Bend the Rules Sewing and Free Fabric Friday

on July 6 | in Contests & Giveaways, Products | by | with 129 Comments

Do you have your copy of Bend the Rules Sewing yet?  The amazingly talented Amy Karol has written a must-have book for anyone who enjoys sewing.  I love Amy’s Angry Chicken blog, so when I got my copy of the book last week, I dug right in. 

Bend the Rules Sewing

This is a terrific book if you’re just learning to sew.  I think Amy has a way of writing that is almost like she’s channeling the wisdom of previous generations.  She has the kind of confidence about what she’s doing that my grandmother had when she taught me to do needlework.  Amy is certainly a modern authority for today’s crafty generation.  Pay attention–she has great advice!   You’ll find a thorough list of essential notions; advice for buying a sewing machine; tips for setting up a sewing area; plus very good instructions for basic sewing skills like attaching bias trim, securing a button, and hand sewing.

If you are an experienced stitcher, you’ll likely skim through the definitions and advice, but we can all appreciate the extremely cute design templates and instructions.  There are enough good ideas in here to cover your whole holiday gift-giving list (which you’ve started on, right?)  I’ll be making a Pleated Beauty Handbag and Swing Swing Smock for sure.

Perhaps my only criticism of this book has to do with the expectation that was set up by the subtitle “The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew”.  Nothing revolutionary here, just good clean advice and instructions. 

The title of the book is handed down from Amy’s grandmother.  As she put it, “you have to be good enough to know when you can bend the rules.”  So, tell us about your sewing rules.  Are there rules you never bend?  Are there rules you consider flexible? Still learning the rules? All comments here will put you in the pool from which  we randomly select the winners of Free Fabric Friday.  We’ll be giving away 1 yard of any fabric ($9.10 or less) to 5 lucky winners!

PS–A big, warm congratulations to Amy and her family on the arrival of the beautiful new baby!

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129 Responses to Bend the Rules Sewing and Free Fabric Friday

  1. Cass W says:

    I just received my book all the way over in Australia the other day. I have already marked a few project to try. I am new to sewing and try to create my own designs and patterns. I love your site too and your shop

  2. ldpaulson says:

    I’m trying to bend the rules a little more often. Too many rules and precision can stifle creativity and make a project un-fun. This is why I’ve started trying more projects with re-used items.

    A couple of my cardinal rules (ironing, pre-treat fabric) have been mentioned, but one has not: never work on a project you don’t love and, if you’re not making the item for yourself, it should be for someone who you love and who will appreciate the time and effort. There’s nothing worse than making something with painstaking attention to detail for someone who will either not wear it or lose it!

  3. Siri says:

    Here’s one of my main rules: Use as many pins as necessary to get it right, which can mean anything from none, all the way up to every single pin I have.

  4. Emily says:

    The only rule I always follow is a new needle in the machine when I start a new project. Everything else is open to interpretation.

  5. Kristine says:

    I always pin. In fact, I probably overpin. The one thing I probably don’t do enough is press my seams open. I just pin them usually…or they flatten out as I finish them.

  6. Lynn says:

    I love the book, and the sewing rule my mom always taught me was to always backstitch. Hard habit to break once I started quilting!

  7. Heather says:

    When sewing clothing, the patterns have the “triangles” on the edge of the pattern (to help you match up the pieces)…I usually dont cut those out 🙂

  8. Sandy says:

    I’m still learning the rules myself, but I’m learning lots w/ Amy’s book.

  9. coronita says:

    Oh crap…there are rules?!

  10. wow, this book looks great. thanks so much for the review, i am relatively new to sewing and this looks really helpful!

  11. chez shoes says:

    I’m still learning the rules myself, but there’s one rule in BTRS that I’ve recently adopted and will never bend: start each major project with a new needle in your machine.

  12. Vmjess says:

    I am still learning the rules… and making them up as I go! I just ordered this book and can’t wait to get my hands on it… this will be the first year I am going to attempt to make ALL christmas gifts that I am giving.

  13. roberta says:

    Guess I am still learning any rules.

  14. laura f. says:

    i’m so new to sewing that my only rule is to keep my seam ripper by my side at all times!
    i also have to say i love this book…i’ve made the simple bibs and they turned out so cute!

  15. pamela says:

    still a sewing noober… got this book and I LOVE IT! great tip on using flannel instead of interfacing or fleece- gonna try it, can’t wait!

