Sewing for others has made something very, very clear. When I sew for myself I’m really, slapdash. When I sew for others I do things by the book.
And guess what?
The stuff I make for others always turns out better. Like….miles better! Even if I’m time constrained. Or it’s a ridiculously tricky fabric. Or, as is usually the case, a combination of the two! Who knew?
I know I’ve touched on this before but I’ve never really instigated a plan. Or maybe its more a set of guidelines.
Rules to Sew By!
Ooooh, that has a good ring to it! There’ll be a book offer on the table by the weeks end!
But seriously. I’ve been sewing for the best part of 40 years and still I’m focused on cranking out stuff to wear rather than upskilling to make them more beautiful. And it’s not like I’m making 20 garments a month. I’ve got no excuse.
So here are my new Rules to Sew By!
Rule 1 – Measure twice…..
I’m about to make an admission that will have seamstresses up and down the land beating a path to my door bearing pitchforks and burning torches.
I don’t have an up to date set of my measurements.
I know…it’s sewing sacrilege. It would explain why I have such issues with fit. And why, because stuff doesn’t fit as I want, I’m loathe to start sewing something for myself.
I need to fix that problem post haste and get my measurements down on paper. Regular updates wouldn’t go amiss, either.
Rule 2 – It’s all about the fit!
With my new found measurements in hand I’ll be all set to get the fit perfect first time, right?
wanted to poke admired those folk who say such things as “I made my usual 1″ SBA, 1/2″ sway back and 1/4″ forward shoulder adjustments and I was done”.
It struck me that if I kept ordered notes on each pattern brand of the adjustments I make for each brand, then I too could be one of those
smug clever folk who know just where to start to give them a fighting chance of a toile fitting with fewer adjustments.
you we all know, all the patterns are cut from the same blocks.
*hits desk with forehead repeatedly*
Rule 3 – It’s all about the fitting!
No….it’s not Rule 2 again. Not only do I have to figure out what adjustments I need to make, but how to make them, dare I say it…..properly!
You know…actually do a FBA before you even make a toile because you’re haven’t been a B cup since you were 13!
And its time to learn to do a dartless FBA too. Just sayin’
And when you roll the shoulder forward, you need to adjust the sleeve too! No, really…you do!
Rule 4 – Make a damn toile!
For every new pattern.
Rule 5 – Follow the damned instructions!
I know that I know how to sew, but I’ve also been doing it long enough to fall into some appalling habits. So actually, I suppose, I’ve gone all the way round to the beginning and really shouldn’t be let loose with scissors and thread!
So it’s back to basics.
Using the instructions and (when they’re out of storage) the rather fabulous range of sewing texts I own.
Rule 6 – Fit as you sew
Just because the toile looked ok, doesn’t mean the fashion fabric is going to behave in the same way. It’s better to fit as you sew than just stick your fingers in your ears, sing la-la-la-la-la and hope it works out at the end.
And then wonder why it doesn’t.
Rule 7 – Stop buying all the things
Why yes…that fabric is beautiful, but purple and green poppies aren’t really your thing.
Oooooh, look at that fabulous new indie pattern that every single sewing blogger and her dog is making….but don’t you already have something similar in your pattern stash?
Amazon called…can you please leave some sewing books for everyone else!
I’m not saying don’t buy stuff…just not All. The. Things.
Rule 8 – Make what you wear
This follows neatly on from Rule 7. Because whilst all the cool kids are making party dresses out of purple and green poppy silk dupion, what you wear in real life is jeans, tops and Ugg boots.
So why aren’t you making jeans and cute tops?
It’s probably pushing it to make your own Ugg boots. Unless someone out there has come up with a kit. In which case I’ll be all over it!
Until then…if you sew what you wear you’ll wear what you sew.
I should make that into a poster!
Rule 9 – Rome wasn’t built in a day
Primark may be able to make a bajillion t-shirts a day but thats why they are crap. Not even getting starting on the conditions and pay of workers in fast fashion sweat shops.
I don’t need to make a bajillion t-shirts. In a day or otherwise. I need to make a few really well fitted ones that work with my life and my style.
And if it takes me two weeks to fit the pattern, then so be it.
And it it takes me four versions to really nail the fit…….I think you know the answer.
Rule 10 – It’s meant to be fun!
I know I’ve discussed before how when I create I focus on the product, not the process. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. For starters, being focused on the finished garment doesn’t give me much headspace for creativity. And my life is probably the poorer for that. Felicia discusses this topic far more eloquently than I do. If you’re all about the product I highly recommend you check out this post. Even if you’re all about the process, go read anyway. She’s fabulous!
So there we go. My new guidelines for sewing.
Except they’re not new, really. They’re what I should have been doing all along. They just got lost in the rush to get stuff made.
Does any of this ring a bell with you? Or are you one of the smart ones who remembers to do things right?