I started copying RTW when I was a teenager. It was as simple as taking a seam ripper to an old pair of pants that fit well. As I carefully deconstructed the pants, it was easy to see how they had been put together, so no instructions were really necessary. Pants from commercial patterns never fit, so I just made do with my TNT pants pattern. I was pretty lazy, too. I seldom added pockets or other details. I had better things to do with my time (a teenager always does, right?)
About five years ago, when I really got back into sewing, I wanted shirts that fit better in the shoulders.
I had several much-loved shirts from Eddie Bauer that were worn out, so I tackled one with the seam ripper. Once it was taken apart, it didn't really seem that hard to use it as a pattern. I cut new fabric and sewed it together the same way Eddie Bauer did. Over time, the fit has been improved by several teachers and I have even learned how to make changes to the pattern myself.
I just sew. I don't really look at instructions. I guess this is why I can have the TV on while I am sewing. Fortunately, there is no TV in the room with my cutting table. That part does require concentration.
So! This method of sewing seems fast. Of course, it is a very plain shirt, but for now, that is fine.
|The sleeve placket pattern came out of David Page Coffin's book. I lost my old placket pattern pieces.|
|And this happened. LOL. I had to make another collar and try again.|
I finished the collar & collar stand in one session, the sleeves and plackets in one session and the bodice in one session. Next, I'll put the collar on the bodice, then I will set in the sleeves. Buttons, buttonholes and a hem, and it's a shirt!
I already know I want stiffer interfacing in the collar stand for the next go-round. And I have yet to see how my alterations turned out, but so far, it's looking pretty good. Once I have this all figured out, I will start cutting and sewing in multiples. I'll take some detail photos to show you how I do it.
At this point, I just have my way of sewing shirts. I enjoyed reading Coffin's book and got lots of great tips that I will incorporate in my sewing. But I am not really up for changing the way I do things. At some point you say to yourself, "this is what's comfortable for me".
Oh - one more author mention- I got my Claire Schaeffer DVD! I watched the first DVD in one sitting and oh I enjoyed it very much! It's all about hand-sewing. She wears a needle holder around her neck (like a handyman wears a tool belt). That way she has all her various needles handy. I might think about doing that. I learned so much and I'd like to incorporate more hand-sewing in my work.
OK, this is feeling a lot like an entry into my diary or something. The weather was pretty and we took a 4-mile walk. The end.
And thanks to all of you who de-lurked and commented on my last post. It will be fun to send this fabric off to one of you. And Mary Nanna, I post things to South Korea all the time. Flat rate shipping is really not too horribly expensive. I know how to pack it tight into the smallest possible space!