  16. Shorty says:

    I am still learning the rules. I tend to stick to what the pattern says for at least one go around. I am not sure if I could get away from that.

  17. Mary Ann says:

    Oh, I am definitely still learning the rules, but I find they get easier as the weeks progress!

  18. Tammi says:

    I don’t always baste seams first, and I only pin when I absolutely have to. There are two rules I always follow- I always pre-wash fabric, and I am scrupulous about straight grain- it really bugs me if a garment is “off”. The “broken” rule that gets me in the most trouble is not reading through all the instructions before starting a project- that can lead to lots of frustration later!

  19. Thimbleanna says:

    My number one never bend rule relates to applique on quilts. I always must do applique that turns fabric under 1/4 inch. I’ll only do the applique where you iron on the fabric and then do a blanket stitch or zigzag for non-quilt items. I consider most quilts to be heirloom items that I would want to last many years, and I’m afraid the press on applique method wouldn’t stand up to years of use and laundering. Just my personal preference!

  20. Zoe says:

    One rule that I just recently learned was about preshrinking your interfacing. 🙁 Uck! I hate doing this part (along with preshrinking/washing the fabric!) I just like to dig in and sew!

  21. Erika says:

    I’m just beginning my sewing journey so this is a “must-have” book for me! Thanks so much for the tip. :o)


  22. Bethany says:

    Rules, what rules?!? I’m sure I’m breaking rules that I’m not even aware of, but it’s all part of my creative process. 🙂

  23. Alicia H. says:

    The book is fantastic. As a novice sewer, I’ve been breaking all sorts of rules. It’s nice to have someone as creative as Amy K. encourage rule breaking.

  24. Nicole says:

    I’m new enough to sewing that I’m sure I’m breaking a lot of rules, but I don’t know yet which ones they are.

  25. Cici says:

    pins – i try to avoid them if its at all possible.

  26. Karen C. says:

    The first thing my mother taught me when I learned to sew was, “A good seamstress always clips her threads.” That is her only really hard and fast rule, but really I think that it’s the foundation of quality sewing. I always hear her voice in my head when I start to skip that small, but important step.

  27. Jen HOlyoak says:

    Ok, I don’t know if this is actually breaking any rules – its just a rule of my own. I hate to hem things when I am done so I don’t I just set my serger up to do a rolled hem and voila ! I do it to almost every hem I can get away with. I think it looks adorable and you can choose from darling colors to put that finishing touch on. I’m sure everyone already knows all this but hey I’m with ya! Smiles!!!!

  28. Kim says:

    rules in sewing??? there are rules in sewing???? As long as product comes out correctly does it matter if we have rules? I’m still looking for the book but Gwen Marston’s books Liberated Quilting and Liberated Strings are great bend the rules books for quilters and I am trying now for a “liberated log cabin”
    wish me luck 🙂

  29. Ana says:

    hmmm, I guess I haven’t been sewing long enough to even know what the rules are. But I do like to take a pattern, make it once, then play with it. Add pockets or zippers to a bag, tweak the size of a pair of baby shoes, experiment with the shape of a skirt…

  30. Amanda says:

    I’ve been learning sewing rules as I go along. The most important ones I’ve learned so far are: 1) Always use a zipper foot. It’s very necessary! and 2) Don’t use your favorite fabric the first time you use a pattern.
    I do bend the rules sometimes though. For example, I hate to pin things and if I can get out of it I don’t do it.
    Can’t wait to read the book.

  31. Elle says:

    I was never taught how to sew so I never learned the rules. I was 10 and thought it would be fun to try one day. I borrowed my grandma’s machine and had at it. At first I simply sewed two bits of fabric together to see the stitches. I put it all away for years and then asked for a machine one year for Christmas. My first real project was a log cabin pattern pot holder. I was given one as a wedding gift. I took a look at it and reproduced it.

    I guess you could say I bend every rule in the book.

  32. heidi says:

    when its art, all rules are bendable. when its clothing i’m just not good enough to bend many rules!

  33. Kris says:

    I bend the rules at pinning. When I first got married my sister in law was cutting out a pattern and used her kitchen knives for pattern weights. I thought she was really weird. Now 26 years later I do it too. So much faster than pinning!

  34. kirsten says:

    no rules. just fun.

