Sew Every Day Challenge: Week 14 (or, “a slow start.”)

I took a bit of a break last week to publish a list of 100 Things I’ve Learned About Sewing and gave myself a couple days sans sewing to breathe after my mad dash to finish two Archers ahead of a Montreal trip and Thanksgiving weekend. I have also learned that I like to take a day or two after finishing a project to just be finished without starting something new. I feel refreshed and ready to start on my Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak.

Date: Monday, October 9

Time sewing: zero

What I did: We were driving back from a family get together for the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Date: Tuesday, October 10

Time sewing: 20 minutes

What I did: I pre-washed swatches of the fabric and called my local fabric shop to inquire about the Kelly Anorak pattern. I knew they wouldn’t have the lining extension as it only exists online, as a PDF, but they were also out of the paper pattern! The woman on the phone suggested getting it printed at Staples, so I called there and figured out options. It turns out you can get extra large things printed there for a reasonable price as an “engineering print.”

Date: Wednesday, October 11

Time sewing: 1 hour 30 minutes

What I did: I went in to Staples with my USB key and got everything set to print out my pattern in about ten minutes. It cost $26 and will be ready tomorrow. I’ll let you know later how I feel about this, but so far, I’m super excited not to tape together a million pieces of A4 on my livingroom floor. I’m sure that priting, taping and tracing would have taken me more than an hour and a half.

Date: Thursday, October 12

Time sewing: 1 hour 30 minutes

What I did: I picked up my printed pattern at Staples and it looks. so. good. The paper is fairly flexible, so I think I might get away with not having to re-trace on my regular pattern paper. I picked up a mailing tube for $8 to carry it back, so overall, I spent $32 on getting this pattern ready. Old me would have balked at spending any extra money, but new me is totally excited to not have to piece together a million little pattern snippets.

Date: Friday, October 13

Time sewing: 20 minutes

What I did: I read recently that it’s sometimes a good idea to base or serge together the selvedges of fabrics (particularly stripes and plaids) to make sure that your fabric doesn’t shrink weird (I’m convinced this is what happened with my red plaid). So, I trimmed off the excess batting from the lining fabric for my coat and serged the edges together, making sure to match the plaid. I also suspect this will make cutting out my pieces easier.

Date: Saturday, October 14

Time sewing: 30 minutes

What I did: I rougly cut out my pattern pieces. Ps. There are a lot.

Date: Sunday, October 15

Time sewing: 20 minutes; 15 minutes

What I did: I spent some time perusing the Closet Case Patterns website , reading as much as I could about the Kelly Anorak. This sew-along isn’t quite as detailed as the Archer Button Up Sew-along and not as easy to navigate, but I think it will be really useful. I also started to write out the directions as a list of steps so I can plot it out on my calendar.

Total time sewing this week: 4 hours 45 minutes

What I learned:

  • Pre-washing a swatch is important. Without serging, the lining would have shred.
  • It pays to outsource the steps you hate. I spent over $30 getting my pattern printed and I have no regrets. I hate piecing together PDF patterns, so I just got staples to do it for me.

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