For the Love of Sewing, I Mean Crochet

By Veronica Smith – 19 Comments

All crocheting took a back seat this last fortnight. I had to sew, constantly. My youngest daughter needed a new kilt as she has grown out of her old one and being that she is now adult size I had to get a new one made. Don’t start highland dancing unless you want to mortgage the house. Adults do not seem to sell their kilts (not the imitations sold in clothing stores – proper dance / band kilts). The kilt and fabric for the Aboyen skirt and Plaid, and a pair of socks set me back just over $1000AU. The socks and kilt were specially made and took 11 weeks. I just got the fabric for the Aboyen because it is a simple skirt to make and the plaid is square! Lots of yarn I could get for that. I also needed 2 different blouses, 2 different vests and a petticoat, all regulation. Well at $220 per jacket, $60 each for the blouses, and don’t even ask about the petticoat, it became horribly obvious I had to make them. I can, I am a professional sewer but that has taken a back seat – well almost non existent – in the last 10 years, except for dancing costumes.

Anyway, $80 later I had all the fabric, regulation buttons and braid for the above mentioned (Aboyne fabric purchased earlier at $48 meter). Off to the sewing / craft room, the craft room that needed cleaning still. I solved this problem by shoving it all out in the hallway and squished it into another room, in the way of course. But not all of it, just enough to find the machines and the cutting table.

Once I began I was having so much fun, I started wondering why I don’t sew more often. 48 hours later the novelty wore off once covered in black velvet fluff and seemingly endless fittings on my daughter as I had to alter the patterns.

In the process of shoving things out of the room I discovered so many balls of different fibers, I even unearthed ones that could stay there because they weren’t in my way. My mind is working overtime and my hands are twitching with excitement and anticipation.

The bonus of all this? Obviously saving squillions of dollars on her vests etc. – she does look mighty fine for her competitions and upcoming exam – I have found yarn I had forgotten about, I now have inspiration to incorporate sewing into my crocheting, I do like sewing when not forced. I also now HAVE to clean the room, I might as well given I can now see the floor.

Have you had any forced surprises?
Do you have you another craft that distracts you occasionally?
Does crochet win out in the long run?

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19 Comments

  1. Hind says:

    You are quite right,knowing how to sew is most useful .While incorporating sewing and crochet together can be very original and inspiring .Thank you for the idea.

  2. Dana says:

    Everything can distract me, hee hee.

    I too love sewing and actually like to weave in ends – it’s satisfying to see them disappear into the work. It’d be nice to incorporate embroidery techniques into my crochet, sewing on beads in a pattern as a sort of applique and my next thing to try is joining the individual yo-yo motifs I learned to make on this site by sewing together instead of as illustrated.

    Thanks for the great story. Maybe I’ll sew more when I have a machine, but for now, crochet wins. :)

  3. Sarah Dee says:

    I do sew, but I crochet more often because I am better at it. I really wish I was an amazing sewer, but I’m really not the best.

  4. Debbi says:

    Right now I’m into sewing. I think if there’s a balance and you work on what you want to work on, it’s all fun. If it’s no longer fun, don’t do it again. I’m going to incorporate sewing and crochet. Maybe sew part of a shirt and add crochet for a trim. Same with a skirt. A co-worker bought a skirt, at the bottom there were 3 sections of lace… so skirt, lace, material, lace, material and lace. That lace could be crochet. Things like that.

  5. Angie says:

    I do not sew, I’ve tried a few times but, could just never find the patience for it and I have a lot of patience. I do however make jewelry / knit too. I prefer crochet instead of knitting, just b/c it is so much faster.

  6. Jess says:

    I’ve been wanting to learn to sew, I think incorporating sewing and crocheting would be really nice and unique and sewing fabric on to a crochet bag or purse would give it more stability. I just need to to get some one to teach me and get a sewing machine.

  7. Jeanette says:

    I do sew sometimes, but not much lately except for the inevitable mending and worse, taking up hems on mens jeans. I knit, occasionally bead, but for the most part crochet. When crocheting, I prefer to work ends in as I crochet rather than the big job at the end – ok when doing rugs and blankets – which is keeping me busy at the moment. Grandchildren, babies of friends and soon my sons will want new blankets. After a while crocheting, I switch back to knitting, then swap again when tired of that (after hopefully finishing project!) Love the site – keep up the good work.

