Archive | February, 2013

Finishing seams

21 Feb

So apparently finishing seams is a thing you need to do. I learned this the hard way, over the last year, when my shirts frayed so badly I felt like Oogie Boogie in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Except not filled with worms. Since I don’t like unraveling, I decided that this time! things will be different.

Unfortunately, birdseye cotton, my shirt fabric of choice, frays like a Walder. It seemed to me that simply pinking the edges wouldn’t be enough. With that in mind, I’m trying two different tacks, one on each shirt.

Tactic One: pre-finishing the seams
This was suggested by a user on the sewing forum. I cut out all the pieces, and basically roll-hemmed every edge that wasn’t the selvedge (or the bottom of the shirt, which will get hemmed once the shirt is constructed).

Behold! Ye olde tiny thongs.

Behold! Ye olde tiny thongs.

Was this epically fussy and time-consuming? Yes. Am I certain it will work? No. Am I concerned that I hemmed too much out of the seam allowance? Yes. Should I have accounted for that when cutting? Yes. Did I? No. Is all this worry and fuss worth it if it works? YES YES ONE THOUSAND TIMES YES.

Tactic Two: We’ll Fix It In Post
With my other shirt, I’m going go try a modified flat-felled seam. I say “modified” as a catch-all disclaimer.

I haven’t started the second shirt yet because I’m also modifying the pattern quite a bit and want to test it out before I do a bunch more cutting. I’m still using the Smock Pattern Generator. Modifications include making it significantly shorter–it’s going to be about hip-length, which necessitated making the side gores quite a bit less intense. With no real thought other than “let’s see how this works,” I basically chopped the prescribed in half; we’ll see how it goes. I’ve also modified the sleeves to make them a little puffier.

So there’s all that. I’m about to piece the first shirt together and see how it looks.


Let us begin the sewing nonsense for 2013

19 Feb

Two hundred days after buying fabric, I’ve finally started sewing for the 2013 faire season. We moved in between those things, though, and I read a bunch, and also I spent a lot of time daydreaming about moving to a tropical island where it will never be cold, so don’t look at me like I haven’t been doing anything.

Items I have to make, in order:

  • new shirts – 2 (always two underlayers!)
  • new pants
  • new cape (yes, again)
  • fancy plumage for hat
  • new sleeves (…this may not be a “have to,” but I put it here to encourage less procrastination)

Items I might make, depending on how the above items go, in order:

  • partlets – 2 (always two underlayers!)
  • new bodice – doublet style!
  • new corset with fancy front part

Gosh, biscuit, when you put it that way it doesn’t seem like so much work at all*.

*yes it does

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