Friday, July 15, 2016

Sewing Progress

In fits and starts, I am making myself a kimono. I didn't expect to be sewing a garment for my second official sewing project, but the idea sort of fell into my lap-- from a 1990s-era sewing book I picked up at the library on a whim:

The other garments in the book are a bit dated, but the final chapter is a long tutorial on sewing a kimono. A pretty nice looking one:

I liked the idea of following a kind of lesson plan for my first garment, and I was able to scoop up an uncut copy of the circa-1985 pattern:

And also discovered at the same time a very charming way to waste hours and hours--
 hunting for vintage sewing patterns!

I could use a kimono for sure-- my lounging-around-the house clothing consists of a decades-old pair of hospital scrub pants and a small collection of ratty t-shirts. Even a slightly wonky kimono will be an improvement on the current state of affairs.

My planning process slowed to a crawl while I spent hours online browsing for fabric-- and then a quiet weekday afternoon fondling quilting cottons in the Marden's fabric department. I found something suitably soft and lightweight in a --frankly-- fabulous print:

I had and still have major worries about using quilting cotton for a garment, but I also wanted something easy to cut and sew. I hope it works out! The material feels almost like fine percale bed linen-- crisp but not too stiff. Three weeks after cutting, this is where I am stalled:

Three seams sewn and finished-- I should say two seams because I am planning to rip out one of the shoulder seams because the edges don't quite line up and I imagine this will cause downstream problems. I already ripped out and re-did both shoulder seams once because I didn't like my first attempt at seam finishing:

Clean finished = nice looking but too much bulk for this fabric

If I zoom in on my progress a bit, the list of basic things I've done that I had never done before is SO LONG! Cutting out a paper pattern! Squaring my fabric! Pinning and cutting my pattern pieces! Tailor's tacks! I spent several hours playing with my thread tension and stitch length, first with straight stitch, then again with zig-zag stitch. I have learned so much already-- but I do think it's time to step on the gas a bit, and that is just what I plan to do after submitting this progress report!

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