Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Topstitching, edgestitching, and two side projects

My instructor began class today by returning to us our assignment from last week, and I am pleased to say I received the highest possible score, five points. Today’s assignment involved topstitching and edgestitching. It was a lot more difficult than seam lines; I expect to earn four or four and a half points for this one.

I have found there is often a huge difference between machines. It is not a matter of different models or brands of machines behave differently, rather each machine has its own personality. Some machines are faster or more sensitive than others. Today I chose to use the fastest machine in class. I knew there are easier machines with which to work, and that by using the one I chose I would make my work a lot more difficult, but I think that if I can become comfortable with the more difficult machines then my work with all the machines will improve. It was the machines sensitivity, not its speed that I found most daunting. I would tentatively apply a little pressure to the pedal, and nothing would happen. I would slowly apply more pressure, and suddenly the machine would take off like a rocket. Once I got it going I could control it well, but the first few stitches of any seam or line were a little hectic. However, after working with it for three hours I began to feel good about it.

This past week I completed two small projects at home. Neither one was a class assignment, but they were both sewing projects of my own design, so I will include them in this blog. The first project, while not a class assignment, is still for class. I am pleased with the design, but the execution could have been better. It is not bad; I would just like it to be better. On the other hand, this was my first bag of this type, it is a lot more complicated than any other bag I have made, and I learned a lot while working on it, so I consider this project a success. Now that I know what I am doing with this bag design the next one I make will be a lot nicer.

My other project combines apparel with my other design medium, chainmail. Before I provide any further details of this project there is something I must explain. I wish I did not need to state this, but at times I feel I cannot stress it enough. There is a huge difference between designing outfits for dolls and playing with dolls. I DO NOT PLAY WITH DOLLS. I have been making doll apparel for a couple years now. It is nice to be able to make a full outfit with less than one yard of fabric.

I began by dressing this fine laddie in a shirt, kilt, and pair of boots so he can look sharp while wooing the lassies. Then I equipped him with some armor in case he should need to defend his home from the English.

My homework for next week is to bring two yards of muslin to class with me. I do not know what we will be doing, but I know that we will not be working with 5” x 10” rectangles again. I am looking forward to new shapes.

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