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Sewing Revolutionaries unite! (or untie…)
What unorthodox sewing methods do you use?
jadamo00
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jadamo00
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Date: 7/9/12 4:01 PM

I totally respect experience and wisdom and love getting tips from the pros, from tailors to plumbers. But there are times when I say “experts-shmexperts”.

For example, look at a multi-sized pattern. The distance from the bust to the waist IS ALWAYS THE SAME, no matter which size you cut. This can’t be right!

Anyhow, here’s how one way I’m revolting against “it’s always been done THIS way” –

I’m an experienced sew-er, yet I still weep over some patterns – easing the sleeve into the armscye. I maintain that there are some sleeves that are simply impossible to ease without getting teeny tiny tucks.

I don’t want to cry anymore. It’s making me dread sewing. So, from now on, I’m just going to…brace yourself…cut down the sleeve cap. Yes, there, I said it. I’m working to see if I can come up with some kind of formula so I can do this automatically on the pattern (I don’t make muslins. I guess I’m a rebel in more ways than one).

Do you have some sewing practices that fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Please post ‘em!

j.

tourist
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In reply to jadamo00 <<
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Date: 7/9/12 4:22 PM

Oh, you are gonna be in BIIIIIG trouble! I used to cut my sleeve caps down all the time when I was a teen. Not in a calculated way, but getting to that point of total frustration and just easing the whole thing a wee bit north and cut it off later. And that was often with puffed sleeves! Now I cut them on purpose, but that is another story and not applicable to regular day wear clothes.

Let's seee.... I mark with regular pencil and ball point pen, or even sharpie if it won't show. I make design changes on the fly when I can't get a pattern to work the way I want it to (see blog post: Reaching the $%#&! point ) I will sew one seam from the bottom and one seam from the top if it makes it all go through the machine easier.

Excited to see the list we come up with!
-- Edited on 7/9/12 4:23 PM --

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

jadamo00
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In reply to tourist <<
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Date: 7/9/12 6:38 PM

Right! Right! I also mark with pencil, ball point, and Sharpie (I test because sometimes the Sharpie runs, especially on lining fabric). I'm a teacher and I've (inadvertently) made pencil marks on my clothes that I couldn't budge no matter how much scrubbing. This kinda PROVES it's a pretty good fabric marker for everything except maybe whites. And I'm also flexible about which way I seam.

Okay. That makes two rebels. Who else? Who else will join us!



(Wow. I don't think I've ever used the devil icon before...!)

j.

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Choco Pie
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Date: 7/9/12 6:51 PM

I hate "easing in" the huge sleeve caps too. I generally sew a size 10 so there are usually smaller sizes marked on the same pattern piece. So I cut out size 10 except for the sleeve; I cut that a size 6 or whatever is the smallest size marked on my pattern and it fits in much better.

DonnaH
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Date: 7/9/12 6:55 PM

I also use ballpoint pen to mark! I recently tried all 4 colors of chalk pencil - and one was nearly visible (the others totally invisible), so I just grabbed the pen I had used to trace the pattern (when my Sharpie was drying out, lol). It worked beautifully.

I also use my own seam allowances. Even if it says 5/8" sometimes I use the edge of the foot, or a line in between. If I'm feeling fat that day, I use a smaller SA! LOL

And I straight stitch most of my hems. Usually eyeball it and iron/pin in place, then just sew straight through.

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Date: 7/9/12 6:58 PM

When I first started sewing, I was convinced that "real" seamstresses don't use fray check (or Stitchery Witchery or a billion other nifty things). Riiiiight. I'm working on a polyester satin dress right now & all I can say is...this dress is brought to you by Fray Check. Thanks Dritz!!

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jadamo00
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In reply to DonnaH <<
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Date: 7/9/12 7:22 PM

Oh, another thing I like to mark with are China Markers, which you can find in art store in different colors. These are the pencils that you pull the string and unravel the paper around the color core?



They work great! I sharpen into a point with an Exacto knife.



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Date: 7/9/12 7:37 PM

I make french seams on princess lines.

Apparently you're not supposed to, but they lay flat.

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Date: 7/9/12 8:13 PM

Oh boy, it's serious confession time.

I cut pattern kinda, sorta on grain under most circumstances. Never a stickler for perfect grain and my clothes looks fine.

I don't use pins when sewing and trying to match prints. Pins actually mess you up on most sewing machines. Did you see the part on the Couture dress Craftsy class where Susan rips out a seam that is horribly matched print? All that marking and pinning and that's the result.

I use serger thread for all of my garment sewing. The quality, strong, thin kind. Not the cheap linty crap from JA.

I use one needle (type and size) for 95% of my sewing. Machine needles don't get changed unless they break or are sewing funny.

Sleeves are sewn on flat always.

I finish neck and sleeveless armholes by serging, folding over the sa and topstitching.

I never get my machines serviced professionally.

I never use the fabrics listed on the pattern. I use knit fabric on woven patterns, with adjustments of course.

I'm pretty sure there's plenty more sins but this is enough for now.

------
I finally have a blog. www.detectivehoundstooth.com :)

nancy2001
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Date: 7/9/12 8:32 PM

In sewing, there are many ways to skin a cat. But most "experts" will only mention one way which isn't necessarily the best way for my project. So when I need background on a complex task such as sewing a notched lapel, I always consult more than one source. This allows me to see where the "experts" disagree and triggers my thinking about other possible solutions they may not have even thought of.

For me, the pleasure and challenge in sewing is that it gives me the opportunity to conduct experiments, figure things out, and develop my own unorthodox methods. Just about the only ironclad rule in sewing is that you need to respect the grain when you're cutting garments. Almost everything else is up for grabs.

Consider the advice that directs you to put in a fresh needle with every new sewing project. In the vast majority of cases, changing the needle will have no impact on the final garment, except to increase your cost to make it. On the other hand, if you're sewing a wedding gown or other important garment, it would be sensible to change needles frequently.

I tend to rely on specialized sewing notions and gadgets. I use two sided tapes to remove the drudgery of basting. I have many specialized rulers, many designed for quilters even though I don't quilt, to increase my accuacy in measuring and marking.





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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

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