Neat freak or good enough. I get both kinds of sewing. Sometimes it only seems right if the finish is as good as its possible to be, sometimes it only needs to pass muster. What I don’t get though, is making something in highly labour intensive way, but badly constructed.
Help me out here. Why would anyone sew cotton jersey with seams in hand worked running stitch, which doesn’t stretch with the fabric?
Is this some kind of a penance? You are to spend several hours jabbing through your jersey with a large enough eyed needle to take doubled buttonhole twist, forever after having to furiously adjust your skirt when you sit down so as not to have your strong thread rip holes in the gaping fabric as your glutes struggle for space.
Oh, but its couture! I know a little about couture hand sewing. My teacher was from one of the couture houses. I did not appreciate, at sixteen, being made to hand sew a precise sixteen stitches to the inch seam. I remember it was sixteen to the inch because I had to unpick mine, which slapdashedly fell into fifteen somewhere in the middle. Unpick by unpicking the thread stitch by stitch with a needle that is. Dear lady, she would be turning in her grave reading that handsewing should be secured by a great big clumsy knot so it doesn’t unravel. Neat backstitch anyone? She’d have had a fit too at ‘loving’ your thread by running your fingers over it a few times so that the grease from your hand tamed it. Couture sewists try to avoid getting the fabric and threads mucky.
OK, the first half of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design by Natalie Chanin didn’t rock my socks. I don’t do penance now I’m a grown up. But I really fell out with it when I looked closely at the beautifully photographed clothes.
If you’re going to hand appliqué a large design over the front of a dress, why in the name of all that is design, would you appliqué the fabric before cutting out the pieces, ending up with your design sliced up on a centre front seam? Wouldn’t you construct the dress first, and have the design flow across the front uninterrupted?
For a peek at how a designer who starts with a fabric design works it into a garment see Zandra Rhodes video , number 7.
I made this a few years ago, from my own draft. I haven’t worn it much recently, because it had bad associations. Anyone else go off clothes they wore to places they’d rather not be? But it really deserves to get back in circulation, as one of the easiest to wear/easiest to pack hot weather numbers. There are a few changes I might make now its had a second glance. The tie belt isn’t wonderful, it could be sliced off and a belt made or purchased instead. The trim at the end of the short kimono cut sleeves is a bit narrow to make the point, the wrap over neckline needs a concealed fastening to stop it gaping when I lean forward. The skirt is the greatest! Just enough swish without taking off in a high wind. And pockets!