Saturday, September 11, 2010

Don't Sweat the Technique......BUT by all means refresh your knowledge of it!!!!

What does making macaroni and cheese and sewing a sleeve have in common? Well I'm about to tell ya! I was downstairs cooking this morning (trying to prepare dinner ahead of time) when something happened that made me think of  an occurrence last night when I was sewing my clients dress. I was preparing my "famous" macaroni & cheese for my family and a friend.  It's a recipe I spotted on a soul food website and it's been a popular one amongst my family and friends since. Well, I've used this recipe countless of times and can pretty much do so from memory. But it's been a little while since I've made it so I had to skim over the recipe to refresh myself. Well I made it very carefully and got to the last step but went ahead and topped it with cheese before putting it into the oven. At the last minute I realized I rushed the step of adding the cheese and should bake it first for 45min covered and do that as the last step. Somehow I managed to jump the gun, but thankfully realized it in time and was able to correct my mistake.  Ok, hang in here with me, I'm acutally getting to a point..

Last night I was sewing the sleeves on my Clients dress. Sewing in the sleeves, zipper and some handstitching are all that's left. This project seems like it's been taking me forever--mainly because I've been so anal about it. But to my point---- I eased and sewed the sleeve in and  noticed it had way too many puckers. Now some sleeves are designed to have the gathers at the top but at a glance the sleeve's cap, which isn't as tall, so I know that shouldn't be the case. Anywho, I knew I must've done something wrong and after consulting a couple of books and Amanda's sleeve-easing post (thanks Amanda, this is such a great post), I realized I stupidly was sewing my sleeve, gathered side down instead of up--where I could work out the puckers. I mean I KNEW this and used to do it all of the time. But for some reason , since I hadn't in a while (I hadn't sewn sleeves for the last 6 or so months due to warm weather)  I needed to refresh my memory.

And that's simply the point I'm trying to make. All too many times it's so easy to get in the habit of doing things and to stray away from the proper techniques. Whether it's making mac & cheese, setting in sleeves, and _______________ (you feel in the blank), this occasionally happens. I think the smartest thing to do is to go back to the basics and refresh your memory. So many seamstresses beat themselves up over what they forget, don't know or just plain aren't good at. Well as the old school rap song by Eric B and Rakim goes, "Don't Sweat the technique". In the world of sewing, for me, this saying means you shouldn't go and get all stressed out over the situation--- what you've forgotten and don't know. Instead go and "refresh" what you know. Read a book, look at a video, read someone else's blog---get the information from somewhere. You may even find a better technique in the process.

It doesn't matter how long or little you've sewn, there's always room for learning and in some cases re-learning. I think this holds true in life in general. The longer you do anything the more you run the risks of things going stale or becoming monotonous if you're not careful--- this can be true in a marriage, in parenting, your relationships with people, etc. I'm not saying you should distrust and second guess everything you do. But I am suggesting that if something seems like it's wrong or amiss, to step aside and try to figure out why. It's better to do that then to live in a state of denial. Who knows, you may re-learn something or even discover something new.

 Well enough with my mental ramblings---I'm off to sew in some sleeves (wink)!


  1. So true!! In the kitchen and the sewing room - and probably a whole lot of other places!!

  2. If I had to always rely on my memory of how to do things I'd probably be in a terrible muddle!! I really like to have plenty of reference books to hand. I also really like to read how other people do things - finding different ways to do a task is always interesting.

  3. I really enjoy this post..."True talk ". Have a great week


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