Friday, November 6, 2015

Learning Blog 6: Stuffing, Lofts, and Chopsticks

I loved our reading for this week, and how it applied to what I've learned in sewing.  We've read about cognitive apprenticeships.  Unlike normal apprenticeships where just a skill or trade is learned, a cognitive apprenticeship implies that in new-comer and old-timer relationship, the new-comer actually develops cognitively and integrates new knowledge into their being while they are in the process of becoming an old-timer.  And any of those apprenticeships occur within communities of people who are working within similar trades.  I loved remembering two room-mates I had in the same apartment, both of whom were excellent sewers.  One is a very detailed, precise, and orderly seamstress who would wear dresses we thought she had bought at the store.  The other was just as talented, would whip up her own patterns or not follow one at all, and made sewing seem much more whimsical.  It makes sense to me that even within communities of practice, old-timers will differ in their views and micro-culture, and that those will rub off on the new-timer.  

I've seen examples of this while researching online.  In forums or on product reviews, there are people who talk about making up sewing crafts as they go, or those (like me), who spend a ton of time reviewing product after product, or blog after blog, trying to find the exact match for the question they have.  In my case, learning about batting.  Did you know that stuff between your blanket has a vocabulary all of its own?  Like loft.  I thought a loft was in the top of a building.  But apparently it also means how thick batting is, and this affects the look of a finished product.  Batting also varies in density, grain, stiffness or softness, and material.  Apparently cotton breathes so that it is cool in summer and warm in winter, polyester doesn't breathe, and wool can have inconsistent loft.  I didn't realize I would have so many options choosing innards for a baby's blanket.  But I'm finally settling on polyester, which wont shrink like cotton would after washing.  I figure if babies puke as often as Facebook moms say they do, those blankets need to be the most resilient they can be.  

I've also started stuffing my soul-less critters that I put together last week.  I'd heard it was better to leave as small an opening as possible for turning the fabric in and out to minimize the needed hand-stitching.  I did not factor in that stuffing a cow is a lot easier when more than just her foot is open.  The batting I bought came with a "free stuffer", which is nothing more than a non-food grade chopstick.  And it seemed somewhat useless... my fingers worked better.  But maybe it would work better on a "higher loft dense batting" than the lightweight cloud I'm using.

On a stuffing note... does stuffing shrink over time?  I like having my little sheep be only partially stuffed.  It looks a lot more home-y.  But I dont know if it's better to stuff-until-it-nearly-pops in case stuffing compresses over time.  The mouse certainly looks better stuffed to a brim...  Any personal opinions on your end, "Old Timers"?    ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello! :) Please comment on my blog. :) Remember this blog is my online home, and as such, please treat me and my guests with respect.

Any visitors who are noncompliant with this request will be thrown into the compost heap... ;)