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I am 15 in July I fell in love with sewing. I finished my first garment in September. Right now I am on vacation, so I have been working very hard to get a bodice sloper done before I go back to school. Unfortunateky it never turns out right. My parents say I should put as much effort into schoolwork as I do into sewing. I have a very long schoolday plus a lot of work so now that I am off I sew. Do you think spending untold hours on a project is going overboard? My mom then ridicules the garments I make which is very hurtful. My parents have held a disdain for my love of sewing ever sinceJuly, when I did not even have school. Can someone advise me on this! It is very upsetting. Also any tips for cutting jersey knit?


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    Jan 25, 2013, 03.33 AMby arisaid

    Hello Melissa. No you haven’t gone overboard, spending untold hours on a project makes you a better sewer. Keep up with the sloper too as we all learn from our mistakes. Assure your parents that sewing does help with school work too, you are using math, geometry, comprehenison (i.e. following the pattern correctly) creativity etc. Do try and put lots of effort into your school work as it will pay off in the end and you won’t have parents nagging at you. My parents were not at all thrilled with my sewing obsession but my mother ended up asking me to make her clothes in the end. If your Mum ridicules your garments, ask her what she considers to be wrong with them, take that on board and think about it as maybe she has a good suggestion or maybe not. However, you are sewing for yourself and we all like to be individual. It is also a good idea for you to learn some embroidery as this will help you in many ways, especially in doing any handsewing on your garments i.e. hems. As for cutting out jersey knit. Make sure that it is lying flat and your scissors are very sharp. We often forget to sharpen our scissors. Also it is a good idea to wash the blades of your scissors to get any bits of fluff etc. off them.

    Hope all this helps and keep going with your sewing. Best of luck.

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    Jan 25, 2013, 09.29 AMby katexxxxxx

    As someone who has sewn with similar passion since I was old enough to pick up the scissors (hm… First item finished some 52 years ago now! ;) ) I have to say I am really sorry you are getting this reaction from your parents. That is just WRONG.

    I used to MAKE a dress to wear to work the following day rather than IRON one! :D That was back in the old teaching days (90 hour weeks during term time, collapse in a heap the moment school is out, and then go back to work to prepare for next term.. Insanity!). Go with the flow. Spend your spare time learning good sewing and cutting skills, learn pattern drafting, and finishing… And make sewing of some sort a career!

    As for the time… We sometimes spend up to 80 hours (from first sketch to final stitch) on a single outfit. Concept art, design sketch, first draft, first toile, alterations and adjustments (up to three more toiles if we have to!), and final construction, embellishment, and finishing. Wnna make stuff like this? http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/edwardian-wedding-gown?all_images=1#project-shot-all You are starting in the right way, love. Keep going!

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    Jan 25, 2013, 02.18 PMby sewingfan1

    awww, it’s a shame if your parents aren’t more supportive, I think it’s great that you’ve found such a passion for sewing at such a young age and that you have the dedication to spend hours at it! You must really love it and it could lead to a really great career for you as katexxxx says, or even if it didn’t, it’s such a useful and creative hobby to have skill at. The projects you’ve posted show you’ve got a talent for it.

    Your parents may be just worried that it will take over I guess. Have a think back just to make sure whether they have a point or not, like for example have your grades been dropping at all since you took up sewing? Have you been late handing in your homework or not spending as much time on that as previously? If not, then you can point that out to your parents and reassure them that it’s not going to harm your schooling and as arisaid points out above, sewing can actually be beneficial to a lot of school subjects and may actually lead to improving your grades!

    No idea why your mum would ridicule the things you make. Have you told her that it’s hurtful to you? I was pretty impressed with the pictures I’d seen of what you’ve worked on so far.

    There’s a japanese book called Pattern Magic available on the internet and that has a pretty good basic sloper block that comes with it if you’re struggling making your own. Although, it’s worth persevering with that as mistakes are not a waste of time and you shouldn’t be discouraged by them. Even when things don’t work out, you’ve still learnt something from it (ie what doesn’t work) and you may end up discovering your own brilliant method in the end.

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    Jan 25, 2013, 03.36 PMby Anne Wagenhauser

    Sewing is a life skill, never mind all the school based subject sit will help you with. Try to discuss this with your folks, make sure you spend enough time on your schoolwork. There is nothing more satisfying than the successful completion of a sewing project, keep it up!

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    Jan 25, 2013, 07.30 PMby Meldbombs

    Thanks guys for all the support! Was not sure if I actually would get replies, I feel better now. I thought I was just whining but now I see others have been through similar things. For the upcoming semester I think I will apply myself more to school. I saw last semester even though I did not do well in certain classes which I find difficult, I improved a lot, and my parents wer satisfied. I have to find a way to balance 10 hour school days and doing what I love.

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    Jan 26, 2013, 01.39 AMby arisaid

    If you have sewing difficulties get onto the Forum and somebody will be able to help you. We love sewing and love encouraging “newbies”. As Kate and others have said it could lead you into a wonderful career. Keep up your school work and post pictures of some of your sewing efforts. The very best of luck to you.

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    Jan 26, 2013, 11.55 AMby Sabrina Wharton-Brown

    The best thing to do if your parents are nagging you is to commit so much time to study (though with 10 hour school days it sounds like you are commiting plenty of time!). Personally, I find that patternmaking has helped my maths, particularly regarding net shapes. You can look at my blog; I’ve used math to help my patternmaking, so it goes both ways!

    http://thesewingcorner.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/how-to-calculate-your-bust-dart-size.html (Trigonometry)

    http://thesewingcorner.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/how-to-draft-stereo-buttnon-mono-butt.html (Ratios)

    It’s so exciting when you can sew anything you want. And when you can you can make two or three pairs of jeans for the price of one ready-to-wear (probably more like eight pairs if you normally buy designer jeans) so you are saving money. Especially when you repair and upcycle.

    Also I read in an old book that parents should have their children learn some practical skill so that they have always have some way to earn money and support themselves. And it’sbetter that you be spending so much time sewing, than hanging around the streets. They have to agree with that, haven’t they?

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