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Hello! Life-long sewer, new to forum

polycrafter | Posted in General Discussion on


As you can guess from my name, I like to dabble in lots of projects! Name the medium and I’ve probably played with it, or still want to try it!

But sewing (actually, all the fiber arts) has been my favorite for over 30 years. I have all but one issue of Threads and I refer to them regularly! (I’m not sure which is bigger–the fabric stash or the craft reading material stash…)

Recently I discovered how much amazing information is readily available on these forums. (I’m a little bit of a technophobe, so it took me awhile to join, and then finally, to post!)

I look forwards to learning much from everyone here, and offering suggestions when I can!

Happy sewing!


  1. katina | | #1

    Welcome - you'll like it here with us.


  2. CarolSewsAZ | | #2


    I also am a lifelong seamstress (sewist, sewer, or whatever).  This is a great forum and though I do not post very often, I do get a lot of valuable information from it. 

    I think many of us are not just limited to sewing, but also get involved in other mediums just by way of trying to make our clothing unique.  I am also a quilter, and of course, a fabric collector. 

    What is your present project that you are working on?  At this time, I am working on a quilt, but I have a silk blouse in the back of my mind that I would like to make for a pants suit that I made last year.

    Glad to hear that you joinied our group!


  3. User avater
    JunkQueen | | #3

    Welcome aboard. I think you will like it here. When I first joined this forum, I was reluctant to post, because there are so many truly talented people here, and I knew my skills just didn't measure up. I've found everyone extremely helpful, friendly, and welcoming. It's truly refreshing and uplifting. Not to mention educational. A wonderful resource with an international flair.

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #6

      "and I knew my skills just didn't measure up"
      JunkQueen, I'm sorry you ever felt that way. It should never silence anyone's voice, or that they should feel that their skills are inferior. Skill is only measured against what you have personally learned and accomplished. You should be proud of what you have done. Each person's learning curve is different. What you have learned and expressed can be the springboard for someone else's new experience, or creative spark. Those who have progressed further are there to encourage and teach. Be proud of each step you take, and show it off proudly, and as each skill learned is refined, look back at your early efforts and say to yourself "Look how far I have come". Cathy

      1. katina | | #7

        Well said, Cathy. When I first joined, I was also reluctant to post. Then I realised that we all have different skills, interests, experiences to add to the fabulous mix here. I've long been fascinated by the wonderfully vibrant work done in various fibre mediums by ethnic groups around the globe; some is for sale, much is for personal use in traditional costume and household items. In some cases, technique is less than what we 'sophisticated' needleworkers might do, but it doesn't matter - the finished object, to my eyes anyway, is a thing of great beauty. And as you say, the maker's pride is wonderful to behold.

        Thanks for this post - we all 'measure' up in different and valuable ways.


        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #10

          One of the things I keep coming up against, both for myself and for those I teach, is that things are just not "good enough". I call them my monsters, and I put them lovingly away in a box. When I need a boost to my confidence, I pull out all my first projects, and big mistakes, and have a good laugh, then go on, knowing that I am improving. They are called Monsters, because my College girlfriend did an offloom weaving in textile class that really resembled a Sesame Street Monster it was so bad. I tried to help her salvage it, but we ended up starting over. It hung on my wall for years because we laughed so hard. This friend also cut a huge hole in the front of an almost completed first skirt in Sewing Basics. Fortunately she had enough fabric left to cut a new panel. This skirt also joined the monster box. I love her dearly. Cathy

          1. katina | | #11

            Hi Cathy

            Did you ever see the series "Are You Being Served" on PBS? If so, I have a funny story to share with you.


          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #12

            I watch a lot of PBS and TVO. I cannot recall the names of half of what I watch. But fill in the plot line,and the character names and I can tell you if I have seen it. I know, its kinda weird, but thats the way my brain works. I think in pictures. Cathy

            Edited 7/23/2008 1:10 pm ET by ThreadKoe

          3. katina | | #16

            A group of assistants working in a department store for "Young Mr Grace" who was ancient! Characters included Captain Peacock, Miss Brahms, Mrs Slocomb and Mr Humphries, who'd sing out: "I'm free!"

