My Singer falls into the frenemie category. In the two years that I’ve been creating period clothing, I’ve machine sewn a few skirt panels. And I used it for the center back panel on my latest gown (for reasons discussed in this post), otherwise I hand sew everything. It’s my favorite part of the process.
I sit on the couch, pop in a period film and chill out. It’s relaxing and productive all at once.
But there’s more to it. I spend a lot of time researching correct fabrics, appropriate accessories, etc. to learn more about the 18th century and to create the right “look” from a certain era.
I’m less proud of the few garments where I cut corners and ran the skirt panels through the machine. And as my 18th century wardrobe grows, I find myself shying away from those items.
My goal in making period attire is to gain a better understanding of life in the 18th century. I’m not the kind of person that will shun all things modern when I dress in period clothing. (I wear contacts, take aspirin, use sunscreen, keep a cell phone in my colonial pocket, etc.) I feel that spending extra time to correctly construct my clothing deepens my appreciation for the process and creates a more valuable end result.
What are your thoughts on machine sewing pre mid 19th century garments? Is your sewing machine your friend, or your frenemie?
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