We are almost at the end of May, and this is the time to look back at the not-so-many projects I’ve made.
I’ll present you with three garments I made, and show you what I liked and didn’t like about them.
So let’s get to it!
1. Jersey Maxi Skirt
This is the first project I have ever sewn on my sewing machine. I got really excited, strolled down to the fabric store, with no special pattern or idea in mind, and of course with absolutely no clue about fabrics, or prices, or lengths.
I exited the fabric store with, what I later discovered was completely overpriced, grey jersey fabric. I got 2 meters of this quite heavy jersey. And I decided to do a maxi skirt.
What I learned:
- To look at the weight of the fabric.
My maxi skirt turned to be too heavy. Plus it was hot inside the skirt on hot days.
- To choose fabrics more carefully according to the project.
This fabric wasn’t really good for sitting, and it wore out quickly, with lots of lint balls on it.
I cut waaaaay too much fabric.
I didn’t consider the circumference of my waist, and just took 1.5 meters, which gathered up by an elastic.
This resulted in a lot of bulk, was not very flattering to the waist, and shifted unevenly around the elastic band.
- Technique-wise mistake was the back seam.
I used a french seam on a jersey. With not a very small seam allowance (1”. ouch). If jersey fabric wasn’t so forgiving, it would stick out in the back. Luckily, I got away with it.
2. Chevron Maxi Dress
This little baby is my pride and glory. I LOVE this dress.
I saw a similar dress online in a catalogue, and thought what the heck, I could make this dress. This time I did my research and headed to the big city of Tel-Aviv for the fabric market. However all I could find was only a striped jersey. So I bought extra fabric and cut all the pattern pieces on the diagonal. No need to mention how long this took.
What I learned:
- To match the seams of a patterned fabric.
I know it’s tedious, but the result is so much more professional. People won’t believe you made the garment all by yourself.
- Some fabrics need different needles.
This was a painful discovery for me. I put a regular twin-needle to get that professional hem finish, only to discover at the end of the sewing, that some of the threads pop when the fabric is stretched.
Not wanting to rip the seam all around (seam ripper – you’re a good friend but I don’t want to meet you very often), I had to solve this problem by stitching a zigzag stitch in between the parallel stitches.
No need to say I bought a ballpoint twin-needle later.
- Sewing neckline bands.
I used a not very good technique on this one, I just matched the band pieces wrong sides together, and eyeballed\sewed a reverse V.
In the future, this is the proper method I will be using: click.
- Shirring with elastic thread.
I did this on the waist. More out of curiosity to try out this technique, than it was out of practicality. I could’ve used an elastic band and the result would’ve been all the same.
Next time I’ll keep the shirring to the top section.
On one of my ventures to the fabric market, I stumbled upon this cute pink waffle fabric, and a bathrobe crossed my mind immediately. I don’t even know what is it made of 😦
Another example of fabrics inspiring me to sew. Alas, not everything was perfect.
What I learned:
- Again: pick the fabric right!
Yes, again. I got swept away with excitement, and didn’t even think about the flow that the robe needs. This fabric turned out to be stiff, and it wrinkles quite a lot. The sewing experience was a dream, nothing ever slid to the wrong place, but in the end it’s not that comfortable, the stitches under the armpits itch sometimes, and it’s just unfortunate.
- Planning ahead.
Can you believe that initially this was planned to be a kimono robe? Somehow I ended up with angled front panels. Which leads me to the next point:
- Creativity is a virtue.
Instead of making regular side loops, I made them in the angles of the front panels. This way I can switch between sides when I close the robe.
Also, I sewed the belt in the middle of the back, so it doesn’t go missing when I wash it.
I am a little disappointed with the substitute stitch my sewing machine has for the overlock stitch. I’m saving up money to get a serger machine.
No matter how many times you think you’ve ruined your project. Never give up! Everything can be fixed. Make your disadvantages into advantages. With a little creativity, you can add features to your project. Give my old friend, the seam ripper a try 😉
Don’t be discouraged! And even you get tired of the whole thing, and throw it away, you can benefit from your mistakes in the future. Next time, you’ll be more experienced and confident.
Good luck and happy sewing!