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Slow sewers of the world unite!
Trying to speed things up - or enjoy being slow
Asa Hagstrom
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Asa Hagstrom
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SWEDEN
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Date: 1/28/05 5:54 AM

A few of us have commented that we are slow sewers, and that we might need a support group, so here it is!

I have always been a slow sewer - actually I'm slow at most of what I do. Mostly, this is because I'm very careful in each step and try to do everything "the right way". But really, this can be very counterproductive! It's like I never finish anything at all...

This Sunday, I decided to try to sew a skirt in one day, or at least as much of it as I could. It was a Burda WOF pattern with four asymmetrical pattern pieces, each to be cut twice on single-layer fabric, so it wasn't the simplest pattern you could imagine, but still relatively easy. I had a length of lovely red stretch cord that I bought for $1 at PR weekend last fall, which was slightly shorter than the pattern called for, but I wanted it to work, so I tried. After spending a fair amount of time laying out the pieces, squeezing out the last square icnhes of fabric and cutting out, I realized I had cut it with the nap going down... The rich color of the corduroy was lost. It's still a nice color, and no-one will know looking at it, but *I* know what it's *supposed* to look like...

If I hadn't tried to work fast, I would probably have thought about the nap issue. So I guess what I'm thinking about is if it's worth it to try to be faster? Will I always make these mistakes when I try to speed up? Will I be a happier sewer if I sew faster?

BTW, I didn't finish the skirt on Sunday, but I sewed all the pieces for the front and back with topstitching, so I guess I'm satisfied with how far I got. Now the zipper's giving me problems...
-- Edited on 1/28/05 6:56 AM --

redhead
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redhead
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Date: 1/28/05 6:19 AM

Great topic! I am a slow sewer too. I think of it as a time to be fully mentally present and enjoy the process, so I never rush. I have strict rules about sewing against deadlines too. I think that takes all the enjoyment out of it.

By the way, if you are describing the skirt that I think you are, I am looking forward to a review. I have some navy pique or denim in mind for it.

Sarah
-- Edited on 1/28/05 7:20 AM --

Tini
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Tini
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Date: 1/28/05 6:22 AM

I do make more mistakes, when I try to sew fast. So when working on my coat, I tried to break things up into tiny bits and worked on it for 15 Minutes.
That worked well. I prefer beeing slow over having to rip! I just have to tell myself, when flaws aren't noticeable, that it is o.k. to leave it that way :)
Let's call me a perfectionist...

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read my blog:
http://www.tininaeht.blogspot.com/

Asa Hagstrom
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Asa Hagstrom
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In reply to redhead


Date: 1/28/05 7:26 AM

Sarah, it's pattern #122 from the November 2004 issue.

After reading your posts I felt encouraged and went upstairs and finished the zipper insertion. It's not perfect, but now it's good enough!

Asa Hagstrom
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In reply to Tini


Date: 1/28/05 7:29 AM

Tini, you're right about working in small increments - it does get the work done eventually. How is your coat coming along?

cindyann
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cindyann  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/28/05 7:57 AM

Almost all of my wadders are a result of trying to sew quickly. I do much better when I take my time and think through every step. Although, this doesn't always keep me from mistakes.

My latest goof was a BWOF pattern for a blouse with french sleeves. I used a stretch silk crepe that I got at PR weekend and I loved. I was soooo careful, or so I thought! I didn't notice until it was time to do the buttonholes that I had put one of the sleeve plackets on the wrong way. One side buttons up the other down. ARGH!!!! I'm sick. I guess the lovely french cuffs will be cut off and a short sleeve blouse will be added to my wardrobe.

Cindy (who really needs to join this support group)
-- Edited on 1/28/05 8:58 AM --

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AnneM
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AnneM  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/28/05 8:17 AM

I'm part of the slow club!

- I don't have have that much time to sew, so I'm often working in 15 minute stretches. (Lately, I haven't been sewing because my sewing room is in my ice cold basment! )

- I literally sew slowly. I don't like speeding along with the sewing machine.

- I take an age laying out the fabric for cutting.

- I always feel like I need to minimize the amount of fabric I use, even if I have plenty and no plans for the leftovers. So I take a while laying out the pattern pieces.

- I am rather silly with some items, such as tying off thread for a seam. I secure it by back stitching, but then I also bring the thread to the back side, tie it off, & hid the tails. This adds a surprisingly long time to the process, but I just can't bring myself to skip that step. I don't consider myself a perfectionist, but this is one area where I lean that way.

I agree with Redhead, that there is some attraction to sewing slowly. It is more relaxing that way. But on the other hand, it is nice to actually finish projects!

I've started being a little less particular with laying out the fabric, since the incremental improvement is keeping the grain straight is not proportional to the increased time. I'm still trying to figure out some other areas to improve my speed.

AnneM

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With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

Runrover

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Date: 1/28/05 8:20 AM

Okay, this is the topic near and dear to my heart. Believe me when I say I'm in a "slow" class all by myself. I am the slowest!! Part of it is trying to make sure I understand everything and do it right and part is fear of failure.

It took me months to finish a simple skirt because the skirt included a zipper and faced waistband -- two techniques I hadn't done before. Like you, Asa, the zipper was perfect, not even good, but it worked :-) and my daughter likes the skirt.

This weekend, though, I'm determined to cut out and sew a simple t-shirt. I am participating in the pattern stash contest and want to have a few entries besides the ear warmers I made, which I did cut and sew in one sitting.

I also really enjoy all parts of the sewing process, looking at the patterns, going through my fabric stash, even the cutting part doesn't bother me too much. The hardest part is trying unfamiliar techniques, but I realize trying is the only way I'll learn.

Thanks for staring this thread Asa, I really need it.

Cynthia

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Cynthia

Nickle
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Nickle
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Date: 1/28/05 8:29 AM

I am also a slow sewer- I'm fussy about the inside construction. I really don't need the clothes- I only sew because I love too- so I'm just happy as long as I always have a project in the works. I guess a good goal for me would be to produce 12 items a year- one a month.
Penny
-- Edited on 1/28/05 9:31 AM --

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Penny

Fabric Mart Bundle Fabric sewn- 10.5 yds

redhead
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redhead
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Date: 1/28/05 8:37 AM

My frustration is trying to keep up with fashion. If I want to sew something in the latest style or color, I am always behind the eight ball.

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