Saturday, May 16, 2009

Weekend Sewing

I have finally finished two items from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing. This book is very popular, but like the two other sewing books I've bought, the patterns aren't really that well drafted and the instructions aren't great either. You'd think I'd learn. I really love Heather Ross fabric, which is what I used for both garments.

The tunic is made from "Swim Class" from her Mendocino line. Aren't the fishies cute? This is actually the second one of these I made...not on purpose. When I was planning the pattern layout I made a mental note not to flip any of the pieces or the fish would be upside down. So I flipped all the pieces and it looked like a school of dead fish. I went ahead and finished that one, though, so I could see how I fit (all my mistakes become "muslins.") I'm glad I did because the sleeves were very long, so I adjusted them and the hem. I'm not crazy about how the placket goes in and I played with that a lot but couldn't come up with a better idea. Also, I serged the edges of the placket rather than fold them over, and I'm not crazy about how that came out, but it will do.

I made a LOT of bias binding from the seahorse fabric, so I had plenty left over to bind the sleeves and hem. Even though you can't see the seahorses very well, I know they are there.

The sundress is made from a older line, Lightning Bugs and Other Mysteries. I really like the colors. The instructions for this one, though, were really basic, and the drawings weren't much help. For instance, the bodice front piece is curved on top, and the back is curved on the bottom, but in the drawing they are both straight, so it took some figuring to put them together. (Look at the photo of the dress in the book -- the flowers on the straps are upside down, so I'm not the only one who is design challenged.) Also, I didn't like the way she tacks down the back straps after the bodice is sewn, so I fit them and put them in the way I thought they should go. The danger with this is that the back hem may be off if you don't get them right, but I still think this looks better than if I had handsewn the straps on top of the finished bodice.

All in all, I think that the designs in Weekend Sewing are interesting. The patterns are very basic so you will need to add your own markings for center lines and so on, and I have no idea why she uses 3/8" seam allowances, which is annoying (standard is 5/8" and some designers, like Amy Butler, use 4/8", but 3/8" is awkward and too small, I think.) BUT the photography and design of the book are simply beautiful and will make you want to sew, even if you don't use her patterns exactly.


Post a Comment

<< Home