Each week, it becomes clearer and clearer why my past creations have never been quite right! There are so many little things to think about when making a garment that I would never have known about if someone hadn’t taught me. Guess thats the point of going back to school!
Last Monday I told you about the skirt I’m making in my Clothes Making class, and then went to the class itself. After a stifling journey to college on the Victoria line, I was awfully drowsy and not nessessarily ready for the level of concentration required!
Apologies if this gets a bit technical, but its really good for me to write out what I’ve learnt as I’m far more likely to remember it that way! Peggy is waiting to say hello at the bottom if you just want to skip the ‘science bit’.
Having altered the pattern to fit me and chosen my fabric the previous week, the next task was to place the pattern on the fabric in the correct way. Simple I thought. I was wrong.
Having washed my fabric at home to see if it was likely to shrink, it then needed pressing and laying out on the table.
Here it was important to understand the construction of the fabric in a bit more depth, so here is a little diagram that will hopefully explain better than words:
These are the main steps we then followed to getting the fabric ready for the pattern:
1) Decide on the right and wrong side. This can be done either by looking at the selvedge, or of there are pin marks along the selvedge the right side is more likely to be the smooth side of these holes. It can obviously also be done by eye if the fabric has a pattern.
2) Fold the fabric selvedge to selvedge across the width of the fabric, never the length. This is a good habit to get in to as it ensures your fabric matches up if you are using patterned fabric. The selvedges need to meet perfectly.
3) Check for marks or damage to the fabric, mark these with a pin (mine had a couple – I bought my fabric from Walthamstow Market, so it might have been a faulty roll bought by the stall holder at a discounted price!).
These marks caused me a few problems as I couldn’t follow the guide layout given in my instructions. Instead I had to get creative and work around them.
4) This mark means you put the pattern on the foldline.
5) All patterns also have a straight line with an arrow head at one or both ends. This is the grainline, and when laying out patterns the grainline must always be parallel to the selvedge. These need to be accurate, which can be done by ensuring the distance between each end of the arrow to the selvedge is the same.
5) Pin the pattern to the fabric, keeping it smooth and flat.
6) Cut it out!
With all this to consider, it is no longer a mystery as to why things have never quite worked in the past!