Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What the Pleat?

We all know I love to sew, paint, monogram, bead, etc and seem to continuously have a project going on. As if the scrapbook Christmas project weren't enough, I ventured onto something else last night. This time with the sewing machine.

So this is how it is: I can sew. I can sew rather well. But I basically only sew things that make sense to me. For example: I made a king sized duvet cover with matching shams and a bed skirt. All of that stuff made sense to me. I could visualize how to make it and just did it. I've never used a pattern or instructions. The same goes for cushions/covers for our sofas, window treatments, little purses and totes, and a little A-line baby dress.

My project this time was an apron. I'd bought a pattern quite some time ago with the intentions that I was going to learn to work off of patterns. I thought since I could visualize and do the apron on my own, it would be a good pattern to learn on because it would probably make since to me. Well, not so much! I'd got a cute little pleated apron pattern because I could already make the plain straight apron.

I got all of the materials out last night and was ready to tackle this project, which needs to be complete with cute monogram by Saturday for Ta Ta's graduation (she has been forbidden to read my blog this week in order to keep this secret! She's been asking me to make her a cute little apron for a long time so I thought it would be a great grad gift.)

I barely make if off of the number one on the instructions before giving up and deciding to see if the pictures help. I cut the fabric according to the pattern ( I think??) and was still stuck at number one. It started off with basting something. Basting? Don't you baste a turkey?

Quote of the night from my husband: "This is crap, they gave you the wrong instructions. You baste turkeys, not fabric!"

I also don't have bias tape and decide to use ribbon, until that idea annoys me and decide to use nothing. Who needs it?! Right?

I sew the pocket(s), and then sew the pocket to the bottom front panel and am ready to consult the directions again. Bad idea. It's time for pleats. The directions suck (remember....they wanted me to baste!) and I can't make the pleats make sense in my head. The only way I can think of doing it would cause it to be far to puckered and never lay flat, much less be more than 2 inches wide in the end.

It was 11:30, way past my bedtime, so I decided to call it quits for the evening. I should have just made the apron the way it was done in my head, sans pleats!

But then today......it clicked! I was going over and over in my head how pleated items could be made and still lie flat and not be super puckered up. After much contemplation, it finally clicked! I could visualize it and it made sense to me. I even understood why you clip the little zigzag between your seam allowance (because as you fold over each pleat they will match up and give you a flat hem!)

Ta Ta Twin better know how much I love her and what a good La La I am to go through all of this! I just hope it turns out too cute and she loves it.

Now, does anyone know what basting means? The best I can figure is the light stitching to hold fabric in place when working more intensively. But I'm still not sure why I needed to do that for this project. Of course, this project is only very loosely based on the pattern. Actually, the pattern is a gentle suggestion with a pretty picture on the front!

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Basting is just what you said it is -- light stitching to hold something together until you get to a more final finishing. You can hand baste or machine baste. When I machine baste (which is what I usually do, because I am lazy) I just make the stitch length bigger and don't double -back at the beginning and end. Does that make sense?

I am of the same school of sewing as you! If I can imagine the cuts and seams in my head, I can make it. Me and patterns? We struggle.