This photograph represents my evolution as a seamstress. The photograph shows buttonholes and the thread tracing used to place the buttonholes. There was a time when I would have used tracing paper and tracing wheel to mark the placement of the buttonholes. More than likely, the marks would have been permanent, the tracing paper would have slipped, and the markings would not have been uniformly in the center of the placket. More than likely, I would have sewn them anyway, without regard to the placement. Fortunately, I'm not that sewer anymore.
When I first learned to sew in 8th grade Home Ec., I enjoyed just “making something.” I knew nothing about fitting, seam finishes or anything more complicated than pinning pattern pieces on grain. Although I loved sewing from the start, my goal was to sew the pieces together and finish the garment as quickly as possible. I continued to sew through my high school years and my skills improved simply through repetition.
The evolution began in earnest when I came in contact with a community of sewers online. Few of my friends sew and certainly not as well as the experts I’ve “met” online. Through sewing websites, message boards and blogs, I’ve seen the work of other sewers and have been inspired. People have answered my questions, critiqued my work and offered encouragement. I've had chances to share my knowledge with beginning sewers. I’ve moved from getting pieces finished to sewing them well. Five years ago I never would have considered thread tracing or tailor’s tacks or even basting. Now, I assess techniques and use the best technique for the garment, even if it means taking more time. I’ve grateful to have discovered an online sewing community and for the part the community has played in my evolution.