Some sewing lessons offered to enthusiasts are downright scary. I found one that initially left me aghast and speechless but once I started laughing, I couldn’t stop. This particular sewing lesson defies known laws of physics as many are wont to do. I pass on linking to the guilty party and don’t you dare link to it in comments (I’ll delete it); the point isn’t to embarrass anyone but to correct the mythinformation and have a bit of fun.
There’s seven pages to this lesson and it was okay, or rather, on par with the typical sewing lessons one sees about with nothing horribly objectionable (other than the prescribed sleeve cap ease being described as “no problem“), so it was pretty much okay until I got to the last page which featured this photo with a caption that read:
As you sew, don’t straighten out the fabric like this -remember, this will shorten the seam.
Can you believe it? I almost didn’t believe it. I laughed so hard and backtracked to the beginning of the lesson which featured this photo (below) and the following caption:
If you think about it, it’s obvious that a curved line between two points is longer than a straight line drawn between the same two points. The straight line measures 7″. The curved line measures 7 1/2″.
This is absolutely true. However, she then said:
Now, with this in mind, think about sewing a curved seam. If you move the fabric like my student did when she was trying to set in her sleeve, you’re actually shortening the length of the seam (because you’re sewing a straight line instead of a curved one).
Now how she made the leap that the length of a curved line magically shortens when sewn as a straight line is truly beyond me but it’s been a great source of mirth today. Oh wait, I get it, this is how a tesseract was described in A Wrinkle in Time as being a manner in which space, distance and time can be folded like fabric using a jump drive to arrive at another point! Hmm… so if a curved line shortens when sewn straight, then a straight line sewn curved gets longer. The idea is growing on me the longer I think about it.
Said author (when not defying the laws of physics or perhaps lecturing on warp drives at MIT) writes for home sewing publications, provides sewing lessons and consults with designer entrepreneurs.