15 July 2017

Musings on the Style Arc Sally

Warning:  this post contains an awful amount of whine.  Le sigh.

PDF patterns are the devil

I make no secret about loathing cutting and taping PDF patterns.  Well, L, why did you buy this pattern as a PDF?  Short answer:  impatience.  Long answer:  I've been searching for a basic jean-style skirt for at least a year.  The closest thing I could find for what I wanted was Burda 6769 which I made last year.  I love this skirt and wear it a lot, but it didn't have what I wanted.  Which brings me back to the short answer:  I got impatient.

PDFs NEVER MATCH.  I don't care how many colored lines and match points and GPS positioning systems are in place.  They never match.  Ever.  I used a paper rotary cutter and went OCD with cutting precisely on every line.  Does. Not. Match.

See all the waviness?  It was impossible to keep the whole thing flat.

Which is why I was even more annoyed when I had to print the pattern again!  Waaaaaaah!  I assembled and sewed a size that was way too big (size 16).  I was going to take bigger seam allowances, but then I thought maybe the sizes would be proportionately different.

They were not.  Save for the back yoke, front, and back, everything was exactly the same.  WTF?!  The yoke, front, and back were only different at the outside seams by 1/2-inch.  All that printing and taping and swearing for nothing.  Grr.

The size 14 is still big.  I ended up sewing 3/4" seam allowances which created really small front pockets.

If (and that's a big if) I decide to try this again, I'll start with a 12.  This means printing and taping all over again.  Suffice it to say this is not top on my to-do list.  In the meantime, I'll look into a copy shop or that popular online printing service (I forget the name).


The instructions  amounted to nothing more than a sewing word salad.

Burda is known for having cryptic instructions, but this is something...hmm...special. The pictures were no help either.   They were like some weird magic eye picture gone horribly wrong.  I had no idea what the hell I was looking at.  I could not fix my eyes on one diagram long enough for it to make sense.  THAT confusing. 

In case anyone decides to make this pattern, here's how I sewed the pockets:

1.  Sew the front yoke wrong side to the pocket lining right side.  (This pattern has separate pattern pieces for the left and right front yoke.  Why?  I have no idea.)


2.  With right sides together, stitch the pocket lining-front yoke combo to the pocket area on the skirt front.  The seam allowance is 1/4" so there's no need to trim. 

3.  Turn the lining combo to the inside and press. Roll the lining slightly to the inside.

4.  Topstitch the outside front area along the curve (not pictured).  Next, fold the pocket bag to meet the side and bottom seams.  

Maybe this is what the instructions were trying to say.  I don't know.

Sew-on fly extensions

This is right up there with PDF patterns.  In 12 years of sewing, I have not been successful with sewing a fly front that had separate fly extensions.  In theory, it shouldn't be that hard, right?  Right???  I mean, it's just an extra seam.  Yeah no.  That shit gets me every time and this was no different.

The thing is I SAW that the extension was sew-on and intended to tape the extension pattern piece to the front BEFORE cutting out the skirt.  

That did not happen.  I forgot and of course I didn't notice it until AFTER I cut out the front. Determined to not be defeated by this stupid fly, I searched the internet for a tutorial.  YouTube has a really good one that was easy to follow.  The result?

Fail.  There was barely any overlap to cover the zipper.  I took the zipper out, bought more fabric, and started from scratch.

Much better.  To sew the fly front, I used the instructions from Burda 6769.

Back pockets

You know when you feel something isn't going well, but you keep going anyway?  

I looked at these pockets for a long time thinking they were far too low.  Did I stop and re-position them before topstitching?  Of course not.  That would make too much sense.  Instead I sewed the topstitching perfectly, basted the side seams, and waistband - only to try on the skirt and see that the pockets hung below my butt.  

I knew I wasn't going to be happy with it, so I removed the pockets and stitched them higher.

These are positioned much more in proportion with my back side.


Even though I completely lost interest in the skirt near the end, I finished it anyway.  When I forge on like that, I make mistakes.  The buttonhole is too far from the edge and I neglected to sew the belt loops on before attaching the waistband.


So much meh.  Maybe, just maybe I'll return to it much later.  For now I'm over it.


Wanting to cleanse my palate of this project, I turned to one of my favorite garments to make:  jeans.  This time, though, I sewed Éléonore (pull on stretch jeans) by Jalie.  I wore the jeans roller skating last night and they survived the roll test.  But, there is a LOT of work to be done in order to get the fit right.  My thoughts on this will be in the next post.

Until next time, peace!




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