Saturday, September 3, 2016

Latest sewing make - Papercut Patterns' Moana top

Something very cool has happened. Last weekend I made something without making any mistakes. As someone who is still quite nervous about sewing, this is a very big deal!



+ this new toy


+ my great Liberty fabric find
= my new favourite top for work!


I've long admired Papercut Patterns from afar, often tempted by the beautiful packaging and really clean, stylish designs that would work so well with the rest of my wardrobe.
For a long time though, and we're talking years, I've always been too scared to buy. The finished products by other makers always looked so amazing, and the designs always looked so professional, that I figured the skills to make such awesome garments would be unattainable. 

This was until I got back from my big trip, armed with some lovely fabric, and a commitment to take my sewing to the next level. For me a big part of this is investing in the tools I need to really make a go of sewing. For my first year or so, I was very fortunate to use the Sew Love Lounge before it closed and use all of the amazing tools there. I had my mum's sewing machine to use, and it's great, but without an overlocker I knew that eventually all of the clothes I was making would eventually fall apart due to the lack of good finishing. 

I had a bit of money left over in the travel fund, so I took the plunge and purchased a four thread overlocker. And it was so worth the investment. At the same time I ordered the Moana Dress pattern, finally feeling equipped to make it. 


I learnt three new things with this make, techniques that I've never done before, and I was really happy that I took my time, figured them out and ended up with a nice finish.

First up was sewing in a full facing. I've always gone for a bias binding finish because it just looked easier, and in a way, it is. A facing requires more fabric, and this insane technique to sew the armholes up - rolling everything into a 'burrito' and wrapping the facing around it, then sewing a seam without stitching all the fabric rolled in the middle. I'm terrible at explaining it, but luckily, Papercut are excellent. The instructions were really simple and clear, with good diagrams. This is something I really appreciate in a pattern, because there are lots of gaps in my sewing knowledge and usually I just need a technique explained in really simple terms. 



Next was an exposed zipper. I've never attempted an invisible zipper because I don't have the right foot for my sewing machine, so I was relieved that an exposed zipper didn't require a shopping trip for another type of zipper foot. I managed to install the zipper on the first go (my last attempt took at least seven tries) and I'm very happy with the result. I think it looks clean and if you have a nice zipper, why not show it off? I also think it's a bit easier than installing a regular zipper, because you can really see what you're doing, rather than having the fabric obscuring it. I also enjoyed hand stitching the facing to the zipper at the end, to finish everything neatly.

And the best thing about this make? Those finished seams!


Yes, I realise the thread is white. I thought about trying to change it, but a couple of things stopped me. 

1 - it was threaded correctly and I didn't want to screw it up by trying to re-thread it the first time I used it for a project.

2 - the seams are on the inside, so really, no one would notice. 

It's so nice to be able to complete a project at home that is neatly finished. I won't have to worry about it falling apart in the washing machine or that it'll start unravelling when I wear it somewhere. I think I might get started on the dress version of this pattern over the weekend, but I also have some knitting to do - just so many options!

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