Common Sewing and dressmaking myths and misbeliefs

And how to reframe them!

Are there certain things you tell yourself about sewing or dressmaking and you aren’t quite sure why?

I hear quite a lot of sewing and dressmaking myths or misbeliefs flying around on Instagram, facebook groups, customers chatting in the shop or emailing in and I wanted to try and bust some of them for you in this post, or at least help you re-frame them!

Sewing and making your own clothes is such an enjoyable and rewarding hobby but in a fast paced stressful world, it can be easy to put pressure on yourself or be hard on yourself.

I believe that when you spend time sewing it should be a way to escape all of that, to relax, to focus on something else that isn’t ‘everyday life blah’, to have fun and get something amazing at the end of it that you can feel super proud of!

You might relate to some of these things, or maybe not, maybe you hear others say them too and can help them to look at it from a different point of view.

I've grouped them together into 4 different categories - maybe you relate to some more than others.

To hear me chat through them, check out my latest Youtube video where you can leave a comment or questions in the comments.

The time issue

I don’t have time to sew

I don’t have time to make a toile

I’m such a slow stitcher

I only sew XX items per month/year.

I think for most things that aren’t a complete necessary for everyday life function, we don’t really have time for anything, we need to ‘make time’. If you really want to spend more time sewing, you have to reprioritise the things that you do and let something go. I’ll regularly choose sewing over other tasks that might need done around the house, garden, etc.

There is no sewing police that puts out quotas of how much a dressmaker ‘should’ make. Try not to compare yourself to others, everyone's situation is different and remember online and social media is only the good bits, not the vast majority of everyday normal bits of people's lives!

Self-imposed sewing rules

I have to trace all my patterns and never cut them

I’ve been here, convincing myself it needs to be done this way to preserve all the other sizes. Try truly asking yourself why you need all those other sizes. If the chances of needing them again are small, weigh that up against the additional time it takes to trace. In the event you do need the other sizes again, would it be easy to get a PDF reprinted or buy another pattern - worst case scenario? What would you rather do…spend time tracing? Or have to get a pattern reprinted in the potentially unlikely event you do need the other sizes again?

I have to finish this project before starting a new one

This can sometimes feel quite restrictive and pressured. If you are making something and perhaps it isn’t going as planned, it can put you off sewing all together. Try taking a break or even considering leaving the project all together and repurposing the fabric for something else.

I need to make a toile before I sew the real thing

The idea of making a toile is quite a big area to cover - you can read more about the ins and outs of it in my other blog post linked here, but in short - you definitely don’t HAVE to!

Beginners should start with napkins and pillow cases

This will be quite an individual thing, but if you have your heart set on making clothes, it might become a bit boring and off putting to restrict yourself to non-clothing projects. You just have to accept that the very first garments you make might not be perfect and might not fit, but that is the best and quickest way to learn - by making mistakes!

This fabric is too good to cut into

In all honesty I’ve got fabric that I’ve had for years and not cut into as well - I think that’s quite common. I’d suggest if you really, really don’t want to cut into a fabric yet to celebrate it another way. Make sure it’s somewhere you can see it regularly so you can get enjoyment out of it by just being a bit of fabric. If it's tucked away under a bed or something for years, that’s no fun for you or the fabric!

The self-imposed guilt trip

I can’t buy anymore fabric

I’m on fabric buying ban

I have too much fabric already so I can’t buy any more

I feel guilty about the amount of fabric/sewing stuff I have

I need to hide this fabric purchase from my other half

This could be true, you may feel like you have too much fabric, but before you squash any creative juices and feel like you are missing out on new fabrics that might get you motivated to sew again, perhaps try looking at what you have and making a plan for it or sorting it out.

Perhaps you have a lot you know you won’t ever use anyway? Maybe you need to destash and reorganise? Check out my other post or organising your sewing supples and fabrics.

Having your sewing supplies organised can be quite freeing and make you feel more in control of your hobby and still allow you to buy more nice fabric you see guilt free!

Lacking confidence

I need to lose weight before I make this project. My tummy/bum/boobs are too big.

This is a super personal thing as well and everyone's journey, sewing and weightloss wise will likely be a long term journey with ups and downs along the way. Try being kind to yourself and thinking/living more in the present moment. Would making something in a fabric that you love to fit you now, as you are, make you feel better? There will always be more fabric, more projects, more inspiration in the future, but enjoying the fabric and the process of sewing and learning new skills might give you a little boost of ‘yay’ for now.

I’m not confident in my own measurements

It’s common for beginners to feel a lack of confidence in many aspects of sewing, like learning any new skill. It takes time to hone it down, practise and learn. Try checking out my blog post on taking your own measurements and choosing a size when following a pattern for some reassurance. Making something in the wrong size early on in your journey can be off putting some some people so taking steps to learn from that can boost your confidence and motivation to sew more.

I’m not good enough to do that project. I’m waiting until I am more skilled before I make that project. I’m scared I’ll mess it up.

I find as adults we can have unrealistic expectations of ourselves about how quickly we should learn or know how to do something.

The bottom line is, the only way to learn and get better at something is to try it. You will have to try something new for the first time at some point and likely won’t get it spot on and that’s ok - it means you’ll learn quicker than just waiting and hoping that one day you will be able to do it.

So take this as a sign to just jump in, have a try, get it wrong, try again and learn new things with no pressure or expectation!

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