Instant Dress!

by Erin on August 27, 2009


McCalls 4152

I haven't seen this pattern (sent by Theresa, thanks!) before, have you? It's advertised as an "instant dress", with a ONE-PIECE pattern that you lay down and cut out all at once.

Looking at the back, I think I see two pieces, but no matter. What's interesting to me is that this pattern (available at RustyZipper) is still uncut. Even instant takes too long for some people …

I think there are two kinds of sewists: the ones who want to get to the finished product as fast as possible, and the ones for whom the getting there is (more than) half the fun. I used to be absolutely one of the "cut it out and run" folks; as I get older I move more towards the "enjoying the process" people (although that may just be because I am trying to enjoy the doing of everything as much as I enjoy the ends — except for teeth cleaning at the dentist's, that may be forever beyond my reach).

The "process" people should not be confused with the perfectionists who never finish projects because they are always unhappy with their work and want to rip it out and do it over (again), and the "make it today, wear it tonight" should not all be accused of being slaphappy people who use fusible everything, although sometimes I see that happening. (Luckily, not here!)

Which are you? Have you always been a "I gotta wear it now, where's my stapler?" or a "here let me finish these seams by hand in tiny stitches with silk thread" person, or did you switch camps?

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Lydia August 27, 2009 at 8:50 am

About the only corner I ever cut is I occasionally, when using fabric that will forgive me, leave my seams unfinished. So I suppose Im more in the Process camp. But I also stick with basic, simple patterns because I like to wear the garment within a reasonable amount of time after starting.Someday I would like to try making a tailored mens suit jacket. But that day is not today.

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peanut August 27, 2009 at 9:09 am

I think I tend to change camps half way through. I usually start out with something simple with the intention of wearing it tonight or tomorrow and then discover that I want to tweak the fit or finish the seams properly or do the hems by hand. Do other people do this?

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Becky O. August 27, 2009 at 9:24 am

Its instant :)I buy patterns to read. I think you get in another persons head better if you go through their process. I learn so much… if only I could learn Japanese and buy their patterns untranslated!

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Wendy August 27, 2009 at 9:34 am

The beauty of the instant pattern for me is that it appears I dont have to carefully place each pattern piece on the fabric just so, lined up with the grain, etc. Just do it once for the sheet, and its done. Now THAT part I dont enjoy lingering on.Its unusual in my experience to find an instant pattern thats uncut.

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Jennylou's Projects August 27, 2009 at 9:39 am

I like finishing quickly, but I only use fusible interfacing when making purses/bags, because I think long term it stays in place better. For garments, the only time Ive used anything that was fusible was for a quick hem job while in Hawaii for my sisters wedding. It seemed easier to use it for a hem. At home, I put in my hems by hand if I think it warrants it – ie, a nice dress, skirt, pants, shirt. If theyre casual, they get machine stitches…no matter the instructions.

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jenna! August 27, 2009 at 10:04 am

I like to finish projects. Oh, dont get me wrong, I love spending hours hours sewing. But, at the end of the day (or night) when the garment is done, all that time spent just makes sense. I get fustrated in the process since Ive only been sewing for 8 months. Although I have several books and have taken several classes, so many terms are not yet in my vocabulary so I end up getting fustrated. So, the finished product makes it all worth while.Does that make sense?

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the_lazymilliner August 27, 2009 at 10:21 am

Im somewhere in between, but then again look at all my unfinished project slumped like murder victims in various positions all over my apartment….Give me a stapler already!

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Joni August 27, 2009 at 10:27 am

Yep, Ive seen those instant patterns before! I helped my sister sew one over the summer. Of course theyre only instant the FIRST time you use the pattern, but still.I cut as many corners as possible when sewing – Im such an instant gratification person. Although this may also be due to my analytical mind saying, How can I do this better/faster/cheaper? Ive never regarded pattern instructions as being particularly set in stone, and I intensely dislike anything fussy – especially hand stitching! yuk!I even got a serger recently so that I could finish seams faster. worth. every. penny.

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mickey August 27, 2009 at 10:27 am

Im in a different category, I think. Im a start a bunch of things all at once, procrastinate, then finish the one I need soonest at the last minute sewer. In real life, that is. In my head I like to tell myself Im prioritizing.

