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Darting around

2009 May 29
by elizabeth_admin

Day 3 of Kenneth King’s Moulage Class

Apologies, but I have no pictures yet of the muslin sloper; I’ve been crazy busy with the quilt in the evenings.  I promise I will post them this weekend.  PROMISE!  I had been waiting to write about my classes until I had the pictures, but thought you might want to hear about the classes even without the pics.  So here goes…

Last week in the 3rd class with Kenneth King, we sewed up our muslin slopers.  It was another fantastic class.  Kenneth is a wonderful teacher.  He explains things very well and in small digestible pieces.  He’s a natural.  Very patient, no condescension, and he makes everything look so effortless and easy.  Ok, enough of the sunshine already.  😉

I sewed darts for the first time.  Mr. King assumed we all had done this before, but when he found out most of us had not (ok, I’m just talking about me here), he just stopped and showed us.  I didn’t even know how to pin the dart properly to prep for sewing.  The method was very interesting to this humble beginner:  You pin the top of the dart and then the bottom.  Then you manipulate the fabric with your fingers to get the lines of the dart lined up and pin the heck out of it.  Remember, one side of the dart is curved and the other is not.  Then you take it to the sewing machine and voilá.  Another technique he mentioned is that when you approach the end of the dart when sewing it closed, one should get as close to the edge of the fold as possible and switch to a really small stitch length.  I had problems with the accuracy of my darts in terms of how close to the edge I was able to get and how close to the end point I sewed, but for my first darts ever, I’m not complaining!

We sewed the outer seam, then the inseam and then got ready to sew the crotch seam.  Mr. King showed us a neat trick for this part.  We turned both legs right side out and lined them up next to each other.  Then you grab both legs together and pull them through one leg.  Presto, you have your crotch seam ready to sew (well not pinned yet), right sides together.  Very cool.  We pinned the back of the crotch seam to part way up the front (to leave it open for the zipper insertion) and sewed the seam. 

I managed to just finish this part before class ended.  Our homework was to baste in a zipper for our fittings at the next class.   But, as you know, I have been working on the quilt pretty steadily, so I didn’t have a chance to baste in the zipper until this Wednesday.  And of course, forgot the zipper at home, so I had to bust kiester down to the garment district at lunch, buy a zipper and get back to work.  I basted it in at my desk right before class.  Phew!  Just under the wire.  And can I crow just a bit and say that my zipper looked great?  I can?  Thanks!  It looked great!  Sorry I don’t have a pic to show you right now, but be patient, I’ll post it soon.

Interesting tidbit: While we were busily sewing, Mr. King shared some great stories and lessons learned.  We were talking about making our own clothes and he mentioned that you should never make ALL of your clothes.  He said his teacher Simone’s advice was to always have some RTW in your wardrobe, otherwise you run the risk of looking too homemade and granola-y.   Mr. King suggested always purchasing your jeans, for instance.

Originally, I was going to write about both classes in one post, but it was just ginormous in length, so I am cutting them into two posts. 

Quilt update: I am going to borrow Summerset’s parting shot here.  I fiddled around with the decorative stitches on my Viking Emerald 183 to figure out if I want to use one of them to sew on the binding.  Here are some samples:

 stars chevrons and exes

diamonds and indian zigzags

I am partial to the stars and the indian like chevrons.  What do you think? 

Also, I’ve decided to hand embroider the baby’s name and birth info as I do NOT like the built in alphabet on this machine.  You can’t change the size of the letters (at least as far as I can tell) and it’s hard to keep the letters straight, not to mention they’re too small.  

Happy sewing everyone!

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