So for this week I wanted to talk about some “rules” I think are meant to be broken. Of course, there are some aspects of sewing that you should probably follow pretty closely unless you don’t mind having wonky results. I’ll post about those later. For today though I wanted to share 3 ‘rules’ I hear often and why I think they are essentially crap. I’ve heard about these rules mostly online, some were told to me directly and some I read about from various sources. I follow one blog where the poor girl gets nasty emails about how her ‘techniques’ are ‘all wrong.’ Terrible stuff really. So while ‘they’ in this case are elusive and anonymous, these are rules I’ve seen often enough that I want to write about why I dislike them. Tell me about rules you dislike (or break often) and why in the comments.
1) Don’t Use Quilting Cottons for Clothing
I’ve heard this rule quite often. I’ve been told that quilting cotton isn’t ever good to use for clothing and that is isn’t ‘good enough.’ I break this rule a lot for several reasons.
One is that quilting cotton is comfortable. If you wash it before working with it and get the treatment off that they use to make it ‘shiny’ you’ll notice it can be very soft against your skin.
Two, it comes in a lot of cute novelty prints. I’m not going to avoid using it when it’s just so darn cute.
Three, cotton fabric is hard to find in the apparel section that isn’t also made with synthetic fibers. I don’t want my entire wardrobe made with polyester, nylon or spandex and I like having more options available to me.
Four, clothes work out quite well in quilting cotton. Of course, like any piece of clothing you make, you want to choose the best fabric/print for the pattern but that doesn’t mean that quilting cotton would never work well.
Finally, despite being told otherwise, no I don’t think people can tell when I use quilting cotton and no I don’t think they care. Really? People know and/or care that I use quilting cotton to make clothes? Honey, no.
2) There are certain ways to create certain clothes
When making clothes, there are certain patterns or techniques we use to create certain shapes or effects. Pleats, darts, other similar techniques, are all used to fit tricky fabric to our body nicely. I’ve heard many times that I’m not supposed to deviate from these techniques and unless I’m an expert at creating patterns from scratch I shouldn’t attempt to do so.
This is crap. Total, utter, crap. Fitting clothes properly is such a tiresome area of sewing. It seems that getting the proper fit takes ages and that it’s almost impossible from a perfectionist standpoint. That being said, there are no ‘proper’ ways to do it. There are some techniques to use but how and when to use them is always up to the person sewing and no one else. This is something I’m trying to do more and more often, break away from the idea that if I don’t do things ‘by the book’ someone will care. Let’s be honest, no one does.
3) Certain Tools are Required to Properly Create
This is crap on multiple levels. Mostly because it is incredibly elitist. To think that certain tools are superior is unnecessary at best. For example, tracing patterns. Of course, you don’t have to trace your patterns but if you do there is no reason to use whatever paper you feel is best. Now I use Pellon tracing material and before that I used butcher paper. Both work great and I use the Pellon simply because I like it better. There is otherwise no difference between them or why I should use them. The same can be said for many other tools. Of course, sewing machines are different but even then you should find the tools that you are most comfortable with. If you like Gingher scissors, great, but you can also prefer Fiskars. I have both. Just experiment and do what you like best.
So what do you think? Are there any ‘rules’ you dislike or realized are not really necessary? Do you agree with my list so far? Let me know, and if you’d like updates every week sign up to get notifications straight to your email.
Until next time,