Sunday, August 13, 2017

CoBloWriMo Day 13: Pro Tip

The thing about a "pro tip" prompt is that it implies the writer of the prompt fill is a pro.  I guess I could just steal a tip from a pro but that's not very ethical or interesting, is it?

So, while I might not be a professional in the same field I write about here, I've got a certain level of experience with various facets of my hobbies at this point.  With that in mind, here is a short list of tips I came up with based on my own experiences:

  • Give yourself permission to make something crappy.
We all have to start somewhere.  In my "origin story" post, I talked about some of my less-than-stellar early work and said I was embarrassed of my earlier creations.  That's actually unnecessarily harsh; even the projects that didn't turn out the way I wanted gave me experiences to build on and became the paving on the road that got me to where I am now.  In my case, I had to make some crappy stuff before I got to where I was making things that I considered to be good stuff, and that's totally all right.  If I had never taken the first step, I wouldn't be here today.
  • Make lists.
Seriously; who doesn't get satisfaction out of crossing stuff off their list?

Look at all those check marks!
  • Don't sew tired (as you can see on my list!)
Just like drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving drunk, drowsy sewing can lead to terrible (though usually less deadly) consequences for your project.  Sleepiness can impair your judgement, vision, and motivation, which leads to making poor decisions, taking shortcuts, and making mistakes.  I'm not saying I haven't pulled some late hours to get more sewing time in once or twice (or more...) but in general I'm much happier with my work when it's done while I'm awake and aware.

  • Wear your (f*cking) undies (as per my list as well)
Just...wear a corset, for fuck's sake.  Get one that fits and it'll be comfortable.  I promise.  Outsourcing your unders is definitely a pro tip...I've commissioned shifts before, and I've made them for people who didn't have time or motivation to make their own!  Corsets are the same; so far I've made all mine, but there are some amazing corsetmakers out there and I am seriously just waiting for Redthreaded to put their 1790s stays on pre-sale because that will save me SO MUCH TIME do you even understand?! :D

  • Mind your proportions
This might actually deserve a post all its own, but basically...make things in proportion to themselves and their wearers.  That along with the proper silhouette will go a LONG way in making your stuff look "real" rather than costumey.  Unless of course you're going for costumey, in which case...more is better usually!

I'm sure there are more things I've done wrong and learned from, but that's what I came up with for now!  What about you?  What are your favorite tips?


  1. I'm with you on the 'pro' aspect. I'm an experienced and enthusiastic amateur, definitely not a pro [although my daughter is constantly nagging me to 'go pro', which at 57 seems a little optimistic lol]. I decided to interpret it as 'tips that will make your work look more professional' which made me feel less arrogant!

    1. Oh, I really like that interpretation! And your tip...hand sewing has become so enjoyable for me over the years.

  2. Making a list is such a great tip! I was on a to-do list kick a little while ago, and it was soooo helpful to think "okay, tonight I will do the next thing: piping the neckline" rather than "tonight I will sew ... ugh, there are so many things to do in this project."

    1. Sometimes I put stuff on a list just so I can cross it off!

  3. These tips are all super helpful! Every sewer should have a list with them hanging in their sewing room. To add to the tired bit, sewing when hungry is just as bad... and then there is sewing when tired AND hungry. Absolutely not recommended...