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beginner with a few questions
stefanib123
stefanib123
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Date: 8/26/12 10:04 AM

Hi! I am a quilter who dabbles in other areas. I have never made a garment, but am getting ready to! I can handle a nice flat quilt but am a bit scared of attempting a "3d" item. I have made purses, etc so I'm hoping it wont be too bad.

I bought Simplicity 1961 to start with. I am a bit confused with the sizing. I usually wear a L or XL shirt, bust size is 38-39(I'm dieting, lol) and on the pattern it says that would be a M?

The 5/8 seam seems huge to me. I'm used to 1/4 inch seams. It also calls for binding. Should I make the binding from the fabric I am using? Its a knit rayon spandex-y type material that has a nice drape that I think will work well with this. Ive had it a while so am not sure of its content!

stefanib123
stefanib123
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Date: 8/26/12 10:11 AM

I want to add it does fit the "stretch" guide on the back. So it should be ok?

And one more question lol. I have long arms, should I lengthen the sleeves? How do I measure them? From shoulder to wrist?
-- Edited on 8/26/12 10:13 AM --

marec
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Date: 8/26/12 10:49 AM

Hi stefanib123, welcome to PR. I see you are new to the site-let me help a bit:


Is this the pattern you are using? This cardi looks as though there is some ease so I'd go with a MED. Baste the side seams and try it on...you can always take it in a bit if it's too big. One area to be cautious with is the shoulder seam. Check to see where it is and adjust it in if the shoulder is too broad. I am very narrow through the shoulders and that is a standard alteration for me. I also routinely measure the width of the bicep area on a pattern as I am muscular and out of the "normal" range there.

As for the binding-yes, I'd cut some binding from the fabric and use that. A great place to get some cool ideas when sewing a knit top or cardi is at Marcy Tilton's website or blog. Marcy Tilton

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JEF
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In reply to stefanib123 <<


Date: 8/26/12 11:00 AM

If you have worries about fit, you may want to stick with the 5/8" sa so that you can let it out a bit if you need to. However, I routinely cut off 1/4 - 3/8 of that 5/8 SA so that I can sew or serge with just a 3/8 or 1/4 SA (which I find MUCH easier) so you can do that too.

JEF

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"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." --Abraham Lincoln

Marie367
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In reply to stefanib123 <<


Date: 8/26/12 11:06 AM

Hi Stefanib123! Welcome to PR and the world of garment sewing!
I have always been a garment sewer. I am beginning to get into quilts-1/4" seams seem really small to me! I can eyeball a 5/8" seam but 1/4"
I have this pattern but have not made it yet. For sizing on patterns, a good place to start is your upper bust. I too wear a L/XL in RTW and usually need an 18 in Simplicity patterns. I am looking at this pattern and I too would sew a M in this pattern. You can tissue fit the sleeve pattern to see how it might fit-just place the sleeve top (it should be marked on the pattern) and place it on your arm-then hold it together under your arms-that will give you an idea of the fit. I suspect this has plenty of ease in it. There have been some reviews of this pattern that might help you; here is the link Reviews of 1961
I got the directions out-there is no binding on this-you use elastic to pull in the shoulders a bit (I would think that is a personal preference and not a requirement). You turn under all the edges and stitch down. Were you thinking of adding a binding? You certainly could bind all the front edges-if I did that I would definitely use the same fabric.

KathySews
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Date: 8/26/12 11:11 AM

I would recommend a great fitting book that is popular here - Fit For Real People

I recommend you lay out and look at the pattern pieces. Then take the time to read the pattern instructions start to finish before you start. You will see how the markings work, etc. I had to think about the way the collar attached to the jacket to get my mind around it.

There are lots of sewists who use 1/4 in seam allowances. That discussion could take weeks and there are many opinions on that.

If this is your first garment, I recommend keeping the 5/8 and sometimes upping to 1 inch to allow for fitting adjustments. Once you checked fit, you could cut down the seam allowance if that is more comfortable for you.

I second checking the shoulder width. I have short shoulders also and made this jacket before I understood my fitting issues. The shoulder seams hung down my arm.

As far as checking your arm length you can measure a garment that fits correctly, then compare it to the actual pattern pieces. Most patterns have lengthen/shorten lines on them.

There is so much information here and people are happy to help you. Just post photos and ask

ETA: forgot to add -- ready to wear sizes have nothing to do with pattern sizes. Please don't freak if you normally wear a M and your measurements are XXL on a pattern. It is mostly important to get the mesurements right. We do not post size labels in our outfits.
-- Edited on 8/26/12 11:13 AM --

AdaH
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In reply to stefanib123 <<


Date: 8/26/12 11:49 AM

Hi stefanib123, Glad you found PR. There are a lot of helpful people on this site.
Garment sewing sure does take a different mind set than quilting. For one thing quilts always fit.

Let us know how your project turns out.

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Ada

jadamo00
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Date: 8/26/12 1:35 PM

Stef, regarding sleeve length (and other measurements): a great source for measurements are the clothes you ALREADY HAVE THAT FIT YOU WELL! So measure some sleeves, add a few inches to the length (for hem and a little extra to play with).

j.

stefanib123
stefanib123
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Date: 8/27/12 11:36 AM

Thanks everyone for the welcome and the advice! Its a lot of help with the sizing. And the links, and book suggestions are great, will check them out! 'I'm for sure sticking with the 5/8 seams for now, to give myself some room.

As for the binding, it says on the back of the package "one package of straight binding" but I'm not seeing it in the instructions? I think I am missing something, LOL!

Ok, I got the pattern marked and cut out.Whew! I knew this fabric would be slippery, but wow! It was a PAIN marking the patterns. I used weights all around to hold it down and pin it, and a wash out marker. But, it's not too great. There has to be a better way. I've used freezer paper with quilt patterns, has anyone done this for clothing patterns? Where you trace the pattern onto the freezer paper and iron it to it and then cut it out? That would have really helped with this material, but I think the big pieces would be too big to fit on freezer paper.

I could start 10 threads with all my questions, LOL. But, I'm sure most have been answered before so off to search some threads!

Marie367
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In reply to stefanib123 <<


Date: 8/29/12 9:26 PM

Well I am not a quilter yet but I cut some knits out with a rotary cutter-you have to be careful not to stretch the fabric out as you are cutting. You could certainly use freezer paper, some people iron their pattern onto fusible interfacing (usually this is a pattern they want to keep for a longtime). Slippery knits are just a pain-do you have a big surface to work on? Trying to keep it flat helps. I looked all through that pattern and could not find a reason for the straight binding so I have no idea unless they tell you somewhere to use it to stabilize seams-I wouldn't do that; you lose the stretch of the fabric. Just keep asking questions; there are so many helpful people who would love to help you!

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