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Am I Really THAT lazy ... or incompetent ...
patternaddict
patternaddict
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Date: 1/29/13 10:10 AM

Reading some of the threads on this board, and some of the others make me feel quite ... inadequate.

I've been sewing for well over 30 years. I make most of my own clothes. I'm generally pleased with the fit and appearence of the garments I make, and they are sturdy and hold up well for years of wearing and washing.

Yet I have never bothered with a FBA. (Never even heard of it until I showed up here.) I wear a snug C cup, but usually simply lengthen the bodice a bit if the garment has a high waist which would make the waist seam sit too high.

I've never obsessed over a half inch vs. 5/8th inch seam allowance, much less measured and trimmed each pattern piece for the purpose. (I often use a narrower seam allowance if it gives me the extra inch or two I need for fit.)

I've made muslins about twice in my life (for complex garments using very costly fabric.)

I commonly leave out interfacing from cuffs and collars, (primarly only using it if the garment really needs to be stiff, or there are buttonholes which will fray or gap without it) and sometimes skip linings unless needed for construction purposes.

I rarely finish seams. (Only with fabrics that fray especially badly.)

I never prewash fabric unless it's gotten stained or musty whle sitting in my stash.

I'll take my 40 lashes now ....

Geep
Geep
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Date: 1/29/13 10:16 AM

Or maybe you're very competant! It sounds like you have a good feel for adjusting the seam allowance to fit your shape as you sew, so why measure! If you're happy with the fit and look of your clothes when they're done, then you've done a good job.
The only part of your post that made me cringe was the bit about not prewashing, and thats because I've had a few instance of making something, loving it and then finding that after a couple of washes I con't wear it anymoreIf that never happens to you I'd love to hear your secret! ;)
Carry on enjoying sewing the way that makes you happy!
Gemma

n45
n45
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Date: 1/29/13 10:45 AM

Agree with Geep! Sewing like any hobby is very individual. Yes there are the sewing police that like the fashion police want to tell everybody what to do, but why stress over it if what you do works for you? Take what you need to sew and get enjoyment out of it, and leave the rest alone.

I do think there's a different level of effort for every project. If you were making a fitted coat or a wedding dress, you probably would muslin and maybe FBA if you spent a lot of money on fabric etc.

-- Edited on 1/29/13 10:54 AM --

patternaddict
patternaddict
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In reply to Geep <<


Date: 1/29/13 10:59 AM

Logically I SHOULD need to prewash. I use mostly 100% cottons, which should shrink. But I can't think of anything I've ever made that shrunk after washing to the point that it no longer fit me. (As opposed to me GROWING so it no longer fit me.


I don't like prewashing because the fabric usually comes out of the dryer all crumpled and then I have to iron it. (Something else I rarely do, unless it's gotten REALLY creased in the stash.)

The only issues I run into with garments that I wash is that they sometimes fade, but that would happen regardless. (I have one black print dress that I made summer-before-last that I love but has already faded to the point where it looks dowdy so I'll probably retire it before this summer rolls around.)

Deb Fox
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Date: 1/29/13 11:25 AM

Your are not lazy or incompetent, but incredibly lucky! I just taught a good friend how to sew, and she is sewing up a storm and does not have to make a single alteration on any pattern she uses, even pants! I am so jealous...I have to petite everything, FBA everything and still hope that it fits.

------
Deb: www.thinkingcouture.blogspot.com

westmoon
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In reply to patternaddict <<
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Date: 1/29/13 11:32 AM

Even if the sewing police DID exist, I don't think your list of transgressions would result in them coming around to your house to arrest you! If you're happy then why bother with everyone else. Comparisons are odious, as the man says.

For me personally, I am definitely never going to be as perfectionist on fit as others are, but I really have no choice but to get used to doing an FBA. I'm an H/I cup, and my choices are pretty much learn to do an FBA or resign myself to wearing a tent. I also pre-wash religiously, but mainly because I have horrifically sensitive skin. Putting cloth treated with who-knows-what by the manufacturer onto my bare skin is just asking to spend 24 hours with hives.

------
http://sewingnovice.blogspot.co.uk/
One woman. One sewing machine. One giant stack of fabric. What could possibly go wrong?

blessedtosew
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blessedtosew
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In reply to patternaddict <<
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Date: 1/29/13 11:46 AM


I NEVER pre-wash fabric and I rarely finish seams. I am not going to let anyone see the inside of my garment anyway so why waste my time. I sew so much clothing that I doubt I will wear it enough to ever have to worry about it unraveling inside. I say carry on and do what makes you happy. I am a perfectionist, but when I first started sewing, I decided I would not let my perfectionism ruin my enjoyment and I have stuck with it. I do worry about fit, but I am not one to make 3 or 4 muslins. If I don't get it right after the first one, I chuck it and move onto another pattern.
-- Edited on 1/29/13 11:49 AM --

Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Date: 1/29/13 11:54 AM

It sounds like you have a system that works for you. AND, lucky you, that there is enough ease built into the patterns you use that you rarely need to make adjustments.

Like many others, I am the complete opposite of however they draft patterns: short, short waisted, small shoulders, very large bust, normal rise on the hips (so petite pants don't fit in the rise) and shorter legs and arms. But....my calves to feet and elbows to hand are petite length, the upper portion of those limbs are not. My adjustments are ENDLESS.

Sigh... count your blessings. If you can produce a product that fits you the way you like doing what you are doing - it is all good.

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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Date: 1/29/13 12:01 PM

Patternaddict, you're actually inspiring me now.

OK, I am fanatic about prewashing fabric, because if a fabric shrinks after the garment is made, it can easily ruin the garment and make the whole exercise a waste of time. I do finish seams (not beautifully, but I do it) and also do some of the other things on your list. I'm also fanatic about matching plaids, stripes, etc., but that's more from my art side than my sewing side.

I think each of us has to find what we're comfortable and happy with and do it that way. There are a number of people here whose goal is to produce garments that look at least as good as ready-to-wear, inside and out. If I had started out learning sewing this way at 14, or had gone to fashion design school, I probably would have that same level of perfectionism about it. As it is, this was never my top skill to start with, and I left sewing for years and came back. I have other things I prefer to be intense about now. And I know myself well enough to know that sewing probably would still never be my top skill even if I dedicated a huge amount of time and focus to it. So -- oh well!

Just be comfortable in your own skin. No lashes from me, that's for sure.


-- Edited on 1/29/13 12:05 PM --

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

patternaddict
patternaddict
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In reply to Canadian Jane <<
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Date: 1/29/13 12:17 PM

My primary fitting issue (besides the somewhat full-bust) is that I have a very thick waist, with minimal definition. (Around 34 inches.) I usually avoid patterns with waistbands or that are very fitted around the middle. (I lean towards elastic waist skirts.)

If I do make something like that , I adjust on the fly (cut the waistband longer and add a bit to the other seams (either by cutting wider [grading from a larger size cutting line if available] or using a narrower seam allowance) and/or reduce the depth of the darts, if any.

I'm also short, but that rarely causes fitting problems unless I'm making pants (which I rarely do) or very long dresses, in which case I use the petitable-lines, or just cut them shorter depending on the style.

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