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8 Ways to Develop Craftsmanship So You Can Slow Down

How to look for moments to slow down and find patterns that will help you perfect your craft.

Posted in: Seamwork Radio Podcast, Creativity & Mindset • May 24, 2023 • Episode 143

Do you often feel like you’re rushing through life, just trying to get as much of your to-do list done as possible each day?

In today’s podcast, Sarai and Haley explore the moments to look for in your sewing that will help you to slow down and develop pride in your skills. They also share some specific projects that can help.

Below are the show notes for this podcast episode, and a brief summary of what's covered, followed by a full transcript.

8 Moments to Help You Slow Down

Patternmakers don’t often write pattern instructions with the slowest way to sew something. They want to guide you through a project quickly and efficiently. If you find yourself rushing, it helps to look for moments when you can slow down and linger at your ironing board or with a seam finish.

Here are 8 moments to look for that will help you slow down.



  1. Seam finishes. Pausing to finish each seam with a special method can help you grow your skills as you sew something you’ll really treasure. Try French seams, flat felled seams, or bound seams.


  2. Hand-sew your hems. Here are 5 hand-sewing stitches to learn.


  3. Baste whenever you can. Hand-basting is especially helpful with sleeves or inserting zippers.


  4. Cut single layer. Do this with stripes and plaids.


  5. When you turn the cloth. So clipping and notching and edgestitching, for example.


  6. Pressing. Here are some tips from the late, great David Page Coffin.


  7. Adding embellishments and textile design. Here are 25 creative ways to make the most of your patterns


  8. Pattern hacking. Search the Seamwork archives for dozens of pattern-hacking ideas.

5 Projects to Help You Slow Down










  • A jacket with a lining. In the Seamwork catalog, search for the Keaton Blazer, which incorporates a lot of tailoring techniques. The Denise Coat, which is a really great introduction to lined coats because it has an otherwise simple construction. And then the Larkin Bomber, which has a gender-inclusive fit.


  • Something cut on the bias. When you cut on the bias, you’ll be forced to slow down so you can honor the fabric’s grain. Try the Grace dress, the Dezi Skirt, or the Savannah Camisole.


  • A button-up shirt. Button-ups have lots of wonderful moments that allow you to slow down and spend time at the ironing board, like a collar, plackets, and cuffs. Try the slim-fitting Rachel Shirt. Or the Bud Shacket, which is kind of a hybrid of a shirt and a jacket. Or the Roan Tunic , which has an oversized, coastal grandma fit.


  • Find details you haven’t sewn before. Look for patterns with new zipper techniques or the burrito method.


  • Find details that require precision. Keep an eye out for welt pockets, reverse corners, or bound seams.

What patterns have forced you to slow down? Do you find yourself stopping to do the hand-sewing? Comment and let us know!

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