Saturday, June 14, 2008

i never learn

Today I am full of sewing angst. No wait, not just sewing, but knitting angst too. Maybe it's just angst, plain and simple. Yeah, that's probably it.

There is one sewing lesson though that I feel I should have learned about a decade ago. I always try to make skirts and dresses out of cotton that is just too stiff for a nice, flexible hem. This never occurs to me as I try it on while I'm making it, but as soon as I hit the final stage of hemming, suddenly I have a dorky garment on my hands because the hem is stiff and sticks out funny. Why do I get so seduced by heavy cottons? Why don't I just make all clothing out of reliable, wonderful linen?

I even did it on the skirt above for Sadie. At least she is happy to wear it, but the cotton is simply too stiff - even the gathers make me cringe a bit. Regardless, as soon as I finished her skirt, I started making a simple A-line skirt for myself out of some cute mushroom print fabric. I was so excited about it yesterday and then when I tried to fit in hemming it this morning (it's an ear-infected daughter and napping post-reception husband kind of day) it did the disastrous stiff hem thing. Anyone have suggestions? Would a hand sewn hem make all the difference? At this point I could handle the effort - it's much better than not finishing the skirt and wasting the time I have put into it.

Oh, and my Coquette Lace Tube Top is almost 2 inches too long, hence the other angst. Perhaps this just isn't the week to be crafting. Drinking a glass of wine, absolutely.


KnittyLynn said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so not a sewing, but feel your angst! Hopefully someone will have a solution for you. :)

I love the skirt though, so cute.

Claire Deal said... [Reply to comment]

Maybe this would work - instead of turning up the fabric for a self-hem, you could apply a facing of a lighter weight fabric. Make it an inch & a half wide or so, stitch to the hem edge of the skirt (after trimming the skirt to the finished length plus seam allowance) then turn up and hem as you would a self hem. You do want some weight on the hem to make the garment hang well, just not the stiffness.

Purchased packages of hem tape or wide lacy seam binding works as well - or binding the hem edge with a contrasting bias tape, either purchased or one you make yourself.

If the fabric hasn't yet been washed, the sizing on the fabric will make it stiffer, as well. Laundering in hottish water might help, if you haven't already.

Good luck with future sewing efforts!