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Are some things just not worth it to sew?
Let me tell you my cannoli story...
jadamo00
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Date: 7/28/12 11:23 AM

My mother used to make her own cannolis. Let me backtrack a little. First, she had the handyman cut a bunch of little lengths out of hardwood dowels. Then, she had to make this very stiff dough that was murder to knead. She had to heat up all that deep oil and fry the dough-wrapped dowels to make the shells. And drain them. And stuff them, although the cannoli cream wasn't too hard, as it went.

They were fine cannolis. But I gotta tell ya: you can get perfectly wonderful cannolis from any good Italian pastry shop without all that flipping work. Even as a kid I thought: this just isn't worth it.

I am nearly finished sewing up my raincoat. The waterproof (NOT water RESISTANT) Max Mara fabric was fiendish to work with.

You have to get the sewing right the first time. You can't rip out a seam because the needle makes little holes in the goods. You have to be careful pinning, also: only in the seam allowance. That's harder than it sounds.

The fabric doesn't ease. And I don't have to go into ease again, right?

The goods were expensive. I was nervous. This project has been sitting around since JANUARY. This is the only thing I've been working on SINCE JANUARY.

Maybe raincoats aren't worth it. Maybe some garments aren't worth it.

On the other hand, for $50, I'm going to get a $1,000+ garment. And when it's done, I AM going to love it.

I dunno. I think I'm raving.

Anybody out there?



j.






-- Edited on 7/28/12 2:21 PM --

AdaH
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In reply to jadamo00 <<
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Date: 7/28/12 11:27 AM

I have had the very same thoughts except my is about a winter coat.

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Ada

JTink
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Date: 7/28/12 11:45 AM

That's how I feel about making a bra. When I was a perky B, 45 years ago, I didn't mind putting together a few pieces of material, elastic and a hook. Now with the double D's, there is no way I can justify making a bra and getting the support I need. I would rather spend the $60+ and buy one.

Maia B
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In reply to JTink <<


Date: 7/28/12 11:59 AM

Exactly.

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idahodogs
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Date: 7/28/12 12:36 PM

I'm nowhere near advanced enough to be attempting raincoat, but I have decided not to sew my bras. I have limited sewing time and skill, and I want to make something FUN! I won't make jeans, either. Plus I'm a total perfectionist and it would take me like 10 years to sew a raincoat. I would be paralyzed with fear for the first 5.

I have sewn baby/kids clothes, but only for sentimental purposes. Kids don't have the fit issues that make me sew things for myself, and I swear their clothes multiply in the wash.

Maybe as my skill/confidence increases, I will take on more challenging projects. But right now I will only sew something that I CANNOT buy. Although I did once sew a kilt for my BiL, which was both fun and challenging, and I think we even came out ahead on the price.

ETA: I make my own tamales... it's worth it if you make 200+ at a time
-- Edited on 7/28/12 12:38 PM --

stirwatersblue
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Date: 7/28/12 12:37 PM

I had this same conversation with myself a few years ago about high-end costuming pieces: Make or buy? For me, it came down to me making things that I want to make, and feeling free to splurge on other pieces made by other talented seamstresses! Y'all are getting tired of seeing this picture, but this dress is a combination of made and bought. The purple gown I made, and it was entirely about making it. And yes, it took ALL FLIPPING YEAR. Nine months. Ridiculous--but I am thrilled with every piece of it--from the fabric to the fit to the hand-lined bodice to the perfectly matched damask along the seamlines... Every stitch is the work of my hands, and it is a joy to wear and to look at.

The white chemise I absolutely *adore.* It's one of my favorite pieces of garb. I would have loved to have been the lucky seamstress to find that gorgeous, bright white, textured rayon at the fabric store, and marry it to that lovely pattern with the beautiful fluttery sleeves--but I wasn't. It was a ridiculous splurge at over $90, and I haven't regretted it for a moment. Not one stitch was the work of my hands, and it is a joy to wear and look at.

I think when you can enjoy the process as much (or more than) the product, then it's absolutely worth it, no matter how silly or uneconomical it might seem at first glance!




-- Edited on 7/28/12 12:39 PM --

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~Gem in the prairie

clotheshorse
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In reply to jadamo00 <<


Date: 7/28/12 1:03 PM

This is an interesting topic. Coats are one of my main interests in sewing because being petite I have a hard time finding a good fit. Also, like you say, you can buy beautiful fabrics and have an expensive looking coat for a fraction of the cost of a high end RTW garment. I haven't made a waterproof coat yet because I haven't found a fabric I like yet. Where did you buy yours? You can get little clips now to use in place of pins (sorry I forget the name of them). I can see why you think it might not have been worth all the stress and time but you will be so proud of yourself every time you wear the coat and maybe *if* you decide to make another one some day, it might go a tad easier because of all the experience you gained.

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Viking D1, 1+, Pfaff 7570, Singer 503 Rocketeer, 66, 15-91, 301, Featherweight 6 Flock, Babylock Enlighten & CS and Pfaff Creative Performance

nancy2001
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Date: 7/28/12 1:09 PM

I don't sew my bras because it's just not possible to sew a completely seamless molded bra. I also do not make my own shoes, even though I own a book called How to Make Your Own shoes. However, I do sew everything else I wear including panties, tailored jackets and handbags.

That said I do not spend my sewing time on tedious handsewing -- and I use many timesaving techniques and supplies. For example all my tailoring projects are done with fusible interfacing. I also use basting tapes instead of hand basting. So you will never, ever find me spending months slaving away on one of Claire Schaeffer's handmade Chanel jackets. Life is too short.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

heathergwo
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Date: 7/28/12 1:29 PM

I agree that some things are just easier to buy.

I can't see myself ever making my underwear or socks or jeans. Anything else is probably up for grabs. But if I see something in a store that I like and the price is reasonable, even if I *COULD* make it, I'm most likely going to buy it. Now if I look at the piece and the price is ridiculous and I think I could make it, then I would probably make it.

For now, my sewing is about the fun of it. I enjoy a challenge, but not something that's going to send me over the edge!

I say, feel no guilt about buying clothes just because you COULD make it. Sew what you want, when you want and just enjoy this wonderful hobby

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jadamo00
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In reply to clotheshorse <<


Date: 7/28/12 1:56 PM

Clotheshorse:

REF: Raincoat fabric.

I didn't want water-resistant, I wanted water-proof. And I found wonderful fabric in NYC at Paron and Mood. They have a gorgeous cloth-y hand and drape, not plasticky at all. There's even a warm little fuzzy nap to them.

The Paron fabric was a runoff from a Banana Republic job @ $15 a yard that I made a red barn coat with brown corduroy collar and cuffs: boxy, an easy assembly. I have a swatch that stays in my laundry basket and I've washed it many times with no problem. Yay! Love a coat that I can toss in the washer!

This Stella raincoat, I got the fabric at Mood: they have a section on the second floor with raincoat fabric and I barely even looked at them, I just grabbed that Max Mara fabric. I screwed up the color though: I wanted brown and up there on the second floor of Mood, the low light makes hunter green LOOK chocolte brown, but it's not too bad.

You can buy from Mood online. It was about $20 a yard.

j.

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