I have been catching up on this thread, and just today I found this very timely anecdote: http://notalwaysrelated.com/you-reap-what-you-sew/30607
Reading all this, I have to say that anyone who thinks sewing is easy is an idiot.
I never got past the most basic straight stitching. I liked embroidery when I was little, because I could pretend to be Cinderella
. But then I got impatient and kept poking myself and the shine quickly came off it as an activity. I am ashamed that my mother's sewing machine sits in the basement gathering dust, but it scares the cr*p out of me.
My mother was (in my eyes at least) an amazing crafter. She made me a stuffed giant doll (I just called her "Big Dolly" she was bigger than me originally), that was my constant companion for years. She made a red velvet strap dress for my Barbie that I thought was better than anything Mattel(r) sold. One Halloween, she made me and blue and pink satin jester's costume that I picked out of a book from the library. She fell away from it when her health declined (fibro
), and I think she felt the effort/reward ratio was too out of sync. I hope she knew how much I appreciated her work. I don't think it was her passion, and she never made a big "thing" out of it - she just came from a generation/family that encouraged women to have 'home ec' skills as a (now pretty sexist) practicality. But she was good. Really really good.
I learned first or maybe second-hand how hard making your own clothes can be. In this story, my ex-BFF and I were both the crafters and
the 'clients' with high expectations. My xBFF 'A' and I were starting a business of hosting children's parties. We were going to be doing "Princess" theme parties - so we needed princess dresses. I don't know why my friend decided to make our dresses instead of buying them. Now she isn't a newbie. To give you some BG: Her favorite show is "Project Runway," and she has a degree in design. Oh yeah, she knows
how to sew. But she was really ambitious with these dresses. She found a fairly heavy pink and then blue brocade fabric decorated with a flowery design in silver thread. She said she'd be Aurora and I'd be Cinderella.
She found a pattern for a skirt and top - the top had billowing sleeves and the real work - eyelets (a ton of them!) to both attach the sleeves and lace up in the back with ribbon. I think you can find a pic of the pattern (or the closest I could find) here
- it is the middle or 'B' pattern. I remember the sleeves being attached with eyelets. I don't remember how much the materials cost, but the labor was prohibitive. We did this project together and by some miracle managed not to kill each other. The work was tedious and difficult. We would never have done it for someone else, and we would never have asked anyone else to do it for us - but this is what we wanted and we accepted the challenge. We had several opportunities to wonder what in the heck we were thinking, and we both swore 'never again.' I still have that blue outfit stored somewhere - it was very sturdy and held up to numerous washings. And it doesn't look like it came from a store. They both looked better than store bought. We sold kids costumes on the side including Disney Princess outfits - so cheap and not in a good way.
We never had anyone ask for dresses like ours (thank Deity), but we got plenty of compliments. The awe from the little girls who totally believed we were pincesses was kind of worth it.
So yeah, I don't expect anyone who sews to 'whip up' anything for me 'just for fun'. I know it's their amazing patience and skill that make it only look