          4. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #17

            Yes, I have seen several episodes, and having worked retail, thought it was hysterical. Cathy

          5. katina | | #21

            John Inman played Mr Humphries. He also had a long career in pantomine where he played the Dame. He had sewn since childhood - took dressmaking classes by age 12 I believe - and always made his own pantomime frocks. The Dame is played by a man and wears gowns with voluminous skirts and huge sleeves. Many years ago I read an interview conducted by a leading sewing magazine in Britain at the time in which he described the difficulties of setting in such huge sleeve caps. He explained that he'd been very busy with all kinds of rehearsals and had completed his dame's outfit only a few hours before the opening performance, which was in effect a dress rehearsal, but with an invited audience. He said he'd sewn the first sleeve into place with a bit of difficulty, and so was thrilled that the second sleeve went in very easily. When he dressed for the performance he found that he'd put the second sleeve into the neckline opening!

          6. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #22

            AH!AHHH!HAHHHHA!!!!HHHHAHH!!!:) Guess everyone has a big booboo once in a while. Cathy

      2. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #13

        You are right, of course, and very kind to be concerned. Actually, I know I have decent skills and that I am fairly creative, but I still do not measure up to the skilled professionals on here who have made this their profession. I am but a hobbyist. A passionate one, but a hobbyist, nonetheless. I've made medieval costumes for high school Interscholastic League competition plays, brides maid dresses, a 20'diameter Sioux teepee replica, clothes and more clothes, draperies, duvets, slipcovers, and alterations.I learn something here almost every day that I can use in pursuing my beloved hobby. As an aside, I just hope this dratted intrusive Bernina advertisement does not drive me away. Methinks we are going to miss Amber much.......

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #14

          The difference between a hobbyist and a professional is only taking in money to support oneself. I have seen some pretty poor work by so called professionals and excellent work by so called hobbyists. Don't let the little negative voices in your head get to you. I have seen what you are sewing and it is good. Period.As far as that blasted ad goes. Read under the posting for Bernina Advertisement, we have got something going...Cathy

        2. katina | | #15

          I already miss Amber much!

  4. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #4

    Hello polycrafter! I think that you will find most people here are multi-talented as well. Lots of inspiration. Cathy

  5. rekha | | #5

    Hello and welcome.

    You write we can guess from your name, is the poly for polyester (being facetious...)

    I think we will learn a lot from you from your other crafting experience.

    Please don't hesitate to give lateral thinking to sewing from a crafter's point of view

  6. rodezzy | | #8

    Welcome polycrafter, I'm a multi-crafter too.  I like changing up and doing other things besides sewing, but sewing is something I've done the most of since high school (too many years ago).  Just last night I finished stuffing my doll from last weeks doll class and sewed on her face. 

    Looking forward to seeing and hearing lots from you.  Do you crochet and/or knit, or make quilts? 

    This forum is very intersting, easy to use and has lots of information and answers.  I love it.  I hope you do too.