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Andrea August 27, 2009 at 10:35 am

I sew because I want the garments, not because I like to sew. I prefer very simple garments and let the fabrics do the talking. Ill take lots of time fitting my muslins, but once thats done, I want to wear it tomorrow.

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Mandi August 27, 2009 at 10:51 am

I used to be all about instant. But after seeing those things finished on…I changed my mind. And after sewing for 23 years, my joy is in taking time to do it and do it right. I do use fusible interfacing, but do not fuse hems (anymore!). I will do a quicky garment once in a while (last week it was a 3 gore knit skirt flatlocked…quick and perfect to wear around the house!).

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Lauriana August 27, 2009 at 11:17 am

I guess I tend to switch camps… I make a lot of my own patterns, which sounds, and is, timeconsuming. However it saves me loads of time when it comes to fitting. My own personal patterns fit. Any time. I realised recently that Ive lost the appatite for fiddling about which I had when I started sewing. When Ive done all the work, I want to have a wearable, and preferably nice, garment to show for it. I recently bought a serger and I noticed a tendency to rush more when Im using that. However, I still like using french seams and I usually hem by hand but Im not against fusibles. In some cases they work best. Ive made tailored jackets using fusible interfacing throughout to keep the fabric in shape (a special kind of fusible interfacing of course, this stuff is very thin and light and made out of slightly fuzzy woven threads. its ment specifically to reinforce wool fabrics) and Ive been known to use fuse hems on lined wool garments. I want my things to look their best, but Im not willing to spend half a lifetime on a single garment. So no basting if I can avoid it and using the technology avaible if the alternative is just to much painstaking work.

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The Hillbilly Banjo Queen: August 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm

I live firmly in the middle. Sometimes I want to take my time on a piece and add embellishments and really make it nice. Other times I just want to get it done so I can wear it right now. Id say Im a 50/50 person.

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Becky August 27, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Im definitely a get it done as fast as possible person, but i think its because I have very little workspace (i.e. the kitchen table). So I cant leave work out and unfinished or Ill never find all the pieces again. If i ever get an extra room in a house (gasp! im a city dweller, extra rooms come at a premium), id be happy to draw the process out a bit and enjoy it more. until then, all in one sitting is the way to go.

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motorharp August 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Huh, weird, the other vintage instant patterns, or one-piece patterns, Ive seen have the front and back pattern pieces joined at the shoulder. I wonder why they consider the 4-piece thing to be instant.I sadly dont have as much time to sew anymore as Id like, but Im making a neck tie, which Ive never done before, and am looking forward to taking my time with it to get it just right.

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Leigh August 27, 2009 at 1:36 pm

I wish I liked either the process or could get things done instantly. Lately Ive been carefully measuring, cutting out, measuring again, and then running into a wall where I cant make any sense of the vintage instructions, only to file the project away.

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Sydnie August 27, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I like to finish projects and wear them, but I think I tend to be quick to drop a project if its not coming out as I would like. That said, I love the sewing part of the process, and will take quite a bit of time with that (although Im also far from being a perfectionist)! I really really really dont like the cutting part of the process though! Ill cut (cut, ha-ha) whatever corners I can during that part.

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j.b. August 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm

Im a little bit of both. Started with the finish as fast a possible mode and now as I get older, and more experienced in the sewing realm, I lean more toward the process way of sewing. I love the whole process, from picking out fabric and pattern, to hand or machine sewing the hems and facings. :)au revoir,~j.b.

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Anonymous August 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm

I used to sew professionally, so I know a bunch of quality short-cuts–that is to say, shortcuts that do not diminish the quality. Things like flat construction. I love the fiddly details like welt pockets, but have learned how to do them quickly and well because I really have no patience and want to do it well the first time. Not sure what camp that puts me in. –Karen

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Latter-Day Flapper August 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Im a middle-of-the-roader: I want to finish in a reasonable amount of time, but I dont like fusible stuff (except for occasionally lining collars or as a base for buttons) and unfinished seams make me hysterical. Clean, finished, seams that lie totally flat and will never fray in the wash are a big part of the fun for me, as dorky as that sounds.

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Marjie August 27, 2009 at 2:39 pm

I finish my seam edges with the serger, and make sure its sewn right. I also refuse to do hand finishing; thats why sewing machines have blind hemming stitches. When I start something, I wont stop until its finished – even if it takes 20 hours – so I never start anything later than Saturday afternoon.