  8. Merry says:

    All of the above pretty much sum up my medley of crafting skills! I find myself going back to crochet as it gives quick results and it’s easier to fix mistakes than with knitting.

    Sewing is something that distracts me occasionally but once I start sewing, I can’t stop! and my house starts to look like a tailor’s which really is not pretty! So I only sew when necessary, like lining bags, many of which I stitch by hand, actually. And when I’ve accumulated a few pieces, the occasional mending or alteration job does get done on a machine.

  9. Jane says:

    I used to sew all the time, but I haven’t much recently. The global marketplace means it’s WAY cheaper just to buy ready made.

    However, I’ve noticed that sometimes cheap is as cheap does. Might be worth making some things to get the quality I desire :-)

    Crochet, on the other hand . . . well, some of the stuff I crochet–like amigurumi–can’t be bought in stores!

  10. Daria says:

    I crochet mostly, but every now and then I will spin wool on my hand spinner so I can crochet, using lucious wool yarn. And I have recently started making rings out of wire and beads, which is still crochet, but just using wire instead of yarn. I also frequently knit. But crochet is the craft that relaxes and centers me more than anything else.

  11. Lisa says:

    Oh my I have so many things going on at times I don’t know which way to turn. Right now I am hand quilting a panel for my grand-neice, crocheting with thread potholders for christmas, and Knitting a cover for my bed for the witner. I have a bin full of fabric that is waiting on me to make my new dresses and skirts that I am in desperate need of. I love to cross stitch and embrodery but those things have been shelves for the last two years. I sometimes wish I had a clone to do the things around the house while I get to do what I love. Oh, and add a few extra hours to the clock for me too.

  12. Linda says:

    I sew occasionally, but it usually seems too much like work. I have to be highly motivated in order to sew. I have taken to sending my too-long pants to the cleaners so I don’t have to hem them. And of course they come back pressed professionally, so they look better than if I hemmed them myself.
    I used to love cross-stitch, but my eyes have changed, and it’s so difficult to read the pattern that I have pretty much given up.
    For a few years, when I was a new empty-nester, I got into quilting. I really enjoyed the design and assembly part, but I machine quilted all my mini-quilts. After making about 5 baby quilts, I now only do little projects, like hot pads.
    Crocheting is my favorite sport. One reason I like it is that I can do it while watching TV. I’ve always felt a little restles while watching TV, like I was wasting time, but now I can crochet and watch, and this makes me feel better. Of course, if a critical part happen in the TV show, I have to stop crocheting and really watch for a bit.
    I have decided to crochet some Christmas gifts this year. I’m making Rachel’s Popcorn potholder for each of my daughters – uses the popcorn stitch, too – turned out very impressive!
    And I’ve starting doing amigurumi (what a word!) – I’ve made a cut baby penguin and am half way through a Hello Kitty.
    Crochet rules!

  13. Kl says:

    Crocheting always wins over sewing for me. But I do love all kinds of crafts too.

  14. Jumasto says:

    My daughter gave me 6 months to make her wedding gown, 3 bridesmaids dresses, and the flower girl’s dress, as well as her headpiece and bouquet. She’s only 4’11” tall, and alterations on a ready-made gown would have cost more than the gown. I made a few summer dresses and jackets this year, as well as sewing/altering gowns for an organization I belong to. I’m also teaching my granddaughter to sew; she’s making pj pants for herself and pillowcases for Christmas gifts this year. I don’t do much sewing in the winter unless it’s necessary; that’s when I crochet.

  15. Jan says:

    I do a little of all the above, except for quilting. I started once, but didn’t have the concentration to cut all those little pieces. I alternate between crocheting and knitting depending on who I am making what for. I usually crochet my afghans for wedding & baby gifts as they do go faster for me. Most of the time, I have 2 or 3 projects going at once. At the moment I am working on a knitted baby blanket, some crocheted grannie squares for a swap that I am doing, a crocheted afghan that only needs a few more rows to be finished, but its too hot here now to hold it on my lap. I also do hats (both knitted and crocheted) in the winter for different charities that I belong to.
    I have to fix my sewing machine so I can work on some projects (simple sewing) that I am doing for Christmas gifts for my co-workers.

