Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday Words


Back to that Coats and Clark A-Z sewing book - the opening paragraphs say it all, IMO. Here is a re type for you to read more clearly. Remember this book was written in 1967 and the words are not mine but the substance is clear.  My own words are in parentheses.

" Dear Home-Sewer, Dear Reader,

We know a man - no sissy - ( I haven't heard that word in years and don't like it) who made a dress for his wife. He had never tangled with needle and thread before except, in his bachelor days, to sew on a button. But, sitting just a few desks from here, he got curious as to what all this sewing fuss was about. So, asking for no help, he puzzled through a pattern primer (the instruction sheets) and a sewing machine manual. We haven't seen the dress - we can't tell you about fit and finish - but we have his word for it that his wife wore it at a party. So how did he do it?

Why, as were were saying, he read the directions:
......in the pattern layout
.....in the pattern primer (instruction sheets)
.....in the sewing machine manual
Step by step, he followed them.
He took no shortcuts. 
H didn't say: "I can't be bothered with those notches," or "....that marking" or ".....that pressing."
He followed through. 
Now, anybody can do that.
Anybody can read and follow directions. 
Anybody can work step by step.
Anybody can shun shortcuts; Professionals don't take them - why should you?
Anybody can follow through. But, alas not everybody does. We can only hope, dear reader, that you will. ......................................." 


**************************

And the most important words of the day: THANK YOU. Thank you for the compassionate responses and condolences. They are truly valued and warm my heart. The sewing community is so special and you make it so. So appreciated.............Bunny

****************************
Wednesday Words are quotes gleaned from the internet, blogs, books, newspapers and more. They are never my own words. They are not my opinions but merely comments written that made me go "hmmmmm,,,,,,,". Some may be provocative, some may not. Some may be my opinion, some may not. My goal is to start a conversation among followers of this blog and hopefully learn as we share our thoughts. I know you will do so respectfully and intelligently and  I thank you for that...Bunny










24 comments:

  1. Good man! Way back in 1957, more years than I want to count, I started to learn to sew. Sure, I took home-ec, and that helped, but I also had Vogue Patterns and their stellar instructions, and well marked pattern sheets. I followed the directions to make blouses, shirt waist dresses, jumpers and skirts. Late in the mid 60's, while attending Michigan State, I took a couple of courses, and using Vogue Patterns, fearlessly made suits and dresses and pants. I read the instructions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They did have amazing patterns back then. I think the only thing similar today would be the Claire Shaeffer designs.

      Delete
  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. I missed the previous post.

    Yes, the above are wise words. Read the instructions, take your time, don't cut corners (figuratively, not literally). You'll get far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kindness.

      We live in a world of instant gratification. I've seen on FB and other social media, over and over, "I made this in only two hours." Or you'll see a indie pattern advertised to be made in only a couple hours. And being the instant grat junkies that so many are, it has great appeal and therefore sells. The only time I brag that a project took me short time is when it looks way more complicated than the work required and that's a design result, not my efforts.

      Delete
    2. Two hours! And I've poured over a pattern layout for entire afternoons after ruminating about it the night before.

      Delete
  3. Believe me, I've tried to take shortcuts especially when making numerous repeats but it NEVER works! Careful, precise sewing gives beautiful garments that make you proud. Karen

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great advice - follow the instructions. But in today's patterns, many instructions are not always that great. When I made flower girl dresses for my niece's wedding, I deliberately did not follow the instructions. The dresses were white with a purple sash and tulle overlay. The instructions said to sew the sash and overlay right into the bodice. Instead, I constructed everything separately, then hand sewed the sash and overlay onto the dress. This was a great idea, because then I was able to remove all the purple and make a sash and overlay to match the dress. This way the little lady was able to wear it for her baptism two months after the wedding, and I had no idea this was going to happen when I originally made the dress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right about much of today's instructions. Luckily you have the experience to make it work. Bad instructions are so unfair to our newbie sewists. I have noticed the Big Four putting out more patterns a la "learn to sew" or for beginners specifically. That's a good thing. To be they couldn't do them in a skill building series. Hey, I think I'm on to something.

      Delete
  5. Hmmm. Obviously I see this thru a modern filter, but the implication that women need to be shown the right way to do something by a man's example has me in a snit. The advice is sound, I just wish gender wasn't involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny, because elsewhere online there are folks who thnk this is insulting to men, which I find ridiculous. I don't read it as valorizing the work because a man did it. It's more a demonstration that someone who had no exposure to the craft was able to teach himself the basics by dint of patience and effort.

      In 1967, gender shaped our lives even more than today. That's why I never understand the sewing bloggers who are nostalgic about the "good old days".

      Delete
    2. In 1967 a man deciding to sew a dress for his wife was a rather unusual activity. Because the words "anybody" are used at the end five times to make the point I don't see this implying that the man who successfully completed the garment is telling women how to sew at all. I think gender is only involved to make the point that "anybody" can sew successfully if they follow the directions. It neither says or implies, IMO, that only women don't follow directions. I do appreciate your input, Clio, and thanks for joining the conversation.

      Delete
    3. It still is a pretty unusual activity! Ha ha But I can definitely see a man interpreting this as saying "so easy, even a man can do it." We all see things thru the filter of our own experience.

      More to the point you were trying to raise, I'm glad that I buck the modern trend of instant gratification and short cuts that my generation seems to embrace. I'd rather sew half as much twice as well!

      Delete
    4. "I'd rather sew half as much twice as well!" That deserves to be next week's Wednesday's Words!

      Delete
  6. There seems to be prevailing attitude that if you don't become an expert after "10 easy lessons", whether it is carpentry, sewing, or other skills, then give up and move on. Perseverance is becoming a foreign concept.

    Poorly written instructions certainly don't help, but a good reference book can help compensate. I think that is where some of these older sewing books really come in handy. They are very affordable and quite frankly better than a lot of the new ones I have seen because of the level of detail. Now we just have to convince the Kindle generation that it is ok to have a real book handy to look up information! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. You can add languages to that list. There are people who don't understand that you have to study a language rigorously for at least a year and live in an immersion environment to become fluent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That I know from experience! The farther I am from my "immersion environment" the less fluent I've become. It bothers me.

      Delete
  8. This link was posted on Reddit. There were so many nasty comments (as if from people willfully misunderstanding it) that the discussion was locked.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/sewing/comments/4530qm/advice_for_men_or_anyone_learning_to_sew/

    You cannot tell some people anything these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or even have a discussion. And some of the comparisons are, to put it nicely, bizarre.

      Delete
  9. "...sew half as much twice as well." Well said Clio! I agree wholeheartedly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that needs to be inscribed some where or at least across the top of Clio's blog!

      Delete
  10. I'm keeping an eagle's eye out for that book Bunny!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Late but heartfelt...So sorry for the loss of a beloved MIL. What a special lady!

    ReplyDelete

Engaging commentary: