16 April 2014

By the Book or Not?

First, wow.  I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post.  With all that's going on, I've had ZERO energy to much of anything - include sleep.  Yes, I've been so tired that I can't even sleep through the night - which isn't helping my being tired.  Evil, vicious circle.  I digress.

That grand plan for a trench coat is still in the works, but it's a slow go.  I've sewn a grand total of 30 minutes (at most) over the last week.  In the short time that I've had to sew, I got to thinking about my process of making this coat and other projects.

To me, pattern instructions are suggested reading.  I follow them most of the time, but not always.  For example, the instructions for the trench coat have you construct the front, pockets, back, collar, sleeves, lining, and something else.  I started with the back first, then front, then pockets, and am now on the sleeves.  In fact, with every coat/jacket I've sewn, I started with the back and worked my way around to the front.

I also don't always cut out all the components in the beginning.  The only reason I have lining pieces for this coat cut out now is because I needed them for the inseam pockets.  Otherwise, this part would have waited until the whole shell was constructed.  

Interfacing?  Yeah, that gets put on hold until I need it.

These seems so sporadic and out of order.  Am I the only one?  Do you sew 'by the book' or not?



  1. Sewing by the book is for suckers :)
    I hate interfacing for some reason so I do not do it until it is TIME. I have certain things that I can now construct without considering the instructions.

  2. That's what I like about sewing, you can be as creative as you want to be. I certainly don't go by the book; the pattern is just a template.

  3. If it's a new pattern that is different from anything else I've sewn, then I use the directions. If not, I go my own way, especially if it involves hand-sewing. I will do just about anything to get around unnecessary hand-sewing.

  4. Occasionally I glance at the instructions to see if there is a trap for the unwary during construction. Usually I don't and then find the inevitable trap and step into it. But usually I sort of know what to do.

    I hate interfacing, but tend to do it early, just to get it done. I used to cut lining at the beginning of a garment, but don't now - if I make a prize botch of the garment, at least I don't have to toss the lining as well.

  5. PS - re sleep - yes these cycles are no fun- did you mention something about daylight saving recently - if the clock has changed, that really upsets some people - it is to do with light,the SCN and circadian cyles. I don't adjust well (our clock recently changed so my sleep cycle went haywire). Get into regular up times, regular meals and a good wind down routine at night.

    I'll email you soon about meeting you on Saturday 24th - it's going to be a lovely day.

  6. I've came across many patterns that doesn't make sense & had to step back, think it out & do it my way , sometimes I think it'd be easier to learn to design my own lol!

  7. as a newbie I try to follow the instructions but as I gain more knowledge I think I will toss the instructions lol

  8. It depends. I also hate interfacing and will usually put off doing it until I need to. However, sometimes, depending on what block(s) of time I have available to sew or am anticipating having available, I'll do the interfacing as the first step to get it over with so that I don't have to interrupt my flow later on.

    I also hate hand sewing and will do as little of it as possible. I also will change around the order of construction on things so that I can do as much sewing in the flat as much as possible before switching to sewing-in-the-round. I think that most Big 4 instructions have you switch to sewing-in-the-round way, way too early in the construction process, and it just makes things more difficult.

  9. I agree fully that instructions are suggested reading. I'll read them for a complicated pattern to see what was intended but mostly have my own order of construction and way to do it.

  10. When I started sewing, I used to wing it -- and came out with some pretty awesome makes. Since then, I've actually grown to really enjoy following sewing instructions. Not because it's impossible to figure out the garment's construction, but because it's like being in the head of another sewer. I've learned a lot that way. :)

    That being said, I am L-A-Z-Y, and will not line anything unless it is sheer. Or a bag. I don't finish hems if I can help it, I pink seam allowances more often than not, and I only interface pieces right before I sew them -- no interfacing at the beginning of a project.


Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.


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