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?
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?
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?