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Anonymous August 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm

When I take my time and follow instructions carefully, things turn out well. If I try to sew in a hurry, its a mess. For some reason Ive become more tense and picky about sewing and as a result have the same murder victims problem that lazy milliner does. UFOs abound in my sewing room! Really, I do enjoy the process, though, and love seeing a lovely, neat, finished seam. So, why dont I make more of them and get finished already? Hey, this is like Sewing Psychotherapy, Erin – add that to your resume! Dawn

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Jen August 27, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I started sewing in the olden days when everyone could sew. In junior high my best friend and I would walk home from school, cut and sew a dress to wear the next day, we called them twinnies cause they were the same dress. We sewed the zippered seam shut and pulled them on over our head. I didnt figure out facings for a few years either.Now? I enjoy a real Olympic level project to sink my teeth into.BTW: did anyone else note that on this sewing pattern the center front line is NOT on a center fold–it flares out from the waistline to create the 1957 skirt silhouette (the entire dress would have been flat in front if cut on a fold, something we put up with in current fashion).

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SAC August 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Im with Peanut– I usually end up starting out wanting to go fast, and then realizing that what I REALLY want is to go slow. Plus, Ive had a pretty fraught relationship with sewing machines (though, come to think of it, not so much staplers…) so the hand-sewing bits always seem like theyre going to actually get done. The machine-sewn parts make me fear until theyve been finished without the sewing machine breaking down.

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San Antonio Sue August 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I took a class from Cynthia Guffey once (BTW, if you ever get a chance to, dont miss it!). She asked how many of us sew for a living. How many sew for fit, feel, comfort, style? In the latter case, why do you rush it? Take the time to do it right. Ive lived by those words since. After all, what do I care how long it takes to make a pair of pants (or a dress)that fits great? Just start it soon enough to be ready. And if its not, theres some other wonderful garment hanging in my closet that I took the time to make right.

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Theresa August 27, 2009 at 5:55 pm

I confess… only pink my seams and only hand sew when absolutely required to do so. I never hand stitch my hems…but them again, I have carpal tunnel syndrome and hands sewing is torture. I also cant wait to wear my new creation now! but I do like most of the process — i hate the cutting of the peices.

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Ivy August 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm

I remember this pattern. It is one pattern piece that you cut four times — pretty cool, actually.

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Christy Sews August 27, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Of late, I have become an enjoy the process person. Ive actually surprised myself sometimes by finishing rather quickly. No problems there though — Im a marathon cutter-outer because I cant stand cutting. I spend a week just cutting and then Im free to go from project to project. I do confess, however, I am formerly from the make it today wear it tomorrow camp.

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Susannah August 27, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Sometimes an emergency short cut develops a life of its own. I have a skirt that was part of an outfit that I made to wear to a friends wedding. She has now been married ten years, but on the waistband at the top of the skirt zipp, (hidden by the top, I hasten to add) I can still find my trusty safety pin. At least as functional as a button and buttonhole, and so much quicker when one is finishing the hem only just before departing for the church.

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kagitsune August 27, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Im the if no-ones going to see it, its okay person… The insides of my dresses and costumesare rarely pretty. Not good for someone who wants to own couture design studio some day!! o_o;; Lately, though, Ive realized that imperfections can affect comfort, so Ive trying to be more careful. :3

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Lavon August 27, 2009 at 11:26 pm

I like to take my time. Part of the reason I take my time is that my eyesight is starting to fail. I have a hard time seeing black or dark fabric so I have to take my time to make sure I am not missing anything.On brighter fabric I am a faster but I still finish everything in detail. lLove it

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Elle August 28, 2009 at 1:52 am

Im a perfectionist who, at the same time, has Sewing Attention Deficit Disorder. My huge Rubbermaid under the bed storage container is full of really well made, half finished garments that would have been hanging in my closet if I had managed to work faster. Sigh.

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sewducky August 28, 2009 at 2:49 am

I, too, sew because I want the clothes. I actually dont care to sew at all, and if I could have a magic elf that would make the clothing I want, Id be happy.But dont confuse this with quick and easy. Im a third kind of sewer. I have things I can whip out quickly, but Im as likely to make something requiring loads and loads of time. I am a garment sewer, and I sew to have clothing I could otherwise not afford/cant find.

