Wow, sewing sure seems to have made a popular comeback! Let's debunk common misconceptions about sewing and the people who do it. Whether you're new to sewing or a seasoned seamstress, you may have heard some of these tall tales. Let's put an end to them, now. Since more people are sewing nowadays, it'll be easier to make new sewing friends. Hopefully fabric and notions will be easier to find as well.
Let's dive into a few sewing myths and bust them!
1. Sewing is for old ladies
A common sewing myth is that sewing is for an older generation only. I'm here to tell ya, more young people are learning how to sew. And, men sew too. My husband learned to sew when I put him to work for mask making. If you don't know where to start, you can find online classes, head to your local college and sewing shops, or even ask a friend to teach you. Sewing people are everywhere, you just gotta look.
I have taught a handful of friends and family that I don't consider "old ladies". Although, I do refer to sewing as one of my old lady hobbies. LOL. Oh and kids sew too. I have taught all 4 of my kids to sew at a young age. It's a good life skill to have and it's not being taught in school anymore. Here's an article I found online about young people sewing more and more. I'm not crazy, I swear! Sewing is for everyone.
2. Sewing is cheap
LOL! I always laugh at this one. Sewing is often more expensive. A lot more expensive.
Making something from start to finish is costly. You walk into the fabric store and buy a pattern (or online) for roughly $12. You need a minimum of 1-2 yards (for most garments) of fabric which costs roughly $20+. A spool of electric blue thread to match your new fabric, $3. You need a new pack of needles too, $5. Not to mention the price you paid for your machine and all those other glorious notions you've put hard-earned money into. The cost is $40+ just for the 4 items I mentioned. And, I didn't include the price for your time. Time is money and you know it doesn't take 10 minutes to whip up a dress for little Suzie.
You can buy a nice top or pair of shorts for $25 at a big box retail shop.
This misconception always gets me and it hurts my feelings sometimes. I love making gifts but, I've gotten looks and questions asking why I didn't buy something instead. Sigh. It takes a lot of time and energy to sew something. It ends up costing more than if you purchased the same item in the store, usually.
Let's spread the word and lay this myth to rest.
3. Only talented people can sew
Remember the movie Ratatouille? The chef's motto was "Anyone can cook." Welp, I believe anyone can sew! Seriously! I truly believe anyone can sew, anything.
This is a silly misconception that even runs in the sewing community. I've met sewists who say they could never make bras or they could never make a certain garment! Um.. yes you can! If you have the drive to sew a pot holder, you can make a prom dress. You can make anything you put your mind to. Cliche, I know. But, with the right tools and experience, you can sew whatever your heart desires. Will it be cheaper than buying it? Probably not (see myth number 2).
If you want to make something that seems crazy and difficult, search for it on you tube. You'd be surprised at how much info is out there. Not everything is there though, and that's why I started my blog. Shameless plug. ;)
4. It's an inexpensive hobby
Sewing can be frugal or it can be really expensive.
If you were gifted a sewing machine and boxes of fabric and notions, you're on team frugal. You can use bedsheets to make dresses. Scour yard sales for patterns and buy scissors at the dollar store. It can be a frugal hobby. *Never use old thread though. Please, splurge and buy new spools. Old thread breaks easily, causes issues with your tension discs, and creates more lint.
However, if you are new to sewing and don't have a hand me down machine, you'll have to buy one. They cost upwards of $100. You should start with a basic machine and if you love it, upgrade a few years down the road. Fabric and interfacing cost money. Thread, bobbins, needles, and rulers are needed to make everything. Scissors. So many pairs of scissors are needed. Fabric shears, thread snips, paper scissors, applique and embroidery scissors, and pinking shears, I have so many pairs of scissors. A rotary cutter and self healing mat are nice, but not necessary. Not to mention elastic, buttons, sewing feet, zippers, and tons of other fun notions you have to have. Oh and don't forget about a seam ripper. Because... sewing. Seam rippers are the second thing you need after you purchase your machine. You'll need an iron and ironing board too.
I didn't list everything for sewing, but these are the basics.
Sewing is not an inexpensive hobby. Eeek!
5. Handmade looks homemade
Making a handmade gift for someone is such a sweet gesture. But, not all sewing is created equal. If a sewist takes shortcuts and skips pressing all the seams, the item will look wonky and homemade. We don't want that.
When you think of handmade, you should think of artisan quality. You shouldn't think of little Darla's card she made for grandma last summer. Handmade is often better quality than what you can buy in a store. It's made with love and the person has looked it over twice before giving it away or selling it. This is true as long as the artist doesn't take shortcuts. Seams need to be pressed, under stitching needs to happen, and interfacing must be used when needed. That being said, practice makes perfect stitches. Someone who is a passionate sewist takes their time and creates something beautiful.
Let's change the stigma on the term "handmade". Think artisan-made instead.
6. If you sew, you need to sell
Nope, not true. This is a huge misconception. If you sew, you do not have to make items to sell. Sewing is a hobby, just like gardening, painting, or listening to music. Just because you love it doesn't mean you have to turn a profit. I sew and I choose to make things to sell. But, there are many folks out there who sew everyday and never sell their items.
If you don't feel like your skills are developed enough to sell, then don't. If you don't want to make things to sell, don't. Also, if you are a new sewist, you need time to perfect your skillset before you should sell. You want quality products at your craft booth or online shop.
Don't beat yourself up over it either. If sewing items and selling them at local craft shows makes you happy, then do it. But, don't let someone make you feel bad if you don't sell stuff that you make. It's your hobby. Yours. You do what you want with it.
And, no, I won't hem your pants. Hemming and sewing are 2 different things in my book. One is fun, the other is soul sucking. Hahaha
My husband's pants get hemmed at the cleaners. #sorrynotsorry
7. Quilting and sewing are the same
I'm probably entering controversial sewing territory.
But, I sew. I don't quilt. To me, they are different. Quilting uses quilting cotton fabrics. You sew rows of different pieces of coordinating fabrics. Cutting must be precise and it can take many, many hours to complete a quilt. They can be in blanket form, placemats, bags, jackets, etc. You then sandwich the pieced front to a solid back with a layer of batting inside. Then, you stitch rows or swirls on top to keep all the layers together. I have made a few quilted table runners for the holidays. I bring them out, place them on the coffee or kitchen table for the holiday. Then, put them away until next year. Blah, not fun.
But, to some, quilting is extraordinarily fun!!
I.... love sewing, and the process of sewing. Finding that perfect pattern. Looking and touching everything to find the best and prettiest fabric for said pattern. Figuring out the fit for your body. Making a muslin, or not.
Sew the garment, bag, etc., and you have something you can use everyday. The key term is use. If I spend hours on something, I want to use it. I want to wear it out into the world.
My mom has made the most beautiful quilts and I hope I get one, someday. However, she can't sew a pair of pants to save her life. And she doesn't want to either. See, two different types of sewing.
I sew. I don't quilt.
I'm sure I missed tons of other sewing myths, but these are the top ones I wanted to bust for you.
Please share in the comments below any myths or stereotypes you've encountered.
Thanks for hanging out today!
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.
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