Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ready, Set, Sew!

Put those skills to use! Last week I pulled out my sewing machine and serger. I had a pile of items that needed attention. I hemmed two pair of pants (one for my husband and one for me). Converted some jeans into shorts for my husband. Took a dress that had been given to me as a gift-the size was too big, and added some darts to slim it down. Finished the edges of some printed sheets that we bought in India. The sheet set included pillowcases, which we came to know, hadn’t been made yet. The rectangle prints were on a large strip of fabric still. So I cut out four rectangles from the fabric, matched two and two, and created the pillowcases with my serger. I converted a long and awkward potholder into two smaller ones. Lastly, though without the aid of machines, I replaced missing buttons on clothes by hand with just a needle and thread.

The older generations will tell you how it was much more economical to sew clothing and home items than buy them outside at retail shops, back in their days. But today with super discount stores, saving money, is not always a benefit of knowing how to sew. As a result, fewer and fewer people have even learned basic sewing skills. (Sometimes you can still save some money if you catch a great sale on patterns, fabrics and notions at your local fabric store).

Another incentive to learn sewing (and serging) is you can create what you want. Instead of having your choices limited by the colors, styles [and even sizes] of what is sold in the store you can custom make what you want. You might be amazed about how many things you can do with the use of a sewing and/or serger machine. I remember my mother would not only make clothing for us but a variety of home sewn products such as: curtains, doll clothes, bean bags to play with, aprons, decorative pillows and more.

A lot of the older generations have sewing skills that they can teach you. If there is no one in your personal circle that can teach you the basics check your local community education class schedule. Usually there is a sewing class in the class catalog. A lot of fabric stores that sell sewing machines offer free lessons with a purchase. You may discover that you have a hidden creative talent sewing/serging at home!

1 comment:

Madhu Srinvasan said...

I love what you did with the pillows, and I love what you created with my old pants. Besides custom colors, sizes etc - one important advantage of sewing knowledge is creating a new style from old clothes. My jeans were completely baggy, and awkward looking, but after you cut them to quarter pants, they look fabulous, and very comfy, and go with my summer look. Thanks honey !