by Ramona on May 10, 2013

I think I’ve come to a conclusion regarding sewing and procrastination. There are we sewists who were educated in the “old school” methods. If stitching was not correct, in order to “make the grade”, stitching had to be ripped and redone until it was perfected. At the time, only one method was taught and that method was what had been taught to the sewing educator. It, after all, was the “right” way.

Through the years, sewists like me have studied RTW techniques while doing clothing alterations and incorporated those methods while using sewing patterns and creating clothing. The RTW (ready to wear) look is what is expected; nothing “home-made”. This of course if for every day type clothing….I’m not speaking of beautifully, professionally tailored garments which are in a category all their own.

With all the books, Dvd’s, internet blogs, internet classes, local sewing classes, and all the instructors and their personal teaching methods, we sewists are bombarded with all types and techniques of sewing methods. I have been asked frequently by students, “How do I know which way is the “right” way to do this?” Hence, the procrastination. Beginners don’t have the requisite experience to assess and analyze fabrics, sewing methods, alterations, or whatever they are sewing. They want to do it the “right” way, they don’t know what that is, so they may do nothing at all. USP’s (unfinished sewing projects) are created waiting for that “right” way to present itself.

Yesterday I presented a webinar on altering jeans. Demonstrations included hemming, replacing a zipper, altering the center back waist, and repairing a pocket. Just as with all things sewing, there is more than one way to achieve the same end. What determines which method chosen is sometimes time, sometimes the garment, sometimes the sewing level of the person doing the sewing, sometimes the amount of money a person wants to spend having someone do the alteration. It all depends on so many factors.

In doing the hemming and replacing the zipper, there was a comment in the question box asking why I would go to all the work of ripping out the entire topstitching and redo everything when there are other ways–easier ways–of doing it. That’s just the point! There are many ways of doing things. You as the sewist gets to choose based on the factors listed in the previous paragraph. When I used to do alterations, whether my home-based business or the retail business, there was a higher level of expectation and the dollar commanded for the work was also higher. Could I do things in a “down and dirty” way, but of course! I’m not sure I would have been in business very long, though.

There is only so much time to present a webinar, and many ways of doing things. Below I’ve put some links to other ways of hemming jeans that I’ve used and also for inserting a zipper in jeans without removing any of the original jeans stitching (I’ve never used this, but it is another method). More methods for you to ponder, add to your arsenal of sewing methods, and use them if they are appropriate for the garment being altered. You, as the sewer, gets to choose.

Sew ’til next time,




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hem 1



Methods for replacing a jeans zipper without ripping out the original stitching:





JC May 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Hi Ramona! Thanks for emailing back earlier today! I replied (talked too long–only because I so enjoyed your email)! :-)..Thanks for the extra resources here and great blogs. I’ll add them to my never-ending list of sewing blogs. Thanks again and enjoy your weekend! 🙂 -Joan.

Kristin May 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Thanks for the extra links. I am taking a go at it to remove the entire zipper as you demonstrated. My husband doesn’t mind being my guinea pig. I have done the not-remove topstitch method, but really want to sink my teeth into doing your way and see what happens.

Love your webinars!

Ramona May 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm

If you have any questions, Kristin, be sure to email me! ~Ramona

Laurie Wilkey May 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Where did the word (if it is one) sewist originate? Why aren’t we sewers any longer? Just wondering.

Ramona May 24, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Laurie, I’m not sure. My brother says it is because “sewer” reminds him of the thing running under the toilet! LOL Oh dear, brothers…..

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