Sunday, September 5, 2010

In Which I Discuss the Merits of not Discussing the Merits of Sewing aka An Update

I'm taking a break from the sewing lost long weekend to give you a brief update:

The Bra

No joke, I utterly loathe hand made bras - at least my hand made bras. In case you're wondering, the latest attempt, the Merckwaerdigh, did not work. What a surprise (uttered with dripping sarcasm). Not only didn't it fit but it was entirely unsupportive - which given the density of the structure boggles the mind. In case you are keeping score, it is a) unattractive and b) useless in its given purpose. Oh, and it took about 10 hours to assemble and another 4ish hours to set up.

What?! Do I have so much time and energy in my life that I can continue to throw it away on wasted attempts? Oh, I know that learning is the path to success and every overnight success first slogged for years (or whatever that stupid expression is) but I am not patient and I am only as up as my latest down - a personality flaw at the best of times, never mind during the sewing times (when it's suicidal ideation-inducing).

I've got to take a class. Or find a teacher who can work with me one-on-one. Universe, this is Kristin putting it out there: Please find me a teacher who is fun and friendly and talented and affordable and in my general neighbourhood. Thanks. (Cuz till then, my hundreds of dollars of lingerie supplies are going to languish in the cupboard.)

The Pencil Skirt

My lined pencil skirt has had its share of challenges but, on balance, it's a success. I mean, I can wear it and the lining is sweet and the finishing isn't horrible (thank you Babylock serger!). Given the pattern didn't come with lining instructions, I'm pretty pleased. I also matched up the mini-pattern at the waistband and side seams perfectly.

I made the zipper invisible (not in the instructions) and it looks great - but, though I chose the right size and lined it up with the notches, it didn't fit to the top and I have had to hook/eye in a rather significant way. Did I mention that I suck at hooks/eyes and it looks rather mediocre. Fortunately, I don't think people will be staring at that detail. Until I point it out to them which I am honour-bound to do and then I'll want to kick myself for having thrown my hand because they'll see the flaw like I see the flaw. You see my dilemma?

Its "improvement opportunities": Well, it's too big. I should have cut the 12 not the 14. Note: I made a muslin and it fit well. Of course, muslin has no give and this worsted had more than I bargained for...For some reason, waistbands confuse the shit out of me. I ended up top stitching this one (not the most elegant figure an out of keeping with the formal herringbone worsted), not the end of the world, but not optimal. I also opted to cut the skirt on the width of the herringbone pattern i.e. the chevrons don't run vertically along the length of my body, but horizontally. This was intentional. I thought it would be interesting and, since I'm not wide in my lower body, I guessed that it wouldn't create the illusion of too-much additional width. Hmmm, not so sure now that it's all said and done.

Reading this, I"m sure you think "K, why do you bother?". I have to stop dissecting my projects immediately after completion because my perfectionism is beating me down. I mean, I'm not simply unfortunate enough to be a perfectionist (psychological "issue", ya know). I'm a perfectionist who isn't perfect!?!? Can you imagine my pain?

I'm going to go upstairs and take a photo of the skirt, as soon as I drink a glass of wine. Or two. And then I'll post it with the expectation that y'all will tell me it's fantastic and I'm crazy for thinking otherwise.

I've decided to wait to tell you about the retro dress (Vogue 8413) till tomorrow. I have some stuff to say, but I feel it's inappropriate to comment on a project till its complete. At that point, however, all bets are off.

Pls. stay tuned...


  1. Well, dang! I'm sorry you've had such a struggle with the bra sewing. At least you gave it a go! Um...if you're not planning on making anymore you could always send me your supplies. hehehe

  2. Your perseverance is so beyond impressive!
    And I can't believe you're making up your own lining pattern/instructions AND matching patterns within your first less-than-a-year of sewing. I'm betting that pencil skirt looks way, way better than you can see right now and I'm absolutely prepared tell you so tomorrow.
    As for the bra, I've always thought that whole project is sheer, audacious craziness, but I'm pretty convinced by now that one of these days you're going to end up with the perfect prototype and then there'll be absolutely no stopping you.
    So go enjoy that wine -- the challenges will be there tomorrow when you step back in the ring! As will the rewards of showing off clothes you've sewn yourself. . .

    Oh, and btw, one of the markers of maturity is that damned ability to delay gratification -- think how mature you're becoming!!!

  3. Oh, I'm sorry the bra sewing is still such an uphill battle. And as for the skirt, that kind of muslin to fabric change in fit is all too common. And I know lots of very experienced sewists who can't comment on their own projects right after sewing them either for the very same reasons. (does perfectionism run rampant in sewing circles?? or do we all just expect too much from ourselves?)

  4. Andrea: Trying not to be totally unhappy about it. I'll keep you posted on those supplies :-)

    mater: I'm utterly mature at this point :-) (Thank you for the positive comment. I need the optimism.)

    Mardel: I don't know what's with us. In future, I'm just going to leave the garment alone for a few days to come to terms with it.