Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bad Sewing Habits

My bad sewing habits, exposed!

1. Sticking pins in my mouth. Aside from poking my tongue with a pin every now and then, I think this is a bad habit because it probably makes the pin rust a bit, which is bad for fabrics you are pinning.

2. Blaming missing implements on Luke. Poor kid. Its just that more often than not he is the one who ran off with my seam ripper or my seam gauge or my tape measure. He also likes to use my 22" clear ruler as a ramp for his Hot Wheels. So, its easy to yell, "LLLUUUKKEEE! Did you take my fabric marker??!!!" Hey, at least if he draws on the wall with it, it will disappear in about an hour.

3. Not ripping a seam that really needs to be ripped. When I was working on my greenery quilt I had sewn a seam that was all wonky, but I SO didn't want to rip it because it was a long seam and I wanted to just. keep. working. So I tried to keep working, but all the other seams started to look off thanks to the one seam I refused to rip. I ended up going back and ripping it and re-sewing it and was so glad I did. Lesson learned: always rip a nasty seam. Nasty seam=sloppy work.

4. Sewing with hairy legs. Just kidding. My legs really need waxing and I'm doing everything possible to motivate myself to wax them. Telling myself its a bad sewing habit will go a long way in getting me to finally do it! (Plus, I was just checking to see if you were paying attention! lol!)

5. Not transferring all the pattern markings onto my fabric. There's a reason why the pattern has those markings (who knew!! lol!). Last Halloween I tried to make Luke a Super Why costume and the pants turned out great. The top...not so great. After 3 tries I finally realized I had not transferred a VERY IMPORTANT pattern marking to the fabric and that's why things weren't lining up. And how I managed to make the same mistake THREE times, I'll never know. Too bad I realized my mistake a week AFTER Halloween!

6. Not bothering to make a muslin. I've made shirts and pants and even 2 jackets for myself, but I didn't make a muslin for any of them. And they all had fit issues. The shirts I made almost always were too big in the shoulders and the bust is often baggy (I have no boobs). Ditto with the jackets. If I would make a muslin I could address fit issues without wasting my fashion fabric.

7. Not making ample use of basting. If your fabrics seem to slip a lot, then basting is your best friend. I used to think it was a waste of time to baste, but I do it all the time now.

8. Feeling rushed. Since my kids are very young, I only get small pockets of time to sew. So, I frequently find myself trying to rush through a project and it always results in a project I'm not proud of. My kids will only be young once; I frequently remind myself of that fact. Keeping that in mind helps me to slow down and enjoy both my time with them and also the little time I have with my sewing machine. I've learned how important it is to enjoy the process of sewing and not just the finished product. Plus, my sewing machine will always be there for me, but childhood only happens once.

Those are my bad sewing habits and I'm working on all of them (especially the hairy legs thing!) because I truly wish to be a talented sewist and quilter. What are some of your bad habits??


Cheryl said...

Let's see...

1. Starting new projects before previous ones are finished (see UFO list, which isn't even complete).

2. Not seam ripping. I am guilty of this, too.

3. When piecing a quilt top, I sometimes stretch whichever fabric isn't big enough.

4. Not closing my rotary cutter each time I use it.

5. Not measuring through the center of a quilt to find the correct border length. Instead I sometimes sew and chop.

Jackie said...

Even as a new quilter, I have some of the same habits. Pins in the mouth, feeling rushed, not ripping a seam that needs it, and even the hairy leg one! I don't have young kids to blame misplaced notions on so I guess I'll have to blame my husband!

Chicago Sarah said...

Ha. I'm with you on the seam ripping and muslins. The pins I consider unsanitary but a good way to challenge my immune system (ok, I made that up) so I let it go. :)

My worst sewing problem is rushing, though- only to end up with a nasty finished product that I hate. This is why I haven't made clothes for a while. I must slow down. Or knit a lot instead...

Chicago Sarah said...

ps Luke is good for the blame. I blame my mother-in-law even though it's been almost a year since she "helped clean" this place before the wedding...

Jocasta said...

I have a vision now of your hairy legs wearing sandals with socks sewing! I'm about to go to bed so if I have disturbing dreams I'm blaming you!

See I was paying attention.

I don't have ANY sewing bad habits. Not even one! You get that when you can't sew!

QuiltedSimple said...

Oh the hairy legs one will have me checking frequently now - LOL! I don't seam rip when I should, I don't make muslins when I should, and I never transfer markings to clothing like I should. And I HATE to baste with a passion - but I'm anal enough that I do it, and usually put pins every 2 inches, which means I'm constantly running over them. Which is not good on teh machine, believe me.

Anonymous said...

Bad Habit #5 is the same as mine - I often don't transfer all the pattern markings to the fabric. I never do with sleeve caps and neckbands, and they come out just fine without.

Other bad habits? Throwing thread snips on the floor and picking them all up later (sometimes much later.) I know, I'm really bad.

Another one is not changing the needles as often as I should. I never change them on every project like they say to. I really don't think that's necessary. But I really need to on my coverstitch machine and I never have yet. I'm afraid to mess something up on that one.

Stephanie said...

It's bad when I'm a beginner and have many of these bad habits already!!! Oh, especially #4!!

Patty said...

I don't have any bad sewing habits because I don't sew But I know if I ever do, I will stick pins in my mouth and I know I will skip transferring all the markings. Hoepfully, I will remember your list when the time comes for me to power up the machine. :)

GloJoeSews said...

Thanks for the tips. I've heard of doing a muslin but never have and I'm re-new to sewing after an absence of almost a decade. I have two handbag patterns and fabulous material for them but hesitate cuz I'm scared to ruin the fabric (never having made a purse b4.) Now, I realize I can make a muslin and rest assured that I can do a good job b4 digging into the fabric beauties (hairy legs and all!) Thanks!


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