Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee provides the best inspiration!

Ok, first of all - how very awesome was the final of the Great British Sewing Bee? I laughed, I cried... it was so very inspirational! Massive congratulations to Ann - who is amazing! (I'm a lurker-ish member of the Stitcher's Guild forum, and Ann is so helpful.) Congratulations also to all the other contestants, who really represented sewing well in how nice, helpful, funny and cooperative they all were.

Anyhoo - I've been really fascinated by the time constraints on the sewing in this show, and find myself wondering if I could actually sew an A-line skirt in 3 hours, a pair of men's pants in 3.5 hours or a lined jacket in 8 hours.

(The answers respectively are: Probably, Are you kidding me? No way! and Yeah, in my dreams.)

So the other day, as a next project, I pulled out an unlined knit jacket pattern from an old Burda magazine (06-2009-114) and asked myself - can I sew this in 5 hours?
This jacket is meant to be constructed out of sweatshirting. 

I got to work at 8.00pm Monday night.

- It took me 1.25 hours to trace out the pattern, add seam allowances and cut out the pattern.
- It took me 45 minutes to cut out the fabric.
- Another 20-ish minutes to interface all the pieces that needed interfacing.
- I then started sewing...

At about the point where I had an hour left - I'd finished assembling the body and the sleeves and I had three important bits left:

- Pockets
- Hemming
- That notched collar!

Ok, I've never made a notched collar before. Since I was doing a GBSB-style challenge, I decided using the internet to google construction details was cheating. I'd have to figure out the Burda gobbely-gook instructions.

That didn't go so well either - it took me 30 minutes to have the collar basted. At this point - 4.5 hours into the project - I decided I wasn't going to be done, and went to bed.

However, the next day, I did google some instructions, and hacked away at my jacket. I vaguely kept track of time. I got the collar on, decided my pockets looked woefully hand-made, and skipped them, and then hand-hemmed the jacket. (No perfectly matching thread, otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered.)

The result? A wearable jacket. It isn't obviously the most perfect of sewing, but it works as a first notched-collar attempt. There will be more.

The great motto of the story? Sometimes - it's about the doing. I've a tendency to browse the Internet, overthink the next project, walk away when a difficult bit comes up, etc. But there's just no substitute for actual doing.



Judith said...

Great challenge to set yourself - and the result is brilliant! Did you use sweatshirt fabric (or fleecy as we call it Down Under???) The colour is just stunning ... J

SarahLizSewStyle said...

That is a lovely wearable jacket, and I think for a first attempt the time was quite realistic.

AllisonC said...

I've wanted to make a knit blazer for literally years now! I think I need to set myself a GBSB challenge and just do it. Yours looks really good, love the colour.

KayoticSewing said...

Reethi, It's a lovely jacket!!

Nancy said...

I wonder if you would consider adding the gadget to allow someone to subscribe to your blog via email subscription? It's the fifth gadget down in Blogger's gadget list. Thanks.

SarahLizSewStyle said...

I've nominated you for the one lovely blogger award. You can pick it up at my blog, If you prefer to pass, that's fine too.