Sewing Pet Peeves?

dee_can1January 23, 2010

IÂm not a very experienced sewer (is that a word?), but IÂve already run into some pet peeves about sewing (not to say IÂm not enjoying it) : D

1. Why is it when you buy a pattern, and there is more than one pattern in the package, they separate the numbers of the pattern pieces so that you have to search every sheet in the envelope? Piece #1 will be on one sheet, #2 will be on another, and #3 will be on yet another? All mixed in with the other pattern pieces for other patterns.

2. Why do rotary blades get dull so fast? (Actually, I fixed that, hopefully, by buying an ÂOlfa blade that the lady at the sewing shop recommended. So far, so good.)

3. Who knew making bias tape would be so dangerous? IÂve already gotten a 2nd degree burn on my thumb. IÂm now wearing a (clean) gardening glove on that hand when I iron bias tapeÂ

Anyone else have any pet peeves? IÂm sure IÂll think of more. : P

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Hi Dee, welcome to the wonderful world of sewing. I have been sewing for 60 years. Still remember the day when my Aunt Mabel came to the house. Went out on the back porch at the only table in the house. Cut out my dress, and got out the old treadle machine. I had a brand new dress for the coming Sunday for church. Of course, she helped me cut it out, and sure that I helped just a little bit on the sewing. Can still remember the excitement of "making my first dress'. I have a few things that I don't enjoy as much as others. Getting the pattern pieces out does take some time. As long as I have been sewing, I still read the entire pattern before I start sewing, Tape the pattern on the wall in front of my machine. My plan of action is usually get the pattern pieces out the day before I plan to sew. Normally the night before will read the pattern, get all of my pieces out that I need, and sometimes if time prevails, will go ahead and cut it out. I still use the same sewing macine that I have used for 45 years, also still have the old treadle, and it still works perfect. I prefer scissors for cutting out my patterns, but its whatever seem best for you. As I have gotten older, my plan is having really beautiful pieces of material and very simple patterns. Love accessories, usually a very simple dress with jewelry that I have made or scarves that I knit. Try to keep sewing fun. Admit there are times that I will sew all night long, and then times that the machine will be closed for months. Understand that sometimes there will be frustrations, but the pride of sewing something that is very special for yourself or someone else, just think, its made in the USA. Happy Sewing to you. Tell us about some of your projects.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 10:20AM
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Not really anything about sewing itself, but it chaps my hide that the price of patterns and fabric is so high.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 11:40AM
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Have to agree, handmade is not cheap.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 3:52PM
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hallngarden, Great post, it is all in the prep work. Sewing is the easy part.

The worse part of sewing is the prep work but usually the project coming out right is such a sense of accomplishment.
Each project you do you learn something new to add to your skills and understanding of sewing terms.
I have been sewing for over 50 years, sometimes like hallngarden, sewing up a storm then machines set for a while.

I have a crazy pet peeve, you know the little white, blue and pink fabric marking pencils, the new ones are awful, you sharpen them and the chalk point falls right out.

Regarding the rotary cutters, I used them on some projects but use the Sewing scissors mostly.
They do have a rotary sharpeners, they do help, also your mat has to be in good shape, I like the self healing mats they cost more but have had a few for years.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 5:02PM
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Yes, as with most projects, it's the prep work that's the nuisance. I'll put off cutting the pattern for days, wishing I had something else to just go sew.

It's always a problem getting the pattern pieces back in the envelope. I usually fold all the smaller cut pieces inside the largest cut piece with the pattern number visible. Next time I use the pattern, I don't have to go through all the pieces I don't need.

My routine is a lot like hallngarden's: I read the instructions before I start, even with patterns I've made several times; I tape the instructions to the wall; my machines are 35 years old; and I love beautiful fabrics. I've never even seen a treadle machine, though, and I prefer a rotary cutter for most cutting jobs.

