Saturday, December 19, 2015

Handstitching vs Garment Sewing

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Heidi Boyd Fox Softie Kit.  Handstitched by me.

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Hello!

I've loved all your comments about my last post on the origin of the name of my blog.  It sounds like a few of you have your own stories to tell about your blog names--maybe you'll write a post about your blog names?

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Olympus Flower Sashiko in turquoise on white

Soooo....today I want to chat a bit about handstitching little items vs machine stitching garments.  I started to get into handstitching at the end of last year.  First it was the sashiko and then this summer I started stitching embroidery hoops and softie kits.  When I was a teenager I did a lot of cross-stitching, mainly Suzy Zoo kits, often times on family trips in the car back and forth from NJ to Myrtle Beach.  I have done a smattering of cross-stitching since then, but not much.

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Heidi Boyd "Hedgies" Whimsy Kit


This week marks 11 years since I moved into my townhome.    Starting this fall I have found myself spending loads of time in the living room when I never had before.   My townhome has two levels and in the fall/winter they seem to consist of tropical warmth upstairs and arctic chill downstairs.  This fall has been the warmest it's been for awhile and I've been spending a lot of time in the living room.  It feels great to actually *use* this room.    I've been burning fake logs in the fireplace like crazy and probably burned more logs in the past few weeks than I have in the past few years combined.
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Olympus bunnies kit.  For whatever reason, this was really hard for my phone to photograph.

I've found the handstitching to be quite satisfying in a number of ways that garment sewing is not.

I love that I can sit on the sofa in my living room, or in a waiting room, or anywhere at all, and stitch.

If I am tired at the end of the day, and still want to feel creative, I can stitch a line of sashiko and it's no big deal.

There is no fitting involved, just stitching.
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Heidi Boyd "Fox" Whimsy Kit

I've been using pre-printed sashiko kits, or the Heidi Boyd hoop kits or softie kits, and so there's really no points where I can get totally lost, veer off course, or fail.  It's just stitch-stitch-stitch.  If I don't like how a line of sashiko stitching looks, I can easily pull it out.  If I don't like how I stitched on something in the kit, I can easily undo it and re-stitch it.   If I don't like how I cut out a piece of the kit, the pieces are so small, it's easy and straightforward to cut out another piece. So, the frustration level is pretty low.

And I'm still learning things too.  Last week I learned the lazy-daisy stitch in embroidery.  It was fun to learn a new technique, and it didn't take a long time to learn it.

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Heidi Boyd "Chickadees" Whimsy Kit.  This is my favorite so far. It was the most complicated and intricate of the Whimsy hoop Kits.

Compare that to garment sewing, where it basically has to be done in my sewing room, where I do not have the energy to sew after work, where if I make a mistake, it could mean cutting out the whole thing all over again, where the frustration level, especially with fitting, can be high...welll....
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Before attaching the fox head to the fox body

I'm not giving up on garment sewing at all!  but the hand-stitching is a really nice and surprising complement to my garment sewing.

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With greetings from my living room...

Be well!

23 comments:

  1. Your hand stitched kits are adorable! I will have to try some. Sometimes when I am hand stitching a sashiko kit, I am loving it so much, that I don't want to finish it. Just like a good book. I also like knitting as another creative outlet besides garment sewing. Currently I am on a deadline to finish a scarf before the Secret Santa gift exchange!

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    1. Hi Pencil Girl! That is a great comparison, sashiko stitching is like reading a book that you don't want to have end! I only tried knitting once. I'm afraid to start another stash!

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  2. Your hand stitching is just awesome, so even and perfectly spaced - wow! I love everything you've made but those little foxes are soooo adorable.

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    1. Thanks Tomasa!! Even my dad said that the only word for those foxes was "adorable".

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  3. I found your lazy daisy stitch.
    I will make just about anything. I need to exercise my creativity or the stress hits the fan. Garment sewing can be very stressful whereas 'kit' sewing is very relaxing. Both are very rewarding.
    I love your hedgehogs.

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    1. I agree! Garment sewing is a landmine; kit sewing is relaxing. Yay for the hedgehogs!!

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  4. I love an occasional hand sewing project. Surprise! Free Motion Embroidery on the sewing machine is a great burst of creative satisfaction in a short time too! Can't take it with you, but after doing handwork, sometimes skipping over to the machine is liberating.

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    1. Oh! I've never tried free motion embroidery! Variety is the spice of life. :)

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  5. I started cross-stitching after my father died as a way to cope. I haven't cross-stitched much in over ten years, but I did find it very relaxing. Recently, I've taken to carving designs into some of my pottery and spending more time at the studio. Something about the rhythmic motion of the wheel and working with clay takes my mind away. =) I'm still sewing for sure, but I find myself easily distracted by other crafts.

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    1. That is cool that you used to cross-stitch too. It is a great stress reliever.

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  6. Your handstitching is so accurate. I can't stop looking at all the cool pieces you've made - especially the fox.

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    1. Awww, thanks Maria!!! I love the foxes too!

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  7. critters are so cute! hand sewing can be very therapeutic as can easy patterns of crochet or knitting. not much thinking just smooth stitching. :-)

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    1. Thanks Linda! Exactly! Just stitch-stitch-stitch and get lost in it all!

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  8. Thank you Kyle for inspiring me to start hand stitching again. I usually put about 10 years in between my stitching trends. I love how hand stitching can be much more social. I can take my embroidery with me to visit family and stitch while I enjoy the company of others. My sewing room is not really a good place to entertain.

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    1. Thanks Anna Christina! I agree, it is more portable and social!

      Ha ha for your sewing room not being a good place to entertain!

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  9. These hand stitched projects are so fun, Kyle : ). I'm a big hand stitching fan! Here's wishing you a happy cozy holiday season.

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    1. Hi James! Thanks!!! Wishing you a cozy holiday season too!

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  10. You summed up the exact reasons why I knit. It's methodical/meditative (knit knit knit...), I can do it while I commute or on the couch in the evening when I don't have the pep or acuity for sewing, and it's easy to undo when I screw up. It will never replace sewing, but it's a satisfying compliment to it.

    Happy Holidays!!

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    1. Hi Clio! I don't knit but I can definitely see the parallels! Interesting that it's easy to undo mistakes in knitting. It's a total mystery to me!

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  11. I love hand stitching and need to get some projects prepped so that I can work on them in the evenings. When I saw your bunnies project I thought they were walruses! LOL.

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    1. Thanks Anne! I suppose the bunnies could be walruses too! Enjoy your handstitching!

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  12. I hope you find this as amusing as we did because we mean this in good humour but my partner and I had a great thirty minute laugh over your headless fox on the table photo. We loved it and felt it was perfect for expressing how we feel after a long day. We ended up joking about how done we were but not done enough to sew our heads back on after it all. That it was the ultimate faceplant. We even discussed the dreariness of a headless faceplant with the brightness of the photography. Then we pretended to be art critics (you got a great review!) going "yes but what is the fox thinking? What feelings are being expressed?" And I know this blog post was a lovely deep introspect on how sewing makes you feel so hope this comment about you brightening our day with your photography isn't misplaced. It looks great and the handsewn foxes are just adorable. Handsewing can be relaxing once the initial fears are gone. It takes relaxing to relax with it! Hope you have a lovely day.

    Splithoof

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