    1. polycrafter | | #18

      Thanks for the welcome everyone! I know I'm going to like it here!What do I do other than regular sewing? Hmmmmm.....okay, keep in mind that I get bored easily, so I get into a craft for a year or so, then move on, and eventually the cycle completes itself and I find myself going back to it. So my level of experience really varies, depending on how many times I've revisited that medium!(So, for example, although I've been able to knit for over 30 years, I only have about 10 completed projects to my name. I made this enormous sweater in the 80s that totally killed my enthusiasm for knitting. But then it became so massively popular, I had to go back to it.) So, with that preface in mind, these are the "poly" crafts (and the ones I hope to explore sooner rather than later):Garment sewing (Including my wedding gown! I took a 6 month break after that one!) & home dec sewing. Love cloning favorite RTW garments. Enjoy patternmaking/drafting.Quilting (machine and hand piecing, machine and hand quilting, machine and hand applique. Started out with traditional blocks, now more contemporary). I love free-motion embroidery/quilting!!! (Which is good because I'm still trying to figure out how to get my computerized embroidery unit to behave! That is on my "to do" list this summer!)Hand dyed fabrics. Tie dye. Batik. Hand painted fabrics. Sunprints! (Want to learn how to silkscreen and play with inkjet transfers.)Knitting, crochet, hand embroidery/crewelwork, beaded embellishments.Acrylic painting. Water colors. Japanese ink painting. Calligraphy. (Would love to get better at all of these!)Stamping and cardmaking. (Want to try making hand-made paper sometime.) Photography. (Need to learn photoshop someday.)Polymer clay, jewelry making (beading and wirework mostly--someday, if the price of silver ever comes down, would like to learn more metalsmithing. And precious metal clay.)I had been trying to learn woodworking, but I don't know if I'll ever really get the hang of that. (Would love to build some real furniture!)and the latest obsession...making cosmetics, fragrances, and bath & body stuff! (Next on that list: soap!)(Of course, there's stuff I've done but never really liked (tatting! cross-stitch!). And there's so many, many things I still want to try, but doubt I will anytime soon (these all seem to involve purchasing a kiln!))Yes, my craft areas have taken over half of the house. (And let's just say that the other half of the house is less than immaculate. I'd rather make stuff than clean!)I also like to garden and cook, so this Taunton site is totally a one-stop shop for me!This summer, when I'm not working on eyeshadow and lipstick, I am sewing up myself a bathing suit. (It should have been done by now, but I've changed my mind about style lines and the straps so many times, I think I've ripped more inches than I've serged!) I am also teaching my DDs how to sew, so there's been a lot of doll clothes in the mix. Oh, and tackling that UFO pile...Happy sewing (or whatever!)!ETA: I have a Monster pile too. I call it "Experiments"! Sometimes a mistake in one project is a launching point for another. Of course, some things are just wrong! But that's how you learn, right?Oh, and British comedies rock!

      Edited 7/23/2008 1:57 pm ET by polycrafter

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #19

        Don't want to one up ya Poly, but I bought the kilns(2 of em) tee hee. I also am into beading, but not so much jewelry, just the seedbeading. I do ceramic art. I'm finding that some of us look at house work as a hobby and our hobbies more of a fulltime thing.....Cathy

        1. polycrafter | | #23

          Oh, I would love to do ceramics! There's one of those shops here where you can pick out the blank pieces, paint them, then they fire them. Which would a lot of fun...but I can just imagine how slippery a slope that could get to be. (My mental image: up to my elbows in clay at a potter's wheel.)My DH is extremely tolerant about the less than immaculate house and my wacky creative binges. He even keeps the kids out of my way when I'm really into a project! But, alas, he is pretty firm that we don't have room for any large-scale crafts (i.e., no looms, etc.) Although, I suppose if I actually sold some of the things I made, rather than just keep, gift, or barter, he might be even more supportive...

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #24

            Oh, you don't know how lucky you are to have a shop like that near you. those shops are like good fabric shops, a dying breed. I work with those types of forms, and apply different types of finishes. Some are fired glazes, some are acrylic stains. I like the useful items and Christmas or garden ornaments. Don't want to get into the thrown pottery. Most of my stuff is for gifts also, although I have done a couple of commissions. Like most things, people do not understand the actual value of what goes into producing ceramic, when they can buy similar things (they think) at a dollar store. My house is small, so no large scale crafts either. I revamped some space over the kitchen into my sewing room/studio and I try to keep it from spilling over into the rest of the house.........Cathy

      2. rodezzy | | #20

        Whew, I'm exhausted from just reading all of that!  You are a lot like some of us.  Happily dabbling in one thing or another.  This is what creativity is all about.  Being creative in a lot of areas.  It just bubbles over for some.  It makes life exciting and wonderous.  Happy crafting!

  7. Cherrypops | | #9

    Hello and Welcome,

    I am glad you 'posted' on the forum, as I feel you will have a lot to share with us, and learn new tips and tricks and make new friends along the way.


    Cp - australia


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