Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Improving sewing technique

SewNancy | Posted in General Discussion on

A while back, years?  there was an article on improving sewing skills that talked about making a pattern without the instructions improving skills.  Well, at the time I was not happy with my results, more failed projects than happy outcomes.  I decided to try the advice and I am happy to say that I am much happier with my results these days.  It is really freeing to make something without being tied to the instructions and you really have to think what is the best way to do this.  I just finished my daughters pleated plaid skirt and it is a knockout.  She is thrilled and said that if anyone asks her where she got it she’ll say Mommy couture.  I used the Neue Mode pattern mentioned in the pattern review and it is really current in styling, I made it Chanel style with fringed bottom and each pleat edge is frayed. 

Nancy

Replies

  1. suesew | | #1

    Congratulations. It is great to know people are being freed from following those pattern directions. I rarely follow any of them and when I do read them I usually have a better method than the pattern shows. Keep trying your own ideas and making your own mistakes. Mistakes often lead to the best results anyway. I just had a bride who had made a huge mistake. She ordered a size 6 dress for her 40DD chest - a lovely strapless gown. There was a six inch gap at the zipper and it didn't begin to accommodate her chest. The only solution was to make her a whole new top that actually fit her. I was able to reuse the back of the dress and built her a whole new front that fit and covered her and I talked her into a halter strap out of front bodice fabric to help give her support. She was thrilled and said she actually liked the new dress better. It was quite an adventure for both of us. She picked up the dress today - the wedding is tomorrow. I don't like cutting things that close, but it was fun to solve this awful problem for her.

  2. CarolFresia | | #2

    Nancy, I think that article was about 4-5 years ago, and that particular suggestion really stuck with me, too (back then I was a Threads subscriber, not yet an editor). I don't always do it, but I do read the guidesheet carefully to decide how much of the instructions I really want to follow. Often, I have techniques I prefer to those in the instructions, and it's good to figure out ahead of time when to use them.

    Congratulations on the skirt. It's great that your daughter loves it!

    Carol

    1. SewNancy | | #3

      As I have said before,  I too read thru the instructions and then decide how I want to put it together.  Since most of what I sew is from Burda pattern mag,  sewing without instructions or using Threads articles is imperative.  Have you seen the latest issue?  It has some really great patterns this month.  The best money I ever spent, other than my Threads subscription was to subscribe to Burda mag.

      Nancyh

      1. CarolFresia | | #4

        I love Burda too, although when I first subscribed I was somewhat intimidated (OK, very intimidated) by the fact that the instructions were so abbreviated and unillustrated. With a good reference book at hand, you can do just about any of them if you're willing to mess around a bit, though. Great styles and details in there, though, and if you're a pattern glutton like me, it's hard to beat a magazine that comes every month and has all those different styles in it. I think they do a great job of covering the range from professional to casual to young/trendy to classy plus-size styles, and the kids' clothes are darling, too.

        Carol

        1. SewNancy | | #5

          Yes, they were intimidating at first, but with all my back issues of Threads and some good reference books, hence my expanding library it is really pretty easy. This is where my printed copies of the indexes comes in handy.   The sleeve fit into the jacket I made with such ease I was really amazed.  I had never had such an easy time with Vogue.  I also was tired of buying patterns I didn't use.  I treat the issues as fashion magazines and then I don't feel bad about buying them at all!  I have been very disapointed with Vogue lately, they have really cut down on the designer patterns. 

          Nancy

  3. carobanano | | #6

    Wait, was that the one with the tips for beginner, intermediate, and advanced sewers? I think I photocopied that article from a library back issue, it does indeed have some good advice. :D

    1. SewNancy | | #7

      I honestly don't remember, there have been a few over the years.  But, what really stuck in my mind was sewing without the pattern instructions.  It is very liberating and confidence building.  I realized that most of the pattern companies do not use the latest or industry methods in the instructions and there are always better ways to do it!  Burda Magazine was particularly daunting but the styles and fit are first rate so I really wanted to be able to sew without relying on istructions.  I had been sewing for years and still tied to the instruction sheet. I started with a simple skirt first went on from there.

      Nancy

      1. CarolFresia | | #8

        I just made the Sewing Workshop Origami Skirt this weekend, and that's one pattern I would not advise trying to do without the instructions! It wasn't difficult at all, and is ultimately fast to sew, but I doubt I would ever have gotten all the pieces pointing in the right direction and sewn to the proper adjoining sections on my own.

        Caro, the article Nancy referred to is by Celeste Percy, in issue No. 86.

        Carol

        1. SewNancy | | #9

          I have looked at the Sewing workshop patterns and I do agree!  I like the look of a lot of their things but with a D cup  I find that their patterns are for the most part not suited to my body.  I can't imagine putting darts in without ruining the lines.  I anyone has any suggestions on fitting them for curvy body I'd love to hear from you.

          Thanks for filling in the issue #.

          Nancy

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Subscribe to Threads today

Save up to 42% and get a free gift

Subscribe

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All

Highlights

Shop the Store

View All
View More