Sunday, 15 March 2015

My Very First Sewed Garment (As An Adult!) - McCalls 3341 Skirt


 It’s more than a 18 months now since I made my very first garment since taking up sewing again and despite the fact that I’m not a frequent sewer I really do feel I have come a long way in that time.  My portfolio of techniques whilst still small is growing and that’s all I ask of myself really.  When I was deciding what to make all those months ago the idea was mostly born out of the fact that I had seen a dress I loved made from a Russian Dolls fabric.  I am a total sucker for anything with Russian Dolls on it!  Not the cheapest of dresses, I hadn’t taken the plunge to purchase when I began to develop an interest in learning to sew and decided to see if I could find the fabric.

After trawling the internet for quite some time I managed to find the exact same fabric!  Winner.  Next stop finding a pattern to go with it.  As a complete beginner I wanted to start with something I actually thought I could achieve and a line skirts seemed to come up repeatedly in blogs and sites suggesting beginner projects.  I find a line skirts extremely flattering on me so I was very happy to go down that route rather than holding out to make a dress and potentially buggering up with my precious fabric.

I spent ages assessing patterns and trying to get my head around the line drawings that are shown on the packets.  OMG talk about confusion reigns.  To my eyes it was like learning a whole new language, I simply wasn’t used to looking at clothes in that way and found it difficult to visualise those drawings in fabric.  Of course most packets show photos or at least illustrations of finished garments too but I vividly remember thinking that pattern packets were a rather weird concept to get used to.  I mean what the heck are all those numbers on the back?  I was about to learn!

You can just about see the dart and very clearly see the side seam

Eventually I settled on McCalls 3341 and purchased the pattern, fabric and the listed notions including an invisible zip.  Cue extensive research online as to how to insert an invisible zip and a lot of faffing around delaying before I finally started my project.

It took me about a day to make this skirt from start to finish and I slogged at it pretty much non stop.  I cut a size 12 which was based on my RTW size rather than taking any notice at all of the measurements on the pattern.  Rookie mistake!  It sort of worked out OK in the end more from blind luck than any judgement.  If I’d cut according to the pattern guides I should have cut a 16 but that clearly would have been ridiculously huge on me in the end.  I’ve since learned that the so called big four pattern companies are notorious for adding stupid amounts of ease to patterns so in this case that really worked in my favour :D

No attempt at pattern matching whatsoever!  DGAF

Absolutely every single thing I had to do in the construction of this skirt was new to me - understanding pattern markings, understanding grain lines on fabric, laying out the pieces and cutting them, marking and sewing darts, inserting the invisible zip, adding a waist band facing, finishing seams and attempting a blind hem.  Reading that it sounds like A LOT of new things for just one simple project but when each part is broken down it’s not so bad.

I am super proud of this skirt.  It is miles from by no means perfect and I am totally OK with that.  I know if I did the same pattern again now it would be better but ultimately I made something I can wear and I am so not going to beat myself up for being a beginner and producing something that makes me look like one.  It’s been washed, it didn’t fall apart, job done.

A very visible invisible zip

My invisible zip is far from invisible (I had to use a standard zipper foot – there are only so many accessories I’m prepared to buy when I have no idea if my interest in something is fleeting or not), my blind hem is very visible in places, my zig zag stitches on my raw edges look really weird to me – definitely not my preferred finishing method if I had enough experience to have a preferred method yet J

A not quite blind hem - visually impaired hem?
Really not loving those zig zagged edges

Eurgh, just eurgh
I wish I’d known about Craftsy when I made this skirt.  The free tutorials on there are awesome and would have given me a big head start in achieving this skirt.  Having said that there’s a lot to be said for not spending too long researching stuff – sometimes you just have to dive in and learn as you go along.  I’ve noticed lately I’ve spent a lot of time reading sewing blogs, dreaming of patterns I want to buy and generally not doing enough sewing.  Never going to produce new clothes that way!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please enter your comment and then submit. We love to hear from you