Saturday, March 14, 2009

Today I Start

And with this post, I enter the world of garment making.

About a year ago, I started reading A Dress A Day. My favorite posts are not the enchantingly glorious stories about the pattern ladies, but those with actual photos of dresses sewn. I want to touch those garments, examine the seams, ask "how did you decide...."

How does one decide what to sew - there are so many options!
How does one decide what fabric to buy?
How do you match a fabric to a pattern?
How do you determine which pattern is flattering to your figure?
How do you get the pattern to fit your figure?
How do you obtain the knowledge about fabrics?
How do you sew with a knit?
How do I know the difference between a knit and something called a jersey knit?

So many questions!

Enter the blogs of sewists or sewers. Heck, enter the world of linguistics! The sewists verses the sewers.

Speaking about linguistics: my blog is Remnant. I started using that word on other blogs to remind me that the Lord God of Israel saves a Remnant for His own. It, somehow, speaks to my heart as a Jewish believer in Messiah Jesus. How awesome that it can also be used to keep record of my sewing journey.

In the last few weeks, while visiting out of town, I spent an inordinate amount of time reading and studing sewing blogs. I started collecting a stash. And patterns.

When I got to the point where I started thinking: God bless her, but I would NEVER have chosen THAT fabric for THAT garment, I knew I'd crossed the fear barrior. There is no right or wrong. Trial and error is fine. And when I found one sewist who recently posted about her failures last month, I said, "Aha!" Not everything must be perfection.

Yes, I will aim for HongKong seams. Eventually.
Yes, I will aim to make a FBA.
Yes, I will make a duct tape "me" whose name will be clever and charming, I am sure.
Yes, I will one day, make a jacket. Fully lined. Using the bagging technique.
Yes, I will start small. A simple skirt. A dress. A top (without set-in sleeves!) (Thank God it spring/summer time!)
Yes, I will not give up with a failure or two or three.

I have chosen these few things to tackle (once I locate my machine and get it serviced)...
Dress pattern:
Kwik Sew 2809

Two skirt patterns:
Loes Hines Tango Skirt - still need to order this
McCalls 5431 - I'm beginning to think this is a mistake due to the drop waist. I think I need a fitted waist - but I can always tweak the pattern. Right?

Three top patterns:
Butterick 5217 - for some 35 inch wide Gandini silk I found in the backroom of a quilt shop
Simplicity 2892 - I want to make in white cotton with the ruffled yoke
Kwik Sew 2694 - to learn to sew a knit (I bought a deep, dark purple)

With this, I have a variety of pattern companies, a variety of styles, a bit of creativity. I plan to make some bias tape (I made bias tapes eons ago for a project I can't recall, but I do recall making the tape, cutting yards of spirals) to add to the skirt, perhaps.

I plan to post pictures of projects as they are completed.

One day, I dream of owning a binding machine, oodles of fancy feet and a serger. I'll settle for a good sewing machine.

My fabrics are bought, washed, ready. Sew am I.


Beth said...

Lisa, you are ambitious. My mother is a seamstress. I never caught the garment-making bug. I just would buy the supplies and whine to my mom and she would make my things. I do make my scrub tops. If you ever want to market something, that would be a good thing to do, BTW Scrub tops are so expensive to buy. Can't wait to see your creations.

Remnant said...

Hi Beth! You have the honor of being the first to comment - and probably read - my blog! My grandmother was an excellent seamstress but I never had the honor of watching her sew. My mom would sew clothes for us when we were children and I remember watching in fascination as the machine whirled and stitched. My mom put away her machine in favor of knitting needles.

The interesting thing is that my maternal grandfather earned his living creating fabric in NY. He was an artist and created and manufactured silk fabric. Unfortunately, no one saved any of his yardage. I throw a mini-tantrum every time I think about the silk I could have in my stash!

My dad and his father also worked with fabric, only he sold high-end retail in the DC area in stores called Haber & Co.

I will call myself a success in the use of fabrics if I make a few humble garments that I actually wear.

Huskerbabe said...

What are hong kong seams? Are they like french seams?
I enjoy sewing, just never seem to find blocks of time to work. Set in sleeves aren't hard, but I still struggle with buttonholes and even hemlines. :)

Lisa said...

Hong Kong seams are when the raw edges of a seam are enclosed with a binding. Many times, a contrasting binding is used for interest. This prevents unraveling of the raw edges. Mostly, it completes the garment so that the inside is just as completed and interesting as the outside. (Evidently, Kris, in the world of sewists, inside completion of a garment is just as important and awe-inspiring as the outside completion of a garment.)