Saturday, 2 February 2013

Sewing thought for the Day

 Someone commented the other day that they liked dressmaking but whatever they made never looked like on the pattern.  Well Im sure a few of us have felt like that  I definately have.  It made me think why is this so  I believe this occurs in all dressmakers experienced and inexperienced.  After all most people that buy sewing patterns have knowledge of how to sew, and there are great resources and sewing instructions to help. So why?

After alot of thought, Here is my theory

1. Style  It is the first choice we make when starting a garment. Do you know what suits your shape?
Are you buying the pattern because it looks good in the picture or because its a style you know suits you. I often see a pattern and think its great but I  know wouldnt work on me, but sometime you can pick out what you like about a pattern and make it work for you

                              vogue 8813

"OOh I love this pattern" the grey version. (This picture isn't showing up on my draft but is on preview. Hope it works )
 its so fresh, my favourite colours,. I like the contrast stripes and also the pockets.
But I know this wouldnt suit me. I personally  feel I need a more structured shape
Also this is a clever  photo shoot. When I started viewing other images of it, it look different.  Either that dress is pinned at the back or its incredibly fine material, the terracotta version  gives a better idea.


Vogue  8577 I would suit this style better . It has the  Same V neck, and similar  pockets, but more structured which I prefer. You could even use 2 fabrics like in the other style, as it is constructed of many pieces.
I also find surfing the internet, like sewing pattern review is brilliant.  Not only do you see the pattern on all shapes and sizes, tips on how to make it but you also see the different fabric choices. which brings me on to

2. Fabric Choice
So you have the pattern  that you know works well for your shape, now if you have chosen the wrong fabric you will probably  not be happy with the final result.  Again do your homework  drape the fabric on you in the shop and look at it (hoping the shop has a mirror)  Read the pattern suggestions, take note about stripes checks etc. Also the weight of the fabric, how it hangs.    Yes  this is logic.  Of course you could go down another route and topic of conversation "Colour Analysis   The do say if you arent wearing the right colours, it ages you, makes you look washed out, If wearing the right colours, people say you look well etc.
Im sure we all have an outfit in our wardrobe which we feel happy in. Is it the style, the colour, or the fit that you like about it?

3. Fittng
We have the pattern and the right fabric and if you are bothered about such things the right colour. So what else can make it look wrong.    You cannot expect to just make up a pattern and expect it to look like on the envelope without taking the time to tweak it to fit properly.  For me the fitting makes the outfit   Here is my example.

Vogue 8151

The pattern stated make in 11/2 hours. Ok this is a pretty straight forward pattern for me, I tacked up the pattern and tried it on  (humour me I enjoy tacking) the top looked like a sack of potatoes on me, I had to take in alot of fabric under the bust to give it shape.  Now if I had just made it up it as specified it would have taken 11/2 hours but because of the fitting it took me alot longer and looked alot different, and yes I was happy with the result.

So Readers  I believe it is a mixture of  choices.  This is only my account that I am sharing with you. Iam  no expert and will more than likely still make sewing boo boos.  Sewing is an ongoing learning curve, this is what I have learnt personally over time.

Not my usual post I write,  hope you find this informative and enjoyed it.   I would love to hear any other tips and views please


  1. Hi Louise..thanks for dropping by my blog.

    I think also people expect to look like the model on the front of the envelope. Now I know I am NOT shaped like a model, far from it and to expect to look like them is unrealistic. But people do!

    1. It is a trap we have all fallen into, I believe. Over the years I have come to accept that one.

  2. Absolutely right. There is no way your outfit will look the "same" unless you are the same height and dimensions of the model. I have learnt to close my eyes and picture it on me first. And fabric does play a huge part too.

    1. Thats a brilliant idea. Shall have to try that one next. Call me boring but I now know what does and doesnt suit me. But I have just thrown caution to the wind and ordered a different pattern style.

  3. Love your top, and the colour is very flattering on you! Your post is absolutely correct, and we do tend to fall into the trap of trusting the pattern picture. So much easier to take it as an inspiration, and then add your own slant (colour/fitting/shape as you said) to it...J

    1. thanks Judith. I always google image a pattern before I buy.

  4. I love this post. It never occured to me to drap the fabric on my whilst I was at the store! How stupid am I not to think of this? I really enjoyed your tips about making alterations. I hope the more I try to make my own clothes, the better i will get at it.
    BTW, I love this top you made. It suits you perfectly.

    1. As with all crafts the more we do it the better we become. As we were also lectured at school "practice makes perfect"

  5. So true. The quest for the perfect marriage of fabric, colour, silhouette and personal style is the eternal feminine quest. Good thing it is a lot of fun too :)

  6. Thank you so much for your comment Louise.. but in reply I think I've already tipped past the quarter century since I've made and blogged 27 men'a shirts!


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