I used to sew pretty well. There have been times in my life when I made my own clothes because I couldn't find the look I wanted in stores, or to save money, or for the sheer satisfaction of creating something. I don't remember finding sewing or fitting to be particularly difficult--I just picked a size, cut it, and followed the directions. No muslins, and no wadders.
These days, however, sewing scares me. Partly, I think, because it is more difficult to fit a lumpy "petite large" than a trim 7 or 8, and partly because thanks to so many wonderful sewing blogs I now know how much I don't know. But the only thing to do to overcome my fear of failure is to dive in and fail, and learn from my mistakes. Which are many.
Here is Opus 1: Very Easy Vogue 8587 in a silky polyester print from JoAnn.
Things I learned making this top:
1. Consider the compatibility of fabric and pattern: A large print may not be the best choice for a garment with a seam down the center front.
2. Understand the garment before stitching it all together (if necessary, read the instructions). At one point in this process the top turned into a Möbius strip--no matter what I did it was always inside-out, and sometimes the neck opening disappeared into another dimension altogether.
3. Look in the mirror once in a while. This top is nice and comfortable, but DS, in whose eyes I can do no wrong, remarked that it made me look pregnant. Not that pregnant is a bad look ...
Opus 2: Butterick 3030 in cotton T-shirt jersey from JoAnn.
Things I learned making this top (which I just finished this morning):
1. Make a note of the length, width and composition of a piece of fabric before stashing it. Yes, I could just measure it to see how much there was, and I sort of did, but I seem to have missed it by a foot. I wanted to make a tunic but only had enough for a short top. The old adage, "Measure twice, cut once" only applies if both measurements come out the same--if they don't, measure a few more times, I guess.
2. Pay attention when people say the high bust measurement is the most important number for choosing a pattern size. I made a Large to make sure the top would fit around my upper arms and tummy, and wound up with a neckline wider than my shoulders! Maybe it also stretched out while I was working on it?
I made this top with the facing called for in the instructions but I guess this was unnecessary for the knit I used. Maybe I can remove the facing and put a couple of darts in the neckline to keep it from sliding to my elbows?
3. I enjoy working with this knit fabric.
Off to try again.