There is a quote that still rings in my ears twenty years after I first heard it, and I think that is because it totally changed my approach to sewing – from a home sewer to a more professional one. It was from a tutor at tech, and it went something like:
“A machinist sits at the machine to sew – they are not there to pin things together, they are there to sew them together! They are not there to trim things, mark things, or check that things fit together – these should already be done. Unless that machine is making a noise there is no sewing happening, and no garments are being made!”
Although aimed at maximising production in a factory, this still applies to the home sewer who wants to increase their efficiency don’t you think? It pays to check occasionally whether some of our habits really contribute to sewing a quality garment, or whether they are just a good way to fill in time!
I know this quote runs through my head every time I sit down at the machine with a new bundle, so that sort of explains my basic and random method of construction, that is:
- to sew everything that can logically be sewn together, then go to the press, then go back to sew more things together, then go to the press, and keep repeating until you’re finished!
- make things easy on yourself – don’t sew so far ahead that you make other areas difficult to sew – ie, complete your front pockets before sewing additional panels to the front, don’t sew across unpressed seams, sew those small pieces (like flaps and epaulettes) first so they are ready to attach to a larger piece, complete the sleeve unit before setting it in, etc.
- follow your nose, not the instructions! Ha ha that’s not strictly true, I just thought it sounded good, but if you know your pattern inside out, it is true that you won’t need many instructions.
First I sewed the waistline seam on the centre back panel – this is a seam I had to add so I could fit my coat out of the
scraps of available cloth:
|There’s another epaulette somewhere!|
And I sewed the lining body pieces together – I also overlocked the lining seams because I will probably leave my hem open, if you are bagging out your hem you won’t need to overlock:
Now all my pieces are prepared for the next round of sewing! For the record that took about an hour at a leisurely pace, stopping to take photos along the way. (OK, I didn’t count the bit where I had to unpick an epaulette!)
Tomorrow – jet pockets, I promise!