Sunday, May 29, 2011

The way I sew

I am still trying to figure out were I fit into the sewing blog world.  I am not one of the big guns that makes 40 to 60 dresses a year.  I don't live that kind of a lifestyle.    I no longer make children's clothing.  I don't quilt often.  I can do more than sew crafts.  I hope that I can entice you to join me on my sewing journey to improve my skills, discover new methods, and share my experience.  I think I have something to share I just need to find my voice.

I am not a designer.  I am a sewist.  I have no formal training in design or sewing.  I have taken home economics from grade 5 to grade 13.  I have taken countless courses and classes at sewing stores.  I have worked with experienced sewists and green design graduates.   Mostly I have committed to make something for someone and then figured out the how.

Time to make some pj shorts  and pants for the summer - if we ever get summer!  This time I thought that I would show some of the steps involved and how I do things.  Every sewer has there own way and we can all learn from each other.


I am using KwikSew 2811.  I love KwikSew patterns because they come in multiple sizes and they actually fit the size they state on the envelope.  They are basic patterns with few pieces that can be traced quickly.  I have found that, most of the time, the pattern pieces are interchangeable.  That is, a sleeve from one dress pattern can be used with dress from another KwikSew pattern.  I like to use them as basic sloppers and change different elements of design.

For my youngest daughter, I am making pants and shorts.  To add interest to the pants I cut the leg to add a different fabric and piping.

When you "slice and dice" patterns you need to remember a couple of things.

1. Before you cut, extend the grain line on the pattern piece.
2. I line up the grain line with the grid on my cutting board.
3. Draw your new cutting line perpendicular to the grain line.
4. I write reminders to myself to add a seam allowance to the cut edge.
5. Label all parts of the pattern.  This way you can put it back together if you need to.
6.  I use an older rotary cutter just for paper.
7. Slice along the line, spread, and add another piece of paper.
8. Use a ruler to draw a new seam allowance and cut.

My daughter always complains that the shorts I make are too long.  This time I took a pair of shorts she loves and measured the inseam and crotch length.  I have lowered the waistline and cut the leg shorter.

Repeat the changes on all pattern pieces.

I cut my paper and my fabric pieces with separate  rotary cutters.  I have a large grid mat.  My cutting table is a very old oak table that my uncle called a library table.  To save my back, I raised the table with bed risers from Bed,Bath,& Beyond.  They were $8.00 for four and are worth their weight in gold.  Please don't be shocked by the amount of stuff and dust beneath my cutting table.

Next time - buttonholes and piping.
I recently attended the annual "More than a Yardage Sale" at the Textile Museum of Canada.  As always  there were treasures to be found for great prices.

One of my purchases was this box for $2.00.  It contains a full kit to make a waterproof anorak. Perfect for walking the dog.  The pieces are already cut out including the lining.  Even the notions and thread are included!  The zipper would have cost me more that $2.00.

I can't wait to start it.

And speaking of dog.... beware of cute puppy photo....

Bailey's favourite spot in the garden is under the apple tree.  She like to lie there and watch the birds.

 Thanks for dropping by,


Please leave a comment.  I will respond.  And it will make my day!


DeniseAngela said...

Great post for thought......I still feel that way too in sewing blogsphere! I was even thinking of shutting down my sewing blog at one point. Now I just keep it more giveaways, no features I just like to sew to learn new techniques. Now that blogger has deleted / lost my link party list & other boxes I might just stop linking up my projects too! I have sewn a couple pair of shorts but it takes me a long time so I am looking forward to your future posts.

Kim @ Cheap Chic Home said...

I love the idea of adding risers to your work table. I'm on the tall size and hate bending over--I wish the kitchen sink were about 4" higher! I'm looking for a good nightgown pattern, good luck with your pjs!

donatella said...

I attended classes, but so long time ago that now every time i sew, i do what i call the 'gutt-sewing' most of the time i get it right, sometimes i screw up in a bad way! but i'm lazy with patterns and all, i well deserve a screw up now and then!
bailey is a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e. that picture needs to go in a frame!

Etcetorize said...

I know what you mean...sometimes I get in the groove and feel like I'm the most creative and sewerific I've ever been. Then I take a look at a sewing blog and realize just how much I have left to learn.
Cute puppy!

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