Saturday, 3 October 2015

the trials and tribulations of my first sew!

First up I thought I d share my first creation.  Warning, what comes next it not a success story L  

About a year ago, all excited with my sparkly new Janome & a slightly over eager fabric haul meaning I had enough to keep sewing for months on end I decided to jump right in. No sewing experience whatsoever, except hours of watching my mum sew when I was a kid and even more hours shopping thinking ‘that doesn’t look too hard to make’.  So I guess at this point most people do a sewing class or buy an ‘easy’ pattern, some cheap cotton and start at the beginning. Lacking patience to practice and with a slight over dose of optimism I jumped straight in on trying to make a skirt from a beautiful, but delicate teal herringbone tweed wool fabric.  Oh and I decided against using a pattern, I had in my head a simple pencil style skirt with a few front pleats that  I thought I could create .  And of course I wanted to line it.  I hadn’t got a clue what type of needles, thread or anything else was needed (I don’t even think I knew that different needles existed!)

Well it was slow progress.  Sew.  Unpick,   Sew, Unpick some more.  Watch the delicate fabric start to give up on me in places.  Take it in a bit to cover those bits.  I started with the skirt then did a lining to match afterwards  (not sure why I didn’t think it logical to experiment on my lining fabric but hindsight is a wonderful thing!).  After many hours of sewing (I mean many hours.  Not many hours on one day, but many hours on several days) A skirt started to emerge. It was a little on the tight side as I’d taken it in too much – but it was still a skirt and looking quite good!

I’d no idea how to put a zipper in so I did watch a few You Tube videos.  One thing I failed to spot is that there is such a thing as a zipper foot.  So there is me trying to put the stupid thing in with a normal foot – which obviously doesn’t work too well.  I ended up kind of trying to sew it in by hand because I couldn’t work out how to sew close enough to the zipper (oh Zipper foot where were you!!) 
So I got that far and then did the waistband.  Well it didn’t go to well.  I just cut a big strip of fabric and sewed it on (that’s all there is to it , right?!)  It gaped at one side, looking terrible (and since I d already bought a rather expensive shirt to wear tucked into this skirt I needed it to look  ok.  So then I tried to alter it and made a mess of it, cue my next addition, a little flap over with some buttons added to cover my mess.  I was quite happy that it managed to look ok.

And then it was pretty much done.  One final press of the iron and it was ready for its debut.  Oh and maybe you can guess what comes next, first touch of the iron and I get that dreaded burning smell.  Iron too hot, straight through the fabric.  My tears start to hiss as they patter onto the iron.  Its on the dreaded waistband. 

I ve kept the skirt.  Never worn it.  Its got the burn hole, its too small and frankly I think it’s a bit fragile that I think if I did try to wear it, there is a distinct possibility it doesn’t keep me modestly covered for long.  I ll keep it.  For memories sake.  It actually looks quite nice when you excuse the minor detail of the burn and the fact it doesn’t it.

So needless to say, since then I generally use a pattern.  I often hack a pattern or cut off an existing favourite item, but starting with a blank sheet of paper, not for me- well at least until I get a bit better at this sewing thing!    Oh and I ve bought needles for different jobs and feet that do different things too.  What a revolution! Who knew putting an invisible zip in could be so straightforward!!!
Anyway I got the bug.  I took a little rest from sewing for a few days, but armed with my new supplies, project 2 was a little more successful I’m happy to report.  More on that another day.

Messy Essy xx

1 comment:

  1. You have come a long way in a very short period of time. I started sewing three years ago, and my first project was not successful either, but for different reasons. I bought a new sewing machine, and thought I would make a lovely blouse out of silk scarves. I looked for ideas online, and quickly realized that I would need a pattern. I bought a very simple one, and when it arrived, I realized for the first time, that I needed more fabric. All I had on hand was upholstery fabric, because, up to that point, I had made only pillows and duvet covers. I used the upholstery fabric for the back, yoke and sleeves, and showcased the silk scarf in the front. The problem was the silk would not hold still. Not only did I find it almost impossible to cut out, it was equally difficult to sew. Also, I did not know that I should wash the cotton upholstery fabric, so the blouse was not launderable. That really didn't matter, because it was also unwearable, with its very wavy silk hem, although I did try it on a few times. I finally discarded it when I moved recently. You approached your project with more ambition and confidence, but we were equally naive about some of the basics. As an old advertising campaign used to say, "You've come a long way, baby."