I'm no expert. I've never claimed to be. But I read a lot, particularly a lot of sewing books. By this stage of my life I have made more sewing mistakes than you can imagine. Sleeves installed backward? I've done it more times than I can count.Cut and sewed two of something when I only need one? Many times. Nasty zipper installations? Well, if there were an Olympic competition for that one, I'd have the gold. I could go on and on. But back to my second sentence. I DO read a lot. I actually "study" sewing. I know many of you do as well. I have all but a handful of the first few issues of Threads and have read every one of them numerous times. They say reading before sleep helps you learn. I don't know but that is generally when I read my Threads or any of the other sewing books I enjoy. I reread those too.
Through books I've learned there are many ways to execute technique but the basics are pretty much shared by all the greats equally. I'm talking my heroes, Nancy Zieman. Claire Shaeffer, Roberta Carr, Susan Khalje, Kenneth King and others. I have read all of their books over and over. Did you know I have, or had, a photographic memory? I did until I hit about forty. That was when I declined in my reading of books ( work, kids ) and I really think that change in the use of my memory muscle did it in. I rarely studied in college or any other school. I would look at the book once and could go into a final knowing exactly the line, the page, and words I was looking for. That did not help my study skills and any subject that required reasoning, like math, I avoided like the plague. I guess I let that little tidbit about myself out just to make the point that what I read I hold on to. (FWIW, I still have perfect color memory. Weird how that stuck.) My visual memory is still quite good but not the letter by letter perfection I used to consider normal.
Why am I boring you with all of this? Part of me doesn't really know. I feel like I am talking to friends when I write my posts. Another part of me wants to make the point that there is really solid, good, easy to understand knowledge out there. It's not all on you tube or blogs. Actually, a lot of misinformation can be attributed to either of those sources, but some good too. It is so easy to just click and skim. A book is heavy, doggone it, and you have to actually read the thing, too. It is not instant gratification. But I love that I can take a book and find an answer to my sewing query. I can take it in at my own pace. It can sit right next to me at the machine, if need be. (I know, my tablet can too and sometimes it does.) I love being able to "study" in my comfy chair or propped up on my pillow in bed or in the shade and coolness of our new deck. Yes, I can do this with my tablet but there is just something "hard" about a tablet and "warm" about a book, at least for me. I certainly use the internet and various devices to search and learn, but it's not the same type of "studying" that I enjoy with books. I love on the internet that I can instantly get various opinions and techniques on the same subject. Books for me require a different sort of effort. The experience is enhanced by a good cup of tea, a comfy place to sit and QUIET. I love the quiet part. It's a pleasure.
This post was prompted by finding someone giving erroneous information to others out on the internet in regards to a technique of sewing, While I feel bad for those who took the information as correct when it clearly wasn't it made me just start wondering about how we receive our sewing information. Moms and Grandmoms who sew as well as Home Ec classes are long gone as reliable sources of basic sewing technique. I am talking about today and how we learn. I have so many questions.
What part of your sewing education has the internet played? All of it? Some of it? Very little of it? Do you blindly trust youtube and bloggers with sewing information or maybe just some of them? Would you trust a classic sewing book, or a new one for that matter, as much, more of, or less than internet advice? What about your own experience? By that I mean the College of Hard Knocks and Wadders. Is that your primary teacher? Is your knowledge a combo of internet and books? Where did you get your "foundation"? Do you consider yourself to have a strong foundation in the basics of sewing? If so. how did you come by it? And how much does the marketing of a blogger influence your trust in information? If someone has many followers, does that mean they must know what they are doing? There are no right or wrong answers here.
I am currently reading a very interesting book called "Reclaiming conversation" by Sherry Turkle. One of the big seductions of texting and blogging and such is that we can "get it right", Turkle's words. We can take thirty pictures to get just the right one on a post. I've surely done that. We can edit our words before we hit publish whereas in real life, once our mouth opens, its pretty much a done deal. We can present a persona out on the web that in real life has warts, misbehavior and is not always that pleasant. And we can use this power of getting it right to maybe exaggerate our knowledge, skill and experience. We can edit to put a face to the world that presents us as pretty doggone perfect if we want to, unlike real life, which goes unscripted and has blatant consequences of our actions. We can even delete or not allow publication of comments that point up our faults and misinformation. Are you more likely to believe in someone's abilities if they are well marketed? Pretty provocative stuff. How do you like blogs who show their wadders and poor fitting as opposed to those that are examples of marketing genius? Which do you trust more for sewing knowledge? Let's be honest here.
I would love to know your opinions.