I am making a hat for my son. It's styled after a hat he saw in an anime show. It is large and although the pattern is simple, it requires many feet of hand top stitching. If I had a fancy machine I could sew it up in a matter of minutes. Yet I feel I would lose something in the learning process.
When I stitch by hand I am in more intimate contact with the material. I know how stiff the interfacing is, I know or learn how much the material will stretch. Some of this I could learn if I was sewing by machine, but not as well. In addition I am learning more about sewing a straighter seam and come up with ideas to make sewing a straight seam by hand easier. And I have time to think.
Learning is something difficult and it takes as much of all of me as I can handle to do it. So when I am learning, I prefer to learn by hand. And here is an article about some studies which confirm my prejudice. It helps me understand why I often prefer to write something "new" by hand. Whereas once I have the characters and setting firmly in mind, I can come to my laptop, close my eyes and type away with abandon.
Now one thing I've had enough learning about is washing dishes by hand... where is the dishwasher!!
(Pictures of hat coming soon.)