Tag Archive | Time

Why Stand When You Don’t Have To – Simplicity 2907 – Part 1 of 2

S2907 - Version 2In the spirit of trying some of the new patterns that I have purchased, I pulled Simplicity 2907 from my pattern stash to try next. This pattern looked to be simple and cute. It looked like a fun easy sew, but as you know, looks can be deceiving. This was a complicated pattern that took far more time and effort to construct than I felt it should have. Now, not all the blame for the complexity of this project is with the patterns design. Some of it was my fault of course, but I am still placing a lot of the blame on the patterns design problems. Because of the problems this project did not end up being the fun, easy, simple, cute sewing project that I had originally thought it would be. Want to hear more of the story? Hang on, It’s going to be a fun ride!

Since I was once again trying out a new pattern for the first time, I decided to follow the pattern guide closely. I traced the pattern with all the markings and cut it out. Next, I picked the fabric to use. The pattern said I would need over a yard of fabric to make this dress. The piece of fabric that I chose, the black cartoon cat fabric, was just under a yard. I laid out the pieces of the pattern on the fabric and they all fit. At this point I started wondering what I needed the extra fabric for? And as I started cutting I found out that the pattern was indeed correct on the yardage needed. If I wanted a back and a front to the skirt out of the same fabric, I would need more. Being as the cat fabric was a scrap and I had no more of it, I pulled out a solid yellow cotton broadcloth from the scrap box to make the front of the bodice of the dress.

With all the of pieces cut and the interfacing applied, I started to sew. Step one was to fold and stitch the facings. I read the pattern guide and then I turned the facings of the front pieces and stitched them as the guide instructed, and what I got was a huge mess. What? Did I misread the pattern guide? So I unpicked the mess I had, reread the pattern guide and tried again. The result was just a different mess. So P1030699I unpicked it again. This time I pinned the folded facings down while reading the pattern guide again and figured out what was going wrong, then I stitched it again. But this time it turned out alright. Wow! This sure was an odd design. The facings folded like I was making a collar with a stand, but then you sewed and snipped the edge for a collar without a stand.

Odd.

Next came the shoulder seams and then sewing on the collar. While once again reading the pattern guide carefully, I sewed the collar just as instructed, starting the side seams of the collar 5/8″ from the edge. Once again the collar was stitched on like a collar with a stand but it was not a collar with a stand. Now, I have made a couple of shirts that have a stand collar and I have a made many shirts with a “camp” lapel collar, so I can say that applying a lapel collar like a stand collar is stupid. But then with the facings done like a stand collar there was no other way to sew on the collar other than like a stand collar.

This was crazy I thought.

Stand collars are not an easy sew. They require a lot of accuracy and precision sewing to look neat and professional. So, why would the designer make this dress pattern so difficult to sew together by making its collar like a stand collar when its not a stand collar? Why not design it like any other “camp” style lapel collar and facings? The only conclusion I could come up with for this design was the amount of fabric needed to make a lapel collar and facings versus a stand collar and facings. The lapel collar and facings would have required more fabric to make, and leave you with more useless scraps. Now, if the fabric you choose to make this dress was $10 to $15 a yard, then yes, less scraps would be better, but in my case where I was already using scraps and probably paid $1 a yard or bought the scraps at a thrift store, plus the fact this could have been an easy fun project, I did not like the way this pattern was designed at all. I spent many P1030703hours of precious sewing time trying to figure out the facings and collar of this little dress, plus the time to carefully and accurately sew the facings and collar. It was not a good sewing experience. This pattern could have been designed to be so much simpler to make.

The sleeves were also a pain to put in. They are very fitted and had to be gathered before inserting them. I am not very skilled at inserting sleeves like this, so it took a lot of work and time for me to insert the sleeves. The sleeves were also very short so I made a very small hem to finish them up. Once again, the only reason I can see for the short length of these sleeves was to save some fabric.

Due to the complexity of this little dress, I am setting this project to the side for a moment. I will finish this dress because I have too much time and sewing into it not to, but for now I need a break. So stay tuned for the conclusion in Part 2.

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Fur Starters

P1020769The fur adventure began with all of the planning and learning that was involved in me working with fur for the first time. Then after that came the cutting of the fur. This was not a quick process for me ,  and so here is what I did.

First, I needed to find out which direction the nap of the fur went. Then I needed to make sure that he nap of the fur went the same direction on each piece of the pattern that I would cut out. Next, I traced the pattern pieces onto the fur before I cut it out. I used a sharpie to do this. You might say that it was crazy of me to use a permanent black marker on my fur, but I wanted to make sure that I could clearly see the lines while cutting. I also knew that since I would be cutting on the line and that any remaining black lines would be caught up in the seam so it wouldn’t be visible once it was stitched up. I also made sure and used a fine point sharpie and I tried it out on a small piece of fur first to make sure it didn’t bleed through.

Because of the way the fur has to be cut, none of the pieces can be cut on the fold. So when I traced the back, I had to trace one side and then flip it over and trace the other side. After all the pieces were traced, the cutting started.

P1020773Since I did not want to cut the hair of the fur, the fur had to be cut out with tiny snips of the scissors, very carefully, making sure to only cut through the backing of the fur. This was not difficult, but it was very time consuming.

When I had finally finished the cutting, I figured it would be clean up time, but with since I was not cutting much of the hair of the fur there was really only a small mess when I was done. Also, at this point, I was still happy with the pattern that I had picked. The jacket pattern that I chose is very simple and did not have a lot of detail to it. This was a bonus for me since I did not have to try and make any special markings on the fur. In fact, I didn’t even worry about cutting any notches. I figured I would not be able to find them in the fur later anyway.

P1020703Next I cut out the lining. This was quick work since I was able to use my rotary cutter on it to cut it out.

At this point, I tried to pin a couple of the pieces of fur together, only to see my pins bend and twist. I was very frustrated at this since I am a big fan of pinning things together and I hate to sew with out pinning first. So to solve this problem I ending up using some large paper clips/clamps to hold the fur together. Not as elegant as using pins, but the paper clips did the job and held the fabric together.

Now that all the pieces are finally all cut out, it is time to sew!

Please be sure and join me in the next post in the continuing Saga of the Fur Wars…

Where did the summer go?

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Well Spring has long since sprung a leak and sank, and Summer has come and gone so fast I’m not even sure if it was really here at all. And now it’s time to settle into Autumn and Fall and very shortly Winter.

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And with that I am working on several new projects to blog about into the fall and winter. Here are a few highlights of what is coming up.

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I’ve started to make the yearly Halloween costumes and they are turning out great this year. Luckily my husband always has several ideas about what to be for several years into the future and I wrote a list down of his ideas a few years back so I don’t have to worry what to make, just what I want to make the next year.

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The husband wasn’t super excited about me creating a template for the Halloween costumes out of paper, but I find it is the easiest way to do it.

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The husband also wanted a new shirt for Halloween this year too so I’ve been working on that as well. While I was at it I made myself a few new work shirts and a few shirts just for fun too.

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I also have been making some cold weather kids clothes. But stay tuned for all that and more in the coming weeks.

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Here are some photos with some fun things I did over the summer, plus a few just for laughs…

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