Had that sinking feeling when you look at the fabric you purchased for a project and thought ‘Ooops‘?
OK not so bad, except when the stripes run in one direction and are all different widths. Not so good.
I almost ditched this project, however the time I spend in the sewing room after putting my girls to bed saved it. I spent a lot of time looking at the pattern and the fabric, moving pieces around before I started.
All sorts of things have gone wrong, I’ve cut out some pieces twice, jiggled and wriggled the pieces, had more than a few moments when I thought “I’m an idiot, I can’t do this” but I’ve hung in there and the stripes are lining up. Hooray.
I cut all the pieces out on the ironing board as they were all small and/or narrow. I wanted to achieve a cheveron effect at the seams so I was very precise about the position of the patterns pieces on the fabric before cutting. Once I had a pattern piece down exactly where I wanted it on my fabric, I wanted to anchor it securely before cutting. Standard pinning did not give me the result I was after and pattern weights were also not secure enough.
Solution? I pushed the pins directly down, through the pattern piece, the fabric and the ironing board itself. As my ironing board has a cover, a thick felt layer and then a metal grid, the pins went through easily (errr, except for when I hit the metal grid bits, minor detail).
I pinned a little in from the edge so my scissors could easily slide along the edge. I have a rotary cutter and mat, however I found this method much easier for little pieces. (excuse the dodgey iPhone photos – the only thing at hand at night – but I think you get the idea. All you can see is a pin head, no pin shaft.).
I also found the height of the ironing board and the ease of moving around it very helpful.
Unlike many sewing projects, I have cut out the pieces as I have gone along. I knew I had enough fabric so I took my time. I cut out the bodice and pieced it together. Then cut and pieced the skirt. I spent quite a while deciding what to do with the stripes on the straps. I cut the facings from the scraps towards the end.
It’s been fun. In fact it reminds me of making a patchwork quilt, putting time and consideration into each step. Thinking about the placement of each piece and how the fabric works in context of the larger project. Sometimes it is nice to know your destination, other times choosing a different path is just as rewarding.
Still more work to go on this stripey challenge, I have to shift the straps a little, do some understitching and then the hem.
Patience is a virtue…