Showing posts with label garment sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garment sewing. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Sewing for Me!

Yesterday I tackled a wedding dress that I thought I had promised to have done last month.  Silly me, the tag actually said mid May, so I am a little ahead even!  I felt so happy to have that out of my hair that I decided to work on a couple of projects for me.

Always make sure you check the cutting layout when you are getting ready to sew a garment from a commercial pattern!  This one was a little unusual as it as for the size I was cutting it required me to fold a third of my fabric over instead of folding it in half.  Also note that when you look at the layout, it tells you which pattern pieces you need for that particular version.  I always make sure to cut them out roughly, then put the pieces I don't need back in the envelope so I don't make any mistakes and cut out a piece that I don't need to. 
I measured the pattern pieces to determine how much I did need to fold over (a bit over 14 inches) and used my rotary ruler to make sure that my fold was straight - this is Island Batik rayon which was provided in one of my Ambassador boxes.  Rayon is wonderful to wear, and not too bad to sew with if you are a little cautious.  It's not so much that it's slippery, like satin or silk, but it is wriggly!  My tactic is to try to make sure it lies as flat and even as possible, then not move it too much.  And use lots of pins when sewing!

This piece is a lovely lavender paisley with blue and pink.  It will be a tunic with 3/4 sleeves.

Then I tackled this piece!  Wow, purple and hot pink!  This will be flirty top with a V-neck.  I almost cried for a few minutes when I thought I was short on enough fabric to make my top, then realized I had forgotten to cut the pattern pieces down to the correct length!  I had enough to add a couple inches, I am kind of hoping it will be long enough to wear with leggings - we'll see.  This is also Island Batik rayon, and I received this in February's Ambassador box. 

With both projects cut out, I decided to call it a night - tomorrow I'm hoping to do some sewing after I finish up the second wedding gown that's waiting for me to take in.  It's good incentive to get it done so I can play.  Thus, I will end this for now so I can get to it!

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

5 Reasons You Don't Want to Make Clothing - (and why I will try to change your mind!)

As I was working on making a skirt for myself yesterday I began thinking of all the reasons many of us don't want to make our own clothes anymore.  And just to be clear, this is the first garment I have made for myself in many years!  So I know all of the excuses, and have used them myself many times.  But as I thought and sewed I realized that many of my excuses were simply that - excuses.  So I thought I would share them with you and see what you think, and if you might re-consider sewing something new to wear.

Reason Number One: Pattern Sizing is totally weird.  This is my number one stumbling block.  I wear a size 12 pants.  I can walk into about any store, pick up a size 12 pair of pants and they will fit fairly well.  If I made myself a pair of size 12 pants from a commercial pattern, I would not be able to even get them up over my thighs!  I have never found a reliable reason for this size difference, but to choose a pattern size you actually need to know your correct measurements.  I always go with the measurement for my waist since that seems the most out of synch with the rest of the measurements.  You can easily take the garment in if it is too large, but you can't add more if it's too tight!  For my skirt I decided to make the largest size because that was closest to my waist measurement.  Size 22!  What?  Pattern sizes are definitely way different, so just don't think about it too much.  They do not resemble ready to wear in any form, so you just have to get over it and not think about the large numbers.  (In the end I took in the waist and could have made the size 20 easily.  I marked the pattern so I would remember next time I make this skirt)

Reason Number Two:  I don't understand the instructions.  Yes, pattern instructions can be hard to understand.  Most patterns are written assuming that you have a basic, if not higher, level of understanding.  Luckily, most patterns do have a glossary of terms, and if you still don't get it - try google!  Call a friend, or a mom, aunt, or other person who sews.  Don't let it stump you, be persistent and you can figure it out.  I've been sewing since I was little and I get confused, too, sometimes.  So don't let it be a block for you, there are ways to figure it out and you can do this!

Reason Number Three:  I can buy the same thing at ____ for less!  Oh boy, I can relate to this one as well.  I made a simple A-line skirt.  I spent $15.00 for the fabric, $6.00 for the lining, $2.00 for thread, plus a zipper and interfacing.  That's probably about $25.00 just for the materials.  Once you factor in the time spent, my skirt is probably worth about $60.00.  Yes, I might be able to find a skirt for less than that if I go shopping - but it would not fit me just right.  It would probably be made out of cheaper material, not lined and would not last through several years of use.  And, knowing me, I would spend an entire afternoon shopping for said skirt anyway, and I'd rather spend my time sewing than shopping :)  I have never found the perfect skirt in the first store I shopped in - and mostly when I shop for clothing I come home without anything at all!

Reason Number Four:  I'm going to spend money on fabric, and all my time, and it is still not going to fit right.  I have had this happen.  But, face it - when you are buying ready made, is it going to fit perfectly?  Generally, you either don't purchase an item that doesn't fit right, or you pay to have it altered (or alter it yourself).  At least if you are making it, you have opportunities to tweak the fit before you finish.  If you are really concerned about the fit, you can always make a trial version in muslin to double check how it is going to work.  Just remember, if you are making yourself clothing, you can make it to perfectly fit if you put in the effort!  If you just make it from the pattern without ever measuring or trying your project on, you are quite likely to end up with an item that does not fit perfectly - so make sure you measure and fit as you go!

Reason Number Five:  I don't want it to look home-made.  So what is wrong with that?  Just kidding...I have experienced what you are thinking.  Sloppy home-made.  Imperfectly made home-made.  But, what about hand made?  Custom tailored hand made?  One of a kind, just for you, unique hand made?  How to achieve that special look?  Press as you go.  Trim seams properly, trim threads.  Match your thread (and zipper) to your project.  The details.  Seriously, it truly is the small details that elevate your project from just home-made to hand crafted special.  Don't just whip your way through your project, but put a little special effort in to elevate the look from just ok, to absolutely awesome!

I hope my musings will help you think about why you might avoid making yourself something uniquely yours to wear.  You might have fun, and you will definitely create something that is special!