Guest post from our Sunday Sewist: Jenn Topp
A couple of Sundays ago, some regular customers were discussing Daniel (another instructor). Jessica said “he’s very precise”. I chuckled to myself and doubted that anyone has ever used those terms to describe me.
I’m not a sloppy sewist, just a self taught one. I’ve never taken a class or had anyone show me how to sew. I’ve learned from doing. I’ve done a lot of sewing that involved making something from scratch without a pattern.
Making pieces in art school didn’t call for any refinement or technique really. I was making sewn objects that didn’t need to fit a certain size. I made my grad outfit in high school, which consisted of a velvet bustier and sheer flowy pants (Hello, 1992!). The pants were a bit more sheer than I anticipated so instead of adding a lining, I added an extra butt panel on the inside to hide the panty line. Two hours before my date showed up. Ha!
When I started quilting I quickly figured out the importance of accuracy. A quarter inch seam doesn’t give you a lot of wiggle room. I’m finding tools to help with my precision. A stack of rulers, an ever sharp rotary cutter blade and occasionally pinning has helped.
Then I found paper piecing which is like paint-by-numbers for quilting, allowing for much more precision. I would hate to think that someone would be afraid to sew because they thought they had to sew flawlessly.
I think there’s room for all kinds of sewing. Perfectionism, liberated sewing, and somewhere in the middle.