I can sew! Well, sort of. Things are coming back to me. Well, not coming back exactly since I never really knew them, but it is all vaguely familiar. Such as they are, I have decided to wield my new sewing skills before I put everything away – just to see if I can.
I grew up with my mother almost literally sewing or knitting everything she wore or in what she dressed me. I even had a fake leopard skin winter coat with a matching big brimmed hat with a button up on one side and so so many skating outfits. We all had lots of fair-isle sweaters and endless mittens and scarves. My Dad would often sport a knitted cardigan or two. Mum designed and made for herself many long evening gowns and I have memories of her walking around with pins sticking out of the corner of her mouth. These are my bona-fides.
So, I know what the selvage is, what the grain and bias are. I know how to pull the bobbin from the bottom using the needle thread. Although I didn’t know how to get thread onto the bobbin, YouTube showed me so I’m good to go there.
I know to never use sewing scissors on paper from being screamed at from a very young age on the matter. My current scissors do not cut fabric well so there may have been something to that. Anyway, I bought these sewing shears from Lee Valley and hope they will be okay to enable me to go forward. They look like the kind I remember.
Where to Start
I started by looking for a pattern online. The same names were there as before Simplicity, McCalls…but what I actually discovered is the amazing new (to me) process of downloading a .pdf pattern and printing it. These are from new indie pattern makers and I wasn’t sure how that could work, but decided to just go ahead and see.
I purchased the Everyday Elegance pattern from Patterns for Pirates (P4P) and got started. I printed as per instructions and proceeded to glue-stick all the printed pages together into one huge single page that completely covered my kitchen table and off the edges. So I moved into the living room and promptly filled up the floor space. I thought I must be doing something wrong, but I could see the pattern pieces slowly taking shape so continued. Once done, I cut around the individual pattern pieces with my paper scissors. (Mum would be pleased.)
I made my first blouse out of a red tartan material I found in the reduced section at Fabricland to practice with- no idea what kind of material. Rather thin and stiff at the same time. It has an almost plasticky feel to it. It was and is … wearable though and was very easy to work with. Bit cool for our cold winters, but good to work with to practice. I must say that I just loved the pattern, instructions were great and I discovered all the support and variations on the Facebook page just incredible. I’m totally hooked you guys.
I just put a picture of the back where I made a pleat! eeek.