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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Technicos: Imperfect Tucks Are Not the End of the World

Some of my tucks were slightly off grain
Some were a little skewed
Hey, these were the first I'd made outside of
making tucks that came pre-printed on a pattern piece
And the doll whose nightgown will be incorporating this
charming detail, won't care!
I'm a Type B, so I don't usually stress about perfection and doing things in a totally standardized way. At least that's what I've always thought about myself. But I noticed that I was letting myself get kind of intimidated by my plaid and fitting crusade in regards to my CA Romance Dress project. So I decided a couple of things.

1) I still plan to finish it in time for a mid December performance I'm going to with my daughter. But a little break might not hurt
2) I'm going to quit worrying about alterations. I talked with Susan about the sleeve fitting we were planning to work on, and I decided to just pin my test sleeve to the dress once I get the bodice and skirt basted up, see if it looks OK, then cut the sleeve and run with it. We could spend way too much time fooling with every detail of this pattern. Enough is enough. Neither of us wants to get overly caught up in pattern alteration and drafting. We just want to sew stuff that makes us feel good and improve our sewing skills along the way!
3) I decided I needed a very brief break from the CA Romance Dress. Just a little time to play with tucks!

My December podcast theme will be night wear. I'm already sewing a flannel nightshirt for my husband (well it's cut out anyway) and I have a flannel nightgown cutout for myself. Actually I cut it out a couple of years ago(!). I found it and another of the same pattern and material in my inventory. I did machine embroidery on the yokes for each last year and got one sewed up. So nightie number two needs to get finished this month. Those two garments will give me some practical material for the 'cast, but..... as usual I'm distracted by a technique we worked on in class. I bet you can guess that's tucks!

It's so tempting to cut out another nightgown - a cool cotton one this time, with a tucked bodice or yoke. Hold on! When will I finish my dress, get back to my planned tee shirts and get on with jeans sewing? How about I just practice some technique sewing to polish up those fun tucks we practiced on paper in Fashion 110? Then, when I've gotten past a few other planned projects I'll be that much smarter.

BTW sample sewing is a blast when you sew for a doll. Have you ever noticed how non-picky a doll is? They'll wear anything! I saved only a few of my daughter's books and only two toys. One was an American Girl doll and the other an 18" Engelpuppen doll (a German model). And dolls wear nightgowns that would look lovely with tucks. I downloaded classic retired American Girl Doll Patterns for free! They're big files and you may want to avoid doing more than one at a time. Thanks to Pleasant Rowland and the rest of American Girl for sharing these patterns.

I used an old cotton sheet, from that day last summer when I cleaned out the linen closet (there's room to fold the pillowcases now!) , to practice my tucks. If I called it vintage fabric, would it sound classier? It was pleasant working with that soft old fabric, and wondering how many times it had been slept on over the years.

I experimented with simple, easy to draw tucks
These are one inch apart
In retrospect, I think maybe more pins would keep the tucks straighter
I think this is about an 1/8 inch seam on the tucks
I think an expert sewer might like to pintuck a doll's nightgown,
but pin tucks would be more work to measure and might be more challenging to sew
There's enough to the basic experience without adding pin tucks
I had marked my tucks with air soluble marker
But you know that inch will often bond with the fabric when pressed
So I rinsed that marker out before pressing
Yeah, right those tucks aren't perfect.
But dolls wont' care, and I got some experience working with this technique

Also, sample sewing was good because it got me thinking about
how a pattern piece might lay on my completed tucked fabric.
If I were making a nightgown bodice for myself,
I might want to do extra tucking so that I could get a really symmetrical look

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