Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Thoughtfulness and preparation

Do you have moments where you look at your creations and realise that they are different from your previous makes? For some it could be a slight change of style or using a different fabric but I've noticed it in the construction.

My last four or five makes look different to my previous completed items and they feel different when I'm wearing them. The difference is so marked, that I've been pondering the reason for this. I don't think it is just practice that is improving them, although certainly my seam finishes are much better than when I began sewing and my gathering is much more even. So what is making the difference? 

New sleeves

Thoughtfulness and preparation. I have taken more time at the beginning of a project to think about exactly how I want to the finished article to look and then work out what techniques I will need to make it a reality. I've even found myself jotting down notes before I start (why I didn't do this before, I have no idea!). I've thought more about the inside of the piece. What type of seam finish will look visually pleasing and do the job well? Do I need a lining? Which pieces need reinforcing? 

Pretty in Peacock bound seams

All marks are transferred from the pattern including every notch. I always tried to do this but often found I had missed a few vital markings, which isn't helpful when you find out you have set a sleeve upside down! Clearly I was too slapdash about this. Not any more. I double check everything before I unpin the pattern. Which brings me nicely to cutting out.


This is where I have really noticed the difference. I always took my time carefully placing the pattern piece on the grainline but I didn't bring the same attention to cutting out. I was happy for the edges to have nicks and be a little uneven. The problem with that though, is matching the edges is not easy. I've even had items where there was about an inch difference in the length! The fixes needed when this happens are not ideal and often mean the item doesn't get finished. So I've slowed down a lot, which makes the cutting out process even longer as I'm quite slow at this part anyway! It is worth it - my edges match neatly and finishing them is much easier. Hemming no longer has the same amount of dread attached to it, which we all know is a bonus!

So what about you? Have you had moments like this? 


  1. I am getting better at cutting out accurately, but still forget to make notches. It is just that the laying out and cutting take most of my time and then transfering the markings takes even longer. But yes you are absolutely right, your garment will look much nicer when you do the preparations properly. I try :)
    As for the lining - to think about it takes even longer, buh. I am not experienced enough yet to know how to put the lining in and then I spend ages on the internet to find a proper method. I line all my dresses because I wear leggings or tights most of the time. For this reason it takes me usually twice (or 3) the times others need to make the garment. But in the end, I think it is worth it :)
    As for finishing the seams, up to now I only overcast them. But seeing your lovely ones I think it is time to improve and be more thoughful with them.

    1. Taking your time is definitely worth it and I often spend a lot of time looking up tutorials on the web too. My pinterest boards have been a time saver here recently! I don't know why cutting out takes so much time but I suddenly realise that 30 minutes have just evaporated and I don't seem to have got anywhere!

  2. I wish I had your patience. I do spend a lot of time thinking things through but I get so little time to actually sew I often end up rushing it or taking shortcuts. I definitely notice a difference when I do take my time though.

    1. Finding time is definitely the hardest part, especially when we have a blog to keep up as well! You can't tell from your photos that you take shortcuts...

  3. Hmmm, no, but your post makes sense. I nearly always find that my hems don't match on my front and back pieces. I know I am prone to being slapdash when cutting (it's boring), but I think this is also due to the fact that I cut out on the floor. Firstly that makes life more difficult anyway because I am usually leaning at an awkward angle and secondly the longer I take, the more slapdash I become because my back is sore and I want it over and done with. I can't do anything about cutting on the floor (until I win the lottery and buy a house with a sewing room and proper cutting table and/or a proper dining room with a proper dining table), but I should probably think about how I cut out all the same.

  4. Cutting on the floor is so bad for your back. I used to do this before we got this flat. I ended up cutting in sessions to avoid the pain but couldn't do anything about the awkward angle!


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