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Location: Bi-coastal, United States

Working in the trenches of the fashion industry for years.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fear of Sewing

How many of us have approached a project with that knot of terror in the pit of the stomach? I know that I regularly feel that I am sewing above my skill level. How about you? After years of working in sample rooms, sketching, and making patterns, I know how things are supposed to be made, for the most part. There is a big gulf between that, and actually sitting at the machine and doing it myself.

I recently came up against my sewing anxiety while working on this boiled wool sweatercoat. Everything managed to go smoothly until I got to the pockets. Of course, one could always make patch pockets...but then, I would have to match the pattern. I couldn't imagine interupting the design with a mis-matched patch pocket. That left me with puzzling thru inserting a single band/single layer "buttonhole" pocket.

Why single layer? The whole garment is unlined and made for the most low-bulk finish solutions possible. This double face boiled wool jacquard sweater knit fabric is very heavy, and I wanted this to be a sweater, not a coat with linings and interlinings, etc.

Starting with a commercial pattern, New Look 6536, which had a similar collar to what I wanted, I have added length and tweaked the fit. But now I am in uncharted waters!

Here's how I finished the collar: I have used the selvedge as a trim for the collar/front edge, and the cuff edge. I will use the same trim for the pocket band. So far I have managed to get past my fear and trembling to install about 2/3's of one pocket. The body is slashed and I've turned the back of the pocket to the inside, so it's definitive.

Let's see how long it takes me to get up the gumption to finish the rest of it. I am shooting for it to be finished before the warm weather comes. Stay tuned!


Blogger Summerset said...

I actually I feel that way, a lot, especially in light of some of the blogs I read and talent I see. As usual, I'll do some research and wade in. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, I suppose.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Lorna said...

I felt/feel the same way as I struggle through with my coat! I have stalled and actually prefer fooling with my pant fit right now instead. A large part of me is thinking "WHY did I start this?"

But I look at yours and think that is so lovely ... can you post details on the pockets when you are finished? I actually abandoned plans for such pockets on one coat, but I have another one that could use this method!

3:33 PM  
Blogger Gigi said...

Your coat is gorgeous, Georgene!

2:27 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I do not begin to believe my skill sets are anywhere close to yours. However, I know the "fear" feeling as I am curently working on a blouse pattern that has tested my fitting, adjusting and tweaking skills to the max. Not to menion just the sewing part as well.

Love the colors and the look of the sweater coat.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Melody said...

Oh bless you, I feel the same way on occasions too numerous to mention and I don't have the near the skill set you do. It's nice to know I'm not alone. And your coat is absolutely lovely.

9:29 AM  
Blogger lauriev said...

Simple is not easy. Why am I choosing to make the detachable fur ruff on the hood? Why do I choose to play with the distribution of the gathers on a skirt? We must get some vicarious feeling of control. And then panic. What the heck. I'm glad there are other folks who prefer not to use the seatbelts while flying. Your coat is lovely, and the edge is just great. Cheers

9:54 PM  
Blogger sensoussi said...

I love this fabrics, and qhat marvellous finitions, i've the same problem, stomac pain when i begin a new magnificent project whith a fabric I car, but i've more reasons.!.... (sorry for my bad english)

12:24 AM  

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