About me

My photo
I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


Follow by Email

Follow me on Instagram


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Considering Julia Child

I read the most interesting thing the other day.

It was about Julia Child. 

Apparently Julia loved Chinese food but never cooked it. She figured that mastering French cooking was enough for one lifetime.

This is very interesting.

It seems to me that sewers are faced with these kinds of dilemmas. What kind of sewer are you? Do you specialize? Have you drawn the line at some point in your sewing career and said I can buy pants that fit so I am not putting energy into sewing them? Do you sew for grandchildren but not yourself? Are you a Matterhorn sewer and like to master one challenge after the other? Are you a sewer like those folks who, when they eat out, always look at what the other people  have ordered and wish they had ordered that?

Do you focus when you sew? On one type of garment, or one concept like SWAP, or are you a restless sewer whose mind is always on the next, and different, project?

Could you sew like Julia cooked? 

Would you want to?

These are very serious issues.


Meg said...

This is a good thought to ponder. I have trouble staying focused on my current project at times as I am always impatient to start something else, especially if I see someone in something fab from a blog etc. Kind of like there are going to be too many books to read in my lifetime that I won't fit them all in...

katherine h said...

Me, I want to do everything, but won't admit that this is impossible. I want to draft patterns, I want to understand the nuances that make a pattern fabulous, I want things to fit...but I can't stay focussed to the point of perfection. I thought I would master sewing bras, but then I needed clothes. I got part way through perfecting my swimwear block, when summer ended. I own hardly a t-shirt (can't buy them to fit), so onto drafting knits, but now I have been distracted by a pants pattern. I am hoping that one day I will have perfected all my blocks and patternmaking will become simpler, but what would I read about then? Sometimes I decide not to buy a fashion magazine because my sewing list is so long that I can't handle any more inspiration. If only my family didn't need to eat, I would be able to accomplish so much more!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... great questions. As a beginning sewist, I probably am not qualified to answer, but when I knit, I am constantly trying to learn a new skill, so I think I'm a matterhorn kind of person. However, right now, I have a few UFO's knittingwise, so I guess you would have to say I am an unsuccessful matterhorn person. As for sewing, I definitely see myself finishing things so that I or the recipient can wear them. I don't feel that same kind of pressure for knitting oddly enough.

Marianne said...

The more garments I sew the less inclined I am to buy except for underwear, but I stay with one garment at the time. I usually have a patchwork/quilt/embroidery on the go at the same time. I like this 2 project system because I always need thinking time along the way. Once I have solved all the problems in one project I finish that and then start the next in the same category. I like to challenge myself a little everytime I start a new project, unless I make something that has a deadline.

ClaireOKC said...

Julia Child was such an accomplished woman and such a mentor for so many women. What a wonderful question. I usually get most creative when I'm in the middle of a project and I've taken to writing these down so I don't loose them. This is the way of naturally and abundantly talented people....they have so many ideas they are literally leaking out of their head!

At my age, I kinda know how to do everything I want to, but it doesn't stop me from discovering more - there's always new ways to work things, and this is why I love working with my brides & debs so much. They keep me young and edgy - well, as edgy as I want to be!

But I do relish the empowerment of knowing that just about whatever I see I can make, and most likely better, to fit and flatter me. I'm somewhat spoiled and wonder what will happen when I'm old, aged, blind and have to rely upon someone else to make my clothes. I probably won't like it much!!!!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I realized about 15 years ago when my girls were still small that I would have to "specialize" in my sewing if I wanted to be any good at it OR wanted to accomplish anything. I also realized that my strengths are not patience and anything time consuming. I get no thrill from tailoring and I really love to design.

So I focused on how to get the most bang from my buck using embellishments and trim. How to take a simple design and move it from plain to fantastic. How to use a pattern over and over again to make the things I saw in my head...some of this was practical (not alot of money for alot of different patterns) and some of this was creative.

I believe that the reason I sew like I do now is because I made a choice then to concentrate on what I did best. I hope that it shows in my sewing now!

Great questions, btw!!!

a little sewing on the side said...

fun post! I love to tackle new challenges, especially new machines and new gadget for the machines (I learned how to use a binder this weekend!).
But I seriously doubt if I will ever knit, crochet, do needlepoint or embroider by hand. I just don't think I can get good enough, fast enough, to satisfy my appetite.
I want to learn more about fitting, more about pattern drafintg and improve my techniques in garment sewing.