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sewducky August 28, 2009 at 2:49 am

I forgot: I dont take shortcuts. I do the little heinous stitches, the seam finishes, the ironing, the right interfacing…etc.

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Jenaveve August 28, 2009 at 3:27 am

Nice topic to ponder. And wow – looking forward to reading all the comments here too.Im enjoying being a process person which is kind of essential for the tailoring techniques Im trying to learn. I used to think that instant gratification was the way to go, but the reality is that speed does not help during the learning process.Oh, and Ive moved on a bit from trying to be the perfectionist too. Im really enjoying all the mistakes Ive made recently… oddly satisfying.

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Knitwit August 28, 2009 at 4:06 am

I started out as an instant person… but then I started making costumes for the Jane Austen festival this Sept. Im now definately a process person!! I started just wanting to make a coat/trousers/waistcoat for my hubby quickly and then got caught up in choosing period correct fabrics, threads, patterns (which Ive had to make up as I go along, working from a picture?! Where did this talent come from? I have no idea) and now I dont have much time left and no dress, hat, jacket for me yet. Im going to have to make an effort to speed up!

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Birgit August 28, 2009 at 4:58 am

What a nice response this one provoked!I love instant gratification but have to admit that I often belong in the perfectionist category – about my own work, not others – which is probably why I own two bookshelves stuffed with vintage and new sewing books, and only have two finished garments (one of which was really a muslin I decided to finish). I learned to sew by hand as a child and enjoy it, but my moms often malfunctioning sewing machine frustrated me to no end, and I am only learning again now. When I do cut corners, it is usually because I am running out of time to complete something, or because of inexperience. In the end, and with more practice, I hope to relax a little and enjoy the process as well as learn how to cut the appropriate corners…

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Leslie August 28, 2009 at 6:48 am

25 years ago I sewed from necessity and just got things thrown together so that I could get out the door.I started sewing again earlier this year and I find that I enjoy the process: Ill wash the fabric iron it first, make sure I get the grain going the right way, etc. Im still a pretty fast sewer but my hems are straight now!

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JustGail August 28, 2009 at 8:09 am

I think the one piece or instant in this case refers to the the pattern itself. You dont need to cut out the pieces and arrange them on the fabric, just unfold, place on the fabric and cut. That is if your are one of the lucy few who can use patterns directly out of the envelope. As far as process vs. product – put me down as a yes vote. It depends on the project. On simple items, or something Ive made before – I just want to get it done. On a new project (or a complicated one), I take my time, at least until Im tired of looking at it, then its back to just get it done, or throw it into the closet for a while.Gail

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emmy jay August 28, 2009 at 10:08 am

As a teenager, I routinely made a skirt at night to wear to school the next day; sometimes I even stopped to buy the fabric on the way home (just a *small* detour) as well. Ive become much more of a process person over the years, and much more so lately, but the end of the process, a finished garment that I love to wear, is still the prime motivator.

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Renee August 28, 2009 at 10:42 am

The comments have been great reading.Ive been a member of both camps. I used to absolutely hate cutting out, but once the rotary cutter and pattern weights came out things changed there. And I despised hand sewing. I was a kitchen table sewer for years which meant that everything needed to be finished in one sitting. I recall making my husband a suit once in under 24 hours ( 70s polyester tailored jacket and pants! which I was sooo proud of). I was great at cutting out in the morning and wearing that night. It helped that I was an easy pattern fit; I even thought it was bad luck to try it on until it was completely finished. That mindset is gone now as well. Now, I go slower, press well ( best thing I ever learned ) and like the finishing process – including hand sewing. But every now and then, there is still the gotta wear it now garment that sails across the machine and table.

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India August 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm

I definitely enjoy the process, which is good because I so rarely (a) finish a project, or (b) sew something I end up actually liking to wear.The reasons for (a) are too manifold to list. The main reasons for (b) are that (1) I tend to do weird stufffor example, using inappropriately textured or exceptionally loud fabricsand such experiments dont always work out, (2) I get impatient with fitting, and (3) I dont like to wear things that have that could-come-apart-at-any-moment homemade feel. So focusing on the process helps with items (b2) and (b3), though it tends to exacerbate some of the items in (a).Ive never seen an instant pattern before, but Im rarely attracted by patterns labeled quick or 2-hour skirt or the like. I like to learn something from making up the pattern, and those simple ones would seem to have less to offer (though they might demonstrate some brilliant economy of design).

