In part 1 I wrote about kicking off and planning your new sewing project.
I got a little bit into preparation there and today you will learn about the holy trinity: pattern, cutting and sewing. How exciting!
these steps are undoubtedly the most fun. But also the ones that cost the most time. But where to start and what should you pay attention to? Here we go:
Depending on the pattern you use you start with printing and glueing (as in E-Books) or spreading the paper pattern.
When you´ve found the closest fitting size you can start to Copy. I recommend copying, this way the original patterns stays untouched and you have it in case you need another size or form. Additionally, you can draw minor pattern adjustments in the original pattern and copy these changes immediately.
Personally, i use a pattern paper which is a large-sized tissue paper. But I know of some people who use transparency film or non-woven. So, that works too.
Ok, we got this. Do you need to adjust something on your pattern? If so, there are again glue and scissors for you.
This is also the time you can make an optional muslin or mock-up to check the fitting. Or even four…
Oh, cutting is just so exciting in the beginning and in the end it´s just annoying...
As I already wrote in my fundamental sewing tips, it´s really practicable to cut the whole stuff in one big session, so you can concentrate on nothing but sewing later.
Let´s get started with the shell fabric. In your instructions of the pattern should be a placement plan where each pattern piece is placed on the fabric. You can probably stick to this diagram.
If you´re more of an advanced sewist or like to save fabric you can place the pattern pieces yourself. I think these placement plans can be very fabric consuming because there´s only one fold mostly.
Well, the main thing is to get your pieces out there correctly. Just keep an eye on folds, the grainline and the number of pieces, always and unconditionally.
All pattern pieces will be pinned to the fabric now and the seam allowances will be marked if not included in the pattern.
Check it once again and then big scissors are coming!
The same goes for lining, if required, and other shell fabrics and interfacing.
Please remember optional hanger, strips of interfacing for e.g. pocket openings or pieces that aren´t listed in the cutting index.
No, obviously not an appartment but your place to sew and the cut pieces you just got!
equipping means, preparing everything as far as you can sew smoothly and without disruption.
Remove all pins and pattern paper from all pattern pieces that need interfacing. Place the matching interfacing pieces on the left side of the fabric pieces.
Most of the interfacings today are fusible. I suppose you are using these, otherwise you have to baste the interfacing by hand instead of pressing it now.
To fuse it to the fabric there´s glue attached to one side of the interfacing. Mostly, there are small dots all over the fabric, but there are interfacings with holohedral glue. The small dots make sure to get a good adhesion and a still flexible fabric.
I use an old cloth to keep the glue of the interfacing from sticking to my ironing board. Sometimes you just cut the interfacing a bit bigger than the shell fabric.
Here we go, it´s best when you stop moving your iron on the interfacing to prevent slipping. Just press in one place, wait some seconds, remove the iron and press down again next to the previous place. This goes on until the whole surface of both layers are glued to each other.
You have to cool it down afterwards so everything stays where it´s supposed to be. it´s best if you don´t move theh interfaced pieces and keep them on a flat surface.
After that, have a look at the pieces again to make sure everything is glued perfectly. besides, you may have to trim off excess interfacing at the edges. This will help you sewing correctly later.
Basting and Marking
Here we go again, basting and marking...
I think it´s tremendously helpful and important to know where exactly pockets, folds or other marks are.
So pick up a basting yarn and a needle, a piece of chalk or a fabric marker and mark every important thing that is marked in your pattern. Sometimes just a small notch in the seam allowance is enough.
When you use rather thin fabrics you can use a normal sewing thread for basting to avoid big holes in the fabric.
I tell you what, it´s always around pressing here!
I iron all fabric pieces which got an accidental crease or something (don´t know how it got there...) again.
Furthermore, it´s handy to fold and press all hems. To do that you just fold up the hem allowance to the left side of fabric and press. This is a huge advantage because you have to just flip the hems upwards later and use the premade fold you just pressed. Means, you don´t have to measure the hem with a tape measure or, I don´t even wanna think about it, visual judgement!
The place that will be your home for the next hours (or days). Even a comfortable chair or a desk without a table leg in the way can get important.
There should be a sewing machine on top (that would be quite great) which is stocked with adequate thread and needle.
If you need a serger or coverlock machine, the needles and thread should also get changed accordingly.
Daneben liegt dann bestenfalls eine Schere zum Abschneiden der Fäden, vielleicht ein Behältnis für die herausgenommenen Stecknadeln, ein Auftrenner und, mein kleiner „Geheimtipp“, ein Handmaß (oder Lineal/Geodreieck).
The iron should be available and ablaze too. You´ll need it after nearly every action while sewing.
Do you need other helpful things like specila sewing feet or helpers for pressing? Place it next to your workspace or just know where to find it when necessary.
Finally! This really took some time!
Honestly, i think I need much more time for all the preparations than for sewing. Especially the cutting and patternmaking takes me ages. Ok, I dawdle much and sip on my tea or skip through spotify playlists...
So, theoretically speaking, nothing can´t go wrong now and you can just sew your stuff effortlessly.
Theoretically, of course...
It´s a thing with theory and practice, there´s a reason why I recommended a seam ripper next to your sewing machine... sorry, it just happens to all of us. Keep calm and try again.
To sew your new garment, follow the instructions of your pattern or stick to your planned workflow.
Everything alright? I am, in my universe of organisation is this kind of scheduling simply a blessing. Could you follow it? Which points would you have missed?