Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Zippers and the antiquated practice of sample sewing.

A million years ago, I studied fashion. I was barely eighteen at the time and, as a sewing portfolio was part of the entry criteria, I was a little affronted that the first thing we were asked to sew was not clothing it was seams.

Straight seams. Joining two pieces of calico with a straight seam. then differently finished straight seams - overlocked, pinked, bound, flat-felled, french. Then we moved onto curved seams, sewn corners, hems and facings, a dozen different collars were sewn onto necklines, we sewed cuffs and pockets and set in zips using more techniques than I'd previously thought of.

By the end of that first year, we each had a burgeoning folder of sewn samples of dressmaking techniques to which we could refer. That folder represented a toolkit of techniques that we now had at our disposal.

It was this I was reminded of when I saw this pocket sampler quilt in my RSS feed this morning. The author's even included links to a tutorial for each pocket type.

Anecdotally, a lot of people have Teh Fear TM trouble sewing in zippers. For what it's worth, I'd recommend starting out on a sample sewing exercise.

A look through the Fashion Incubator archives will bring up a boatload of tutorials (including for zippers - centered, lapped, invisible, with a welted pocket) This fly-front zipper tutorial from Sew True provides a bunch of pictures and this one shows you how with the magic of video.

I still, from time-to-time and many years later, refer to that folder. And zippers? I can sew them in blind-folded and they still look neat. But that's practice.

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posted by elaine, 2:29 pm


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