  35. Stephanie says:

    I have taught myself to sew so I am sure that I have bended many rules with sewing! I am anxious to get my hands on that book! My local bookseller didn’t have it in yet but I can’t wait until they do, it is currently sitting in my amazon wishlist and I am tempted to go ahead and order it!

  36. Christy says:

    I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of Amy’s book! The photos I’ve seen are beautiful and the completed projects I’ve seen on her flickr group are SO cute.

    As for rules…
    – I try to read all the way through the instructions before I start on a pattern.
    – I always launder and iron fabric before using it.
    – Stop sewing at 11:00 pm or there will be lots of mistakes!

  37. sarah says:

    One rule I learned that I can bend is in patchwork quilts. I was scared to learn to quilt until an experienced quilter encouraged me to use my basic sewing knowledge and just have fun. She told me there is no wrong way- this inspired me to make 5 or 6 lap and baby quilts in the last year!

  38. meg says:

    I seem to always bend the wrong ones, but I’m getting better

  39. Katherine says:

    I’ve not had the pleasure of reading Amy’s book yet, so I’m curious as to what the “rules of sewing” are. I guess from reading many of the comments posted that I would fall into the category of someone who does bend the rules – but doesn’t break the rules.
    Here are some rules that I keep: I always prewash my fabric. I never sew over pins. I iron as I go. I measure carefully.
    Since my personal rule with every sewing project is to have it look the best it possibly can, that sometimes involves going my own way. Rules are just guidelines for the most part. Bending the rules is good!

  40. Kate says:

    Two rules I always follow: prewashing my fabric and not sewing over pins in the machine. Everything else is up for grabs.

  41. Carrie says:

    I’m still learning the rules! I used to ALWAYS backtack though, because my mother told me to, and then I learned about burying threads so even that’s negotiable!

  42. Keri says:

    My grandmother always had the “baste everything” rule and she made me adhere to it when I was sewing anywhere within 5 miles of her. I, however, only believe in basting in extreme situations. Which means hardly ever. And I try really hard to not even pin stuff. Oh and I’ll run over pins too. Horrible, I know but my main rule is “GET IT DONE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE SO YOU CAN MOVE ON TO ANOTHER PROJECT”. lol

  43. patti says:

    I don’t like using straight pins, so if I can get away with it, I don’t use them!

  44. Tamara says:

    Rules I often break; pinning (always break that one) trimming, edging seams individually, measuring carefully etc BUT the rule I never break is to press. A good press can hide a multitude of sins is all I can say.

  45. carol says:

    I am a rule bender by nature but I ALWAYS prewash my fabrics before quilting.
    This looks like such a great book!

  46. Leslie says:

    To break or not to break the rules…that is the question! It depends on what I am sewing as to whether or not I break the rules.

  47. HannahBeth says:

    Wow! That is definitely a book I need! I fall in the “still learning the rules” category…
    Now I’m off to buy that book!

  48. Ruth says:

    I’m bending the rules all the time! I use weights instead of pins when cutting out a pattern, I follow my own directions when sewing a garment, I topstitch a lot of hems instead of blindstitching them, I hate facings and use a French binding instead, I almost never prewash my fabric, and I don’t cut out those little triangle thingies on patterns…. that’s just a few of the rules I bend. I hope I win the book! 🙂

  49. Angela says:

    It depends on what I’m doing. Since I mostly quilt — there are a ton of “rules” that end up being dependent on who you talk to. Press every seam, no don’t do that –finger press. Never use a blue washout fabric marker — no, those are ok. It’s enough to make your head spin. I try things out in instructions, see if they work, then ignore them if they don’t or if I can do the same thing easier and not have to worry about it falling apart.

  50. Amy says:

    I am for bending most rules except..seam allowances. I think when making clothes, you want them to fit and wear well so rules might be a little more important. In quilt making, I love to see the rules broken. Maybe I will get more courageous 🙂

  51. janice says:

    Rules, what rules? I have always had trouble with patterns, so I generally just don’t use em. As long is it turns out good. 🙂

  52. Jools says:

    I hate basting, so usually leave that bit out.
    When I took my needlework exam at school, I wasn’t keen on the skirt pattern, so modified it. I don’t think the examiners were happy with that as I didn’t get a very good mark!

  53. Lucette says:

    Thanks for the book review. Looks like a great book for beginners.

  54. Valerie says:

    Can’t think of any actual “rules” that I bend, but I usually turn all my mistakes to the sides you can’t see, like on pillows and drapes, for example. And I’m constantly having to rip and re-stitch things just trying to follow the rules! And I agree with one of the comments above – I rarely make bias tape by cutting on the bias. Especially on beautiful fabric where I don’t want to waste any of it!