Twice I've made two left sleeves for one shirt, sewn patch pockets on the wrong side of the fabric, and just this last Christmas, while making six pairs of PJs for my six gkids, instead of putting in a sleeve right sides together, I serged the sleeve wrong side to right side. I carefully ripped it out and did it the same wrong way! And then I did it on another pair again! So not paying attention is one of my pet peeves. I've made hundreds, maybe thousands of garments in the last 40 years, you'd think I'd learn, but I still make the stupidest mistakes.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 5:48PM
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Sounds like good memories, hallngarden - I can almost picture it. : ) Thank you for the tips. I have to admit I can be a little on the impatient side when it comes to details, but I'm learning to go step-by-step more. The projects I'm working on right now are pot holders and oven mitts. They've been good learning projects, I think. I've already made some tote bags, a sewing machine cover, and a sewing organizer and pin cushion.

noinwi, I couldn't agree more with you about the price of fabric. I'm curious, what are your prices, typically, in the US? Here in Canada, usually the prices for cotton fabric run about $7.99 to $13.99 per metre. I avoid the $13.99 stuff at this point. ; )

Patti, yesterday I spent most of the day on ONE oven mitt. lol. I had tried a different pattern (online) the day before, and made two, and I was pretty happy with the way they turned out. The one yesterday - not so much. I actually broke my very first needle. That was exciting. lol But, I felt like I spent most of the day making mistakes on it, but some things turned out OK. So, at the end of the day, at first I thought, 'wow, that was a waste of time'. But then I thought again, that maybe it wasn't since (not to sound all 'hokey') I did learn what NOT to do. lol But, at the same time, I'm happy with how the bias tape turned out - I'm finally getting it. Only problem is, where the bias tape met on each side of the glove is where I broke the needle... : D

ikwym about the pencils. I haven't been able to figure out how to sharpen them yet. And I used both the rotary cutters and scissors yesterday. I think each one is good for certain things.

Good tip about repackaging the pattern pieces, Sherry. I've never re-read the pattern instructions first (in all my four or five times doing a project - lol ; ) ) - maybe I'll try that, though. I think that may be part of the problem because a couple of times I got to a certain place in the instructions and realized that I didn't even cut out the pattern piece for it.

And, I can't tell you how many times I keep sewing the wrong sides together, or end up sewing one fabric piece upside down - I think it's lack of concentration, and like you said, not paying attention.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 9:25AM
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Well, depending on the store, and there's not that many fabric stores left, the price you quoted for cotton fabrics is about the same as fleece fabric here...and the mid-west seems to be the land-of-the fleece, LOL. But calicos or quilting fabrics run a bit less, about $4 - $6 per yard. Flannels anywhere from $3 - $7, usually around $4, though. I was really peeved when I was checking out JoAnn's online store just before Christmas(the nearest store is 1 1/2 hours away, where there is also a Hancock's and a Mill Ends), and they were updating their site, so you couldn't view a lot of their fabrics. As soon as they were done, they jacked all the prices up by a dollar and called them "on sale"! And, most of the online stores only sell in one yard increments. But patterns? Don't even get me started!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 12:28PM
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I do a lot of the same things that Hallgarden does.I use the the rotary cutter that i have for paper only and cut out all the pattern pieces at once and sort them as i do that.When i'm done i take all the pieces for view 1 and wrap them up in the biggest piece for that view,and do the same for all the other views.

I have tons of patterns so i organize them accordingly,kids,nitewear,dresses,etc.Craft patterns are kept separate from the clothes,and so on.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 9:05PM
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For what it's worth....I would like to add my $.02 worth about the cost of fabrics and patterns. I have come across patterns that cost MORE than some garments I might buy. Since my ancestors were both Scotch and German...I am not only tight but also a little stubborn. My answer to this dillema is my favorite thrift store. I have found some fabuous fabrics and patterns there. I lean towards the classic styles that can be worn for a while without looking dated. I do overlook what looks to be soiled or very worn but have found some great pieces. There have been many many sewing sessions where I am using nothing but items from this store to make an entire outfit. I was thrilled when we were expecting out new grandchild and I ran up on everything I needed to make a beautiful crib comforter, skirt, and matching sheet. (including the batting for the comfortor) Those stores are also a good place to look for the older sewing machines but you do have to look them over carefully.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 5:11PM
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