Why learn to sew in today’s modern world? Clothes are cheap, readily available and who doesn’t love hitting the shops? It is also a hobby that can have a reputation of being something your Nanna would do! But in this consumer world we live, perhaps striving to make something completely unique, that fits you perfectly and is made from beautiful, high quality fabrics has a certain charm and appeal. Plus if you manage to pull it off, it almost certainly won’t seem nanna-ish.
It goes without saying that the level of skill needed to sew a beautiful garment doesn’t appear overnight, or even over a few months…frustratingly, and that’s why the journey and process of sewing is as important as the end result, if not even more so.
As a Brisbane-based Mum of two, I gave into the slight pressure from my mother to invest in a sewing machine. Now admittedly I don’t always follow my Mother’s advice, but I already knew how to operate one (I’d learnt to a very basic level at school, hopefully slightly better than the person below - spot the glaring error in the stock imagery) and perhaps a sewing machine might be useful? However the real driver for me was that I had seen how much Mum seriously enjoyed her sewing. If I didn’t catch the bug the machine would at least keep her happy when she came to stay!
Out of the box came my new machine, I plugged it in, threaded it up and off I went. I decided to begin by making a dress (see photo!) for my oldest daughter, who was two at the time. As I pinned, cut, threaded, stitched, read and reread instructions (and contacted mum over Facetime a fair few times for advice) I quickly realised that I was completely utterly submersed in this thing they call sewing. For a moment there, there was little room for anything else. I had completely escaped the humdrum of motherhood, something that can be hard to do when it surrounds you so eagerly. To top it off, I was enjoying the process and I realised that I could have a dress at the end of it. I was inspired to learn something new and I had found a creative outlet. Naturally there were a few hairy moments along the way and the perfectionist in me did come up against some frustration initially, but I’d go as far to say that it was a period of calm concentration and contemplation, even mindfulness... I think I had caught the bug.
So if you’re keen to give it a try read on for advice for beginner, intermediate and advanced sewist...