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Message Board > Miscellaneous > Top 10 things I've learned about sewing from PR ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Top 10 things I've learned about sewing from PR
...please add your own (you don't need exactly 10!)
dvazz
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dvazz
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MO USA
Member since 8/15/03
Posts: 411
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Date: 6/27/06 10:51 PM

So, I was thinking today about everything I've learned from PR...lots and lots and lots of things! There is so much information here that it takes years to pore through all of it. Some of it is useful but small stuff, some of it doesn't apply to the things I sew, and every now and then something comes along that is like, "EUREKA! My sewing life has changed forever!"

I thought I'd try to list the top things that fall into this category (with a nod to Dave L, of courses). 10 isn't a magic number, though...please feel free to add your own list of "most useful sewing facts", and maybe I'll pick up on something amazing that I've missed before now!

I'll also point out: I won't try to thank everyone that I learned each thing from, because many are suggested by several people, and also I just can't remember where I read each thing. But anyway, if it was you, thank you!

My List:

10. A serger and a coverstitch machine are absolutely worth the money. There are other ways to hem knits, but a coverstitch machine is (for me, anyway) by far the easiest and most reliable. Buying a separate serger and coverstitch machine may be better than buying a single machine that does both, especially if you can't afford to plunk down all that money at once.

9. A dressform is also a terrific thing to have.

8. So are a rotary cutter and self-healing mat!

7. Not all thread is created equal. Try the good stuff—you'll like it. Metrosene and Gutermann are often recommended by PR members.

6. Kwik-Sew patterns generally have very clear directions and use techniques resembling those in RTW. I always seem to learn something from sewing with them.

5. Most women will find Big 4 patterns much too large in the shoulders if they choose by bust measurement. They also often just have more ease overall than we want, so just choosing a smaller size overall may work fine.

4. Big chain fabric stores have a lousy fabric selection. No one knows why. If you don't live near a big city, you'll probably need to shop online to get decent fabric.

3. Clothes that do fit, once you learn to make them, are an AMAZING thing that can make you feel much better about yourself! I've learned lots of details about fit but I don't want to type detailed directions in here...will just say that I can now alter pants and petite adjust tops and it is a huge thing.

2. You don't always have to follow the pattern directions as printed (huge revelation for me!) You can often, for example, find one fly zipper insertion method you like and use it for every pair of pants. You can also skip the interfacing, change the seam allowances, substitute bias tape for facing, or other changes that make the pattern easier or better in some way. Guess I needed to learn that the pattern police wouldn't come and get me for this or anything.

1. It is actually possible to make clothes that look RTW (but fit better! ) I'm not saying that my own creations qualify quite yet, but they're getting better with each project and the main reason that I haven't given up sewing this time is that I've seen what you all can do. Inspiring examples AND concrete directions on how to follow them are better than any sewing book out there!


Forgive me if there is already a similar thread out there...I missed it. If not, then tell me the best stuff you've learned!

Dana

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Dana

Karla Kizer
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Karla Kizer  Friend of PR
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Subject: Top 10 things Ive learned about sewing from PR Date: 6/27/06 11:15 PM

Ummm, I've learned that you can be publicly stoned for not posting a picture with your review....and I haven't been stoned in public for a long time. Where IS that da#ned camera, anyhow?

------
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'



tlmck3
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tlmck3
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Date: 6/27/06 11:28 PM

I learned from Karla's experience. So I post reviews of books, stores, websites, etc...anything that doesn't require a picture since I don't own a camera. (or a cell phone...what century am I in?)

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I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

drsue
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drsue
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Date: 6/27/06 11:30 PM

10. Kwik Sew exists

9. Short people are not the only ones with fitting problems

8. Emma One Sock exists

7. Other people like vintage clothes

6. I can really sew up a lot of items if I put my mind to it

5. Coverstitch only machines exist

4. Internet sources for petersham

3. KIA scissors

2. I am the shortest person over 12 years old on the internet

1. I am not alone!!!

leigh7911
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leigh7911
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TX USA
Member since 10/20/05
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Date: 6/27/06 11:44 PM

10. Well-fitting clothes - while more than worth it - take lots of time and practice.

9. Make muslins.

8. Tall people are not the only ones with fitting problems.

7. Make muslins.

6. "Good enough" very often is.

5. Make muslins.

4. Rotary blades and mats are our friends.

3. Make muslins.

2. Mistakes happen, even to the most experienced. Which really isn't all that encouraging, but a good thing to know.

1. Make muslins.

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... but what do I know?

elizajo
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elizajo  Friend of PR
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Subject: Top 10 things Ive learned about sewing from PR Date: 6/28/06 0:04 AM

10. Other pattern companies than Vogue exist.
9. My much-altered TNT pants patterns and T shirts fit better than anything I can buy in RTW.
8. I can make petite clothes that fit DD, so she doesn't have to wear baggy RTW.
7. Everyone makes an occasional wadder, it doesn't make me a failure at sewing.
6. It's ok to have size 10 shoulders and size 14 hips.
5. Quality fabrics make quality clothes. (I will remind myself of this as I stifle in the 100% poly, $9.00 wrap dress I just made for a party).
4. Color swatches on computer screens aren't always close to the real fabric. That turquoise twill I received sure is teal! I know from PR that I should order swatches, but many of us are too tempted to wait.
3. Notions can sometimes make a huge difference in the outcome: Clear elastic (only Lastin will do) to stabilize necklines, Petersham ribbons for tidy faced waistlines, sticker dots to mark RS and WS of fabric, bra making kits and supplies can be found online,
spray starch chiffon before it is cut, steam a seam is the "Hail Mary" pass for people who sew.
2. Just like Karla, don't post a review without a picture unless nobody else has reviewed it. Maybe the next poor soul looking for review on that design will gain a little info before they post a snippy comment asking for a picture.
1. Think before you hit "post message".

