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15 January 2009 @ 11:33 am
Adventures in Sewing!  
I took a sewing class this week. It's the free class our local store offers on your new machine when you purchase through them, and it was taught by this delightful older lady named Pat, who has, like, 30+ years of experience sewing pretty much everything.

In two hours, she taught us four invaluable things:

1. One does NOT need to backstitch to secure a seam.

I was totally blown away by this! Instead of backstitching, simply start each seam with three smaller stitches, say,about 1.5 in stitch length. Then up the length to 2, do the rest of your seam, stop right before the end and change the length back to 1.5, do three small stitches, and your seam is secure and very neat, no backstitching required. Fabulous!

2. Raise your hand if you hate gathering. *raises hand* Why do we hate to gather? Because one out of every three times you attempt it, your thread breaks and you have to start over. Pat's method: take a small string or cord and do a small-ish zigzag stitch over it, then pull your stitch over the cord to gather quickly and easily, no fear of breaking thread!

3. What Pat calls "the lightning stitch". It's a teeny tiny zigzag - like, set on 1 for length, TINY. Use instead of a straight stitch wherever your seams need to be able to stretch a bit - say, in the shoulder seam. Tiny enough not to be super noticeable, strong as a straight stitch, and no matter what direction you apply stretch and pressure to, your seam does not break! Should be very useful for corsets.

4. How to properly do a button hole with my machine. Up till now, button holes have been made of EVIL and I have avoided them at all costs. Now, I am actually thinking about using them!

Also, I am making a Regency gown. That is next big project. At the end of March, our small, older theater is going to show a Jane Austen film. We are going to watch it, in costume, then go for tea down at a little tea place down the street that actually does afternoon tea everyday. It's going to be super fun! Right now, I'm making all the underthings to be worn under the dress. Next up, the day dress in cotton (for practice and fun), then the ballgown.

In the meantime, we are going to take more classes with the invaluable Pat. :-)
 
 
 
"Connoisseurs of Difficulty"kistha on January 15th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
Sharing that gathering lesson would be handy. One of the changes I want to make to the togas were how I gathered them.

Can't WAIT. And the Jane Austin thing - awesome!
patron saint of neglected female characters: fantastic!rose_griffes on January 16th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Tip on gathering--excellent! Also looking forward to trying the lightning stitch. Though I haven't sewn anything in ages--mostly I just repair stuff now.