Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Patterns Again....

I know that I have bitched and moaned about using patterns for my sewing projects. And it was warranted because I have had a lot of misses from using patterns. Pattern sizes don't necessarily match up to you dress size. They may be too long or too short. You have to have a lot of toys if you want to easily make adjustments. Patterns are expensive. And there is no real way to tell if the garment will come out exactly like it looks on the envelope. If a pattern is not successful you have wasted time, money and fabric. And sometimes a finished garment just looks terrible regardless of who or what.

But I have been following a lot of blogs of sewists that use patterns. Mostly retro patterns. So I have been giving patterns a second chance. I have come to some moderate decisions regarding my use of them. I'm straddling the fence.

I have noticed that some parts of patterns, I tend to go to a lot. I have a pattern for a top of a bodice that I generally use for most dresses. But I don't like the bottom part of the same pattern. I don't like it to the point that I won't even cut it out! But the top is extraordinarily useful.

I have learned a lot from patterns too. I am no longer afraid of zippers or princess seams. And I get now the need for facings, interfacing and linings. They really do help the finished garment to lay better on the body and give it a professional vs. homemade look. So patterns are a plus there.

I have learned a lot from the blogs too. I have downloaded a manual for my machine that was lost in the 80's. I have learned the reasoning behind all the stitching's and tensions on my machine. I have learned that I must have my machine maintained and serviced just like my car. I have learned where to acquire supplies at reasonable rates. Folks are making things I never considered making like undergarments and bathing suits. I have learned how to use the zipper foot and learned that there are other feet out there that will enhance my sewing. I have learned so much online. I'm open to taking some classes.

Born Universal Truth..... I have noticed that my creativity has waned since working with patterns. I used to be able to conceive a garment in my head, draw it up on paper (or not) and create it. Or see a picture in a magazine and recreate it. That's how my grandmother sewed. Completely by eye. I compare this to organists who play by ear, who fear if they learned how to play traditionally, they would lose their spice. But on the flip, they cannot communicate to others how to play their music or even retain ownership of music they create. It's a catch 22.

I guess the bottom line is I will probably use both methods in my sewing. Not be completely dependant on patterns but use pieces here and there. And I'm going to go back to my eye-sewing techniques too. I'm a eat the chicken and spit out the bones.