- I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Preview of the next white shirt
I finished Simplicity 2310 over the weekend and am going to wear it to a sewing guild meeting tonight and ask someone to take a picture, since my photographers are otherwise engaged.
It was my attempt to focus just on the collar band and to try something a bit frilly, not my usual style being a tall person.
It turned out a bit more Tom Jones than I expected. However once I adjusted to that and tried it on with about 87 other garments I decided it was too shapeless to wear on its own but perfect under a long cardigan or vest as a layering piece. Some garments are like that, they are meant to be part of a family not solitaire. Once you understand that you can start to use them.
What this really needs now is a black long vest to wear with narrow pants. I can't stand trooping around stores to look for something specific - do much better when I shop randomly - but not sure about a pattern. I will work on that one. I would rather sew for three hours than shop for half an hour.
I am really getting into this and have #3 cut out.
These are the great things about sewing one type of garment, with variations, in one colour:
1. You build on skills. I got my seams figured out to my satisfaction in many variations first blouse. Next I worked on the band collar with this one, next shirt I am doing one method of the collar on a band. I am going to try several methods and see which one works best for these hands. Everyone's hands are different and even techniques are personal. I understand that.
2. You save a certain amount of energy that you then have as extra to go into the project by repeating yourself. You already have the machine threaded, the interfacing ready and many of the techniques are familiar. That practice makes perfect thing is really true.
3. It is easy to buy fabric and you get to appreciate differences, focus on what each slightly different fabric has to offer.
4. So you don't get bored, in this case making ten versions of the same thing, you reach out of your usual zone, like I did with this shirt and try new details. It expands your repertoire instead of limiting it, which was unexpected.
About white shirts specifically:
1. Because the fabric lets the interior construction be known (I took this shot this morning in my sewing room backlit so you would see what I mean) you really have to make the inside look as good as the outside. A serger hasn't gone near these units and every seam is finished and neat, every edge turned under and stitched. I really could wear these inside out (and knowing me one morning I probably will) and still look OK.
2. You have to take a bit of care. It is perfectly possible to acquire a nipple sized coffee stain over the bust, even though you don't remember drinking coffee while you sewed. And if you are not incredibly tidy about cleaning your machine it is completely possible to make a beautiful flat felled seam with a bit of black lint from the last project trapped in it.
This is actually getting pretty interesting.