Sew It Seams - the Sewing Series

Introducing the Series

You’re all excited. You’ve squirreled away some time and space. You’ve selected the perfect fabric and the perfect pattern. The fabric is prepped, cut and ready to sew. Then… You begin to read the instructions. (Cue Beethoven’s Fifth – the first 4 notes…)

The instructions might as well be written in Sanskrit, and your excitement dwindles away.

If you’re anything like me, written instructions are your greatest nemesis. Trying to decipher what someone wants you to do with words scribed to the page – not always an easy task.

If you’re anything like me, getting through the instructions can be quite cumbersome and wrought with frustration. I call it “spatial dyslexia”: I have the darndest time translating directions from a twodimensional page into the 3-dimensional world.

Many people consider me quite adept at my craft. I appreciate that. Like many others, it was hardearned, fraught with many, many mistakes along the way. (And yes, I still make more mistakes that I care to admit to…)

Over time, I realized that pattern instructions are simply a person’s attempt to direct you through the construction process. They may be the best instructions for a particular step or process, but they may not make sense to you. Over time, I also realized that there are many ways to get to the same (and sometimes better) end result.

So, if you are struggling with the instructions provided for setting the fly in a pair of trousers, or a welt pocket in a jacket, or a Y-seam, but you know another way, I’m here to tell you it’s OK to take the detour!

When constructing something from a pattern, it’s easy to forget that a welt pocket is a welt pocket, a fly-front zipper is a fly-front zipper, a two-piece fold-over waistband is still just a two-piece fold-over waistband, a sleeve placket is still just a sleeve placket, even though the instructions may make it appear to be some new type of alchemy. The road is wider.

I was thinking, wouldn’t it be great to have a repository of techniques under your belt so that when you sit down to sew, you could just pull them up? (Yes! That would be great!)

To that end, I thought I’d begin a series of articles (errr… more written instructions – albeit with photographs!), “Sew It Seams”, going over the construction of some of the elements that show up over and over and over. And, to sweeten the pot, I’ll include links to recorded video instruction to bolster the written word? What do you say? I say, let’s get to it!

Click here to keep reading.

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