Jun 4, 2014

Sewing Sins: Time For Confession

All of us commit them from time to time — and though we know it's wrong, we don't even really care. Because who is watching after all? You only have your own conscience to worry about when it comes to the sewing sins you commit in the privacy of your studio/nook/kitchen table.

Though I follow many of the sewing commandments (Though shalt not cut off-grain; Though shalt not use the wrong needle; Remember the seam allowance, to keep it holy), I also can confess to breaking a number of them.

1) I often cut out my paper patterns (even tissue!) rather than devote the time to tracing. Of course I regret it later when alterations need to be made, like this men's shirt here:

Major d'oh!

2) I have never sewn a button on the proper way. I use the zig-zag butonhole stitch on my sewing machine:

Haven't lost a button yet

3) I'm not religious about matching my thread to my fabric, such as this black twin-needle topstitch on the bottom of this gray and red skirt:

Meh, close enough
 4) I don't tuck in the tail of thread that remains after serging a seam. Of course, those tails often end up enclosed in another seam or hem, but when they don't, I just trim them and pray:


Care to confess your sewing sins? What are the commandments you always keep?

31 comments:

  1. I am also a cutter, not a tracer.
    -Sandra

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  2. I'm not nuts about matching thread color, either. Close enough works for me! I've serged almost every garment with aqua thread, not because it matches, but because I have aqua thread, I like the color, and fuck it- no one sees the inside! I'm known to just cut patterns, too. Also, I rarely make fitted garments because I'm too lazy to muslin. Sad, right?

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  3. LOL @ "Remember the seam allowance and keep it holy" hahaha
    I do all of the ones you do ... except the button one... i'm gonna try that ;-) #rebel

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  4. sometimes I don't pre-wash my fabrics if I'm in a hurry to get started. I am sew going to hell for that someday.

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    Replies
    1. I've done that too...and then I always have to handwash after that because I am scared about shrinking!

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  5. 1) Life is too short to trace; 2) muslins suck; 3) I don't even know the "right" way to sew on a button; and 4) I've been known to "subcontract" out a hem to an alterations shop near my house when I just can't face hemming something I have made, i.e., I'm emotionally done with the dress, although not physically done. I just want to move ON.

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  6. I hardly ever bother to match my thread.. I just call it a "design feature" ;) and I also only have two different colors of serger thread.. Cuz I'm too lazy to go and get more

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  7. darts... i only mark the tip and clip the seam allowance where the legs end. for some reason marking the entire leg is too much bother! plus all that you mentioned! though i really do try to trace most things... unless i run out of paper!

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  8. I have NO TIME for muslins. Pfft. I want to sew not practice sewing! So I flat pattern measure, tissue fit if I think it'll be close and cut that sucker out.

    Trace? Pfft. Only if it's something that both my daughter and I might use. Then I'll cut mine and trace hers.

    I never buy extra fabric. Ever. Never. I hate having large scraps. Too small for another garment but too large to feel good about tossing. Yes I've had to have make it work moments. I'm a rebel! Lol!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Flat-pattern measuring and tissue-fitting are better than muslining, I agree.

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  9. I don't match thread colors exactly, I often pink my seams or leave them unfinished, I sometimes cut instead of tracing, I don't always hem my knits.

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  10. I love Nakisha's comment! This defies logic, but I can't seem to be bothered with notches when I actually have pattern and fabric laid out nicely together.... I usually end up having to pull those pattern pieces back out at some time during construction for all-important notch info. Also, I have never taken the time to cut a pattern, let alone trace it... I just fold back the edges to my cut line (bit by bit, as best as I can) and cut it the hell out. I guess my sewings sins are actually "cutting out" sins.

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    Replies
    1. I do the same thing! And every time I'm like, "You're an idiot! Just mark your notches!" but for some reason that extra step is just annoying after cutting...

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    2. Make a little straight snip (maybe 1/8" - 1/4") in the seam allowance right at the center of the notch. Quick, easy, effective. :)

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  11. Yeah, pre-washing sometimes gets the boot because I don't wanna walk back and forth to the basement of our building. Even if I pre-wash, I don't always iron it flat before cutting. I often leave lining un-stitched to the zipper on the inside of dresses and skirts. Oh and sometimes I "hem" garments with permanent fusible tape. I've never admitted that to anyone.

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  12. I sew my buttons on like that, I have a foot for it! I'm not much of a rebel I'm afraid...I haven't been pinning lately, does that make me a rebel? Cuz otherwise I am pretty much meticulous and I muslin the shit out of stuff...oh well, maybe someday...

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  13. I have never understood the muslin. My mother worked out of our home as a seamstress who made everything for everybody in our town and she never made a muslin. But then was totally self taught. No pattern tracing either! I do sew buttons on by hand. Is that the "right way"?

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  14. Loving this! I'm not fussed with matching threads either, "close enough" is good enough as far as I'm concerned. Recently I've taken to not hemming skirts/dresses if I'm using knit fabric. I never trace my patterns, hate cutting out the pattern pieces have never made a muslin, hate cutting out fabric, ironing seams. But I absolutely love sewing!!!
    Lee

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  15. I do all the sins mentioned on this whole page hahah, except the not cutting out the pattern business, the folding back method seems more annoying than cutting the pattern to me. I will also throw 'never change my needle' in to the mix. I have sewn leather with a regular needle and not even noticed. I change it if I remember but otherwise only if there's a problem. I've had to use a microtex needle for some weird knits, and I had to use a super fine needle for some silk that was getting punched by the larger needle. Apart from those occasions, I could be sewing with anything!

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  16. I swear I already commented on this. Sorry if I do it twice. I am a pattern cutter, too. The only time I trace is when I have to- like with Burda magazine patterns. It has definitely bitten me in the arse a few times, but I still can't bring myself to trace.

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  17. I have never prewashed! EVER! Havent lost anything yet ;)
    Ditto with the serger seams pfft they'll be fine

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  19. I'm honestly elated that I am not the only one who didn't know you were supposed to trace. Seriously had no idea. I've been cutting them out carefully for years and keeping all the scraps. Thank you above commenters! I sometimes prewash, but it depends on if I need to wash some things in similar colors that won't show a bleed. I totally am horrid about trimming threads, often still finding them months after completing a garment. Hooray for the 'sewing sins'!

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  20. I totally break the first two all the time. I try to always cut on grain but I'm not going to lose sleep if I mess up a little. Rt is sooooooo off grain most of the time anyway.
    Plus I will change my needle only for expensive fabric haha. The rest can all survive with the same size

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