I can be a pretty stubborn person sometimes, and even though I will hear about a great tip for sewing, I will resist trying it until I absolutely have to resort to changing my ways.
|Place paper beneath charmeuse to cut.|
Last weekend, I was working on a project for the patternmaking certificate I am completing at the Fashion Institute of Technology and it involved one of my most favorite fabrics of all time: charmeuse. Let me amend that to say that it's my most favorite fabric to wear, for blouses, linings, camis, etc. But to sew, not so much. From beginning to end, charmeuse is a high maintenance fabric, but so worth it.
For me, I find the cutting the most challenging. It slips and slides around, and I never seem to get it cut right on the seamline. Several years ago, a very well-respected patternmaker told me that if I slid paper underneath the charmeuse, so that the fabric is sandwiched between two layers of paper (the pattern piece and the paper underneath), I would have much more control. Years ag,o I was told this and promptly put it out of my head.
The lightbulb of comprehension blinked on last Sunday, when I was struggling once again with charmeuse slithering around the cutting table. I happended to have a big roll of unprinted newspaper roll that was very kindly given to me by the Stitch Technical Editor Mary Walter, who has newspaper connections. It's great for patternmaking paper, but in my desperation I decided I would also finally try that tip and slid a square of the news roll under the pattern pieces. It worked like a charm. It worked so well I would have happily cut out charmeuse all day long, it was so thrilling to turn out one perfectly cut pattern piece after another. So don't do what I did and resist change. Take my advice instead. You have to try this out the next time you use charmeuse, and I guarantee you will be elated.
|Lift pattern piece when cutting curves.|
Along the same lines, there is another great tip for cutting out patterns that I recently learned from an FIT professor, and this time I actually took the advice rather quickly. (I would like to think I am becoming more open to change ….) Combine this with the paper-base technique for charmeuse: When you are cutting out a pattern and rounding a curve, lift the pattern piece and attached fabric as you cut around the curve. You will get a much more precise cut. Guaranteed!
Speaking of excellent sewing tips, the newest Stitch Workshop video, How to Sew Like a Pro, is now available in the Sew Daily Shop, featuring techniques and projects shared by former Stitch Editor-in-Chief Tricia Waddell.
Do you have a great sewing tip that you resisted trying out, only to discover that change is good? Let us know below.