. I took a semester-long sewing class and it helped me a little but everything was taught using patterns and I hate patterns. Anyways it's been a while since I sewed so today I got the sewing machine on and decided to play around. It's just as difficult for me to create a cute piece of clothing as if was when I first started!! Let me say this, sewing does NOT come naturally to me. Yet I enjoy doing it anyways, but it is so frustrating when I can't seem to make anything look right. Can anyone else here relate? Sad

From the book Godless:

Just Al: I know that God is real. I feel his presence in my heart
Me: What does it feel like?
Just Al: It's hard to describe Jason. It feels good.
Me: Oh. I thought maybe it was like heartburn or something.
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2008 01:01:41 PM »

Lord Yes!! I think a lot of us can relate to that! The best thing for me to do is put down what I am working on and do something else--like dishes--most of the time I'll be at the sink and it'll just come to me. then i go back to work. I think the trick is to not think too hard. Also, remember that you are your toughest critic. Hope your frustration goes away and you make something you love.


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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008 02:57:10 PM »

Oh dont worry about it hun! I also agree with cynlynn & the smartest thing to do is pull away for a while, it can get frustrating I've felt the same too and I hate to admit it but I've had to pull away from my projects for quite some time.. and  it takes me a while just to get back on track.

eventually you'll be able to get back on track and things will look up!  Wink

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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2008 04:52:11 PM »

Hang in there!  It does get frustrating but it will get better.  Don't judge yourself too harshly.  You will always be the first one to see a seam that is just ever so slightly crooked.  But trust me, no-one else will ever see it. 

Don't call it trash...I can make something with it!!!
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2008 04:49:27 AM »

Yeah, I can relate. I started sewing almost two years ago, bought a decent machine about half a year later and only in the past few months have I made myself stuff I actually WANT to wear in public. Still haven't gotten around to posting anything on Craftster though, that's a little intimidating yet Tongue

As the others here have suggested, it's often a good idea to put your project away and do something else. But how about something that is completely different, but still sewing related, like a new approach to the whole sewing process? For example, when you say you don't like working with patterns, does that also include patterns you've made yourself, from scratch? Since you've taken sewing classes this might be old news to you. If it is, try out a different technique or a new kind of garment, but at least for me the triggering factor of my (relative) success with my darling sewing machine was experimenting with a skirt sloper. Making your own patterns really gives the process of putting together pieces of fabric a new, more logical, perspective. And it's much easier than it might sound. (And if it IS old news to you, then at least maybe I'll give others some new ideas and inspiration Wink )

You'll find descriptions several places online on how to make slopers (pattern making bases) and how to adapt them. My favourite is Leenas, pretty easy to understand and straight forward instructions to follow. Then you have a two piece (front and back) base for making skirts that fit you perfectly and can try out fairly simple things like a gored skirt, or inserting godets. Be prepared to experiment on cheap fabric a for a couple of tryouts, but once you've got that down you can make heaps of perfect fitting skirts in no time, and can go crazy with fabrics, trimmings, hemlines and waistlines. You might also possibly have gained a new understanding of how to manipulate shapes to your liking, and if you enjoyed pattern drafting you'll be ready to move on to more complicated things like bodices. (Can also be found on Leenas, but it's quite a bit more intimidating than skirts in the beginning)

The site I got the two last links on, Modern Pattern Design, on VintageSewing is probably my favourite source for inspiration, as it shows diagrams of how to achieve the desired effects, which again gives me plenty of ideas for projects that includes these.

Wow, this post turned out a lot longer than planned. I guess the feeling of wanting to sew but not getting the desired results brings out the really-wanna-help instinct in me after massacring literally hundreds of meters of cheap cotton in hopes of someday making something that makes people go "Wow! You made that yourself? That's amazing, I was just going to ask where you got it!" (I did. It was wonderful. I hope all fellow Craftsters get to experience that *g*) But the most important  is to never forget what marypoppins above wisely pointed out: The hardest judge you'll ever have on your own stuff is yourself!
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2008 08:00:04 AM »

i have sewn for a long long time, but the better i got at sewing, the more fussy i became!

so really its never become 'easy'!

because i used to design & sew for others professionally, i am obsessive about everything being as damned near perfect as possible - and yes, i agree totally with those who have said put it down & walk away

relaxing hobby? nooooooo way, my knittings the relaxing bit!

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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2008 11:49:23 AM »

i have sewn for a long long time, but the better i got at sewing, the more fussy i became!

so really its never become 'easy'!

Agreed!  If it ever is "easy", then you've probably gotten lazy, haha. 

But really, just keep at it.  The more you practice, the more little tricks you'll learn!  I still make improvements everyday!

« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2008 05:44:10 AM »

There is a good bit of repetitive training in sewing (even with a machine, your muscle memory still plays its part), and like playing an instrument or spinning you get better for practice and rusty when you stop for a while!  You'll find that, the more you do, the easier it is to keep things like seam allowances even and stitching straight.  However, you will (as with the examples above) still need to concentrate, and there are some things that (for me at least) are always challenging and probably always will be.

What is it about using patterns that you don't like?  Is it to do with the physical processes of laying out and cutting (my personal bugbears!) or is it the restrictiveness of following instructions, or a shortage of nice designs, or what?

« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2008 06:35:02 PM »

What is it about using patterns that you don't like?  Is it to do with the physical processes of laying out and cutting (my personal bugbears!) or is it the restrictiveness of following instructions, or a shortage of nice designs, or what?

LOL she beat me to it Smiley

I hated all things computer for a very long time, then I sat down with one while trying some basic tasks & paid close attention to what irritated me about them so much. Then it was easier to explain my issues to others who were able to help me learn new things Smiley A big part of my problem is I am very deficient in math, much computer logic is math based, thus a serious disconnect for me. I'm still very slow to learn new things (I thank, again, the 6 Craftsters who trained me on posting pictures- yes really 6) but now that I know how to explain the parts I don't understand it's much less daunting to try new stuff!

So spend some time thinking about why it's hard for you, this is a perfectly acceptable place to discuss those issues:)

Random Facts:
10% of humans are naturally three dimentional thinkers
another 20% are capable of learning to think in three dimentions
which leaves 70% of the human population completely unable to think in three dimentions-

So, with pattern making being the process of taking flat sheets of fabric & molding them to very lumpy/ curvy three dimentional bodies, yes, it is difficult for a lot of people to visualize the proccess. Many people who sew don't try to think of the things they sew in 3D, they simply convert to the various view surfaces as flat images in their head.
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2008 02:22:58 AM »

Good point, Penlowe.  I'm in the 10%, so I have no trouble at all going from flat planes to curved, and tend to assume everyone else can do it just as intuitively.  Have you (both of you) tried draping on a stand or a figure?  I know my mother (a much more arty type than me - a very fluid, empirical thinker) finds it a lot more comfortable than trying to work out what she'd need to do flat.

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