  55. Natalie says:

    I’m new to sewing (about a month) and so far I’ve been practicing on skirts and dresses (I lost a lot of weight so everything is too big on me). You really learn a lot by taking things apart and trying to put them back together. But I think having a reference book like this one would be a great resource. If anything, to help boost your confidence so you can tackle advanced projects, such as MAKING your own clothes.

  56. Meghan says:

    I’m not quite good enough to bend the rules yet. I tried that when I first started sewing, and ended up with two false starts. Now I’m a lot more careful to follow directions and be as precise as possible. I hope to one day be fluent enough in sewing, as I am in cooking, so I can be more free-form.

  57. kayla_d says:

    My “bias” tape is never cut on the bias. It just seems like such a pain and a waste of fabric–but then again, I’ve never needed to round any corners where the flexibility of the bias would come in handy. Anyway, I need a new name for this un-bias tape that I love so much!

  58. Ginger says:

    Rules. Hmmm. It seems like the most important rule I follow these days is to shut the door while sewing, if I don’t the noise wakes up my napping 2 year old. And that’s no fun for anybody!

  59. Shelley says:

    Still totally learning all the rules, and making up somse of my own as I go along. 🙂

  60. can’t wait to purchase a copy! sounds like fun!

    checking in for free fabric friday! 🙂

  61. Pixie says:

    my rule I never break is to press (with the iron) press, press. I bend all the others, never pin, don’t measure much, near enough is good enough. I’m a new blog subscriber, great to have found you.

  62. Nic says:

    I’m too chicken to sew my nice dress pants and skirts when the hems fray away. I’m afraid I’m going to ruin them. so I use double sided tape! ::ducks and hides from backlash::

  63. Georgia says:

    Oh my, I bend lots of rules….eek! I especially hate pinning, but I am always glad when I do. My best made creations are ones that I made very carefully without bending *too* many rules.

  64. Jessica says:

    My inflexible rule: Iron every seam. It makes a difference, but then I love ironing…

  65. dianne says:

    I am just learning to sew, so I have no idea what the rules are. I just try to sew straight and not break any needles!!! 🙂

  66. cj says:

    Looks like a fun book……I know I break lots of rules, especially matching thread and most times I sew button on using my sewing machine….gasp!!!

  67. Dede says:

    i don’t have any rules…yet! i just received my first sewing machine, but I have been LOVING your blog.

  68. Samantha says:

    I bend lots of rules, but the one I never bend is pressing. I press every seam I sew. I think it totally makes the difference between “handmade” and “homemade.” I’m totally going for the “handmade” look. 🙂 Plus, it may not have to be ironed after washing if you make sure to iron as you are sewing.

    I sew a lot of children’s clothes and my favorite ways to speed up the process are to use piping wherever possible (the heirloom mini piping, not the big yucky stuff from the chain stores) and to always line or use a binding instead of facings.

  69. rohanknitter says:

    That book is on my list of books to buy!
    I don’t feel that I am experienced enough to bend many rules!

  70. Chandra says:

    I don’t know the rules well enough to break any yet (intentionally, at least).

  71. liz elayne says:

    i think amy’s book is a delight! i have been enjoying it cover to cover.
    must admit that my new favorite rule to bend is not pinning everything. how much quicker my projects go with this little tip.

  72. Beth says:

    I definitely am bending the rules all the time!! I hardly ever use patterns, wince if I have to use pins and just kind of fly by the seat of my pants. It must work thought because my stuff turns out great…even other people think so too!

  73. Erin says:

    I learned to sew when I was young and was definitely taught all the rules. I tend to be a strict rule-follower but the result is that I sometimes find sewing to be a bit tedious. Maybe Amy’s book can set me free!

  74. Christy says:

    Our Borders doesn’t have it – I ordered off amazon and am waiting waiting waiting!!!!
    I never never never sew over needles. That’s the one rule I stand by!!!

  75. Lori says:

    I have heard many great things about this book! I am still learning the rules, so I think I’ll try to get myself a copy. Right now I find that any rules I break have consequences!

  76. Michelle says:

    Definitely still learning the rules, here. But I know enough to drag out that iron, even if I wish I could leave it in the closet…

  77. meg says:

    Oh yes – the Pleated Beauty Handbag is going to be one of the first projects I try from this lovely book, too!

