Friday, January 29, 2010

Are you a snobby sewer?

I find people's sewing preferences interesting.  You tend to shop the same store, use the same brand patterns, frequently buy fabrics in the same colors, and various other preferences.  That's fine with me.  When someone develops a preference for one item over another, it tells me that this item is better (in that person's opinion) than another and I want to know why.  What's not cool is snobbery.  Generally the snobbery isn't coming from the blogger themselves but more so from the people following the blog.  Some comments are just mean at times.  I think the straw that broke my back was reading some of the comments to a post about online fabric shopping.  (I'm not giving you anymore details than that because I hate blog piggybacking.)

From reading various online sewing forum posts and sewing blogs, I'm come to the conclusion that all of the following are considered the generic store brand of the sewing world:
  1. Singer sewing machines
  2. Dritz sewing notions
  3. Pellon interfacing
  4. Big 4 patterns (Vogue, McCall's, Butterick, Simplicity)
  5. JoAnn's
  6. Hancock's
  8. Denver Fabrics/Fashion Fabric Club
  9. Polyester anything
  10. Coats & Clark thread
  11. Any zipper not YKK
I'm sure I'm forgetting a few but you get the idea.  If it's not expensive (or everyone's favorite), it's crap.

Now this is just a theory but I think some people (notice I said "some", not all) are unsure of how to spot a good bargain on a quality product.  To verify that they are buying a quality product, they look for something expensive instead.  If it costs more, it must be better, right?  Depends.

The first time I got my hands on some silk double georgette fabric, I swore off JoAnn's and Hancock's challis solids and prints FOREVER.  (I bought the silk at Denver Fabrics, by the way.)  Many times you can feel quality.  You know it the second you pick it up.  Ah, yes!  This is good stuff.  If it's good fabric, you want to wrap it around yourself and wear it like a toga everywhere you go...or until your DH threatens to drop you off at the looney bin.  The yummy silk double georgette I bought was $6.00/yard (sale price).  Sure, I could have shopped NY Fashion Fabric Center for $17.99/yard but I like a bargain.  I don't buy something just because it's on sale.  I buy it if the quality is good, the price is cheaper than the usual cost, and I need it.  (My definition of "need" changes based on my checking account balance.)  The point is there are many who would have turned their nose up at the idea of buying silk at Denver Fabrics.  They'd prefer to pay more at another store because it is considered by others to be THE place to buy quality fabric.  That's fine by me.  If they aren't shopping where I shop, then there is more for me!!

I love many of the Jalie, Hot Patterns, and BWOF designs but I don't buy them.  I can always find something similar in the Big 4, buy it on sale, and never come close to paying what you did for the Jalie pattern.  I'm not calling anyone silly for buying the more expensive fabric, or the more expensive pattern.  I am asking you to stop judging me and others like me.  If we both end up in the same place but got there by different routes, what right do you have to say your way is better?  Our creative processes work differently.  That is one of the reasons I enjoy reading blogs.  It's a great opportunity to learn about different ways of doing things.

Think about that next time you want to post a nasty or underhanded comment about someone else's choice in materials, fashion sense or sewing ability.  Creativity does not have a minimum standard and knows no brand names.  You may catch me shopping at the hip fabric stores but I'll be holding a coupon in my hot, little hand.

Happy sewing to ALL!


  1. There are plenty of non American blogs where the people sewing with BWOF patterns are being cost conscious. For me, these patterns are far less expensive than the "big 4", and you should see the price of Dritz compared to Prym here - it really depends where you are standing as to what is better value.

  2. I must be naive or lucky I haven't run across any nasty comments, I like to think that sewers/crafters are a noble people and if someone's taste isn't the same as ours we can still allow and appreciate the creativity because that's what it's all about just being creative and expressing yourself. BTW I'm totally a bargain shopper.

  3. I should clarify...most of the blogs I read are American blogs so the Big 4 are more accessible than BWOF. BWOF would still be cheaper in the U.S. than Big 4, right? I don't get BWOF but I believe they have numerous patterns in each issue for $80 USD/year. I'm sure I spend $80/year on Big 4 patterns but I'm just too lazy to trace. (ha, ha) Generally sewers/crafters are a very supportive bunch. For some reason though, I've been running across snobbery over the last month. Maybe we're all crabby because we're already struggling with New Year's resolutions. The point of my rant was simply accept and support one another, even if someone doesn't use the popular or most expensive materials.

  4. I agree that there are some snidey comments on blogs about Big 4 patterns and a certain blogland "favoring" of indie companies, this in spite of the fact that the sewist almost invariably has to alter both Big 4 and indie pattern to fit. So that has put me off indie patterns because of their price. I have two aims in sewing - the first is clothes I like that fit me, and the second is economy (I can make clothes of a higher standard than I can afford to buy). But there are also bloggers who favor the Big 4 (Erica B looks great in her Vogue numbers, for example).

    I also sew with a Singer, but I have to say that in the first six months, it had to go back for repairs four times! So, though it is finally working and I am starting (cautiously) to love it, if I were wicked rich I might indeed buy a more robust machine next time.

    The thing that profoundly shocks me about bloggers is the "stash-flaunting." It's deeply shocking to me to the point of being disgusting. I have about twenty yards in my stash, of which I am planning to use six yards in the next two weeks. The rest is from last summer's purchases when my machine stopped working and it was too late to sew up summer stuff by the time it came back. I will start to sew it all up in March for next summer, God willing.

    Stashing hundreds of yards of fabrics looks and sounds to me like some kind of mental disorder involving lack of impulse control, compensation for some inner lack and plain downright extravagance and meanness (if you've got that much money to spare, give it to charity direct). But many bloggers are hoping to get sponsors, so they probably push "hyper-consumption" for that reason.


Just my opinion....

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