Taking a shot at sewing

I don’t know what possessed me to think I was up to the challenge of taking in the sides of a blazer but that’s what I’m currently trying to accomplish. I do own a sewing machine and know enough to be dangerous. Meaning I know enough to get myself into a mess but not enough to get myself out of one. HOWEVER. I’m halfway through my little project and can report that I have successfully taken in one seam without too much damage done!

I didn’t go into this without research but I’ve been struggling to find good tutorials on what I specifically wanted to do. I tried searching for videos and blogs with detailed instructions and pictures but couldn’t really find much. If anyone knows of any tutorials or good sewing websites, please show me the way! I tried to take pictures of how I took in the seam but I’ve been working on it at night and the lighting is terrible for pictures. Believe me, I tried. I’m hoping the second seam will go smoother than the first now that I basically (marginally) know what I’m doing.

It’s SCARY to take out a seam. Once you cut it apart, there’s no going back. I actually had to look up a video on how to use a seam ripper because I’d never used one before. I thought taking out a seam was straightforward but there are multiple ways to do it. I learned to be very careful because at one point I actually ripped through the delicate material (the jacket is made of crepe fabric). Luckily it was on the part of the fabric that was already taken in and hidden on the inside. Like I said… I know enough to be dangerous.

I’m on the fence on whether I’d embrace this undertaking again rather than taking my projects to a tailor (whom I now have MAD respect for). But I know if the rest of the jacket turns out positively then I’ll have more confidence to take on other alterations myself.

Here are some general observations on what has made this project easier yet also somewhat complicated.

Black fabric: The dark color is more forgiving when it comes to mistakes. I ran into some difficulty with my first seam when I got up to the top, where the sleeve attaches to the bodice. Obviously the seam had been sewn first, followed with the attaching of the sleeve. I was too scared to detach a portion of the sleeve so I tried to finish the rest of the seam by hand to avoid further unstitching and reattaching. I’m sure pro sewers would flinch if I showed them my work but since the jacket is black and the area is in a more hidden spot, no one can really tell. The disadvantage to black fabric is that the stitches are much harder to see. My sewing area must not have been lit enough because I was really struggling to see the tiny stitches I needed to remove.

Thinner, unlined fabric: My jacket is thinner than most blazers because it’s made of a light crepe material.  I had no problem feeding the material through, but the delicate nature of the fabric was more prone to ripping. One of the reasons I wanted to attempt this alteration myself was because the jacket is unlined, making the seam much easier to access. Linings are awesome but they do complicate things!

Tips are appreciated if you have any!


kw said...

hey heather...is it weird that I read your blog? I like blogs.
what kind of sewing machine do you have? my friend turned me onto buying a "walking foot" for my machine (i just got a generic one at Joanne's that fits most machines for about $15 plus a 30% off coupon).... and even though it makes sewing a LITTLE louder than normal, it's a dream for sewing with apparel fabrics. might help with the ripping you talked about.

Just a thought :) all the sewing blogs I read rave about their walking feet too, so I got one and like it a lot.

Heather Seymour said...

Not weird at all! I like blogs too, I read so many! I have a Brothers (I think) - my mom gave it to me. Maybe I'll have to check that foot out, my current one has a reputation of falling off randomly! Kind of a nightmare. Thanks for reading. :)