Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I sew suck

If you were around about a year ago, you might remember that I'd gotten this super-cool sewing cabinet for my birthday:
Sewing Cab Closed

Sewing Cab Open
That I'd also taken my mom's super-cool old Singer (it's not cool enough to be called vintage, but it has great sentimental value :)) in for a complete servicing, AND had gotten this super-cool serger for Christmas, which was just waiting to be broken in:

Oh, and did I mention I'd also gotten a bunch of super-cool sewing books that Christmas as well? Like Simple Sewing, Quilting 101, plus a couple of how-to-serge books that are stuck in the 70s and seriously funny to look through?

Well, I've trotted these things out lately to try my hand at sewing. Nothing fancy, just stuff like turning a pair of capri sweatpants into shorts and making some basic napkins (and I do mean basic - no mitered corners or anything, just a plain ol' square). And I've discovered something.

I hate sewing.

Maybe hate is too strong a word. *thinks for a moment* Nope! I hate it. I don't enjoy any part of the process at ALL. Now you might be thinking, "Oh weez, it just takes time! Once you get the hang of it, you'll love it!"

But here's the thing - when I first learned how to knit, I immediately fell in love with it, right from the very first stitch. Even when I didn't know what the frick I was doing, even when it didn't make any sense at all, even when the thought of knitting a sweater or a pair of socks seemed unbelievably alien, I still loved everything about it. Even now that I have more experience and still manage to FUBAR a project and have to frog it completely back to the beginning and am cursing the paint off the walls while I'm doing it, I still absolutely love this craft. I might not like it very much at that moment ;), but I love it.

Which is so not the case with sewing. There is only one thing about the process, from creation to completion, that I find enjoyable - and that's buying pretty fabrics! Like these:

PUWTR Fabric
I love imagining what I could make with them if I actually enjoyed sewing (and, you know, was any good at it). But yeah, that's about it. And isn't quite enough to make up for detesting the rest.

Maybe it's like gardening or camping or eating olives. I like the *idea* of it, I really *want* to like it, but...I don't.

So, for those of you sewers out there, tell me - do you love to sew? Have you always loved to sew? Or did it take a while? Because I'm starting to think I should just admit this is not the craft for me and put everything up on craigslist. (Well, except the fabrics. Those I'll commission to someone else to make all the pretty things for me. ;))


Blogger Jane said...

I always loved the idea of quilting, and ind that I do love quilting, machine or hand. Not that awfully thrilled with piecing.

5:05 PM  
Blogger deirs said...

I love to sew! Even if I'm not in the mood, I know that if I sit down to sew, I'll get really in to it, in just a few moments, and sew for hours. It's not like that for knitting, and I'm not sure why, but sewing is very relaxing and enjoyable for me. Knitting is too, but in a different way, I guess.

6:17 PM  
Blogger CBear said...

Keep at it!

But if you decide to get rid of it - I'll take it (well, except for the sentimental singer, because I have one of those too and I would never ever ever ever part with it! never!)

6:47 PM  
Blogger Team Knit ! said...

I totally hear you- I can sew, I'm not bad at all, but I hate it. I don't know why I find it frustrating, but I do. But then again, some people can't stand knitting, and I think they are crazy- not every craft out there is for every crafter!

- Julie

6:55 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I swing back and forth with the seasons. As soon as it starts toward spring I find myself itching to sew. I'm not very good at it, I lack the patience required for really excellent finishing, but I do enjoy it. As the fall starts to come near my hear turns back to knitting/spinning.

I don't think you should give up on it full stop. It may come to you in time. I didn't LOVE sewing in Jr. High when I learned, it's only in the last few years that I found myself liking it.

Pick projects that you would enjoy. Things you want, or that are interesting to you. You may find that it grows on you.

If you still don't like it enough to want to keep at it and want to be rid of it, um, I'll put my hand up for that lovely cabinet... :D

7:27 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Heh, you is too far away for the cabinet! ;) I sometimes love to sew, sometimes not. Like you, I like to always knit, sewing has sort of taken a backseat (or at least quilting has) since I've learned to knit. Hehe, I sew other stuff to support said fiber habit though! Gorgeous AB fabrics!

8:23 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

It has been a long time since I did any sewing. But, I loved it from the beginning and took extra 'home ec' classes in high school to have more time to sew.

As with every craft I undertake, the only part of sewing I dislike is the finishing. But I'm not fond of finishing knitting or crochet or anything else I've tried either!

probably not what you wanted to hear! :)

8:46 PM  
Blogger Bezzie said...

I don't love it, but I don't hate it as much as I used to. But that's basically because I learned all the Beast's little annoying quirks and how to deal with them.
Where'd your MIL get that cabinet?

3:32 AM  
OpenID dropstitchknitter said...

Dibs on the cabinet!

Oh, sorry - I mean, give it a little longer. I didn't LOVE it when I learned because the fustration outweighed the enjoyment. But I did like the feeling of accomplishment when I made something. I think taking a particular class might help - I'm not a big fan of making clothes, but I do love the quilt and make home accessories. I can tolerate make things like PJ's bottoms and stuff that are functional and I'm planning on making some craft bags. So give it some time - you may just need to find the particular thing you like to sew!

3:35 AM  
Blogger chemgrrl said...

I friggin hate sewing. Always have. But I do have a sewing machine and I do pull it out from time to time. Actually, mostly to make sock monsters. But those are fun! Well, the whole process of making those is fun. The parts where you have to sew the tiny seams on little bits of sock actually suck. But the finishing is fun, so I endure.

But yeah, I also the *idea* of sewing. But I also have something you don't have--a mom who loves to sew. Remember the pretty fabrics I got when you got yours up there? Those went into my mom's fabric stash. (Which is mighty, by the way. Makes my yarn stash look piddling.) She'll make me some stuff out if it eventually. And I'll knit her some stuff. She does knit too, but gets frustrated by it very easily and often just gives up on her projects. Sound familiar? :) Anyway, it's a nice tradeoff.

