Choosing a Pattern:
1. If you are a newbie, choose those patterns that say "easy" somewhere on the pattern. There is even a "sewing for dummies" series that is also great. Typically, Project Runway and Vogue patterns are a little more tricky.
2. Chose a pattern w/ a photograph instead of a drawing. (I think they are a truer representation of the final garment and I've just had better luck)
3. Those marked "1-Hour" are all big fat liars and it always takes me at least twice as long.
4. Unless you are free from body image issues, start something for a kid in your life for your first sewing project. Kids are little and so they look cute in everything anyways. Babies are the best to sew for, b/c it's not like anyone can tell if the hem's crocked.
There's a lot of good stuff back here so don't skip it
1. Pictures of the back of the garments
2. Suggested fabrics If you sew something out of denim that is made for knit it is simple not going to work.
3. Notions It's a pain to get home from the fabric store and to realize that you need buttons or zippers. This will tell you exactly what you need for each view.
4. Body Measurements Ok, it's time to put on your big girl panties and realize that your size is just a number. If I buy clothes at the store, I usually buy a size 8, however, when I sew I'm a size 12-14. My daughter is a 0, but I sew her a size 4-6.
Even when you are sewing for children, take their measurements and don't just just assume that they will be the same size as they are at the store.
5. How much fabric to buy If I was making view B for a size 14, I would need 1 /78 yard of fabric for your standard 45 inch wide fabric.
6. Finished lengths Check this before you cut out your pattern, in case you want to lengthen or shorten your garment. In the drawing, all the skirts look about the same length, however view A would be 31 inches long and view D is only 17 inches long. You wouldn't want to think your making a nice knee length skirt for church and end up w/ a mini.
Are you still w/ me? I know this is a lot of info.
Inside the pattern envelope there will be pages of step-by-step directions. We are making skirt B and it tells us that we need to find pieces 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,and 9. It even gives a diagram of a good way to layout all your pieces. Please note those pieces that need to be placed on the fold and which pattern pieces should be placed upside down.
HINT: I always iron all my pieces and all my fabric. It makes for a better fit.Other Info:
There will be lots of other info included w/ your patterns-sewing terms, special directions etc. Most patterns are only 2-4 pages long, so it won't take you long to skim over them.
Cutting Out Pattern Pieces:
1. Pattern pieces will have markings that you will need later when you sew. Use a water soluble marker to mark them.
2. Unless it is placed on the fold, pieces will come w/ a little arrow. This will help you line up your pieces properly so they don't hang all wonky. You will need to measure the edge of the arrow to either the fold of the selvage edge. Both arrow tips need to be the same distance from the edge.
3. Tells you the pattern piece number
4. Tells you how many pieces to cut from each pattern piece.
5. The pattern number (In case it gets separated from it's family, you can return it to the proper envelope).
Once you've got everything cut-out, you should be ready to sew.
Store bought patterns are your friend, so don't be scared and give them a shot.
Here's some easy ones, that I've made in the last year:
|McCalls pattern 5920|
|McCalls pattern 5920|
If this was helpful, then you might enjoy my entire Sewing 101 series
Any suggestions for next week?
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