What’s your sewing satisfaction?

As I was making up my blue Mathilde the other day I was listening to an episode of the Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast on OCD. The term is casually bandied about in everyday conversation these days, and the presenters drew the distinction between people who actually have a real problem and those who just really, really appreciate a certain routine or stacking the dishwasher in a particular way. It got me thinking. I am by no means a perfectionist when it comes to my sewing, but I do get a kick out out doing certain things well and having them turn out out so nicely I have to tell EVERYONE about them. It’s certainly not OCD, but I do love a neat finish.

Simple things do indeed please simple minds, so here are a few things I find really, really satisfying about sewing.

French seams
If French seams worked on everything, I’d damn well use them on everything. Yes, they take about four times of ordinary seams, but they’re just so frickin’ neat and make everything on the inside of your garment look AMAZING. They make me feel like I’m doing some sort of fancy couture trick when really they’re mega simple but produce gorgeous results. French seams FTW.

Yep, that’s a French seamed sleeve. *smugface*


Perfectly edged facings
I’m not a big fan of facings. They flap about, take ages to cut out and interface and make ironing way more of a faff than it needs to be. But I love it when they’re all finished neatly, whether it’s with a mock overlock stitch or with the overlocker itself. Maybe it’s because of the contrast between the white interfacing and the usually darker thread, or the little hearts the mock overlock stitch on my machine produces, but I find it so very satisfying. Add a bit of super-precise under stitching (not something I often achieve) and I might just go into raptures.




Getting things right first time
This can be absolutely anything and is normally down to super clear instructions. Recent successes in this department include threading my overlocker correctly (took about half an hour but I still managed it ok) and putting invisible zips in (thank you By Hand London for saving my tears!). When you manage something new it’s like a little hi five to yourself from the universe. And that’s worth celebrating.



Really pretty selvedges
OK, this isn’t something I can influence, and I certainly don’t buy fabric just because the selvedge is cute, but there is something so pleasing about an inventive selvedge. Something nice to look at when you’re finding the grainline. Just me? Ok.


That word picked out in white handwriting? It says Frock, not what you think it says.

So what do you find satisfying about sewing? Is it perfect pattern matching, discovering neat tricks to make things even neater, or is it just the sheer joy of the finished article? Let me know in the comments!


11 thoughts on “What’s your sewing satisfaction?

  1. navybluethreads says:

    I clearly need to try more French seams, you’re doing a good selling job. Inserting an invisible zip first time always makes me feel pleased with myself. Facings? Don’t think I’ll ever love them!

    • Jo Laycock says:

      Facings really are a faff! Sometimes you can’t really get away with them, but I think from now on if a bodice calls for facings I might just line the entire thing instead. More fabric perhaps, but less faffing with interfacing and easier ironing must be a good thing!

  2. Lesley King says:

    I like laying out and cutting out pieces. I particularly like it if I can find a way to lay out the pieces that uses less fabric than the pattern says.

    • Jo Laycock says:

      Invisible zips (hell, zips of any kind) are my nemesis. I’m looking forward to the day I can insert one without really thinking about it. Probably not going to happen anytime soon!

    • Jo Laycock says:

      I hate cutting out too, but see it as a necessary evil – it just prevents you from getting on with the actual making. And marking up the pattern! Sometimes it takes just too long!

      Hmmm…. I think I feel another post coming on! 🙂

  3. V Reed says:

    A precise, pretty hand sewn hem. I know, total sewing nerd on that one. 😀 And recently, my daughter asking if she can cut out my patterns for me. Oh heck yeah. I’m so taking advantage of that one for as long as it lasts!

    • Jo Laycock says:

      Send her over here! 😀

      I like a nice neat hem too, but I don’t have the patience/attention span to hand stitch them – you’re a better woman than me!

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