Walk of Shame

The Twenty Minute Skirt

I have absolutely nothing against alterations — after all, they’re a large part of sewing. I myself indulge in them fairly frequently. However, it annoys me when people try to present alterations as original projects, especially in tutorials. A much better title for this would have been:

How to Alter a Skirt in Twenty Minutes

Much better.

For the most part, this tutorial on how to alter a skirt isn’t that bad. The creator actually uses decent pins instead of those ugly “crafty” ones, and she doesn’t include more steps than is necessary. It’s the second to last picture that gets to me. Go ahead, copy-paste that link and scroll down. You’ll know it when you see it.

. . .

Who in their fucking right minds would consider that edge to be finished? There are fraying bits sticking out all over everywhere! It looks terrible!

Okay, so I get it. It’s your lazy-ass alteration project, and if you want to have ugly seams on the inside then that’s your business. It’s not like anyone is going to see it anyway. And it’s not your fault that you don’t know how to do a tighter zig-zag stitch with that overly-complicated electronic sewing machine of yours. So why does it matter?

Imagine that you’re in a store and you come across this. Chances are, you wouldn’t buy it. Why would you? The manufacturer obviously didn’t bother to neatly finish the edges, so what other flaws are lurking between the stitches, just waiting to come out after that first wash? How long are those fraying edges going to hold up anyway? They don’t look too good . . .

The fact is, this tutorial reinforces the idea that home-made is synonymous with low quality. “I made it” equals, “It was sloppily done and looks like crap.” If you want to do a poor job then go right ahead, but don’t make a fucking tutorial saying That’s How It’s Done. That’s NOT how it’s done.

I take particular umbrage at this because of the amount of time I spend finishing my seams. I spend more time finishing those seams than I do making them. I usually do it by hand, carefully folding them in and pressing them flat, then meticulously sewing loops of thread to hold them in place. Why? Because I take myself seriously, and I want my projects to look good both inside and out. I take pride in my work.

Home-made doesn’t have to mean “Looks like shit.” If people put more effort into their work, then it could mean, “Better than store bought.”

By the way, is it just the way that she’s standing or is that hemline uneven?