Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Confessions of a Scissor Phobic

It's confession time, kittens.

I haven't finished my Chantilly dress. To be honest, I haven't even started it. Not because I'm intimidated by the pattern or because I haven't been in the mood to sew. I haven't started it, because I haven't even cut it out yet.

You see, I hate cutting out pattern pieces. I firmly believe every sewist has a step of the process he or she dreads the most. Some people may loath hemming, while others do everything they can not to put in a zipper. For me, the ironing, pinning, and lining up grainlines have become the seventh circle of sewing hell. If there were a service that allowed me to send in my patterns and chosen fabric, then they would ship it back to me all cut out, I would be a happy camper. The charge could be exorbitant and I'd still probably use it.

If I want to sew something, that's just it - I want to sew it. I don't want to sit on a floor for two hours, pinning tissue to fabric and getting a cramp in my back. Even watching Veronica Mars doesn't help pass the time. I can't properly concentrate on the damaged, but oddly noble Logan Echols while leaned over a cutting board. It's a quandary. To sew, one must have fabric pieces, after all.

No doubt, I would feel better if I had a rotary mat. Despite owning a rotary cutter, I'm still cutting things out the old fashioned way: pinning and scissoring. It's really difficult for me to splurge on a $100+ mat, when I could be buying fabric and patterns instead. Or, at least, saving up for my other big ticket sewing lusts, a dress form and a serger. I'm rather hoping JoAnns or Hancock will have a drastic sale on them at some nebulous future date. Or, miraculously, that one will pop up on Craigslist.

So, there you have it. My secret sewing shame. Tonight, I'm planning on lining up a wildly interesting audiobook and giving in to the dreaded scissors. If only the Chantilly didn't have so many pieces...

Do you have a sewing phobia? Is there one part of the process that you would happily choose to eat worms rather than go through ever again?


  1. As I was cutting out my Pendrell blouse last night I had the same feelings. I'm a lefty with dreadful scissors skills. The whole process usually leaves me frustrated and popping Advil. If you find a service that cuts out fabric/patterns please let me know!!!

  2. So... I love your blog, and I live in Austin too! Woohoo fellow Austin seamstress! What I came here to say was that Joann's has a 40% sale right now on cutting matts! Also... I went to the Stitch Lab and cut out a few patterns at a time during their open stitch lab. I got to use their big beautiful table and rotary cutters. You have to check it out!

  3. Cutting is definitely one of the things I don't like. Also: pattern-tracing (which I try to avoid, but I've been wanting to make patterns ind more than one size recently...). Also, fitting. Which is probably due to the fact that I don't have a big enough table, no rotary cutter and mat and no dress form... *g*

    But, go Chantilly! It seems like a wonderful pattern!

  4. I'm with you.I absolutely hate cutting and, I would add to that, marking fabric even though I have a fairly large dining table to do it on. It doesn't help that I wield scissors like a kindergartner.

  5. Blech... I totally blame my hatred of cutting out for my fabric stash. I swear all of it was bought with specific patterns in mind but the thought of cutting just sets me procrastinating :)

  6. I love that everyone hates cutting! I have to do it on my floor of my room and it takes so bloody long! I think I've worked out that the trick is being strict with yourself and making yourself cut 2 or 3 projects at a time, then you get the crappy bit out of the way for a while longer!
    I also hate grading patterns and buttonholes...

  7. I hate cutting out patterns too! And I hate tracing them and I hate ironing fabric! Ughh!

  8. I don't hate the cutting so much, but I really can't stand marking notches, dots, etc. I like the feeling of shears moving through fabric but marking all the fetal feels like something preventing me from getting on with the fun part.

  9. I agree, 100%. Cutting is the devil's tool to keep me from producing beautiful creations...That and the fact the I'm a total beginner and I can get my mom to make me most things I want! LOL. But I do hate cutting!

  10. I just found your blog, as I was google-ing pattern reviews! So cute! I love it!

  11. Wow, I love that I'm not alone in this hatred, y'all. Something tells me that if that cutting service started up, they'd have a lot of customers.

    Oh, the only thing that could make cutting more dreadful: being a lefty. You have my full sympathy! I'm hoping someone will stumble across this blog, take pity on us anti-scissor folks, and start this service. Also, I can't wait to see how your Pendrell comes out! I have the pattern but haven't tried it out yet. I love the blouse, but that it's made specifically for pear-shapes makes me a bit nervous, being an hour-glass.

    Hooray for fellow Austinites! There aren't many of us around the blog-o-sphere, so it's always wonderful to meet another Austin sewist. Thanks so much for the JoAnns tip, by the way. Because of your advice, I went yesterday morning and am now the proud owner of a cutting mat. :D Also, I LOVE the Stitch Lab. I've only made it there one time, but was so impressed with their fabric selection and staff. I had no idea they had an open stitch lab - I would kill to use their cutting table! You're exactly right - it's a beautiful sight.

  12. Alessa,
    Glad to know I'm not the only mat-less, dress-form-less sewist around here! Do you go green with envy when you see other people's sewing spaces? I always find myself lusting after silly things like pretty dress forms or wrist pin cushions. I have yet to try pattern tracing, as I try to avoid anything that adds extra pre-sew steps. You have my full sympathy for having to add it in!

  13. BlogOfAllTrades,
    Oh, marking fabric. That's another dreaded step. Though, normally it means I've finished with cutting, so I'm slightly happier to do it. ;)

    I'm the exact same way. I love buying fabric - which means my stash is huge - but getting me to actually cut something out takes an act of God. Or, you know, a really cute new pattern.

    Isn't this great? I was so cathartic to blog about this, but even better to know that everyone else feels the same way! We're not alone. :D That's an excellent suggestion, by the way. I think setting aside a day that is specifically for cutting, then doing multiple projects at once, is a great way to handle it. I rarely want to sew right after cutting anyway, so it would allow for a longer period of just sewing. Excellent tip!

  14. Carolyn,

    Oh, you've hit on another one of my hatreds! Ironing fabric is the worst. It's all that lining up the selvedges and making sure the grainlines are even - tedious in the extreme!


    That's a really good point about marking! Normally, my loathing of cutting makes me just happy to have finally gotten it over with and moved on to the marking. But, it is another one of those pesky steps that prevents any real sewing from happening! Thanks for stopping by the blog, by the way! :D


    Ha! If my mom would sew me thing, I would never, ever have started. Unfortunately, she stopped making me clothes when I hit middle school. Now she's the one trying to get me to make her things! It's come full circle. You are exactly right, also - cutting is totally the devil's tool. Pure evil and that's all there is to it. ;-)


    I'm so glad you found us! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

  15. I actually like the cutting part. What I don't like is doing all the finishing details like cuffs or hems. By that point I'm so tired with a project I just want to be finished!

  16. Hi Mary,

    Just found your blog through your sewing pattern reviews. I hate cutting out too, but more the ironing and pinning part! I have a rotary cutter but am scared to use it. Lovely blog btw :o)