Know your tools

  • The most complicated thing I’ve ever attempted on my sewing machine was an invisible zipper. For some unknown reason, it was one of the first things I tried to learn. This was years and years ago, and I gave up on the machine and finished it by hand. So my main objective with every project (sewing, writing, animating, or anything) should really be: to have a deeper understanding of all my available tools.
  • It’s time to make a real thing to use in the real world. Usually I knit between my bouts of animating, but I want to preserve my fingers for Maya hotkeys. So during this craft break, I’m all about sewing.
  • For me, the best part of sewing is all the steps: tracing, cutting, pinning… but most especially ironing. I love ironing. It smells like home to me.
  • Making a muslin is a good sewing practice. I never really know how I feel about the actual pattern I’m sewing, but I do love practicing. It feels nice to figure out the correct size and potential areas of struggle instead of destroying something expensive right away.

  • Last week I saw the Goji Shorts pattern by Deer & Doe and thought, “That looks like something I’d wear. I don’t know if I know how to sew anymore. Whatever, I should try to sew that.” (My browser history has been a bizarre combination of animation, ballet, WWII, Hudson River School, and sewing tutorials. Those seem to be my interests now.)
  • The muslin I made yesterday was quick. I skipped all the seam finishing and decorative topstitching. From tracing the pattern to trying it on it only took a bunch of episodes of Victoria (I’m not sure of this, since I’m more accustomed to measuring time by Band of Brothers.)

  • New skill acquired:
    • I didn’t know how to use the buttonhole feature before this project and this pattern has a drawstring. After reading a PDF of my machine’s manual, I think I figured it out… sort of. It’s fiddly. This whole sewing thing is fiddly.┬áJust don’t look too closely at it.
  • Main issues included:
    • I didn’t have enough bobbins. I recently got a Sidewinder┬ásince the one on my machine isn’t right anymore, however I wanted to use up all my bobbin leftovers.
    • My guide doesn’t have 5/8″ marked very clearly, so I needed to pay attention to seam allowance more.
    • That whole mock fly top-stitching step was confusing at first. I think I didn’t understand the purpose.
  • All that said, I’m a big fan of this pattern. I always thought shorts looked complicated, because of crotches. They’re not! Crotches are easy!

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