Finally had a chance tonight to read through the introduction of Stitch by Stitch by Deborah Moebes. Less than 20 pages in and I'm hooked- her writing is humorous and very earthy, both things I adore in someone who wants to teach me something!
In her introduction, Ms. Moebes does something unusual in most of the "How-to" craft books I've read- she talks about the history of sewing and even includes a timeline of important events. Things such as when the first sewing machine was created (that didn't work!) and when the Singer finally came out. Her description of why we sew now verses why our ancestors sewed was rather enlightening- instead of being strictly necessary to cover ourselves, sewing can now be a fantastic art form, and it is to anyone with basic internet surfing skills!
She also includes a great questionnaire to help people know where they are coming from. Seeing as how I'm putting all my sewing fails online (presumably, but I know me and I'm a little klutzy with the sewing machine), I figured I would put mine right here for the world to laugh at:
Where'd you come from, and what took you so long to get here?
I learned to sew as a child from my aunt and Ms. Jean, who taught me how to quilt. In junior high I took home economics and learned how to use a sewing machine. I sewed doll clothes and costumes by hand in high school and bought a sewing machine some years ago but haven't used it to its fullest potential.
What's been keeping you from sewing? Was it a bad experience?
Nope, nothing bad, just frustration. Since I never took advanced lessons there are techniques I am not comfortable with and never attempt, mostly finishing hems and using elastic or other complex notions. Not knowing how and being afraid of screwing it up I have never bothered experimenting.
Who most inspires you to get creating with needle and thread?
My biggest inspiration comes from the internet. There are so many things I see (mostly clothing) and say "Oh, I could make that!"
What gets you itching to use that machine?
Clothing that fits properly! Being a lady with hips larger than are in vogue it is difficult to find clothes that fit, beyond the fact that most modern clothing is entirely different from styles I favor!
What are your sewing goals?
I want to be comfortable enough with all techniques to be able to create any pattern, or any idea, that strikes my fancy.
List the 3 things you'd like to be able to create by the time you've completed the lessons in this book.
Easy. A set of ankle length circle skirts, a cover for my mixer, and a bag that will actually hold all of my knitting supplies!
Let's say time, skill, and money is no object. What is the one project you most want to create?
I would love to have a tailored suit with multiple pieces: skirt, pants, jacket, and blouse that are all form flattering and long wearing.
Well, at least I have a clear idea of where I'm aiming!