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Mea August 28, 2009 at 10:33 pm

I have loads of quick and easy, 2 hours or less type of patterns. I start out enjoying the process, but then at some point I get tired of the project and just want it done. Right now Im into the second year of a silk tweed project that will eventually be a skirt and jacket- but this fabric requires extensive pre-cutting preparation and Im not thrilled with the process (hence the long time frame) anymore. Well, I should have read up on the fabric- I do own fabric books- before purchasing, but it was an awesome sale and perfect colors….Yet, I prefer hand-sewn hems….so Im a bit of a strange duck when it comes to sewing.

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catherine August 28, 2009 at 11:21 pm

definitely a process girl – so glad to know Im not the only one who still hems by hand – think its because I love a project so much that sometimes I dont want to end it – or else I want to watch a movie sew cant hear the movie over the sound of my machine

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Anonymous August 29, 2009 at 1:03 am

Interesting topic. I used to be a sew it to wear it out TONIGHT kind of girl. Then I was a sew when I have time woman. Now I go fast if its a quick knit top on the serger, slow if its something tricky, careful haste if Im sewing something for a client and downright slow if I want something to be a close to couture quality as I can get.But basically I get there faster by plodding and enjoy it better too.Oh and like the Lazy Milliner I have a body in the corner – a faux fur in a bag!

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Emily Clarke August 29, 2009 at 8:32 am

I am totally a make it now, wear it tonight girl! I usually only start a project if I have a certain event in mind that I want to wear it to. Otherwise, things lie around my workroom, half finished, taunting me. I really need that sense of urgency to motivate me. But I dont cut corners, knowing that my mom will eventually see whatever I have made and get after me for doing it wrong…

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Hana August 29, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Im mostly working on things very slowly, and leaving them unfinished for weeks, and then, in one happy whim, suddenly finishing them. That sort of thing.

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Anan August 29, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Im both! (The good Lutheran answer…) I.e. Vogue 884 took me weeks, but I made another vogue dress last night in 6 hours. I cut every corner I could, I made hems by folding up the raw edges and stitching, I didnt finish any edges but the neck facing. Luckily its slightly stretchy cotton so it isnt fraying anywhere.

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alba-ny August 29, 2009 at 8:37 pm

I have become an enjoy the process sort, but almost too perfectionist. My mother taught me to sew quick, or even staple! After I while I realised that I never wear anything I make unless it is really, really well finished. Cute stuff that I know has ugly insides just *cant* be worn :( I think it is part of my ocd-ness.I do all-nighters if I need quick results. The night before last was one, so I could make a silk charmuse dress 30s dress to wear to a wedding yesterday! When I was unhappy with a few yards of topstitching I spent 3 more hours ripping it out and re-doing, rather than sleep.

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Jamie August 29, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Hmm. I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I am definitely driven by the idea of the finished product, and sometimes I go a little to fast or cut corners, but I also enjoy the process and take my time if I can. When I went on a very-determined literal dress-a-day binge before heading off to camp in July (I wanted to wear only things I had made, dammit, even if it meant I didnt get any sleep for two weeks!), I cut corners a fair amount, and its definitely showing now that I am pulling some of the dresses out for third or fourth wearings only to find raveling seams, pulling-out straps and other types of falling-apartness. So, on future garments I am definitely going to be more careful. As a beginning sewist Im still working on feeling out my personal sewing style. I havent the patience to be a finish-every-seam-by-hand type, but the stapler thing is never going to work for me.

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dawnrenee August 30, 2009 at 12:25 am

Even though I have been sewing off and on for years and have been making my own dance costumes for several years, I still consider myself as a beginner, so I am not comfortable with taking shortcuts – I dont know any anyway, and besides, thats not really my personality. I am still learning all of the little touches that make a big difference in quality; if my pattern instructions dont tell me to do something like finish the seams, it doesnt necessarily occur to me to do so. The things I do know, however, I enjoy doing – even hemming yards and yards of chiffon by hand. I like the process (sewing is very soothing for me), and I want to end up with a high-quality garment.

