Cutting corners

sewing for 3 girls= three times the fabric and notions, three times all the prep steps and three times the joy.

How can I best use my time so that I'm making the most of it?  

Seeing that the girls are all different ages and different sizes I try hard to make sure each outfit is something that fits their unique personality and age.  I also try to sew the same pattern in various ways, and typically with various fabrics.  This can add up to lots of time.  Which brings me round to a few ways that shave off some time.

Tracing:  If it's a pattern that I have the slightest feeling that I'll sew for all the girls I trace all applicable sizes at once.  While this might feel like a waste of time when you're in the thick of it, believe that it's a good practice.  The ONE time I didn't do this I've wished several times I had.  AND I haven't gotten around to pulling out the pattern, doing the tracing and sewing those pants again, which I really would like to do.  So trace now, not later!

I've talked before about how I add seam allowances and what I use to trace onto.  One way to cut corners is to use the edge of the tracing medium for any long straight lines.  When I can't use the edge, get out a straight edge for any long straight lines and zip zap, I'm moving on.

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Make sure to make a note of all the details:  Pattern name, size, and grain are a given.  Also keep an eye out for notch markings, if it should be cut on the fold, how many of that piece to cut, and also make a note if alterations have been made.  Such as lengthen 2" / added 1" for hem or didn't add s.a. to a particular line.  This way when you get ready to sew you'll know what you're dealing with.

Adding the hem:  Most often I do this one of two ways, either way I always trace the hem line as is.  One way is to use a straight edge, put one line matching up with the hem line and follow along.  This method works well for hems that are fairly straight, but even if there are curves just keep the lines matched up and it'll be fine.  Another method is to just keep making lines with your banded pencils as if adding regular seam allowances until you've reached your desired hem allowance.  In other words:  add your seam allowance along the hem line.  Now use the bottom line to add another seam allowance, continue on until you've got the allowance you need.

If there are 2 difference length versions and I'm not sure which one I want or if I might want to sew it both ways I'll make all the lines and then fold up the tracing when using the shorter length.

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Once your pattern is traced don't take the time to cut it out perfectly, just quickly cut each piece high and wide so they're seperated.  When you lay it out on your fabric you can follow allong the line cuting both the tracing and the fabric in one step.

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How many times am I going to have to change threads?

Let's face it changing thread colors can be time consuming.  Most fabric is printed meaning the underside is white or possibly a lighter version of the right side.  I will often leave my loopers (serging) or bobbin thread white/off white or black depending on the fabric.  This means you only have to fuss with the needle threading.  I am pretty particular about the needle thread and when stitching ribbon will sometimes use more than one color.

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see how the top is stitched with blue while the bottom is stitched with green.

Speaking of ribbon.  Take the time to fuse it down with an iron on boding tape.  This will keep it nice and smooth and in place until you've stitched it on permanently.

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Bias trim.  I always take the time and stitch twice (the hong kong method).  When I didn't know what I was doing and tried to sandwich the trim inbetween the fabric and make one pass it was a disaster.  Even though I've since seen people do it this was with better results than I had, I still think this is one thing that is worth the time and thread to do it "right".

I'd love to hear what you do to make the most of your sewing time.

 

10 in 10 for 10 – Day 2

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A walk around the neighborhood takes more than 10 minutes but I tried to keep my snaps in roughly a 10 minute span.  Excepting the waterfall because I took the opposite route and the waterfall was toward the end of the walk.  Oh and it seems I've discovered a problem with my camera: that curved line on the right definately should not be there.  I'm sorta freaking out and hoping that it's just because my camera was just too cold.