This morning over coffee I was reading Carolyn's blog Diary of a Sewing Fanatic and she was talking about how you become an advanced stitcher, a term I found on a blog new to me, Tilly and the Buttons who's been sewing for a year and a half. Carolyn wanted to add experience, the muscle memory of doing a task repetitively to Tilly's list of sewing objectives. At the time I was thinking about doing a post on the joys of slow sewing. We are often in such a hurry that we don't sew the things that make us a better stitcher(I love this term) I have not been happy with my sewing lately, and I realized that I was picking easy, quick things to sew and forgetting the joys a beautifully made jacket. I have learned how to make well finished pants; it's a lot easier to do them well when you aren't struggling with fit. But, I avoid other things like making a blouse, or a dress that isn't a knit (this is partly not finding any I think would look good on me. Doesn't help when you've had a weight gain). Or doing the advanced techniques that I used to love doing. I have a list like Tilly's, not the same of course, but I haven't pursued sewing anything from that list. I have called myself an advanced stitcher, but lately I've thought about demoting myself to intermediate!
My jacket is slow sewing and it has been a joy to work on. I made a muslin, not something I do that often usually preferring to tissue fit, but I didn't want to have fit problems once I started sewing. This is a teaching moment! If you don't having fitting issues during your sewing, well it's a whole lot more fun. I even liked all the hand stitching and basting needed for this jacket. Basting doesn't show so it doesn't need to be perfect. I would love to learn how to make a hand sewn buttonhole, something I've never done. There are other things on my list that people who have much less experience do beautifully, like Peter, who's only been sewing a year and he can make a gorgeous tailored shirt. I need to start pushing myself again if I want to become a better stitcher. Carolyn is right that experience counts, but so does pushing the boundaries and not being afraid to try a new technique.
Where are you on the sewing scale? What do you need to make yourself a better stitcher, or are you happy where you are?
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