    I have trouble cutting corners where pressing’s involved. Even though I don’t enjoy doing it, ironing/pressing often makes the difference between a good completed piece and one that’s so-so, at least for me.

  78. Mikki says:

    Being a somewhat newbie to sewing I haven’t accumulated any rules. I guess the only one I have for myself is to never stop trying..

  79. Melissa says:

    I don’t really do “rules”. . . I tend to learn to do things by doing them really, really badly the first several times and in this way I figure out what things are really essential to making things come out right. I’m really excited to hear that Amy is not into pins either because it makes me feel justified in my belief that they are usually a waste of time — actually I often sew straighter without them because I’m actually paying attention to whether the fabrics are straight instead of trusting the pins to do it for me.

  80. Karen says:

    Well, my “rule” is straight from my husband’s mistakes with “home construction.” Always measure twice and cut once. I am famous for making cutting mistakes all over the place until my 1 yard of fabric has been whittled down to crooked lines and about 1/8 of a yard!

  81. Marsy says:

    My firm sewing rule is don’t sew after 11:00 pm. I make mistakes and then compound them when I have to rip everything out! The I try and fix it, and now its 2 am and I’m just tired and cranky!

  82. samantha says:

    I break the “rules” often- if it works for me. I mostly quilt, only a little of my sewing is bags, and as long as I can make the finished product work, whatever it takes, or doesn’t take, to get there is fine with me. For some things, esp sewing curves, I find pins indispensable. For some things, I iron every step of the way, and for others, not until I’m done. I don’t break rules just to break them, but i do break them if it makes sense and still makes a fabulous end product!

  83. Roshelle says:

    I need to learn the rules because I don’t know any! I’m going to go find this book now!

  84. Autum says:

    I think I have gone about things backwards. I am a self taught sewer, and when I first started I’d go out of my way to not follow the rules. I avoided pinning, basting, ironing…I just wanted to get done fast. The more I’ve learned through trial and much error, I’ve found that those rules usually make for a better looking end product and the time saved by not pinning is usually lost in seam ripping. I think someone else said it above, those old rules have been around so long for a reason.

  85. Tonya says:

    I would have to say I never sew two rows of gathering stiches before I gather…just one so when it breaks I am back to square one.

  86. Jen says:

    I never really realized that there were rules 🙂

  87. Jordan says:

    A rule I break pretty much always…pins. I rarely use pins, except on stretchy fabric or slippery stuff.

    Another one is matching thread…I’m lucky if I can FIND thread for my machine in my sewing box, let alone one that matches what I’m sewing! It’s a good thing contrasting stitching is “in”! 😉

  88. Nada Jones says:

    I’m still waiting to get my hands on her new book….I’m super excited!

    I still consider myself a novice sewer, and tend to follow the rules… I think my biggest exception is pinning…if the pieces are small and straight, I frequently wing it

  89. Jeannine says:

    My one and only non-breakable rule is that if I am unsatisfied to the point where I won’t use (wear, hang-up) the item, it won’t go out as a gift. I ended up make two identical wristlets because I was so dissatisfied with the first.

    Now, other rules I’ll fudge a bit. Am I sewing a matching change purse… ahh, I’ll keep that same needle on the machine. Is the iron upstairs… ah, I’ll just finger press. My seam just shy of 1/2″, I’ll make it fit.

  90. Stephanie says:

    I never really thought about my “rules” before. But, after contemplating this question for a bit, here are a few of my “rules” I *try* to follow when sewing:

    1) The fabric makes the outfit. It’s ok to bend the pocketbook to buy some gorgeous prints; it’s well worth the price especially after how much time you’ll put into making the garment.

    2) Ironing is a neccessary evil.

  91. jessi says:

    I always bend the rules on patterns – I especially find that little girls dress patterns. I put bias tape where they tell to put binding. I put buttons instead of zippers. My rule is if I can make it better and easier, why not change a few things?

  92. Wendy says:

    I think I’m a big bender. I’m a perfectionist so there are some things that I will do the hard and long way just because I think it looks better. But when it comes to following patterns I’m very loose and will often change things, or just copy something I like without having a pattern. I love the pleated bag in the book, but I will probably try to make a smaller version of it.

  93. Lisa D. says:

    Hmmm – I’m pretty much a rule follower. Must be my Type A personality….

