"" The girl who makes things: Sewing nightmares

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Sewing nightmares


In a recent post I wrote about five things which improved my sewing. Let's call those my sewing angels. Now for my devils. The things that make me howl in fustration. You know what I mean. Those little devils that make you feel like throwing your projects out of the window and giving up sewing for life. I want to share these because a) it's good to rant and share the pain and b) I'd like to know if any of you have solutions for these problems and c) I'd like to know if you have any similar or different problems. So here's my top four:

The cutting stage
I seem to dread this part of sewing, unless of course the fabric is a nice plain cotton poplin which is easy to press and doesn't move while you cut. But who wants to always wear cotton poplin?! I want viscose, chiffon and jersey all in different geometric prints. But some how my selvedges don't match, the fabric bubbles up in random places and the print never ever lines up. Grrrrr

Difficult fabric
Leading directly on from cutting, but not quite is bad, is sewing the damn fabric. When it slips around, so you have to pin every centimetre. When the sewing machine decides to eat it. When you turn it all out and the print you spent so long matching up in the cutting stage still doesn't line up! Why is the most beautiful fabric always the most difficult to work with??

Darts
I used to hate this stage a lot more than I do now, but it's still a pain. Darts make a big difference to the overall fit of the garment so accuracy is fairly important. Using transfer paper really helped my accuracy with darts, but sometimes, no matter how long I spend pinning them, the sewing machine still decides to undo my good work and I end up with a wonky dart.

The finished item
This is probably the most irritating. Sometimes, the stars just don't align. You've used a gorgeous fabric, you've fitted the garment well, you've sewn every seam and dart accurately, and yet... the overall item doesn't work well together. It doesn't make you feel amazing when you wear it. It gets resigned to the back of the cupboard, never to see the light of day again.

Obviously I still love sewing, and don't have any intention of giving up, but these are my hurdles and if there was any way to minimise them, I'd be a much happier sewist. So, how about you? Do you have the same sewing devils? Do you have any tricks or tips to make swwing easier? Do share!

11 comments:

  1. I find having a huge cutting table has made a massive difference to me working with lightweight airy fabrics that want to escape and move around. Maybe try basting your fabric all over before attaching pattern pieces. Or try a gelatin bath to improve the stability until your garment is ready?

    Here are some other thoughts (mostly for satin) but generally about slippery fabrics:
    http://almondrock.co.uk/tips-for-working-with-slippery-fabric/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard of the gelatin bath thing - I might have to give it aga. Oo, I'll check out your post!

      Delete
  2. I use spray starch and a gentle iron to stiffen up slippery fabrics for cutting and sewing. Simply wash off once you finish your garment.
    Holding the thread tails when starting each new seam helps massively in stopping that naughty machine from trying to eat your make!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Starch is good idea - I think I've used it before and it made things a bit easier. Yes, holding thread tails helps, but I always forget to do it! Thanks for the advice :)

      Delete
  3. I have no answers, sadly, apart from maybe basting, which is tedious but sometimes necessary. but I can relate to all of these. But the last is the worst by far. I hate so much when that happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, it's disheartening isn't it? Ooo basting could work, but it does sound tedious!

      Delete
  4. I agree, damn slippery fabrics! That is a pain, cutting is a pain, sewing darts is no fun, but also trimming seam allowances, because whenever I think, "Careful you don't slip", I ALWAYS slip right after thinking that and cut a giant hole in my garments. Oi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I've never done that but it does sound awful!

      Delete
  5. My sewing nightmare is definitely difficult fabric. Especially slippery fabric that is impossible to cut and frays. Guess what I’m working with at the moment? Right slippery and fraying fabric. I don’t get it why do I always buy those fabrics I know I hate working with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, I always have the same problem so I feel your pain. Good luck though, I hope it goes well!

      Delete
  6. Oh, I'm with you on the slippery fabric! I can second the recommendation of soaking the fabric in a gelatin solution. I've used it a few times, and it makes a big difference.

    ReplyDelete