Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Notes for Sewing One of Your First Garments

I've attempted to sew Pamela's Magic Pencil Skirt, Style Arc's Ann T Top and drafted a pattern from my favorite RTW pajamas. Guess which one fit without alterations?

That's right - the self drafted pattern.

The other two were works in progress or wadders. However you look at it, there are a few things I could have done to assure success. I thought others who are just beginning to sew for themselves might like to learn from my mistakes!

This is an on going process and I will have success eventually but I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I had done a few things first.

  1. I should have done more in depth tissue fitting before sewing the skirt and tee. A quick once over and thinking, "oh, that looks close" isn't enough! :)
  2. Comparing them to RTW I have in my closet would have given me a base to work off of.  
  3. It would have also helped if I had sewn the skirt with a zig-zag instead of the stretch (lll) stitch. That is going to be a bugger to rip and this isn't the final altered pattern.
I found I needed a reference because it had been so long since I had fit or sewn a pattern. I couldn't remember the sequence for trialing a pattern. Instead, I just sat at the sewing machine and went at it! LOL To be honest, I just wanted to sew something but in retrospect, that may not have been the right method to my madness!

The Style Arc top is drafted beautifully. All seams went together smoothly and if you've ever sewn with the Big 4 - you know that's not always the case. I love the pattern but there isn't enough ease for my tastes. It's skin tight and I like my tee's to be loose.

I have Sandra Betzina's Fast Fit and I should have looked at it before beginning to sew. Unfortunately, I can't just begin where I left off fifteen years ago because I've forgotten so much!

Her suggestions:
  1. Take flat pattern measurements.
  2. Do closet comparisons.
  3. Analyze how my favorites measure up.
  4. Do a simplified fitting shell if using the Big 4. (Simplified is my term and idea - it's not necessary to do the whole shell for my needs. For a simple tee, it's enough to do the shoulders, neckline, bust, waist and hip.)
  5. Make a pretest - aka muslin.
I think that might cut down on my attempts to fit a pattern! Duh! 

Have a great day! 

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