Friday, October 21, 2011

{note to self} / a learning experience

In some ways I'm proud of myself this week.  In others somewhat frustrated!

On the upside, I bought some fabric on Monday, and have now finished making a top from it using this tutorial.  Record breaking speed for someone who has numerous fabrics in her stash that started out with good intentions more than a decade ago!  I also managed to use some vintage ric rac that I inherited from my grandma more than 20 years ago (love the packaging too... I suspect it comes from pre-metric days in Australia, rather than the UK/US more recently).

On the downside, this project has been frustrating from the first scissor cut, and none of it's Rae's fault!  My muck-ups have cost me a lot of time (I could have actually made the top two or three times in the time this one's taken me), and as a result missed wearing the top when it was hot yesterday, and am now having difficulty getting any photos on a cool and dark Melbourne Friday!

I plan to make another top, this time also using this tutorial, so here's my 'notes to self' to ensure that the next experience runs a little more smoothly:

  • If a pattern calls for cutting rectangles to your own measurements make sure that you still plan your cutting - there's no point in buying more than sufficient fabric if your layout means that you can only cut out the front half of the top!
  • If, in rectifying your layout errors you decide to cut down the centre back of your top to add in a piece, make sure that its the back that you're cutting down, not the middle of the front.
  • When choosing a fabric that's going to be highly visible check to see how transparent it is, and work out how you're going to deal with the subsequent issue of highly visible seam allowances.
  • If using French seams to keep your edges neat, trim away the frayed edges before you sew the second half of the seam so that they're not left permanently sticking out on the right side of the top.
  • When you make a feature of the centre front of your top, make sure that its actually in the centre, not 1/2 an inch to one side.

Hmmm.  Hope things are a little more professional in your creative neck of the woods!  Check out some others who would surely not make any of these mistakes over here and here.

Oh, and if you look at the tutorials, you'll see I did make the top half of this top differently to the tutorial.  When I'm feeling a bit more positive about the experience I'll tell you what I did and why!


  1. Oh this sounds like such a nightmare of a porject but you have done a great job in the end. Looks fab! Well done. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  2. Wow if you hadn't pointed out the negatives I would never have known, it looks great in the photo to me! I have had many projects go wrong and it's so disheartening and I'm not a great sewer as is but I try to plug on through and remind myself that its all learning. Love the ric rac!

  3. It looks lovely - the ric-rac really makes it special too.
    P.S. Everyone has these days with sewing!!

  4. Even if it was a learning experience, it is still a great looking top.


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