Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stalled Sewing: One Person's "Easy" is Another Person's "Disaster"

Over the past few days I've realized something... one person's "easy" sewing pattern is another person's disaster. And in this case that "disaster" person is me...

Okay that was a bit dramatic. We aren't to the disaster phase yet because I carefully packed my patterns back up in their little packages and decided to do the pants and shirt that came in the same package as the dress that I already made (three times over). I'm hoping the shirt and pants will boost my confidence back up again, so I can make a try at something a bit more complicated.

Actually I'm starting to notice a pattern in my sewing endeavors. I should have realized it earlier, because it is very similar to the way I learned to knit. When I was learning cable knitting or intarsia or really any new knitting skill I would have to read about it and then think about what I'd read for a few days and process it. Then when I came back to try again everything that had seemed frustrating would somehow start to make sense. And then it would be easy.

So I'll finish up the shirt and pants I started today and pick another pattern and hopefully my theory will prove to be true again. Because out of the 10 easy patterns I got at Joann's sale this last week, only one looks like it might be in my skill range. And it involves more fabric than I have (in one particular print at least... I have quite a stockpile of fabric built up from quilting... just not 3+ yards of most of them).

Or maybe Sadie is just going to have an entire wardrobe of clothing that tie at the shoulders, because her Mommy is afraid to try to sew in a zipper or a button...

Putting an elastic waist on the pants is tomorrows project (I know some of you are probably shaking your head because it's such a basic easy thing! I am such a beginner at this!).

I have a feeling Sadie is going to end up with another three outfits before I get up the courage to try the next "easy" pattern from the bunch. And this one will not have ties!

I'm leaning towards a pattern that says "easy" in big letters, but that also involves a zipper and ruffles!

Baby steps... baby steps...

Someday I'm going to look back on the things that gave me trouble in these early sewing days and laugh. Unfortunately those days are still a way off and I think I have quite a few more "what do they mean by that?!?!" moments coming up in the next few months!


  1. If it makes you feel any better, I saw your tie-at-the-shoulder dresses and told myself I'd have to work up to them because they're beyond my skill level!

    I was happy I fumbled my way through a circle skirt with an elastic waistband. I think you're doing great! I can't wait to see the next (three) project(s)!

  2. Hi Nicole-


    A circle skirt with the elastic waistband was the only one, out of my pile of patterns, that I thought looked like I might possibly be able to make when I was going through my patterns yesterday! The tie at the shoulder dress is probably really close to that one in difficulty, so you'll probably be ready for it very soon! The only part I kept having trouble with was making sure the fabric didn't bunch or slide sideways when I gathered it around the waist.

    I took out a vintage vogue apron pattern last week, because I thought "how hard can an apron be" and found out that an apron can be very, very complicated (the clue was probably that it took like four yards of fabric). I just wish I had a little more of the sewing common sense that seems to be expected in even the "easy" patterns. I got a sewing dictionary from amazon though and that is helping some. Otherwise I don't think I would have figured out the "easy" instructions to "gather" the waist of the dress!

    Good luck on you next project too!

  3. Tip for threading elastic through the waistband you have sewn: use a safety pin on one end as a "handle" while working it through. Once you have the elastic through do a few stitches and sew the ends of the elastic together. Then to prevent rolling do a couple of tacking stitches in various parts of the waistband tacking the elastic to the fabric it will save you headaches later.

  4. I still haven't figured out zippers, and it doesn't help that my zipper foot broke either...:(

    I have found that it is really hard to find an easy pattern at the store in general, one where you don't have to sew zippers (ugh!)as it seems so many patterns rely on zippers. Making buttonholes is not so hard if you do it by hand, although time-consuming.

    I am working on an apron right now, and the pattern seems relatively easy. I'll try and put up a post about it in the next few days and let you know how it goes.


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