Following Instructions

Week two of trying to keep the sewing table clear made me realize I can’t stand empty space. I decided since I need something to work on I would only start short-term projects that could easily be put aside. I took out the book I bought on repurposing clothes and discovered I had read the table of contents wrong. The project I wanted to do wasn’t in the book. So I pulled out the second book I bought, The Tunic Bible by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr. Also, for the first time in a long time, I read the instructions carefully.

Lani Longshore The Tunic Bible

Most of the clothes I’ve made were really costumes. It didn’t matter if my technique wasn’t perfect because I was only going to wear the garment to a Halloween party or an amateur production where I was usually part of the chorus or in a crowd scene. Now I want to make something I can actually wear around town, so I followed the procedure outlined in the book.

Gridded paper makes tracing patterns easier, just don't ask me why

Gridded paper makes tracing patterns easier, just don’t ask me why

Rather than tape a bunch of graph paper together, I bought some gridded pattern paper. It was cheap enough, and works well. At least I didn’t have to draw over the taped seams.

Lani Longshore test piece

I unearthed some tattersol plaid curtains I had tucked in a box years ago. Since I like designing with a grid, it seemed the ideal fabric to use for my test piece. In my first try, I forgot to sew darts in the back, and misjudged how my measurements fell between the sizes. There was enough fabric left over to make another test incorporating the changes I marked. This one fits.

The fabric I want to use is a heavy, washable silk. I can’t even begin to guess when I bought it. That’s probably a good thing, because I’ve forgotten how much it cost and thus won’t panic quite so much when I finally make that first cut. At least I have the satisfaction of knowing how this pattern will go together since I am following the instructions.

Luck and wisdom!

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2 Responses to “Following Instructions”

  1. Elaine Schmitz Says:

    As a quilt judge I feel the need to issue a caveat. Yes on the busy backing. But if you enter your quilts in competition understand that judges check fronts and backs closely for even quilt stitches and tension.

    • Lani Longshore Says:

      As well they should! And trust me, I would never enter any of those early quilts in competition, but it sure helped me keep at the lessons knowing that my mistakes wouldn’t be so glaringly obvious to the casual observer.

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