CoBloWriMo #13-Pro Tip

29 thoughts on “CoBloWriMo #13-Pro Tip”

    1. I was a leeetle concerned that it wouldn’t be strong enough, but it’s been worn and washed many times, and is going strong. You don’t even need to backstitch more than once in a while, it will hold. Most historical sewing is almost all running stitch for the seams, believe it or not.

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  1. I am not a fan of hand stitching but I have got to agree with you that you get a better finish. I always hand finish the binding on nay corsets that I make and also baste everything, sometimes even thread basting the seam lines as it is easy to control making variable seam allowances that way. I love your top. Don’t know if I would ever be brave enough to hand stitch something completely. Xx

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    1. I was amazed at how quickly it went together actually, especially once you realise you don’t need to stitch as much as you think. I found this out when reading all those historical blogs, and Ruth’s posts about her Alabama Chanin wardrobe a while back [all running stitches.] I’ve always hand hemmed, and like zips which are hand inserted [bugger all these invisible things, weak as water]. I dodged basting for ages, because our teachers at school made such a fuss about it…but I baste all tricky stuff now, and have tamed binding as a result!

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    1. I was SO impressed with myself when I did the ‘Couture Dress’ course on Craftsy a few years back, and found that lots of my preferred methods could count as couture lol. The best part of hand sewing zips is the ability to pattern match, get the waistline even, and have the neckline match up, EVERY time, and even if the fabric has stretched or some such. Wonderful!

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      1. Yes! We historical hand-sewers should definitely count as couturières. After all, most of the modern techniques were invented in one of our periods or another. 😉 What I like best about hand-sewing zippers is that it is much easier on fine fabrics than any machine.

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      2. Absolutely! I’ve just been very contrary [as is my nature] and prickstitched an invisible zip into a silk skirt. Just because! After miles of hand hemming, and with the intention of putting the waist tape in by hand, it seems barbaric to machine the zip.

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  2. I’m working on an Alabama Chanin style pencil skirt right now! I assemble the garment itself on the machine, but I find the handwork very relaxing. I’ve always thought it could work well in a steampunk wardrobe: it has the handwork tradition of so many centuries of ‘women’s work’, combined with jersey fabric (which I suspect the Edwardians would have loved – the Eatons catalogs of the period wax raphsodic about elasticated corsets…). And with the Alabama Chanin techniques, you can revisit a garment and add new details (beading! French knots! Pleated edging!), which could end up with a very Victorian ‘more is just barely enough’ kind of vibe. 🙂

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  3. Hah my hand sewing is so terrible that I actually get a better finish using the machine for almost everything. I do sometimes do a hand stitched hem where it’s appropriate for the garment and fabric, and I’m gradually getting better at those, but in general I try to avoid it as much as possible. Discovering beeswax has helped a little, but I’d like to know if there is anything else that really helps. Do expensive needles make much difference? I confess I’m using cheap and cheerful ones. And I don’t have a thimble that fits.

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    1. Thimble, wax, great needles. Seriously, these black gold ones are THE BOMB. Even though they can seem absurdly short at first [I thought I’d ordered the wrong thing, now I prefer them] because you get better control. A little practise, and the hems fly by!

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    1. I’m painstakingly hand stitching the lining into the top of my fiend’s wedding outfit…why? Gawd knows. It’s looking bloody good though, and it does keep neck and armhole edges much softer than machine stitching it in. Zip next, then another hem. I must be mad.

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    1. These little challenges seem to suit me. I’m very undisciplined normally, but at least I’ve learned how to set up and schedule several posts at a time. My sewing space is very confined, that ‘dining room’ is a converted garage- the type built into houses, but too small for any car bigger than Matchbox toys! We could only use it as a dining room if guests sidled in and stayed firmly seated through a meal, no pushing back chairs and going to the loo unless everyone else exited too! It’s helpful having the overlocker set up next to the sewing machine though.

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