Today is an auspicious day! (Is that how you use that word properly?) I’ve finally attempted to make a piece of clothing for myself! All the way back on Black Friday I purchased a couple of dress patterns from the lovely Colette Patterns (definitely not ready to try them yet, but y’know sale so yes!) and found the lovely Sorbetto shirt as a free download from their website!
Now I’ve finally gotten around to giving it a go!
Results were…mixed. On one hand it’s the first shirt (or piece of clothing at all) I’ve never made and I’m proud of that. On the other hand it’s a bit of an embarrassing display of some of my worst sewing mistakes. Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit.
Well…here it is!
Okay so it’s not so bad. I’m pretty proud of it! I did have a couple of issues, which I will go on about in a minute, but first let me celebrate some of the things I tried (and was happy with!) for the first time during this project!
- Using a garment pattern (this one was PDF, which I’ve heard are more of a pain as you have to stick them all together before you can get going, but hopefully starting with one of them will make other patterns seem like a doddle!)
- Transferring (and using) pattern markings
- Sewing a pleat
- Sewing a dart (if darts confuse you, hang about till Wednesday as they’re the next topic I’ll be covering in my Troublesome Sewing Terms Untangled series!
All of these things I did for the first time this project and was pleased; obviously they weren’t done at a professional level but I had no complaints about how they turned out, so thumbs up to me!
Now for the things I’m not so keen on.
- I chose the wrong fabric for this project I think. It’s a stretchy, jersey type of fabric. When selecting it, I really liked the pattern (it is lovely) and thought that any errors I made in cutting out sizes may be forgiven in a stretchy material. While this was true, I really wasn’t prepared for sewing this type of material. I did purchase special needles for stretch fabric, which helped as I had no problems with the actual stitching, just with dealing with the fabric. The hem around the bottom is wonky as all hell as the fabric kept rolling up at the edges, no matter how much I ironed it straight and this made measuring for the hem very difficult! I like the idea of working with stretchy fabric but I’d definitely need to do more research before trying it again.
- Finishing seams. Now, my pattern instructions literally just said finish your seams, which – in the end – I ended up doing with pinking shears, which I don’t like. The whole thing looks very…amateur. Which of course I know I am, but I’d like to be able to give a nicer finish to garments. I’ve heard some things about sergers, but I don’t want to buy a whole other machine! Sewers out there, how do you finish your seams neatly?
- The bias tape. I’ve worked with bias tape before and I clearly still haven’t managed to figure out how to sew it properly. Whilst finishing the neckline and armholes I sewed bias tape to the wrong side of the garment, folded it over and sewed the other side to the right side. However on inspection I’d misjudged the size of the bias tape and began sewing into the fabric alone, past the edge of the tape. It’s not a massive issue as it’s on the inside but I really don’t like how messy it looks. Also I didn’t realise the tape would be so narrow, possibly I used a smaller size than I was meant to or wasn’t ready to have so little of a space to be working with.
So there’s my first attempt at an actual, wearable item of clothing! First try. I need to keep remembering that. I was veering off into being-too-hard-on-myself when The Boy stopped me and told me he was proud of me, which was lovely. I just have to keep remembering that if it was that easy, it wouldn’t be any fun to learn.
Although maybe next week I’ll just try a bag…