Tuesday, February 17, 2015

If It Turns Out Right, It's Not Wrong

My mother taught me how to sew on a button when I was seven years old. Other than that I didn't really receive any sewing instructions from her. She told me that she had taught herself to sew. That was the way she learned best - on her own, without anyone looking over her shoulder. I suppose if I had asked how to do something she would have tried to show me but I never did. I always just assumed that one day I would simply start sewing and that's exactly how it happened.

Everything I knew about sewing before I started reading sewing blogs, I learned from watching my mom, from reading the instructions that come with patterns, and just experimenting. But I learned on the Internet that I've been doing some things wrong. For example, I had never heard of such a thing as "making a muslin". The closest I've ever come to that was using cheap fabric the first time I used a complicated-looking pattern but always with the intention of making something that I would wear. But generally, I don't even do that. I have always just plunged right in with the good fabric that I love. I never had a problem doing it that way but in the past decade or so I've started to be more careful because as I've gotten older some parts of me have expanded more than other parts which makes getting a good fit a little more complicated than it used to be.

On the other hand, there are some things I do that I thought were my own invention, and felt quite clever about, until I started reading sewing blogs and found out that nearly everyone else does that too. Still, I feel shy about showing how I do things. I imagine people out there thinking, "That is so wrong! That is so stupid! She doesn't know how to do it right," with superior smirks on their faces. Because we never really get over childhood peer pressure do we?

So that's why my tag line says "successfully doing it wrong since the 1970s". Because I do it "wrong" sometimes and "wrong" works for me, so it's not wrong.

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