14 March 2008


I want to respond to a few questions, so let's get answerin'!

Anwen asked, "How long have you been sewing?"
I first started sewing when I was sixteen years old - so just over 20 years now. I sewed throughout the end of high school and most of undergrad university. However, during graduate school I got too busy to sew and didn't really get back into it full force until about 3 years ago. Since then I have been an unstoppable fabric and pattern buying machine and I sew at least one garment every week.

Catherine said, "Thanks for showing how you do your SBA. I have seen techniques that remove length from the center front panel, as well - have you tried that? Do you walk your seams after doing this?"
I usually remove length from the front panel as well (about 0.25"), however since I was working with a soft wool (wool crepe), I knew I could steam out any excess fabric if it became a problem. I do tend to walk my seams if I am going to use the altered pattern with an unforgiving fabric - I don't want any nasty "surprises" after the fabric is cut out.

Vicki said, "Will the new shoes (no 1 and no 4 from prior post) match? They look like they might."
Good eye, Vicki. The fourth shoe actually looks really great with the chocolate wool crepe!

Tara said, "I adore Jackie's style, particularly her "Lily Pulitzer" Palm Beach style. Any of that in the works...that's some pricey fabric!"
I was only slightly aware of Lily Pulitzer - I don't think these stores exist in Canada - so I did a bit of snooping around the internet. It's pretty nifty that the fabric is for sale. Unfortunately, the colours don't really work for me, but the prints sure are cute!

Johanna said, "I was born on that Easter Sunday- so fun to see your post about Jackie's special outfit for that day."
Well then, let me wish you an early happy birthday (just in case I forget on April 14th)!!


Unknown said...

Thanks for answering my question! You are so kind and I can't wait to see the yellow dress all done ;)


Thanks for answering my question as well. I forget that you're all the way up in Canada! I was raised on the Gulf Coast where we can wear tropical colors if not clothes almost year round!

Anwen said...

Thanks from me, as well! I have a sort of follow-on question - what do you think is most important in being able to sew great clothes, experience, knowledge or patience? (or something else?)

I get the impression that experience is a big thing because of e.g. muscle memory (can't remember if that's the right term, but like with writing and so on - at first you have to concentrate really hard on making each letter and eventually you can just scribble away) and so on, as well as building up more internal knowledge. But I'm kind of hoping it's not impossible to make really nice clothes without having sewn for years already!

As I think I mentioned, I'm just starting out, and I don't really want to make cushions and really really easy clothes, as I already have more than enough cushion covers, and easy = shapeless = not very flattering on a short non-skinny woman! But on the other hand, I know it's probably not a great plan to try to go too complex, too fast either... I made a skirt this month, which was my first garment (I made a bag in a class years ago, which drove me to tears but ended up quite nice, and I took a pattern-cutting course in November last year where we drafted and sewed up a bodice sloper - the class was meant to go on to do a skirt, but most of us didn't have time) and it came out really well, after a bit of a panic when I realised that I have one hip higher than the other, which resulted in crazy hemline, as it was quite a stiff a-line skirt.

I've got a lot of books on sewing (because at the moment I have more opportunity to read than to sew *sigh*) and the knowledge side is useful, even though at the moment most of mine is second-hand through books and forums and blogs. But I think that the patience seems very important as well, because it took an awful lot of the stuff to go back and redo the darts and waist facing on one side of the skirt which I'd thought was almost finished...

Anyway, er, sorry for the book! Maybe I should make a blog of my own instead of writing great long treatises on your comments page ;)