Looking at patterns

Questions and Answers about Sewing

This post is in response to Adrienne’s sewing questionnaire.

Do you think clothes are made better if you don’t take shortcuts?? If the short cut is efficient and just as durable, I see nothing wrong with it.

What kinds of shortcuts do you take when sewing, if any? Sometimes I’ll machine stitch a collar band instead of slip stitching it, because of time. But for dress midriffs or seams where I need a clean finish, I’ll take the time to slip stitch.

Does making BWOF instead of something from the Big 4 make you a better sewer? Hmm… It could make you a glutton for punishment! But seriously, I found making a BWOF time-consuming but very rewarding. Because the instructions are so sketchy, I had to rely on my sewing knowledge and sharpen my problem solving skills in order to complete the project.

Are your projects perfect? What will make you rip out and start again?? NO!!! I’ll redo if a seam or top stitching is totally crooked, I selected the wrong stitch length, or if I sew the wrong pieces together. If seams that meet at a zipper are slightly off, I usually leave it. Really, no one else notices the minor flaws in my outfits, and I surely don’t point them out!

What are you best at when it comes to sewing? What is your weak point? Best: matching fabrics and patterns. Worst: hemming! I really hate hemming. It’s that last stretch of the project, and sometimes it’s hard to get through with enthusiasm.

How many times will you make a TNT? Let’s see, I’ve made McCall’s 5522 thrice. A new review is forthcoming. This is a blouse I just can’t get wrong. I made New Look 6557 four times. If I like a pattern, I make it at least twice.

What tips do you have for making jeans?! Have lots of patience. The top stitching really slows things down. Make sure you get some denim you can actually move in. I made some jeans that were supposed to have 3% lycra, and you really could have fooled me. Needless to say, I don’t wear them much. BUT I made them, and that’s what counts! 😉

Do you use the blind hem feature on your machine!? Yes, I just used it to hem Butterick 5250. I didn’t want an obvious seam showing on the outside. Review is forthcoming.

Is there a such thing as too much stash!?!? I personally don’t like having tons of fabric hanging around. It feels kind of gluttonous to me. Plus, I have space issues and lack the room for an extensive stash. I keep my fabric in a large plastic tub. I haven’t bought any fabric in say, eight months, because I have projects already lined up with fabric I need to use. I don’t want to buy anymore fabric until I finish the projects I already have planned.

What has been the worst thing you have done while sewing something? Could you save your project? I sewed a zipper in a blouse too close to the teeth and could not, for the life of me, zip it up. I put the blouse on and it took me ten minutes to zip it. I had to cut myself out of the top and later threw it away. Another time I serged a hole in a skirt I was making. It about broke my heart. With some magical hand stitching, I was able to fix it, and I wear the skirt all the time.

When you mess up a project, do you feel bad or do you just move on? If I can fix it, I feel very accomplished. If it’s just a dud, I move on. If I used nice fabric, I feel bad.

How many patterns do you have!?!? I would estimate 75. But including BWOF, it might be more like 200+.

What is your sewing process!? Usually I start with a fabric or a pattern I like. When I was a fabricoholic, I would buy the fabric first and retro fit it to a pattern that I thought was best suited for it. I’ve ceased wantonly buying patterns lately as well, because I have plenty to choose from at this time. Throw in BWOF, and I have enough patterns to last me a few years. But back to the process, after I pick out a pattern and fabric, I try to buy all of my notions at once so I don’t have to stop in the middle of things and run out to the store. I sew when I have/make time. My sewing machine is next to my computer, so I usually listen to NPR, some radio show, or sermons (yes, sermons!) as I sew.

Is there anything wrong with being inspired by celebs?? I don’t think so. But there aren’t any celebrities I strive to emulate. It’s hard to escape the influences of broader culture, but I like to think I have my own style.

Do you offer advice on other peoples projects?? Not unless they ask me or ask in general.

Do you accept advice/constructive critisim on your projects?? Yes, if I ask for it.

Do you think it makes you a better sewer??? Yes, if I understand the advice I’m given.

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