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.
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.
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.
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!