5:41 AM  
Blogger SJ said...

I'm not a sewer my any stretch of the imagination, though I can sew on a button or fix a ripped seam. I have a very basic sewing machine that I got as a gift years ago, and while I don't really know how to do anything more than a basic running stitch with it, it's very handy to have. I've fixed torn pants and a seam that came unraveled in some sheets very recently.

So I can't really help you find your groove with sewing, but I will say that it's useful to have a machine around. I definitely wouldn't get rid of the Singer, even if you do decide to pitch the rest of it.

5:47 AM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

my mother sews and she used to make a lot of my clothes when i was growing up. that's what i like about sewing--the finished projects are tailored to fit me and it doesn't take very long compared with other crafts.

but i'm not big on precision and sewing (especially quilting) requires accurate measurements, careful cutting and seaming. my "eh, it's good enough" approach often has sloppy-looking results.

so i guess i would list it as one of my least favorite crafts, which is why i don't do it all that often, but it's a nice and worthy skill to have.

i'm also very cyclical in my crafts, so when i get tired of doing everything else, i sew.

honestly i would keep at it, because it's nice to be able to whip up a tablecloth or hem your pants when you need to. also, just like everything else, better tools will give you an easier time. i have a crap sewing machine but a nice serger, and it really does make a difference.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Mujercita said...

I'm the same way with sewing. Knitting, I love. I hate not having needles in hand. However, sewing makes me frustrated, and I tend to want to throw things. I think it's for the following reasons:

1) Complicated mechanical stuff. Technical stuff and I do not get along well. I always seem to screw up the machine somehow.

2) Knitting problems are so much easier to fix. You screw up, you rip, you reknit. Sewing, on the other hand...you screw up, but oops, you've already cut the fabric! It's too small? Too bad...

Good luck, though! I think the reason I never took to it is I didn't have the patience to learn how to work with, ass opposed to against, the machine. Keep at it, and I'm sure you'll do great!

8:01 AM  
Blogger mooncalf said...

I'm a knitter at heart but I quite like the results you get from sewing. I think it just has a slower learning curve. Once I got really good at unpicking and started to find it almost relaxing I think I felt more positive about the whole thing. I just needed to know there was a way back...

8:56 AM  
Blogger mle said...

I agree, sewing does seem to have a bigger learning curve for some reason.
My mom taught me how to sew when I was really little and I've always loved the creativity of it. The possibilities are endless! I will say that when you are planning on making something, you must divide it up into managable parts (do the cutting one day, then the piecing, etc.) because it really takes longer than you think it would.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Jacey said...

I really enjoy sewing, and I just blogged about this, but I find sewing to be more frustrating that knitting ever was. I feel like a complete failure in most of my sewing ventures, but I like the process. In knitting, I feel better equipped to "wing it", whereas with sewing, if I don't follow the pattern to a T, I'm screwed.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, I have to say that there is no element of sewing that doesn't annoy the whatever out of me at times, and I can totally understand not wanting to commit to it from lack of love.


Knowing how to sew totally changes how I look at knitting and crocheting patterns, and makes it possible to design things I never could have otherwise.

I think that teaching yourself to sew is incredibly frustrating, and like handwriting or riding a bike, it takes some practice for things that seem super annoying to the point of impossibility to become automatic.

As a complete stranger, lol, my advice is to take a class or work with a talented friend to make a few things. Your local fabric store or the place you bought your serger might have free classes for really basic stuff, (and the tricks of your own machine) but making something you actually want can be good, because you can think about how cool it will be to have it when you hit the annoying bits.

After you have made a pair of pants and well fitted shirt, you may still decide that you never want to sew again, but you will always have the basic skills if you ever do need them, AND you will find it easier to talk to someone you pay to make something for you.

You may also decide that the ability to make three thrillingly perfect pillows out of a two dollar thrift store bedspread is totally worth the hour of annoying sewing, once the skills are actually accessible. And there is always the possibility that it'll be fun once the awkwardness is over!

good luck, whatever you decide!


PS Because I taught myself, and didn't understand pattern alterations for years, I still fight the feeling that it's too frustrating to bother with, until I force myself to start and end up thrilled with what I can make with a little work, or save a favorite item of clothing at a crucial moment.

PPS Music or Books on tape. Shocking how much more patience I have when I have something to think besides "wow, I hate this part soooo much."

1:00 PM  
Blogger prairiegirl said...

Take heart. I'm trained as a seamstress, and some days I absolutely hate sewing. HATE it with a passion. But other days, I love it. Maybe not the process so much as the finished product, but love it all the same. Give yourself some time. It may just be the projects you chose to do. If I'm feeling pressured at all, or obligated to do something then forget the enjoyment at all (which is why I no longer will do any seamstress work unless I really, really want to because I just end up resenting it).

Those fabrics are very pretty though! Maybe they'll inspire you to sit down at the machine again.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Becca said...

I'm so with you. I want to love sewing. I want to make cool stuff. I love picking out fabric. But I hate sewing. It's so freaking precise. And the ironing!!! Why is there so much ironing??

But, like others have said, keep the sewing machine for making curtains or hemming stuff. Also so you can use it from time to time and remember how much you hate it.

3:07 PM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

I sew something about once every 5 years. But that wouldn't stop me from getting all the super cool stuff.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Nell said...

I love sewing. I HATE cutting out the pieces. So that's an issue. Just like my knitting, I'm a little hesitant to make anything I have to wear. (other than on my feet) Table cloths, napkins, pillow cases are all fine. But a shirt? no way.

2:19 PM  

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