Some things I've learnt

26.4.09 - 15:35
I've been sewing for a while now and over the past couple of years I've learned a few important things through various experiments and disasters...

1. Ease - This is the extra 'space' above your measurements that means you can move in your clothes. You NEED this. Otherwise you put your dress on and can't breath properly. Its happened to me before. I tried my dress on whilst making it and thought 'wow thats way too big' and took the sides in. Now I can't take a deep breath if I wear it!!

2. Invisible Zips - They are great but you do need a special foot to put them in properly and it helps to iron the 'teeth' up before you sew it in.

3. Interfacing - I was always under the impression that this was optional for some reason... You really do want to use it - especially for things like collars.

4. Clipping Curves - this creates less bulk and really helps curved areas lie better.

5. Shiring Elastic - is not strong enough for elasticated sleeves, its really only for shiring - hence the name.

6. Scissors -Different ones for fabric and paper actually is a good idea.

7. Tracing your patterns -DO NOT cut up your paper patterns! Buy some paper and trace the bits you need so you can always trace another size another time.

8. Pins - Pin horizontally not vertically (90 degree angle to edge of fabric) so that you can machine right over them and you don't have to keep pulling them out.

9. Toiles - Making prototypes is really useful and doesn't waste your 'good' fabric. But its also a good idea to use fabric of a similar weight so that it works in the same kinda way

and finally

10. Pattern Drafting! - Its not a magical art! It seems complicated at first glance but really its not. I think this might be some kind of conspiracy to make everyone think they can't do it.

Most of these are things which patterns/books tell you to do but that I always ignored to make things easier/faster/cheaper. So it turns out 'cutting corners' isn't a good thing unless of course its at the end of a bulky seam!