Feb 3, 2014

Do you sew by the book?

A few days ago a reader wrote to me, saying the technique I wrote about the other day wasn't in accordance with the RTW garment construction method. Along with the comment, she gave me an insight on how the technique is properly executed. I'm thankful to the reader, as I learned a new method (I might even write that tutorial as well), but I didn't see a problem with the method I had shown you and that I've been using for years.
This made me to think - whether I sewed by the book and if that really mattered. 


If you follow my blog on a regular basis, you know I'm self-taught with sewing experience of twenty years. I learned the basics myself using the trial and error method. When I discovered the sewing community on the internet, I started absorbing as much information as I could find (did you know I actively followed more than 200 sewing blogs?), reproducing the things I saw, collecting ideas and learning tricks of the trade, but most of the stuff I figured out myself. And to be honest, I'm proud of that. Along the way I developed some techniques that might be unique and unconventional, but I've noticed these techniques suit me, I find it easier to sew using them or I find the clothes more comfortable that way. Therefore, that's my experience and everything I've been showing you here on the blog has been a result of my work, hence my best practice. Off course, you're free to not adopt my techniques and discard them if you think I'm doing things the wrong way.

I'm always keen on learning something new, especially if it's related to sewing. So, be assured I'll remember everything I saw or read related to this subject, because I'm really interested in it.

However, I think I already have enough experience to evaluate whether some technique or its variation is applicable or not, as well as to tell whether it's absolutely necessary or it gives some room for a different interpretation. Therefore, there are techniques I find absolutely irreplaceable, while for the others I think they leave some room for a different interpretation.

Generally speaking, I think that every creative hobbyst needs to experiment in order to get to know the medium he / she is working with, the tools he / she is using, and to find the techniques that suit him / her best; and I don't think it matters which hobby we are talking about. Along the way, the hobbyst breaks some rules, but the practice and experience lead him / her to a proper way of doing things, as he / she learns on his / her mistakes and discovers better and easier ways of accomplishing the same effect. As a result, the innovation can happen this way. Just remember the revolution Coco Chanel brought into garment construction...

I know some people who make some beautiful garments, but who have never used sewing patterns, nor have learned to draft them. They think of sewing as of a game and an adventure, and as of a way of expressing their creativity. Setting them some sewing rules to follow would mean stealing all the pleasure and excitement that sewing usually brings them.
It's clear I can't completely compare myself with such people, since my blog has some educational content and it's my duty to make sure everything I show you here is correct. However, I keep the right to apply and transfer the method that I find logical, practical and that I have used before; the method might or might not be in accordance with the RTW garment construction methods.

So, I'm curious to know - do you sew by the book or by your feel? If you follow some rules, where did you learn them?

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  1. New techniques have been used that helps people to know which suits on them and which doesn't. We can take help of Commodity Trading Tips.

  2. Heaven knows I won't trust a tailor that cuts, measures and sews by a stiff guide. We all have different body shapes and sometimes in order to have one pattern look equally as nice on various body shapes, a little bit of tweaking is necessary. What is important is having a basic idea of how something is done, then be guided by the measurement and body type of who will be wearing what you will be sewing to determine how and where to tweak it......that is my 2 cents of course.

    1. Valuable 2 cents Naan, thanks for commenting!

  3. Techniques used for RTW were often developed for the specialized equipment and processes used in garment making factories, in order to maximize output while minimizing material and labor costs. I wouldn't expect them to be the only way to do something or the best one for a home sewer. I have learned so much by being open minded and trying techniques that are different than the ones I was taught and used in the past.

    1. I was thinking the same thing Audrey! For example, I know of 3 or 4 different techniques for making vent pockets, but I use only one as it suits me best; each of us sews differently, but I don't think it matters as long as we make beautiful and neat garments.

  4. Production sewing in a factory cannot compare in any way to home or couture sewing. For someone to think that RTW sewing is the gold standard of technique shows a lack of knowledge regarding sewing at all. I do not aspire to sew like they did in the factory I worked in many years ago , who made a quality garment, BTW.

    If I have learned anything in my fifty years of sewing it is that there are many good ways to accomplish the same task. Sewists need to be openminded to techniques and try them all. Only then can you decide which works best for you. And if what works best for your garments is not the same as what works best for mine, that is fine, totally fine. We need to understand and respect each others various ways of doing things. If the results are great, that is all that matters. Now if the results are poor and the work haphazard, that's another story...........