|Making A Start: The Package Is Opened!|
1. Whether and how to prewash my fabrics
2. What kind of interfacing to use for the waistband of the skirt
3. What size should I cut out
I know my mom is going to laugh when she reads this. She would have started cutting and sewing immediately and finished the skirt in a day. I, on the other hand, need to research, ponder, mull, consult the Internet, and only THEN can I proceed. Since I have only ever made one garment that ended up wearable (and I was disappointed with the fit), I started by purchasing a new book to teach me the basics. I picked the Threads Magazine Sewing Guide because, having subscribed to Threads in the past, I know that Threads is all about garment sewing as an art form, with the goal of achieving couture quality garments with the best fit possible. The frustrating thing about trying to learn to sew from a monthly magazine is that each issue has a random assortment of articles that never seem to mesh with the project I have in mind. So, for instance, I have studied articles on how to contour princess seams, underlining with silk organza, and how to do a hand-picked zipper from reading Threads magazine, but I don't know what to do first when I open a new pattern. The Threads Sewing Guide seems to be a compilation of articles from the magazine, but arranged logically so that a beginner like me can start reading at the beginning and know what to do.
|The Skirt Pattern: New Look 6708|
|The Fabric: Pretty Potent Echinachea on Cotton Voile|
As for Quandary #2... My pattern calls for fusible interfacing, period. As if there was only one kind of fusible interfacing out there, and everyone knows where to get it. Hah! There must have been twenty different kinds of fusible interfacing at JoAnn's, some of it tissue-thin, others that were stiff and reminded me of heavy weight cutaway machine embroidery stabilizer. How am I supposed to know which one to use? I consulted several different sources for this one. According to my Threads book, the general rule of thumb is that you want to use an interfacing that is similar in weight or lighter weight than your fashion fabric. That helps. But then I consulted another great book, Sandra Betzina's More Fabric Savvy, which lists today's common garment fabrics alphabetically and gives sewing recommendations for each of them. Betzina has a section in the book for Batiste & Voile, and she recommends interfacing with self-fabric. Hunh? But my pattern says FUSIBLE interfacing! I consulted another resource, Shannon Gifford's sewing tutorial for Voile at EmmaOneSock (one of my favorite online garment fabric shops). Gifford says, "If you prefer to use a fusible interfacing, use the thinnest fusible available... However, the best interfacing for this fabric is a coordinating solid colored silk organza." When I went to JoAnn's for interfacing, they did not have any coordinating silk organza, and the lightest weight fusible interfacing they had was a Pellon Ultra Lightweight Fusible Interfacing By the Bolt. It's 100% polyester and the care instructions are machine wash warm, tumble dry and warm iron. Fortunately, I bought a little more fabric than the pattern called for, so I'll be able to experiment. I'll try both ways, fusible interfacing and self-fabric interfacing, and see which one looks and feels better.
|Fitting Class with Lorraine Henry|
So I decided to figure out how big the waist of the finished skirt would be if I made a size 16, so I could compare that to the waist of the skirts hanging in my closet. I measured along the top edge of the skirt waistband pieces, and subtracted out the side seam allowances, and I got a finished waist band of approximately 32 3/4" for a size 16 skirt (not the same as the waist measurement for that size, because the pattern adds wearing ease and the skirt is designed to sit 1" below the natural waistline). Then I went into my closet and discovered that the most comfortable skirts I own actually do measure around 32" at the waist. Go figure! It looks like I'll be making a size 16, after all. I'm still a little nervous about that -- what if I made a mistake measuring the pattern pieces or subtracting out seam allowances? Just to be on the safe side, I think I'll cut the waistband pieces out of muslin, stitch them together, and try it on before I cut into the real fabric. Maybe I should make the WHOLE skirt out of muslin, since I don't really know what I'm doing?
|Ironing Pattern Pieces|
Today I spent some time straightening up and organizing my studio so I have room to work on this project. I ordered a roll of the Swedish Tracing Paper from Amazon because, even if I don't use it for this pattern, I know I'll want it for when I'm ready to make a lot of pattern alterations to dress and blouse patterns. I had hoped to make more progress on the skirt today, but I ended up writing about it here instead. Which is fine. Writing about it helps me to sort out all of the conflicting advice gleaned from various sources, and helps me to clarify what to do next:
1. I need to read through the pattern instructions and make sure I understand everything. I may need to look some things up in my sewing books, like how to do a sewn-in self-fabric interfacing, if I decide to go that route.
2. I need to decide how I'm going to finish my seams. My Fabric Savvy book suggests either French seams or a 3-thread overlock stitch.
3. I need to trace off the pattern pieces (if I decide to do that) and make up a muslin to check that I like the fit and the style.
...and THEN I can cut out the pieces from the fashion fabric and the lining!
I'm linking up with Esther's WIPs on Wednesday even though this one isn't quilting related (I hope that's okay). Meanwhile, we're headed to Carowinds tomorrow to ride the roller coasters with Lars and Anders. Fingers crossed for light crowds and clear skies!