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Topic: Beginning Sewing: Easy to Sew Top  (Read 2936 times)
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« on: November 15, 2012 10:52:02 AM »

I'm trying to begin learning how to sew clothes- really nice, tailored clothes, some elegant historical dresses and costumes, and maybe some snazzy evening wear. I am nowhere near that yet. I can follow easy patterns and have done so before, but it has been a while.  I want to methodically learn new techniques and practice using a variety of materials.  So to get my fingers limber, I chose a pattern I knew I would be able to do: Simplicity 3799.  It is listed as "Easy-to-Sew".

Includes following skills:
* gathering
* top stitching
* hemming
* using interfacing
* sewing curves, snipping curves,

Material Used: 100% Cotton, Quilting

Pattern Review: I made view B, the top. A dress of the same style, just longer, is also available. Also included are a mid-drift jacket, capris, and shorts. Easy to follow. Yoke required a bit of fiddling for a nice finish.

Fit: Pattern is a bit tent like in design.  I think choosing a thinner material with a better drape will help.  It is comfortable though.  I may try this pattern again in a different fabric. I think it looks better with a belt.

* Interfacing: The yoke is a bit stiff.  I used fusible interfacing on both pieces (inside and outside) of the yoke.  I think I should have used it only on one side. Also, should the interfacing be caught by the seam or not?
* Gathering: My gathering isn't as pretty as it could be. Need more practice.
* Seam Finishing: Not sure how to finish the exposed seams on the inside of the top.

Comments, critiques, and tips are very welcome.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012 10:56:00 AM by Matrish - Reason: addition » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012 11:17:52 AM »

Firstly, you did a great job.  The top is super cute!

You're probably right about the interfacing for the yoke.  Usually it's attached only to one side (lining or outside).  Interfacing comes in different weights.  For all projects, you have to decide what effect you need.  I usually have a generic "lightweight", but even that comes in different varieties, such as woven, non-woven (I hate this stuff), fusible, and non-fusible.  Some patterns specify you're supposed to trim away the seam allowances of the interfaced pieces, so it won't get caught in the seam.  Others don't.  It will add bulk. 

Exposed seams on the inside don't have to be finished.  If I'm making a gift, I might try to finish them, but usually, if it's for me, I don't bother.  There are a couple of ways to finish inside seams if you want.  You can zigzag over the edges, which will catch some fraying.  If you have a serger, that's the easiest way.  You could also tuck the seam allowance into itself, iron it down, and stitch it down.  Tedious.  And very pretty.  French seams seek to avoid this problem altogether.  Or, when you have a fabric that doesn't fray so much, just leave it be.  Or, you can take pinking shears to the raw edges.  Super easy. 

Mama to baby twins.  Frantic crafter while they nap!

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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012 11:25:50 AM »

Thanks for your comments Lil_abi.  You make me feel like I'm not too far off base with what I'm doing! For this shirt, I think I'll just follow your advise and leave the seams alone for the time being. 

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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012 12:55:44 PM »

You did fabulous!  It is cute and versatile...but most importantly, it will be one of a kind! Good job!!

I use a woven tricot iron-on fusible web for most of my sewing...it seems to adapt to each fabric..

One thing you might want to try with gathering if you did not already do this:  using the longest stitch your machine has, make TWO rows of gathers about 1/4 inch apart...leave about 4 inches of thread at both ends...I tie the threads at one end together, stick a pin in your garment, and then wrap that end around the pin to hold it...pull the other two threads to gather...it will help you gather more evenly...

Also, if you loosen your upper tension, you will notice that the bobbin thread sort of looks like a straight line on the underside...pull on the bobbin threads and it will be much easier and the threads won't break...

I agree with everything else lil_abi said...and wish you many many years of learning, getting experience, and making lovely things!

Can't wait to see your next "lesson"!

« Last Edit: November 15, 2012 12:56:31 PM by alwaysinmyroom » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012 04:57:12 AM »

wow.. I'm also a begginer but for me, the top you made is super difficult   Wink great job:)

p.s. for me it looks better without a belt, but it's your choise of course Smiley
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012 11:20:09 AM »

I'm a beginner sewer too and this looks great.

The neckline is so pretty it could look pretty under a jacket for a dressier/business look.

Well done!
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