Part 1 (of an undetermined number of parts…) of let’s learn how to use sewing patterns together!
I attempted my first real sewing pattern the other day (10/24). I generally find pictures and kinda sorta directions online of stuff I want to make and then wing it, which has its good points and not so good points (like accidentally sewing the wrong sides together because nothing is really marked….I have a well-used seam ripper.)
Joann’s Fabric had a ginormous sale last week, and I finally made it there on the last day of the sale. Talk about ridiculous- I’ve never seen the place so packed. The number I pulled for fabric cutting was 98- they were on 65! Anyways I got some good simple stretch knits (navy and black) to try on this pattern I got for 99 cents during their last sale. It’s a shirt that’s very similar in style to one I bought at H&M that I love. At the last minute I saw this really adorable pink and hearts John Deer fabric –
that made me think of one of my friends. It was $2.50 a yard so I decided to get 2 yards. Then I thought, “I have no idea what I would make her out of such juvenile fabric even though she’s totally country, and my choice of 2 yards was completely arbitrary and probably not enough to make pajama shorts…oh well, maybe I’ll use it to try out that baby clothing pattern I got during their other last sale!”
Let me be honest. I’ve had a small stack of patterns sitting in my craft supply chest since before my first sewing machine died on me in 2007. Can you tell I have a little pattern anxiety? I was pretty gung ho to make the shirt for myself so I wanted to cut out the pattern pieces I would need for that. Then I started feeling nervous and didn’t want to mess up my nice fabric and decided maybe I would cut out the baby clothes pattern too while I was at it. Preparing to sew- pinning, cutting, basically everything that ISN’T sewing and then saying Tada look what I made!- is my least favorite part. Might as well make less tedious pattern cutting for myself next time! So I spread out the patterns on the only surface big enough to accommodate them: our bed.
I cut out all the pieces for each garment I was interested in making, so I probably won’t need to cut out of these patterns again. Or at least not for a good while.
Phew. So our patterns are cut out without incident. Yay!
I ultimately decided to make the baby jumpers pattern first (despite my desire for new clothes for myself) because a) it was 99 cents so if I was seriously inept and somehow managed to destroy it, I wouldn’t feel too bad and b) as previously discussed in my Facebook crafting album, I enjoy making little people things because I get a sense of accomplishment in a short amount of time, which gives me just enough confidence to start another project and c) I seem to know a lot of women who are pregnant/recently had children, so I know I can find someone to gift my first (probably less than perfect) attempt at baby clothing to. Anyways, I digress. My point is, pattern anxiety is ok! Let’s move on.
To further ease my worries of messing this up I decided to upcycle old pajama pants with a cute apple print. Cost? Free! (Thanks yard sale leftovers down the street from two months ago!) So I can be guilt free if it doesn’t turn out. Although, the yellow background blended with the pattern paper so much that it made it a little more difficult to cut the pieces. Oh well.
Everything was going swimmingly until I realized one side of the pant had both seams and thus there wasn’t quite as much fabric when I went to cut the front half. Hmm. I almost panicked…
Until my tetris skills kicked in.
Huzzah! Got it. The slight amount of stretch seems like it goes 4 ways, not just 2, so I think it will be ok that I am not going the same direction as what I used for the back side…here’s hoping.
That’s as far as I got on Sunday because I was getting too tired to read the directions closely and I apparently need bias tape, which I don’t have. But everything is all cut out and ready to go, and I can make bias tape myself if I feel like doing a lot of ironing.
Until next time– which may or may not be this weekend, because grad school demands my attention and it’s Halloween and all– when I will be putting all the pieces together and hopefully actually doing some sewing!