  94. Katie says:

    I don’t know enough of the rules to bend them!! A self-taught seamstress from childhood, I cannot seem to be able to follow a pattern!! When I actually did make an apron from a pattern a few months ago, I was amazed at what I learned during it’s contruction, and how nice it looked when I was done! So there must be something to those “rules”!!

  95. Geri says:

    just bought this book, LOVE IT. I’m an old sewer relearning this new relaxed way of sewing and I’ll always sew now!! Thanks Amy!

  96. Tammy says:

    I’m sure I break rules all the time. =) My grandma taught me to sew, and she was a professional seamstress. When I was a teenager, she got some sewing books, and the tried-and-true methods she had been using for years? she tossed them out the window and branched out! I try to remember that while sewing. She is an inspiration to me, because she was always willing to try something new!

  97. Mindy says:

    I always wash and iron before I start.

  98. Katie B says:

    Oh, I’m dying to get that book! Maybe I’ll make my husband get it for me as an anniversary present!!

    I’m pretty much a self-taught sewer, s I usually follow the directions in patterns and books. Once I master it, then I make changes that I think are necessary.

    One thing I know for sure is that ironing seams makes a huge difference!

  99. D says:

    The book looks very interesting, something I will have to check out! I am still learning the rules really.

  100. Jen says:

    I’m just learning as I go, so I’m not sure I really know what the rules are yet. I’m certain that I’ve bent or broken plenty of them, however. I usually follow the directions when I’m working with a pattern or a tutorial, but otherwise, I’m pretty much winging it.

  101. Dj says:

    I follow very little rules when it comes to sewing. The rules are: the end product should look good and function the way I want it to.

  102. Jean says:

    I am so excited to get this book too and have been eyeing it over at angry chicken for awhile! Being a beginner, I am excited about its basic skills lessons- my mom taught me a lot but I have a long way to go. A few things I always “try” to do are:
    1. Ironing- hems and details before I sew them and sometimes the patterns if they are too wrinkly.
    2. Marking my fabric pieces carefully with notations from the pattern. (This might seem self-evident but for someone hasty as myself a deliberate decision!)
    3. Finishing seams with a zigzag stitch
    I am trying to develop a more intuitive understanding of sewing and garment construction so as not to have too many disappointments with the finished product. For instance I just made a shirt for my daughter out of lightweight cotton in which I used light to medium weight interfacing. It was too heavy and made the top too stiff! It is learning by trial and error that I will not make mistakes like this again. I also hope that as my skils grow my personal touch will as well and my projects will more and more reflect something unique as I emulate and look up to all the beautiful designs at Sew Mama Sew and other blogs!

  103. Sarah says:

    I am so itching to see this book! The only rule I’ve learned not to break is to press everything. A nice pressed seam can make a project, and wrinkled fabric at the begining of a project makes things wonky at the end. But I think I’m pretty much like Jill (#20) on the rest of it.

  104. Carrie says:

    I hardly ever read the instructions. It’s a bad habit that gets me into trouble sometimes.

  105. amy k. says:

    hey, thank you for the review and the well wishes-so happy you all dig the book!

  106. Tina says:

    I just recently started sewing as my full time hobby after almost 30 years of knitting. I’m finding that I sew like I knit…learn the basics, make sure you understand what the pattern is trying to say, and then change anything and everything in order to make your creation exactly what YOU want!

  107. katrin says:

    as a dressmaker no rule out there that hasn’t been broken by me.
    sometimes the outcome was just right, sometimes i afterwards pittied having broken a rule.

    meanwhile i decide if and which rule to break while sewing a particular project. not any rule can be broken on any project.

    so for me there’s no rule of rule-breaking.

  108. Janice says:

    My friends all laugh and say I’m too green to know that I can’t do things and to know I’m in over my head 🙂 So I break plenty of rules unknowingly and it usually turns out fine! I’m looking forward to gleaning some good info and projects from this book!

  109. Eve says:

    I also hate handstitching and will avoid it at all costs. I remember learning that you should pull the pin out before the machine gets to it but I’m always in too much of a hurry – many a pin and even a few needles have met their end at my hand.

  110. Jill says:

    I had always been a “follow patterns exactly” type of gal, and I think I got bored with sewing because of it. I have gotten back into it over the past few months, and have learned to RELAX. I may use patterns as a start, but I’ve allowed myself to make my project my own creation. Now, sewing is so fun and soothing!

