Re: Swimwear help!
- From: Kate Dicey <kate@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 12:03:10 +0000
Get a Grip Tessa! I have 7 children and sew both for a living and to cloth myself! I have a costume hire business and make all the costumes, I also dressmaker and do alterations. I work from home to keep overheads down and to be there for my children. I am BIG and make most of my own clothes. I am self taught except for a pattern draughting course which wasn't finished as our instructor who was very old became mentally incompetent. I work many, many hours a week and regularly will still be sewing in the wee hours of the morning. The people on this news group are generally wonderful, sure there are a few whingers, but that's life.
Like one big family, innit!
Kate is looked on as our sage, our fount of wisdom (mind you she is not the only one here!) and a perceived insult on her will have you winding up having verbal bricks dropped on your head!!
<Pink face look> Thank, darlin'. I'm not the most knowledgeable among us here, but I do 'talk' a lot! Comes of being a teacher, I think... I usually learn at least one new thing every day from one or more of my sewing groups. This is all free knowledge, and the best thanks is to try it and pass it on.
I started sewing as a kid, because I liked doing it and because I got good results this encouraged me to keep going. As a student in the '70's, here in the UK I was lucky enough to benefit from the further education grant system we had here at the time (one of the few good educational ideas the Labour movement has had - but don't get me started! *Especially* not on how the Conservatives later trashed it!). Without it I don't think my parents would have been able to put three out of the four of us through university, and my dad always swore that his kids would NOT have to work their way through uni the way he did... Even so, I was NOT well off as a student. We didn't run cars, have TVs, or live in nice flats, we walked everywhere (I thought nowt of a five mile hike through the snow in Durham to go to a party or a lecture!), lived either in halls of residence (a bit like being at boarding school) or 'out' in private accommodation of the £8 a week for a crappy, cold, damp room with shared (grubby!) bathrooms and kitchens - one step up from 19th C slums! I could NEVER have afforded all the beer I drank without my sewing machine! That earned me lots of beer, helping hands when I needed them, meals when I was hungry, and most of the clothes on my back for a couple of years.
Nowdays I sew to earn the icing on the cake. Christmas is a little
richer (but still not madly extravagant), and we can occasionally afford
a holiday. It feeds my vicious fabric habit. It buys things like new
work surfaces and doors for the new conservatory. It pays for a posh
frock length of fabric if I need to look good as The Wife at a work do
for the hubby. I'm very lucky that I don't have to do this full-time, or to pay a mortgage/put food in the mouths of kids. To me it's a paid hobby; I could not afford to sew for myself the way I do if it wasn't self financing. I have learned that when I *do* work (less than I'd like die to health issues), I know not to undervalue my time, and I'm learning how to say 'No!'.
I personally think you are being rather childish about peoples comments, and thought that at first you where a troll by your subject manner, however it is good that you have an interest in sewing. Stick around and you *will* learn.
Oh, and ditch the idea that sewing is economical! It can (and will) be when you are making coats, mountain gear, business suits, wedding dresses... For jeans and T shirts, hit the cheap shops! For 'ordinary' clothing, you will only do better financially sewing for yourself if you would otherwise have to pay someone else to make you things to fit an awkward figure. Decent fabric isn't cheap, and shoddy, cheap fabric isn't worth sewing. It isn't even very good for practicing as it is so horrible to sew that it can REALLY put you off!* Likewise with threads and other findings. Stick around and pick our brains about the good places for stash shopping, where things can be bought for less than high street prices, and for bargains in the fleece and zipper department.
Cheapo-crap fabric CAN be made to look fantastic, but only with a lot of skilled work, luck, good machines, the right needles and thread, and a lot of patience! I can work wonders with £3.50 poly crepe back satin bridal fabric because I've had many years to come to terms with it and learn it's little ways. On the other hand, a simple to do skirt in a superb 100% wool gabardine at £30 a metre can look fantastic with far less effort, cursing, swearing, sacrifices to the sewing gods, and broken needles! You really have to try hard to spoil it!
Some of the folk here are, like me and like Romanyroamer, professional sewists, some are economic sewists looking to save on specialist kit, some sew because sewing is a drug and gives you a buzz, and some are purely hobby sewists. Some sewists are escapolagists retreating from the stresses of working elsewhere, some find true solace from tragedy here. Some sew only specific things like kites or dog coats, some (again like me) will sew anything they can fit under the needle! Relax and enjoy...
*For practice fabrics, you can do a lot worse than beg curtain and upholstery scraps from a local curtain maker, and make bags, draft excluders, peg bags, oven mitts (watch the fibre content!) and such like. They come in all weights from sheers and fine silks to stuff like carpet! These are the bits I use for teaching kids. All recycled scraps. We get fantastic results. I'm doing Christmas Stockings with them in a couple of weeks, and Easter Baskets or peg bags with another group in the run-up to Easter.
Kate XXXXXX R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
Click on Kate's Pages and explore!
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