It’s been three months now, so how is my beginner sewing plan going? I set out to make 9 specific patterns to practise my beginner sewing skills, through a range of patterns and fabrics.
Heidi and Finn hoodie
Heidi and Finn Cowl Dress
Still to go
Stretch top ( I made one but it was rubbish…..)
New Look skirt (In progress)
Jenny skirt (did make a similar style pencil skirt…yet to be blogged)
What else have I made?
4 Oliver and S sets of Pyjamas
Oliver and S popover dress
McCalls Blouse muslin
What have I learnt from all this? The biggest obstacle to my sewing was my not understanding the full capabilities of my sewing machine, and the variation of settings, and remembering to change them all back again when I’m done…. Sewing with Knits was much easier than previous attempts as I learnt how my machine responded to a variety of knits. By forcing myself to try a range of knits close together, I’ve found that I could quickly troubleshoot when things went askew.
Interestingly, the biggest thing I have learnt is not to rely on the sewing pattern (for most brands) for helping me achieve the best finish of the garment. Sure, it might be assembled correctly, but really sitting and making decisions about how to do my seam finishes and other details before I started cutting/sewing makes a huge different. Not waiting until I get to the line “and now finish your seams” to make a decision. By thinking about the fabric first, and then the pattern instructions I’ve got a clear idea of what seam finishes might look best, whether I need to change anything before cutting out, if I should do extra stay-stitching, understitching..do I want to line the garment? Underline, interline, there are just SO many choices. Should I hand stitch the hem, machine stitch, stitch to the underlining, or maybe even finish the seam with bias binding? It seems I make so many versions of the same pattern until I’m really happy with the final result.
So really, beginner patterns can become intermediate patterns as there are so many ways you can improve/change them to suit your preferences and skill level. I think I have a long way to go, and I’m going to keep practising my skills of sewing before I even get to big fitting issues. No more quick fixes here, these are going to be quality garments!
Now, I realise that there aren’t any pants in the beginner sewing plan. Obviously the Thurlow pants were not out by then! I’m sure I might sneak in a pair….But after a cambie, I’m dying for some new pants…