Sewing has, in my opinion, 3 parts. When combined together, these three parts allow you to make cool shit.
It’s part “science” (which can be taught)
It’s part art (also can be taught)
And it’s part technique that has to be practiced (after being taught).
The “Science” of Sewing
It seems strange to think of sewing as a science to some.
But consider this. You are dealing with multiple fabrics, and fibers as well as tools and equipment.
Knowing how fabrics work, and react with other fabrics and construction techniques is “science”.
Understanding the differences in fabrics. Check out my Fabric Overview here. Or the types of needles you need because of the fabric is “science”.
It’s stuff that you can learn the basics of, then extrapolate to expand your knowledge.
Also, like science, you can run your own experiments. Try something, evaluate the result, and adjust your method accordingly.
The body is not flat. You might have flat parts on your body, but it’s not flat. It’s a 3 dimensional thing… heh.
Fabric is 2 dimensional.
There’s a science in making a 2 dimensional piece of fabric curve around a 3 dimensional body.
Learning some of the “rules” of fitting fabric over a curved surface, you can start to understand how to make your garments fit you more precisely.
And you can start to understand how to make shapes out of the fabric, even if your body doesn’t have that specific shape (shoulder pads anyone?)
It’s just a set of rules that you need to know, and then understand when you can break them.
The “Art” of Sewing
Sewing is an art.
You have the ability to pick your own colors. You aren’t subject to the current seasonal color palette.
Color coordination is art. (Technically, there’s some science to it too.)
You can pick your own embellishments on your garment. Is sparkle your thing? Make your stuff sparkle. Want exposed zippers and buckles? By all means, you can add them.
Really into corset lacing? Yeah, me too.
You get to decide what shape you want to create over your body. Do you want form fitting or loose?
You can learn about illusions and using it to create the appearance you want.
Do you want to appear taller? Shorter? Wider? Thinner?
Want to make costumes? Maybe Cosplay?
While there are some universal techniques, the specific techniques you need to know when sewing are really dependent on what you’re sewing, and what fabric you’re using.
For example, sewing knit fabric generally requires a different technique than sewing a woven fabric.
Some techniques are easier to “perfect” than others.
However, most require practice.
Even just sewing in a straight line, requires practice. (Kind of like driving in a straight line did.)
There’s specific techniques for inserting zippers, adding pockets, and turning sharp corners.
Heck, there’s techniques for making sure what you make, doesn’t come apart.
And of course, there’s techniques for pressing and finishing so that your garments look handmade (or professional made), rather than home made.
Interested in learning more? You’ve reached the “Choose Your Own Level” section.
Choose the Purple Pill if you don’t have any experience to speak of. (Or if you want a quick reminder of some basics.) You’ll get to the other path after a brief introduction.
Choose the slightly different Purple Pill if you have sewn something with at least a straight seam on a sewing machine and feel confident you could do so again.