Madeleine still doesn't like stories about wolves or anything else she deems scary, but ask her about sewing and she has no fear! "Mum, when can you show me how to make a zippered purse..... I want to make Pippi a quilt for her birthday, so I think I will ask Granny to show me...... I like your Japanese embroidery book, I'm going to make a pencil case with a Hula girl, a hibiscus and some sea shells on it...." Many of these projects are never started, let alone finished. However Madeleine has this quiet confidence that she can sew. It is not a scary unknown to her. She feels that if there is something she can't do yet, it won't be long before she can.
I think most adults have left behind their fears of the monster under the bed, but we often seem to have apprehensions that can hold us back. We feel that if we haven't actually been taught something, then we can't do it.
Take this picture for instance:
And this little guy:
When I read blog comments and talk to people who come to our classes, the zipper and the zipper foot seem to be the monster in the sewing cupboard for many.
Many people think they can't put in a zipper but most haven't had the confidence to try. Our beginner students are amazed and then thrilled when we show them how to make a zippered purse in their second class. But you don't have to learn these skills in a class. You can ask a friend or family member to show you. And if you don't know someone who can help you, there are so many amazing resources on the web - pictorial tutes and videos.
What have you got to lose? An hour of your time, a $2 zip and some fabric scraps. If you are successful, you'll have a bounce in your step for the rest of the day and a huge new list of sewing projects you'll want to try. And if you're not, chalk it up to experience and schedule some time to have another go.
My current monster in the sewing cupboard is sewing cloths for myself. At university, I played around with board short patterns and party dresses. More recently I have made a few skirts. I have a long list of patterns I want to try but never quite find the time (read confidence!) to give them a go. I am willing to sew complicated stuff for my kids, but there is that monster growling at me from the cupboard when it comes to sewing for myself. I worry about the fit. I don't want to look homemade!
But, I have decided that monster has to go!! I am working on an Amy Butler Liverpool shirt and have pulled out the Japanese pattern books, in an attempt to make myself a large part of my winter wardrobe.
Anyone else have a sewing monster that needs banishing? I'd love to hear about it. Maybe we could help each other along. Let's not let our monsters stop us from trying new things!