The journey toward the completion of this project went awry due to my inattentiveness to the "suggested fabrics" printed on the back of the pattern envelope. This garment stalled because the weight of the fabric I chose affected the garment's final finishing touches. Let me first confirm what the suggested fabrics for the top were: charmeuse and crepe de chine. I knew what both fabrics were, having worked parttime in fashion fabric stores (and sewn) for many years. I bought a beautiful piece of yardage from Gorgeous Fabrics I thought would be great and began the project. (Thank you, Ann!)
I usually study a pattern before I begin to sew and I mean study---not just look at. If I understand all the steps, the instructions become a guidepost to the sewing process and are referred to as a reminder of the construction sequence. My sewing improved the minute I adopted this practice. I definitely caused myself problems if I started to sew something when I didn't fully understand the instructions. Nothing is worse than looking at the instructions in Step 'x,' and not understand what on earth they are asking you to do! Hate it!
During the time I spend studying the instructions, I make notes on the instruction sheet of the places where I plan to add or change a design feature or sewing technique. I make written notes for things like label placement, where and how I plan to finish seams, how I plan to transfer the all-important dots, squares, and triangles (both large and small) from the pattern to fabric, and what colors will represent each shape. Often I use different marking mediums; choosing between the chalk, crayon, tracing paper and/or tailor tacks that could all appear in the same garment.
My goal when I sit down at my machine is to change threads between the straight-stitch and overlock as few times as possible. I sew in what I have learned are called 'units.' I begin with completing all the stay-stitching (or doing double-rows of gathers), attaching interfacing, then end by finishing all the seams. Any foundation or detail work is usually done next (thread tracing, basting, pad stitching, welt openings, bound buttonholes, etc.). Depending on the type of garment, these steps vary. When I can put all the 'units' together without having to stop to baste, interface or pre-finish anything, I really feel my sewing session has been productive and it appears as if I accomplished a lot.
Because of how I work, my son has always thought I was an amazingly fast sewer. He would wake up in the morning and he would have a new shirt after seeing a stack of fabric beside my sewing machine the night before. He had no idea there was a lot of 'pre-work' being accomplished before he noticed the garment in-process. I didn't think he was paying any attention!...lol. This myth was uncovered when I began sewing Halloween costumes for my grandchildren. He now knows how much time and love is invested in a Mom-made garment. I had that superwoman illusion going for a loooonnngg time, didn't I?! psssst...he'll be forty as of this Sunday!!!...((grin)) Happy birthday, son!
|Neckline View |
Bosom Toward Toes on Dressform
...Remember, just keep sewing!