Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

I like spending time doing things I’m not very good at. Apparently.

on September 23, 2012

I like cooking. But what I really like is looking at pictures in cookery books and imagining cooking them. It seems to be the same with sewing. I like looking at pictures of things I could sew, and imagining how nice it would be to have sewn it, without actually putting the hard work in.  Imagining sewing something lovely is more satisfying than spending lots of time and money on a sewing project and ending up with something less-than-lovely.

I’ve also discovered the joy of buying downloadable patterns.  Find a picture of something you like, enter your Paypal details and in seconds a pattern arrives in your inbox.  Instant gratification at its best! (Followed, of course by the delayed ungratification of making something wonky and badly-fitting).  However, there are a few issues.  Firstly, after downloading the pattern yesterday I discovered my printer had run out of cyan ink. Despite repeated pleadings, it wouldn’t print out a pattern in black-and-white because it had no blue.  Whatever.  So I walked into town, eating into precious sewing time, and visited three different shops before finding somewhere that sells my printer’s cartridges.

So. I got home, had some lunch and then printed out the pattern.  This one is fairly easy because it’s only 4 pages of patterns. Some run to 32 pages or more.  Once all the pieces are cut out, you stick them all together, the different parts being matched up with stars and circles and squares. This is quite fun. Except (and here’s the second problem) I can’t cut straight and I can’t stick straight.  So it was challenging trying to fit the ‘straight’ edge of the pattern piece against the straight edge of the folded material.  In the end I lined the top and bottom of the piece against the edge and hoped for the best.  The instructions which came with it were pretty straightforward (so far) and I’m pleased with it.

But it’s quite addictive. I have found loads of patterns for cute little things to sew for girls.  And bags. Lots of bags. I don’t really use bags, but I like the idea of sewing bags.  There are quite a few sites which offer free patterns, or patterns which can be downloaded for a few dollars.  I linked to a list of free patterns for dresses for girls here, I really like Made By Rae and MADE (apparently the key to having a successful sewing blog/business is having ‘made’ in your title. Fortunately I am about being awesome rather than successful sewing) but I’d quite like to have a go at making some clothes for myself.  So, do you use downloadable patterns? Any recommendations for other sites where I can satisfy my pattern-habit?

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9 responses to “I like spending time doing things I’m not very good at. Apparently.

  1. Rosie says:

    I realise you enjoy making wonky items, but if you’d like a couple of tips for making less wonky items I would suggest:
    1. Iron your fabric.
    2. Lay your fabric out flat.
    3. Make sure you follow instructions about where the pattern should be placed on the fabric (i.e. they normally have an arrow indicating where to follow the grain of the fabric).
    4. Place your first pin in the corner of the pattern/fabric, with the sharp bit sticking outwards, then go to the opposite corner, the next two corners, then the middle of each line and work outwards towards the corners again.
    5. Cut on the flat surface (don’t lift it).
    6. Use good scissors that you only use for fabric. Or use a rotary cutter though they can be a bit pricey.
    Sorry if that’s a bit geeky, but the small things really do make all the difference and imagine how awesome it feels to make something not wonky!
    But enjoy the sewing regardless!

    • Oh, that is really helpful! I did try washing and ironing my fabric, and being more careful with my cutting, and that seems to have helped. But your tip about how to pin out the fabric is really useful – I hadn’t thought of that!

      I do have scissors just for cutting fabric. But they look remarkably like my paper scissors so they did get a but misused yesterday. I might have to buy some paper scissors specifically for patterns which don’t look like my fabric scissors.

  2. Try this http://www.shopwiksten.com/product/tank-top-sewing-pattern-downloadable-pdf

    I alway seem to stumble upon this pattern. Everything I have read about has been positive – easy to sew, looks great etc etc. I haven’t made it myself, but it is in my to-do list.

    • It looks easy enough – but I wonder if it would make me look a bit pregnant? I tend to put weight on exactly where you would get a bump if you were pregnant, so anything gathery at the front tends to make me look like I’m hiding a tiny baby in there – I think I tend to need a bit more shaping around the waist. Maybe I’ll give it a go and see what I think. And if it doesn’t fit me I’ll… well, I’ll add it to the pile of badly-fitting clothes!

  3. prttynpnk says:

    http://www.victorypatterns.com/ Victory has some very cool downloadable patterns. Rosie’s tips are spot on- also, if they suggest a particular fabric, believe therm! I am the queen of inappropriate fabric choices- they waste lots of time!

    • Do you buy fabric in person or online? I like looking at fabric on ebay but I am never sure if it’s going to be the right type or weight.

      • prttynpnk says:

        I use Fabricmart online and my local fabric places. I like Fabricmart because they have so much info in the descriptions and shopping locally so I can get familiar with how things lay and drape. MY local shop is bor-ing tho!

  4. seaswift says:

    I can really identify with what you say in your opening paragraph. I’m always being inspired by other people’s sewing blogs with lovely photos of their finished items. It’s moving from inspiration to action that’s the tricky step!

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