------
Elizabeth

tlmck3
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tlmck3
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Date: 6/28/06 0:18 AM

I really don't mean to be dismissive of this topic. You're right, Dana, this is a very valuable resource. so:

10. Not to be afraid of Full Bust Adjustments or other pattern alterations.
9. The value of a Duct Tape Dummy
8. I knew about Burda WOF fashion vaguely before PR. I didn't know about Burda Plus. (Or Patrones. Or Ottobre Design. Or, my latest favorite, Australian Stitches.)
7. How very, very lucky I am to have Vogue Fabrics, Fishmans and the precious few remaining junky little indy bargain-fabric dumps near me.
6. That I am not the only non-quilter who has this fabric stashing compulsion.
5. That other people wait for the new patterns to show up every 6 weeks or so, even KNOWING that we can NEVER sew all those garments we have stashed patterns for.
4. That there are other people out there who see a funky piece of Vintage cloth and immediately think: "Handbag!!!"
3. That the women from Palmer Pletsch are godesses.
2. That people much more experienced and talented than I am still struggle with fitting issues and make mistakes.
1. That my suddenly middle-aged and gravity challenged body is NOT doomed to eternal frumpiness.

So many of you are an inspiration as well as endlessly informative and generous with your expertise.

Thank you.

------
I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

Mel.J
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Mel.J
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 7/30/02
Posts: 2685
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Subject: Top 10 things Ive learned about sewing from PR Date: 6/28/06 0:55 AM

I don't have time to post 10, but here's my input:

#1 Full Bust Adjustment! what it is, how to do it, fantastic diagrams & people who are willing to step me through until I get it. (repeat for a variety of other adjustments/techniques/issues)

#2 There are great people who sew, all different ages & locations. Even locally *waving to Down Under buddies*

#3 Above people are also great enablers... I have discovered many new fabric sources, mostly overseas.

Mel
-- Edited on 6/28/06 0:58 AM --

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Mel (Melbourne, Australia)

Jennifer shaw
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Jennifer shaw  Friend of PR
Intermediate
CA USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 2268
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Date: 6/28/06 1:28 AM

Here's my list-
1. almost everyone has to alter patterns to fit their bodies perfectly! (it's okay to write all over the pattern and the envelope in order to get the right fit!, taking notes is a great thing!)

2. there are many wonderful and superb resources for fabrics, patterns and notions- Thank goodness for PR and all of the amazing reviews!

So many wonderful new friends to know and share with!


3. it's nice to know that others go through slumps of not wanting to sew

4. Rtw is okay, but custom sewing for ourselves is sublime!

5. Muslins are my friends! (It lets me see if the style really is flattering for my real life body, not the one I had 20 years ago!!)

6. keeping a sewing blog or journal- what a great concept to keep track of the creative process- I am going to start a seperate journal for jewelry designs and ideas!! love the idea of having illustrations and pictures that remind me of how to do things..
-- Edited on 6/29/06 11:45 AM --

MariaDenmark
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MariaDenmark  Friend of PR
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DENMARK
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Posts: 593
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Date: 6/28/06 3:51 AM

Well this one should be easy:

PR taught me everything I know about sewing clothes!!

I had been sewing a few things - mostly home dec and baby stuff before, but never as a hobby as such.

I found PR because I wanted to sew something for myself (because I couldn't find anything I liked in stores) and I bought a pattern (butterick...arrrgh) and some fabric and it didn't work out well... So I searched on the internet, and have been here since.

And have actually never taken a class IRL - so everythinig I know (not much, I admit) is from PR and I just want to say thanks to everyone!

Most importantly:

1. You can have sewing friends from all over the world! And no matter what your backgrounds are, you still will have a great time!
2. Sewing is relaxing and a wonderfull hobby.
3. fitting is something everyone needs to try to do. The pattern is just a suggestion..

More specifically (in no particualy order):
1. Fitting.. try things on. Pinfit. Tissuefit. Darts can be changed. The fish-eye dart. Alterations as per FFRP and PFRP
2. Sergers. Wonderfull!
3. A pattern is a suggestion, you can change necklines etc to get what you want.
4. Pressing - very important!
5. There is a wonderfull thing out there called basting tape!
6. I am a creative person (always thougth that I was the most uncreative person in the world - a book worm).
7. I learned about WNTW and about dressing for your figure etc.. I'm not done learning, but I am venturing into new areas in clothing and wardrobe planning.
8. America (and americans) are real people - not just something as seen on various sitcoms

9. Did I mention fitting?
10. It is possible to learn how to sew - but you are never done learning, and everyone makes mistakes sometimes!

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Blogging at http://blog.mariadenmark.com

Sewing patterns at MariaDenmark | ShopONION.com: http://www.mariadenmark.com

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