Welcome back to Notionally Speaking where a fellow blogger writes a post based on a single word sewing related that they randomly selected from a list. That's it, no other guidance - they can take the post in whatever direction they like. This month's post comes from Hannah from Made with Hugs And Kisses who is tackling "alteration". Which direction will she take? Read on to find out and I doubt many of you will disagree...
Who here originally bought their sewing machine with a small, starter project in mind, most likely an alterations project? Perhaps you intended to hem a pair of trousers, take up a dress a few inches or to make a skirt fit a little better?!
Oh I see a few hands go up in the back.
Ok, so perhaps not everyone bought their sewing machine with alterations in mind, but I am pretty darn sure almost everyone has, since purchasing said machine, come across a garment in need of altering. Agreed?
Now my big question is... have you done it yet? Did you ever get around to those pesky trouser hems that scrape along the ground? Did you ever pull that dress out from the back of the wardrobe that you just know will be your go-to dress that you will wear all the time, if only you let out the seams an inch or two?! What about that zip that broke, but you just couldn't bare to throw the garment away because you knew replacing the zip would be a quick and simple job... if only you ever got around to it!
Ahhh, I see a few guilty faces averting eye contact now... just as I thought!
If you are anything like me, you have a rapidly growing pile of projects that will be forever lucky to see the light of day. We all have a fabric pile, and most of us will most likely have a scrap fabric pile... but who here has an alterations pile? Mine is scrunched up behind an old armchair, hidden to the naked eye. But it is still there, forever waiting, forever hoping to be tackled one day!
Can you spot it? Behind the big penguin... that black binbag - well it is FULL of alteration projects. And behind that bin bag, well there is another one, equally as big and equally as full!
So, in my moment of honesty, and I am sure you have already come to realise this, I feel relieved to announce that I do not enjoy doing alterations.
Yet people continue to be astounded by my disheartened sigh of frustration whenever they discover that I, in fact, find alterations difficult, disastrous and dull! I much prefer the challenge of a 'make it from scratch' project and find this much more enjoyable and rewarding.
'But you sew?! Of course you won't mind altering all of my clothes for me whenever I ask and in a moments notice!'
Don't comments like this annoy you. I feel like leading them up to my sewing room, showing them the binbags hidden behind the penguin and saying something along the lines of: 'I don't do my own alterations, do you really think I am going to do yours???'
The way I see it... you have several options:
1. Just say no - rude yes, but sometimes people need to be told!
2. Do it, but complete the task so slowly and poorly that word will get round not to bother asking you again! Of course, this is likely to negatively impact your reputation as a credible seamstress, which we don't want.
3. Do it, do it well and come to terms with the fact you are going to be asked to do more... many more!
or my favourite ...
4. Display the following sign for all to see.
This way if they still insist on asking you then you know they either A. they do not value Michelangelo's work, or B. they clearly don't understand how much you dislike alterations ... in which case both are an abomination and so you have every right to turn them away!
Problem solved :D
But let's think about this rationally, is not wanting to do alterations really a bad thing?
We have taken the time to learn and perfect an impressive skill that allows us to showcase our creativity on daily basis. So why feel guilty that you do not want to take up what little time you manage to get infront of the sewing machine, what with general life being so hectic, fixing a garment that has been mass produced, when you could be creating a masterpiece of your own. After all, at the end of the day, alterations don't quite quench your thirst for sewing now, do they?