My sewing handicap

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… I can’t understand diagrams.   My brain has a hard time translating drawings into real life… and it always has.  This is a problem that plagued me in school.    Sewing patterns often depend on diagrams to teach you how to do something.  Were it not for the internet (and especially Youtube!) I doubt that I ever could have learned to sew or knit.

Part of the reason that I always make a muslin is that, predictably, I will screw up some part of the pattern that involves me translating from a picture.  On my current pants project I messed up the zipper, managing to sew it wrong twice.  Fortunately, by the time I got to the actual pants I had watched enough videos to understand how a fly zipper is sewn.  Unfortunately, I failed to do one of the last steps in the pattern in my muslin, and screwed it up on the pants.  The directions tell you to baste the waist facing in place, and then to fold the fly out over the facing and baste.  These instructions made approximately no sense to me, but the diagram showed the fly over the facing, and it wso that’s what I did, darn it.  Apparently I did it wrong, and I ended up having to redo that part after I sewed the seam and trimmed (naturally… why would I notice a mistake before cutting off fabric?)  I managed to get everything tacked down, but I do not believe that it looks exactly the way it’s supposed to on the inside (it looks fine from the outside, thank goodness!)

Ah well… I have only to sew on the closure and hem, and these pants will be finished.  I have mixed feelings about them, probably because I hate that I made a mistake, but my husband was very impressed by them, saying “those look really expensive!”  I just won’t show anyone the inside.  Pictures should follow this weekend, assuming we get some sunlight!  I’ve also finished my sweater, so that should get photos this weekend as well, and I’ve bought the new Kim Hargreaves book in celebration!  I’m planning to get started on my gingham blouse, which looks like an easy project.  I’m actually not planning a muslin, since it’s easy and straightforward – I will do a basted fitting instead, and we will see how that goes!

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10 thoughts on “My sewing handicap

  1. The pants look perfect!
    When I sew a pair of pants, I rarely follow the directions when it comes to the zipper fly. Since I’ve been sewing for quite some time now, I’ve made up my own directions depending on the style. I think you’ll find yourself customizing your zippers closures after your second or third pair as well.
    I can’t wait to see the sweater. 🙂

  2. Fly zippers are tricky. I always have to stare at the directions until my eyes start to cross. Do this and then… what?! Anyway, I have actually made that blouse pattern you are starting on next, but cut the center front seam on a fold. That maybe something to think about if you are concerned about your lines matching up. If you do, be sure to eliminate the seam allowance so it doesn’t end up really wide. Just my 2 cents.

  3. The pants look fantastic! Love the fabric. I myself have seeerious problems in following written instructions, just can not do it. I need the pictures instead. Most of the time I actually don’t read the instructions at all…:)

  4. asplashofgrace says:

    Your sewing is, well, gorgeous. And if my sewing machine didn’t hate me, I’d be all sorts of inspired to get the beast out and sew something. But since we’re not on speaking terms, I gave it up for knitting, which I can’t get enough of but I don’t have people around me that knit or crochet, or do hand projects of any kind, really, so I rely on books and blogs for courage, inspiration and a smile. And though I have rifled my way through dozens of blogs I only have found two that I like enough to follow weekly-one is yours. So as totally impressed as I am with your amazing (and it truly is) sewing and the beautiful retro clothing you’re creating, I really really really want to see just an itsy bit of whatever you’re knitting. Doesn’t matter what it is. Even something half done that you haven’t touched for years that you’re not really working on would be fine. I just need a glimpse. 🙂 Thank you for all the fun you bring to my wee little world. And great job on the sewing!!!

    • asplashofgrace says:

      Hey, sorry about the pic of my crazy silly husband. Thought we’d changed that. Really, I’m a pretty normal, nice, knitting woman.

  5. Robin says:

    One of the biggest leaps I’ve made was tracing off my patterns and I do wish I’d learned that from the get go as it so helps me understand the garments’ construction aside from the instructions. Saying that, considering all the zippers I’ve inserted over the years they still make my heart skip a bit. For all your rdo-overs, your pants look smashing and they really do look expensive.

    Bravo!

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