25 June 2013

How to Sew Sucessfully



Do you need a prompt every now and then to sew, to be more organised and to fit some productive sewing time into your day?  I found an inspiring and humorous chapter in this 1954 Singer Sewing Book by Mary Brooks Picken, that could help all of us get our act together and secure some precious sewing time - 1950's style!  We all need a little kick occasionally to get organised!  Mary herself was a guru of textiles and the home arts, the "Martha Stewart of sewing."  An author who set up her own Women's Institute of Domestic Arts in Scranton, Philadelphia to train women in the technical aspects of fashion and homemaking.

Source
   
Source

She writes that we should prepare ourselves: 

MENTALLY:   Mary encourages us to "approach the job with enthusiasm, imploring us to be enthusiastic and to find something "lovely" and appropriate to sew, to "handle the fabric with appreciation."  I agree that sewing should not be a chore and become a factory production line of garments and craft items.  Never approached "with a sigh or lackadaisically."   She advises us to attend to our urgent household tasks and to "Never sew with a sink full of dishes."  I often ignore the dishes and end up engrossed in the sewing part, she would not approve! 
 
"Yes, the mantelpiece is dust free!" 




Source
 
Source 
PHYSICALLY:  One should make oneself as "attractive as possible"  as it is a "very important part of sewing."  Do you REALLY feel comfortable in your tracksuit pants, baggy t-shirt and fluffy slippers?  (Mmm, yes!).  Try a change of style, it may invigorate your sewing practise! Sit and sew in a lovely floral dress with flared skirt or blouse with puffed sleeves and fitted capri pants.  Mary suggests that your fingernails are neatly filed and your hands clean.  Check that your powder and lipstick are applied neatly in the bathroom mirror and your hair wonderfully coiffed.  In addition, your outfit will look more becoming if you are well groomed prior to trying it on.  More importantly, you will be ready and looking your best when your neighbour drops in unexpectedly for a visit! 

MATERIALLY: Organisation is the key word here.  Preparation before a sewing session adds to efficiency and good results.  Mary suggests we assemble everything prior so that we are not distracted from the task at hand and we are not uncoordinated.  Key supplies are a press cloth, iron and ironing board, tailors chalk (Does anyone still use this?  Does it fade in twenty-four hours?), cheesecloth and heavy muslin?  
 
Source

Source


Source

PLAN YOUR SEWING TIME:  Mary emphasises that sewing time must be planned as carefully and with as much intent as you plan a trip to the hairdresser.  Make a "sewing appointment"  with yourself and prepare a simple evening meal to allow some productive sewing time during the day.  Can hubby have a "Lean Cuisine" or left over lasagne for dinner tonight? Make a regular date with "intimates" or friends to sew from "2 to 5 on a Wednesday."  She suggests devising a "recipe for each garment" and jot down all the  supplies you will need so you have them at hand when shopping.  A sample garment of muslin may be called for if you are using techniques you are not familiar with.  Hand work such as basting can be completed while chatting to a friend or watching your favourite TV program. Please note "refreshments" are not required (not even a nice Chardonnay ?) as the focus is totally on sewing.

Source
  
Source



The ultimate sewing centre - 1950's style! 



          
Source
                               Organise your sewing mess and you will be "dressed for success" if you are prepared mentally, physically and materially!  How do you prepare yourself mind, body and material for sewing?!



No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear your comments. Let me know your inspirations, share your thoughts and projects.