Saturday Musings: Seams Right to Me

I’m the sort of person who looks at what other people are doing and decides it’s ‘not for me’. Regardless of whether I do or don’t like what I see, I stick to my own path and leave others theirs. However, in my journey to free my spirit and be less closed off and closed down, I’ve begun trying things that other people are doing, for myself. Hence getting a smart phone, wearing a weave (for 20 hours!), and ordering salad in a restaurant. It’s all experiences, and experiences are good. Experiences make life rich.

Sewing wise, the thing I’ve held off from has been buying a serger. I see that pretty much everyone has one, I hear how much faster they make sewing, I’ve even used one (twice), but … buy one? For myself? Hmmmmm.

Photo by Janome.

You see, while I’m totally open to this new trend, I actually really like finishing my seams myself. I know, I know. Time consuming, weird preference. But to me, finishing my seams myself adds that special touch to my me-made garments. When I look inside my clothes I may see 1/4″ unfinished seam allowances, I might see French seams, I might see turned-and-stitched allowances … I haven’t bound any seams yet, but I’ve encased seam allowances in bindings. I like to grade my seams, too. Whereas when I look inside my store-bought clothes, I only see serged edges.

I guess my bias comes from the books I read to learn how to sew — most of them were written in the 1950s through 1980s, when clothing was sewn with a fair amount of detail. Making covered buttons to match a garment was completely mundane, as were covered snaps. Shaped hemlines and necklines just for the sake of the detail they added, were commonplace. Hand stitching was used all over a garment. But even with these details, clothes were still made quickly!

To me, it’s those details that make sewing my own clothes worth the time spent. I don’t want my clothes to look like they came from Target unless they came from Target. I want my clothes to look like they were made by me, and made with love. Not that I want to dress like a freak! But if someone asks if I made what I wore, I want to be able to say ‘yes’ and show them all the wonderful elements that can go into a custom made piece. And that includes seam finishes.

Also, I have an ace in my pocket: my local stitch lounge has sergers for rent by the hour, and I’m pretty sure they have classes or lessons on how to use them. Why buy when I can rent? ;)

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