Saturday, 29 January 2011

Swinging and sewing along... and STUMPED

Now let me start off by saying that this is not at all me finding fault with Casey's swing dress sew-along. As everyone knows Casey is a genius and her sew-along has been brilliant, organized and clear. This is what happens when I try to do things on my own

Muslin pieces, cut out and ready!

At first everything was going swimmingly. I had chosen my fabric, finished the mammoth job of sticking together all of the pieces of the downloaded pattern, I'd altered the length of the hem, the sleeves and the bodice on the pattern, and then cut out each of my new pattern pieces ready to work. I then spent most of today cutting out my fabric for my muslin and marking up each piece with all the necessary lines and notches etc. Now I was feeling pretty smug at the amount that I had gotten done, so I was feeling a little bit daring when I saw these words at the end of Casey's last post:
"If you are feeling confident, start sewing it up if you have time over the next few days."
And being all cock-sure and devil-may-care that's exactly what I decided to do. I can now say that this was definitely not the best plan of action. The first two sewing instructions were simple, sewing up the dart on the centre back and then attaching the back facing, no problem. It's when I got to step 3 that my problems started. Now I would just like to say that all though I wouldn't say I was a pro sewer by any stretch of the imagination, I am not a novice and I have used patterns a great deal more complicated than this one before, so I was really not expecting to have any difficulties. Maybe it was because it was getting late or maybe I'd had a small stroke or something, but I really couldn't make head nor tail of the next step.

Excuse me...what??
The instruction is to match the bodice front up to the back facing you have just sewn, right sides together, and stitch with a 5/8" seam and this seam will end at the dot where you stopped sewing on the back facing seam. Well my seam didn't stop there, it was about an inch away from said dot. And I also couldn't get my real life pieces of fabric to resemble the little line drawing given to illustrate the step. I tried to sew this seam 4 times, each time ripping it out again because when turning the facing in the front piece would be facing the wrong way or inside out. I felt like I must have been over complicating this process immensely. Surely just sewing two facings together shouldn't be this difficult? So I decided to glance at the next step to see whether or not it could give me a clearer explanation of what I was doing wrong.

Right, ok then..?

And at this point I just sort of gave up. I looked at the picture above, which is supposed to be showing me how to complete the step, and I thought "well I can't even tell what that is, so how am I supposed to recreate it?" So I spent a great deal of time staring at this image and trying to understand it, but the more I looked the more it reminded me of Egyptian hieroglyphics. And when I started to feel the picture was taunting me I knew it was time to stop for the day! 

I did make a start on this step, I gathered my bodice front between the notches as required, but then I was faced with a paragraph of wordy instruction and my mind just switched off. I have never been someone who learns easily just from reading words, my mind is much more stimulated by pictures and shapes, so I suppose that is why I'm struggling to find my way through these instructions. I'm sure I'm just making a mountain out of a mole hill and as soon as I read Casey's next post I will be back on track again and laughing at my silliness and my inability to understand something ridiculously simple, but right now I just feel tired and a little grumpy!

I'm sure many of you have had moments when you feel like your sewing ability has gone, never to return, well my over-dramatic sensibilities are pushing me in that direction right now! However, I'm sure everything will look better in the morning, so I'll come back to this dress tomorrow after a good night's sleep. Who knows, I might even get an epiphany in a dream and suddenly realise what I was doing wrong...

Can someone tell me what this is please because I just don't know!

I hope you're all having great weekends and that your sewing projects are going a little more smoothly than mine!


Tasha said...

Oh my gosh, that is the EXACT same spot that had me stumped! And as far as I can tell the drawing for #3 is totally backwards. If you line up the front and back that way, you end up with the armhole of the front facing the center! I spent forever trying to figure it out.

I finally think I got it straightened out but I'm still not sure if the facing part of the front and the actual back facing are supposed to line up when you fold it in. So you are in good company being stumped. I've now had to work the bodice muslin twice and still not sure if I got it 100% correct. If you want though, I could try and show you a photo of how I sewed them.

And if it makes you feel better, I posted photos of my terribly ill-fitting muslin in the Flickr group. Boy was that demoralizing. :D

Miss Katie said...

Tasha you have no idea how much better you have just made me feel! I really thought there must be something terribly wrong with my brain and that I must be missing something very obvious! Any help you could offer would be so appreciated, you don't even know!
Katie x

Tasha said...

Katie, when I sit down later to sew (might be late this afternoon though as we're going out), I will have to take apart my bodice (AGAIN) anyway, so I will take a couple of photos and email them to you. :)

Casey said...

Don't worry dear! This particular step stumped me the first time I made the dress, and took a lot of muddling through and scratching my head. But once you do it, it'll be easy! I'm planning on shooting a tutorial on how to sew this seam this afternoon and publishing it tomorrow morning. So it will hopefully clear things a bit! :)

♥ Casey

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