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Nancy August 30, 2009 at 2:26 pm

i simply adore reading these comments! the are all wonderful.

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mamafrog August 31, 2009 at 5:15 am

Im in between now–get it done right (or as much as possible) so it can be worn soon! I hate having to rip something out and redo it so I do take extra care when doing it, but Im willing to compromise enough to have it ready to wear in good time.

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Latter-Day Flapper August 31, 2009 at 8:05 am

I almost always machine-sew hems because I frequently wear longish dresses with lace-up boots, and the speed-lacers [hooks] at the tops of boots will catch on and rip out hand-sewn hems, which often leaves picks and frays the fabric.

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Melissa August 31, 2009 at 9:40 am

My mother is te sort who cant put down a project once she starts. Shes also a night owl, so wed go to bed at night and wake up with a new dress. It was like living with elves.When I want some instant dewing gratification I make doll clothes. I can generally finish an outfit in one night. The instant dress makes me think of Amy Wongs spray-on bikini from Futurama.

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minya, warrior seamstress August 31, 2009 at 8:19 pm

So, I bought this pattern. How should I trace it onto fabric so as to keep the pattern one-piece? Im quite sure this will need at least one test muslin.

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wideyed August 31, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Wheres my STAPLER?!?

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wideyed August 31, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Wheres my STAPLER?!?

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Saarah Steeve September 1, 2009 at 5:33 am

like to finish projects and wear them, i too sew the clothes because i need garment. one more thing all comments are just wonderful.

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Steph September 1, 2009 at 3:01 pm

I wish I could be a quick-sew, wear it the next day kind of sewist, but Ive encountered so many fit problems and patterns need so many adjustments that Im forced to be a process person. Although, I actually do enjoy the process of making a quality garment that I can be proud of and wear more than just a few times. I just wish I could speed it up. Maybe thatll come with more experience. After years of just focusing on making renaissance costumes for the faire, Im now relearning why I gave up on making actual real-life clothes: they actually have to fit correctly, whereas with a renaissance garment, you can typically get away with making your body fit the garment. Heh. Its worth it, even when after completing and wearing a dress and finding that something is slightly off I have to go back and fix it….sigh.

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wundermary September 3, 2009 at 12:23 am

Ha, I am the finish by hand, but maybe not with silk thread girl.I took a look at the large image of that pattern. I dont think that the dress itself is one piece, I think the tissue is one piece, so that you do not have to pin individual pieces and orient the grain lines repeatedly. The drawing shows center, side and back seams.

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Sara September 3, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Somebody probably already said this…(too busy atm to read all 61 other comments, hehehe), but Ive always thought that if its worth doing, its worth doing well.This applies even more when Im sewing. :)

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Grilled Cheez September 3, 2009 at 5:14 pm

My sewing is all practicality-driven at this point. I dont toil over, say, tailored suits or ballgowns or cocktail dresses, because they are not useful to me. All I require are hardwearing everyday dresses, and a couple Sunday dresses.So a machine-sewn hem will generally outlast a hand-sewn one, and nobody is going to care about a hand-picked zipper. Fusible interfacing is just fine with me.My seams are all serged, and that is as fancy as its going to get for awhile here. That being said, out-and-out slapdash sewing will negatively affect either the wearability or the life-span of the dress, so Ive learned not to be TOO complacent about detail work. Its foolish to spend 90 minutes and 10 dollars on a garment that just gathers dust in the back of the closet. Better to spend 4 hours and 20 bucks for decent yardage, and get something youll wear every week for a year.

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Anonymous September 4, 2009 at 1:52 am

Oh no! You wrote sewist. I was wondering when this dreadful day would come.

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andrea.at.the.blue.door September 12, 2009 at 10:56 am

Simplicity had the same gimmick in the 1920s; one large sheet of tissue had all the pieces arranged as laid out. You pinned the sheet to your fabric, cut everything out and you were done. They dropped the practice after a few years.The older I get, the more deliberately paced my sewing. If I like an article of clothing, Im inclined to wear it to rags, so the up-front investment of time in hand basting, enclosing all seams, making linings, hand hemming, etc. seems to be reasonable. Last week I did Hong-Kong bindings on an eight gore skirt. It took me forever, but gosh, it looks great.

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