  16. Diane (UK) says:

    I seem to have fingers in lots of crafting pies, and tended to do whatever took my fancy at the time. Nowadays, serious illness and disability forces me to do only what I am able to do at the time.

    I learned to knit, sew and embroider when I was very young (too young to remember actually learning! LOL!) taught by my mother and grandmother – mainly because, as someone else has mentioned, clothes were cheaper then, if we made them ourselves, not to mention that you got a better fit and the colour, style and material you chose, or could afford!

    I have learned other crafts along the way, crafting all my life – the only constant has been making hand-made items – doing candle making, jewellery making, kumihimo (Japanese braiding that can well be incorporated into several crafts, especially knitting and crochet), card making, fashion design, weaving…. to mention just the main ones, but I only taught myself to crochet a handful of years ago, and have grown more fond of it (probably obsessed, really! LOL!) since my health has grown worse.

    My very old mechanical sewing machine died a death a couple of years ago, and would probably cost me more to repair than to replace, and the clothing and household fabric repair jobs needing attention have been piling up, so my daughter recently bought me a brand new but fairly basic (I don’t have the ability to do a great deal, or anything intricate anyway, so basic is fine by me!) sewing machine, and I’m itching to use it and make some things for my 8 month old first and only grandchild – a boy, Joshua. : )

    Unfortunately, I’m going through a difficult health phase at the moment where I don’t even have the energy to crochet or knit whilst in bed, so the sewing machine will have to wait until I’m a little better….but my daughters only request is that I make a personalised ‘Santa sack’ for Joshua’s first Christmas, so until I’m able, I’ll be browsing the web and shopping to assemble just the right materials, and planning exactly how I want to do it. That will be my first project for my sewing machine, as soon as I can physically do it!

    In the meantime, I hope to gain enough strength to pick up my hook and/or needles again as I have several unfinished projects awaiting my attention! I never seem to be able to have just one thing on the go at a time, even just one in each craft that I enjoy…I go with whatever I feel like doing at the time, and that way, it is much less of a chore, and much more enjoyable.

    Someone else mentioned about having to have busy hands whilst watching tv – I have always been the same! Although I can keep still to read a book, my hand were occupied holding the book, but that isn’t the case with watching tv, so I always had to be doing something to keep my hands busy too, mostly hand knitting, then later cross stitching. Although tv can be entertaining, I always felt as though it was wasted time, too, because I had nothing to show for the time spent, but I never felt that way about reading! Strange, really, when you think about it!

    Sorry for the long ramble! I love this site and really enjoy reading the articles and the responses from people all over the world, and the different ways people use crochet (and other skills/crafts), not to mention the lovely crochet designs that are available here, especially as a premium member. I look forward to seeing what the next design will be, and relish the newsletter when it lands in my inbox! Thanks for everything you do to keep it going and making it such a great and friendly site to be a part of! : D

  17. Bethintx1 says:

    I have a myriad of crafts and unfinished projects lying around the house. I have a millennium cross stitch project I have not touched in years. I have kumihimo braids half-done, and my sewing machine is being loaned out to a dear friend. There is latch hooking too. I used to paint with watercolors. My latest passion other than crochet is painting bisque. The local shop is called Royal Brush and I’ve been gong twice a week. It’s a nice break from needlework.

    My crochet has always been and always will be art of my daily life until my hands no longer work to do it. The same way artists need to paint, I need to crochet. It’s like breathing to me.

    Other crafts come and go, but crochet is a constant in my life.

  18. YvonneD says:

    Dear Veronica,

    You are such a funny writer! And I recognize everything you write about – well not the Highland dancing, but the swinging from crazy enthusiasm the first few hours or days of a new project to the depressing state of finding myself surrounded with bits and pieces in their final stages and having to really push myself to finishing them.

  19. Veronica Smith says:

    ……………yup – half finished lots of things over very many different craft types!

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