My friend Alina is sewing. She chose an ambitious first project and we’ve sewn it together this weekend. The pattern: 110 from Burda WOF 06/2006.
We started by choosing the fabric. JoAnn had a nice collection of cotton eyelets. The only thing about them I do not like is the width, the very narrow width… The shirts front was overlapped, so we needed to get even more fabric then anticipated.
I have been sewing for a long time now, I wish I know more about details on cuffs, collars, hems, and other details. There always room for me to learn, I just sew things how I feel it is better at the moment, and of course, that is not always the best approach.
A good read and reference is the Vogue Sewing Book.
Since it is good to learn from others mistakes, I’ll share a few mistakes I’ve made with this project.
For starters I did not have a tailors chalk and this fabric was a little sheer. We decided to place only a few marks in crayon on the seam allowances and cut at an even distance from the seam lines. Not such a good idea when this is the first fabric you cut.
Of course we were faced with some challenges like the bias band around the collar line, the split sleeve cuffs. I think this happens with any project. There is that little seam where you pin your pieces down tens of times before the fabric meets the machine.
Like Alina said: “Measure 3 times, cut once!”
I think that the translated Romanian instructions in the magazine were not that clear on some parts. I tend not to follow then anyway, I have realized I do not sew by the books, but as it feels right at the moment. Sometimes the moment is not that right, and I end up struggling to figure out what goes where. After so many years of sewing I still have a lot to learn myself and I’m a little frustrated not to teach the wrong techniques.
I think everything would have been easier with the seam lines marked in place.
Pressing every seam helps in some cases. In our case, I think it stretched the fabric where it was bias cut.
Using the overlocker gives professional finished seam allowances, but it can also make like harder, if you are stitching over the collar and have to take sharp turns. This should be done only after stitching with the machine. For us this resulted in a very uneven, non symmetrical collar that needed to be adjusted.
Pinching the seam allowances in the wrong places can also give a headache. We have done this close to the cuff, on the sleeve’s underarm seam. Shouldn’t have!
Stiff fabrics with absolutely no stretch are hard to fold. This embroidered eyelet did not let us hem the waist band by folding twice and topstitching, no matter how many Vs we have cut to fold it. Finally we have folded the whole thing in two, sewed it together right sides facing and turned it inside out.
We had to lengthen the shirt by at least 8cm at the hem line.
Pay attention that the sleeves are not full length, just a little more the ¾.
The V neck line in front is very very deep. For a large bust the pattern must be adjusted for enough room.
Even with all these challenges the end result drove Alina towards more sewing.
She fell in love with another fabric that is not cut into pieces, full of pins and waiting for her to put it back together with a brand new sewing machine!
In fact I liked the pattern and the look so much! Now I am making my own version(s).
Sewing it over the course of the weekend was fun. The boys handled the barbecue, while us girls were sewing! It was a good plan to beat this summer heat!
She promissed photos of the blouse soon so keep looking!