Tag Archives: pattern tracing

The Betrayal

26 Jan

Today is Saturday, I am off (bar an hour of flute teaching in the morning, but that’s nothing.) That makes Saturday a good day.

What makes Saturday a great day?

Pattern Post!

I went all out and finally bought the ever-popular Simplicity 1803. I have coveted this pattern for so long, but buying a new pattern for a tenner is like eurgh, compared to some of the pattern bargains I’ve had.

Anyway, I decided to go for it and finally make the dress I’ve been planning for aaaages.  I was a little disappointed- stupid postman ripped my envelope 😦 Luckily the pattern itself was fine. I opened up the envelope and look at this little treasure!


This was such a cute addition to the pattern and not one I’ve seen mentioned when reading discussions about the pattern elsewhere. Here’s a closer view:


I’ll be honest, it’s not something I’ll use since I already have a sketchbook with design plans in, but since the pattern focus is on ‘Project Runway’ I thought it was cute that they thought about the user designing their own clothes rather than using a pattern straight out of the envelope.

Then, after the instructions and the naked model were taken out of the envelope came the tissue. Ah. Remember a couple of posts ago when I said I hate pattern tracing. Sigh.

My Nan always told me to trace the patterns onto tissue paper or greaseproof paper, NEVER EVER CUT THEM OUT!!!

Nan, I’m so sorry.


It’s not my fault! I didn’t have any tissue paper left, nor did I have enough greaseproof paper and why trace just some? I couldn’t possibly have left it and missed out on a whole weekend of sewing, could I? You wouldn’t want that, Nan, would you?!

So my pattern is all cut out. I can’t start sewing the dress however as I have a whole load of business-related sewing that I absolutely must do before I do any fun sewing. 😦

Perhaps I didn’t need to cut the pattern out after all…


5 things I hate about sewing.

4 Jan

I know, this is a sewing blog right? So why am I bitching about something I love doing?

Because there are just some things about sewing I don’t like. These are as follows:

1. 5/8″ seam allowances.

Are you shitting me? 5/8″?! That’s like a whole metre of fabric a year that I’m wasting with poxy seam allowances.

Let’s remember that I used to not do commercial patterns, I used to draft my own. Let’s also remember that my main sewing consists of sewing pet beds whereby I again create my own patterns. My general seam allowance is 6mm- I just measured it. Sometimes I even do a 3mm allowance but absolute maximum, and this is only if I have a lot of layers, is 1cm. So imagine my surprise when every single commercial pattern I’ve bought has a 5/8″ seam allowance.

Just for reference here’s the difference in seam allowances:


Crazy! Who needs 5/8″ anyway?!

2. Pattern Tracing

This is one I know a lot of you will share; pattern tracing. I just hate it. It’s a dichotomy really, here’s the scenario:

Pattern comes through the post. My reaction: WOOOOOOOOOO! New pattern! It’s so prettiful, I can make so many wonderful things.

*I have to trace and cut it first*

Shit. Nah, I won’t bother.

Said pattern will then sit there for a few weeks whilst I remake other patterns because you know half the work is already done.

This is one of the many reasons I love buying patterns dirt cheap off eBay. People price them low because they think it’s not in pristine condition because they’ve already cut it, but that is an extra selling point for me because now I don’t have to. Woohooo!!! Precut pattern for 99p? Yes please!!

3. Hemming

This is also an odd one. I quite like slip stitching- to me when I finish slip-stitching a garment is well and truly finished. Except that unfinished hem hanging off….. let’s not talk about that.

I have so many UFOs and they are UFOs simply because they need hemming. Everything else is completely done but this blasted hem. I’m not quite sure why I hate it so much- it might link back to my pre-machine days when I had to hand-stitch the hem. Yes, hand.stitch.the.hem.  :O

4. Ripping seams open

I know, I know, technically this one’s my fault, most of the time. But the thought of having to rip open a seam can make me put away a garment for a few weeks, seriously. All that hard work just destroyed and not only that but it’s long! So long. Speaking of which I just had to rip open two darts 😦 You’ll hear more about those darts in a couple of post’s time, they’ve been nothing but a PITA.

5. The expense

There’s no way around it, sewing is so damn expensive! Even with my £1/yd fabric each dress is working up to about £8. Yes, ok £8 is actually a bargain for a well-fitted dress but that’s a rare occurrence to get fabric for £1/yd.

I usually limit myself to finding stuff on sale for around £4/m. So that dress is about £15. Occasionally I’ll splash out on something for £7/m (ooo, the luxury!) now we’re talking £20+ just on materials.

Then there’s the cost of electricity, machine repairs, servicing, rulers, new scissors, patterns, new rotary blades, pins and the cost of having to have a 2 bed house when you live only with your fiancé. Sewing is expensive!!

So now I sound like a whiny bitch. I do truly love sewing- hey if I didn’t love it I couldn’t bring myself to make a business around it. I don’t have a business around y’know, tennis or some shit because I don’t enjoy it. I would just enjoy it a heck of a lot more if these things were obliterated.

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter

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