Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pattern, pattern, pattern

The first time I used a store-bought pattern was in 1988 for my 7th grade home economics class. I made a jacket. The sleeves were not the same length, but for a 13 year old kid with nearly no prior sewing experience I think it was an impressive piece of work. My next use of a store-bought pattern was in 1995. I made a quilted gambeson. A few days ago I started work on my third pattern piece, a vest. The project is not going well.

I have made vests before but never with so many problems. My other vests I either designed myself or were based on simple patterns I found online, while now I am using a Simplicity pattern. This vest is more complicated than my previous ones, but my problems seem to be caused by the pattern itself and not the act of sewing. The sewing would itself would be easy if I could figure out what to do. The instructions make no sense. A picture is provided for each step, but the step 2 instructions seem to correlate with the pictures for steps 1 and 3, and it just gets worse from there. Instructions for the side and back seams are repeated in a few steps while only partial instructions are given for the bottom and neck pieces.

No doubt my lack of experience with patterns accounts for some of my woes, but I think this particular pattern deserves the lion’s share of the blame. The jacket was much more complicated than this vest but making it seemed a lot easier.

My plan was to make two copies of this vest strictly adhering to the pattern, one in muslin to learn how to make it and one with fashion fabric to wear. If I liked the general look and shape of the finished piece I would then make one or two more vests with modifications of my own design. I will finish the muslin vest, but I may then move directly to a modified design. If I ever have a finished vest that I am not ashamed of I will post a picture of it here.

Thank you for taking the time to read my long winded and self pitying rant. I will try to keep my future posts more positive. The past few days have been stressful, and I needed this chance to vent my spleen. I suppose I could start smoking, but kvetching to strangers online seems a little more productive and a lot less unhealthy.

No comments:

Post a Comment