sewing weekend

ever since the summer session began, i’ve been neglecting all my other activities. practically all i have been up to apart from work has been watching movies with my sister at night. last weekend, though, i was finally able to get a few things done. coincidentally, it was also the same weekend that my sister went to wisconsin for a wedding.

the first thing i finished was a shirt made from a “very easy vogue” pattern. goodness! if this was “very easy”, i don’t know how hard “easy” would be. every pattern that i make is a learning experience, though, even if i spend half the time making mistakes (which invariably happens). reading and understanding the patterns is half the battle. the shirt turned out well, but i think i made it quite large, as it looks pregnant on me. but now i know how to do some new tricks! =D

this pattern called for bias tape, so i was finally able to try out making my own. it was so satisfying! i went and got a bias tape maker from fabricland, and also stocked up on some tools: a self-healing cutting mat, a rotary cutter, and a clear thick ruler. all the tutorials online for making bias tape in one continuous piece were really confusing to me, so i ended up making it by following this tutorial. i made individual strips and joined the ends together, then fed it through the bias tape maker, ironed, and tada! satisfaction.

having finished by shirt, i decided to finally make a bag for my sister. although i really loved the purple clutch i made earlier, it’s too small to be useful. so, i blew up the pattern and made a bigger version using the leftover fabric from my birdie sling.

i made a few changes from my first model: i took my new skills in bias tape making and made a strip of regular tape from the exterior fabric, and attached it to the top of the interior pocket for some contrast. it didn’t go exactly as planned, but i’m slowly figuring out a better way to do it. i also reinforced the magnetic snaps with two layers of canvas, so now they feel much more secure and less likely to pop off with extended use. and, because i was feeling so much more assured in my sewing skills, i topstitched around the bag. i changed needles to a size 16 to work through the heavy layers, and things went smoothly. it turned out great!

the work went much smoother this time and i felt much more confident in what i was doing. this is why i’ve been making “practice” clothes – it really does help when you’re figuring out what to do. i’m sure there are tons of people out there who don’t need to decipher the directions, but for a beginner like me, making mistakes is essential.

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