  111. Shannon H. says:

    I’ll have to say that I’m still learning the rules. I haven’t really sewn much since high school, and even then it was just for a textiles class in the 9th grade.

  112. deb says:

    I think I need this book!

  113. Jill says:

    I wish I knew some rules. I didn’t listen to my mom when she tried to teach me how to sew. I generally make it up as I go along.

  114. Kathy says:

    Ironing in 120 degree heat outside just bugs me. I do a lot of manual pressing instead…there are various press tools for quilters seams that work great on the individual piecing so my iron comes at the big piecing.
    I do like to always start sewing on the machine with a piece of scrap – that saves me from the annoying thread tails…its always on the scrap piece!

  115. As far as garment construction goes, I am still learning the rules. But I’ve been sewing quilt tops for about 18 years now, and the one thing I do every time I sit down to sew is take off my shoes, or at least the right one. I can’t seem to sew with a shoe on my pedal foot, and that probably started when I began sewing with my mother’s “rocketeer” 1960s Singer that had a heel button on the pedal. I didn’t know I had it turned around, so I learned how to sew by stepping on the gas with my bare big toe.

  116. stacy says:

    I recently got this book and love it (the purse patterns are my favorite). I taught myself to sew, but still seem to stick to the ‘rules’ of the pattern. I’ve been trying to break myself of the ‘habit’ by not referring so much to the instructions an making more modifications to it to make the project more my own!

  117. Daphne says:

    The rule I think I’ll always be learning is tension. Gah. And the rules I like to bend? Anything too fussy, I’ll find a way to simplify.

  118. Celeste says:

    Oh, Melissa–I agree with you there!

  119. Shelley says:

    What? There are rules? (tee hee) I learned to sew when I was about 5 – making “outfits” for my Raggedy Ann doll. There’s nothing about a 5 year old sewing that is rule based – it’s purely for fun. In fact, I still remember stuffing a patchwork pillow for Mother’s Day with a whole bag of cotton balls! (It made SO MUCH sense at the time!)

  120. amy says:

    Since I am a beginning sewer, I have not bended any rules yet. I follow Amy Karol’s blog and enjoy her work.

  121. Mama Urchin says:

    Pins – I know I should always use them but sometimes I do and sometimes I wing it.

  122. Korie says:

    I have only been sewing for about a year, so I am still learning a lot of the rules. I find many times later how I have broken the rules!

    One rule I do break is when sewing things for myself I cut one corner. I hate hand sewing (something to do with needles & pricked fingers!) so if I have to hand stitch an opening closed, I cheat and use Stitch Witchery to close it. It is sooo bad, but I only do it on stuff for me. I figure if it falls apart I can always fix it!

    I can’t wait to get my copy of Amy’s book, I had to special order it at my bookstore. I have been reading Amy’s blog since I started sewing.

  123. Kim says:

    Fantastic Book!!

  124. melissa says:

    typically I learn why rules are important to follow by NOT following them and screwing up.

  125. mj says:

    I learned to sew using so many rules I was hesitant to try anything different. It’s amazing how much more I do now that I’ve realized I don’t always have to pin everything.

  126. Kathleen says:

    What a great book. The more rules I can bend the better. I’ll often use a pattern as a suggestion and guide, doing my own thing. Luckily only a few things have turned out horribly wrong 🙂

  127. Sarah says:

    I really want this book- it looks great!! I can’t think of too many rules I break. I too hate blind hemming and just fold the hem over twice and stitch.

  128. This book looks like a must-have! I can’t wait to go find it at the bookstore!!

  129. Heather S. says:

    My specialty is dressmaking and I have broken plenty of rules.

    One rule that I continually “break” is the one where you have to use facing on your dresses. Facing, to me, is a pain, is unattractive, and doesn’t “stay put”. So instead, I use bias tape around the armholes, and neck OR I simply line the bodice so that I don’t have to use facing. Most of the dresses that I make are made out of cotton or cotton/poly so formal wear doesn’t count here. Certain things you can “cheat” on, and certain things you cannot, like formal wear.

    I also opt to use a “non-blind” hem on my skirts and dresses. I simply fold over the edge twice (the desired width) and stitch with a normal stitch. It works well for everyday clothing.

    Rules that I don’t break are: 1) using interfacing for buttonholes, 2) clipping corners,
    3) trimming seams & clipping curves, & 4)sewing buttons by hand.

    Have a great Friday!

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