Video: Feeling self-conscious about my sewing

June 17, 2018 17 Comments

Video: Feeling self-conscious about my sewing

June 17, 2018 17 Comments

Have you ever compared to yourself to other sewists, or perhaps felt self-conscious about something you made or your technical skills? I suffer from those emotions from time to time, and in this video, I address five things I feel self-conscious about.

I recorded this video this morning, and as you can probably tell, I’m nursing a cold—my voice gets really low-pitched when I do. And I wasn’t feeling any of my planned video topics this weekend since I always get kinda gloomy and low-energy when I’m ill, go figure! But then this topic idea came to me last night as I was scrolling through my Instagram sewing feed and was reminded of how easy it can be to compare oneself to others. So I felt this good be a good topic for sewing video, and perhaps something that we don’t always talk about that much?

Can you relate to those feelings? And what is your approach to dealing with it?

Johanna

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17 Comments

  • Esther June 17, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    I am definitely also self-conscious about being a slow sewist. I’d love to have a new garment every two weeks but that does not happen often. However, I must say that after 6 years of sewing, I realize I am getting a faster sewist than I used to be.

    • Johanna June 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      Yes, I think it is so healthy to do as you do, to only compare ourselves to where we where a few years back. Because then we can usually see some real progress!

  • Summerflies June 18, 2018 at 1:45 am

    Firstly I think your quality of sewing is extremely high and that is evidenced in your book and things you show on the blog. Your stuff always looks very professional. I think we over analyse fit which is easy to do when you stand still for a photo but you have to take moving into account also. If pants look perfect when you are standing still but you can’t sit comfortably something is missing. Sometimes I’m a fast sewer and sometimes I’m slow depends on life and what I’m sewing. My fitting skills need more effort.

    • Johanna June 18, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words! And I could not agree more about the fit over analyzing the fit. Especially for tight fitting woven garments, yes they sit snug on the body with no excess fabrics. But they also can be very uncomfortable, and who would want wear something like that today?

  • Pippa Stanford June 18, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Well you just summed up all my sewing hang ups!
    I’ve been sewing since I was 16 and I’m nearly 60 and I learned from Burda magazine. My mother and mother in law sewed so I also followed them but most of the time I just saw a pattern I liked, had a go and made it up as I went along because the instructions were pretty sketchy. I had one sewing book and I did a few sewing lessons.
    If I was learning to do sewing now I’d be terrified because there is so much out there that is helpful on the one hand but impossible to live up to on the other!
    I keep reminding myself that I’m not doing haute couture – I just want stuff I can wear.
    So thank you for articulating our worries. At the end of the day it’s about enjoying the process and having something unique and flattering to wear. And the thrill of being able to say” I made it!”
    And you certainly have inspired me.

    • Johanna June 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      Your learning process is very similar to mine, I had very little to go after and just made it up along the way. And wasn’t too obsessed with fit or finishing. And you are right, the biggest thing in the end is being able to use this craft, express our creativity and being able to see the project through and enjoy that thrill!

  • Natasha June 18, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    I appreciate this post! I get self conscious about a lot of things! I think we all do. I am not a fast. I make mistakes. I can be critical of how my body looks in my garments, and how my photos look if I share my makes. I haven’t figured out the fitting issues I seem to have, but I am starting to learn more. It all takes a lot of time and energy. On the other hand, I love sewing! I love wearing the things I make. They make me happy. Social media is a double edged sword. Seeing everyone’s projects is very inspiring. On the other hand, it’s easy to start going down that road of comparison, which obviously is less than healthy for us. I just want to keep loving it! So maybe we need to embrace our flaws. I have to say that your website and videos are always so professional looking. Your makes are beautiful. This actually helps me to see that other people have these thoughts. Happy sewing!

    • Kerstin Shadbolt June 19, 2018 at 11:52 am

      I enjoy YouTube Vlogs, but they leave me anxious sometimes. I am too old for the competition element in the projects – numbers and speed seem too important. Like many other women of my age (74), I was taught technique and I can still sense my sewing teacher on my shoulder.
      I have now decided I will practise a particular technique needed for a garment and if that adds a few days to the finishing dat, then so be it. Happy relaxed sewing everyone!

    • Johanna June 19, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      The learning process, which is of part what can make us self-conscious, is also what drives us forward for sure! And we are also rewarded for those efforts. I feel you on the fitting, that has been one of the trickiest thing for me to grasp too. I do love the book Fit for Real People, it just opened a whole new world to me and made me better understand my body. Happy sewing to you too!

  • kalimak June 19, 2018 at 1:50 am

    I really like your vlogs, and in this one you basically voiced all the things I grapple with in my sewing… I don’t know hoe people sew so fast and how they seem to be so good at fitting. It takes me a while to complete even pretty simple garments, and if there’s fitting involved, it seems to take ages. And then, of course, the sewing is far from perfect… So thanks so much for talking about these things.

    You sew beautiful things, and I really value the fact that you share your process — both the highs and the lows.

    • Johanna June 19, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      Thank you! Yes I do think it is important to address both the highs and lows, and personally I’ve never found sewing to be easy. And we keep raising the bar too I think as we learn new things and improve our skills.

  • Kerstin Shadbolt June 19, 2018 at 11:52 am

    I enjoy YouTube Vlogs, but they leave me anxious sometimes. I am too old for the competition element in the projects – numbers and speed seem too important. Like many other women of my age (74), I was taught technique and I can still sense my sewing teacher on my shoulder.
    I have now decided I will practise a particular technique needed for a garment and if that adds a few days to the finishing dat, then so be it. Happy relaxed sewing everyone!

    • Johanna June 19, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      I love your approach on focusing on a particular technique, I think it is super smart to learn things that way, and since we don’t make garments for a living, there should be no rush! But yes it is so easy to compare ourselves to others. As a vlogger myself, I could never produce “monthly makes” videos. Cause there would be no plural in the word make for the most part, lol! And I still sew almost every week.

  • KA June 19, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Excellent post! I’m also nearly 60 and started sewing 3 years ago. You’re absolutely correct that learning to sew is much easier with the technology we have available today. I, too, try to sew mindfully and as carefully as I can, but I know this takes time and I complete fewer projects. I’m sure I’m not the only sewist who has been reassured by your post. Another thing, selecting the best fabric and knowing how it will behave is something that takes experience and isn’t reflected in an Instagram post. Thanks again!

    • Johanna June 19, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      You bring up a great point about fabric, that too is a skill that takes time acquire in my humble opinion. It’s so nice to hear from newish sewists too, I love that sewing is so accessible these days that it’s something we can pick up at any age!

  • Chris Griffin June 20, 2018 at 4:00 am

    YES! I either change my server threads so they match as much as I can, or if I’m making something like jeans, purposefully use fun colors that do not match.
    I was overfitting shorts on my last sewing project and realized this week I don’t need perfectly fitted shorts for summer. I could use my favorite pajama shorts pattern and add patch pockets to the back! Why was I so hung up on perfect shorts that will be worn for hiking, working out and running errands?
    I can only make jeans quickly because I have 1 pattern that my mother helped me with 5 muslins! They still need some work (my knock-knee adjustment was too small), but few people notice my twisted inseams.
    It’s always good to hear that someone with years of experience can still struggle. I’ve only been sewing for 5yrs and I feel so unlearned!
    Your book helped me make several pairs of leggings and a pullover all look more professional and last longer! I love it!

  • watson July 3, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    I just want to tell you that I am just very new to blogs and absolutely enjoyed this blog.

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