Friday, May 30, 2008

sewing books and sunhat

The Blog-a-day holiday didn't last very long. I just needed a day or so of not having the computer on and not playing with the Internet. Do you ever get that way? Sometimes when I have a really good time with people I enjoy, but also one that was quite tiring, I find I need to just hide in my cave and do simple craft like things without any distraction from the Internet. I had a great time spinning at my house Monday night, but cleaning up the house and worrying about my baking (it sucks that I cannot taste what I made to make certain it was up to scratch) took a whole lot of energy out of me. Thus the computer was abandoned for a few days.

I was wondering about sewing. Reading sewing books I've noticed two main types: encyclopedia type like the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing that are very useful references, but it's a bit like trying to learn a new language by reading a dictionary; and the 'starter' books that are supposedly for beginners, they even say they are for beginners, but they make a lot of assumptions. For example they use terms that are neither in the glossary nor in my other sewing books, or they say make the X, but give no insight how X might be created.

Both style of books seem to assume a basic foundation in sewing - a foundation that I do not have. So I ask myself, where do people get this basic understanding of stitches and thread? Could it be, that in this ultra-modern day and age where the majority place such a heavy value on consumerism, that mothers still teach their children to sew? This seemed highly unlikely. Even in my youth, mending one's clothes was seen as a sign of poverty and avoided at (quite literally) all cost.

Then I learned that most people were taught to sew in school. I'm not so lucky. It was considered too sexist to teach people sewing in school (even if they were to teach both genders). So that answers my question. Most people do have some background in sewing, provided you are old enough or that your school didn't take a distorted view of feminism.

But where does that leave me? Well, I'll muddle through somehow, I always do. Like my sunhat. Have I told you about my sunhat? It was an adventure to make. The pattern peaces didn't fit together (printing error) and the instructions made no sense and I wanted a reversible hat not one that is lined, so with much perservierance, I made altered the pattern to make myself a reversible sunhat.

Very nice, don't you think?

And see, I did manage to make it reversible.

What a lovely finished hat. Now, time to try it on.


The brim is huge! Not my fault by the way. It's the only part of the pattern I didn't alter. It's alright with the edge turned up, so it's not a complete waste. But still, there must be some way of knowing the finished size of the pattern before you make it. The patterns say things like 'made for size X, with sufficient ease'. I miss knitting patterns which tell you the size of the garment and make you guess how you will fit into it.

But no matter. I completed a hat, and even if it is a bit odd, I'm very proud of what I accomplished. Now, on to the next challenge.

1 comment:

Josiane said...

The hat looks great, and I'm sure it's really cute with the edge turned up! And the Ribwarmer fits you very well!
I did have a short sewing class in school, it was part of our Home Ec class (which was divided into four quarters over a year, one devoted to some sort of theory, and the others to cooking, sewing, and home decorating). The same person was teaching everything, and she wasn't really good at any, so I didn't learn much. I'm pretty sure I would feel exactly the way you do if I was trying to sew with the help of books. Thanks for sharing your experience; now I know I'd better go and learn as much as I can from my grandma before it's too late...