More than a decade ago, I had a sudden itch to stitch. Again.
I found myself shopping for patterns to use a bright Hawaiian print I had purchased on a recent trip to Oahu. My father was stationed on Oahu when I was small, and from living there, I had developed an abiding affection for bright tropical prints. If you haven't been to a fabric store in Hawaii, you are really missing something. The one that I visited was filled with brilliant cottons and gorgeous barkcloths.
|My color-splashed cotton sarong!|
While I remembered the basics of sewing from when I was younger, and I had sporadically done a project here and there in my 20s and 30s, I was really feeling my way in the dark. I wasn't sure what to make with my treasured tropical textile, but I knew that it had to be simple. I landed upon a sarong-style wrap that was part of a bathing suit pattern.
I read the back of the pattern envelope carefully, as I had been taught. This pattern was the first of the hundreds that I now have stored in a sewing cabinet, and I have held on to it, as I do all my patterns, for strictly sentimental reasons.
The pattern very specifically indicated that it was suitable for two-way stretch knits. I unfortunately had a woven. I already had my heart set on my Hawaiian fabric, and thus I began the first of a long career of breaking the rules in sewing. Scandalous! I used a woven fabric with a knit pattern!
I have to say that this is the only way to really learn to sew. While rules are nice to know, it's also liberating to forget about them and follow your heart. I have learned more about sewing from following my gut instinct than any other method.
I happily stitched up that sarong and wore it for the rest of the summer. As a matter of fact, that same color-splashed cotton sarong found its way into my suitcase on a recent vacation.
You can never go wrong in sewing if you follow your heart. And never be afraid to break the rules–you might learning something new!
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How have you broken the rules in sewing as a part of your learning process? What rewards did you reap? Tell us all about it!