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Okay, maybe sewing patterns aren’t that confusing…

November 8, 2011

…apparently I just needed a good teacher! After being confused and frustrated last night, I turned to Miss Pascal for help. She took a look at the pictures I posted on the blog and told me that she understood the pattern (as I knew she would) and that it would be no problem to explain. So  towards the end of school today, we met for a little sewing patterns 101. Complete with tiny mock ups of the patterns, she explained to me how to set up and cut the fabric, the lining and the interfacing. Miss Pascal was in total teacher mode, complete with her teacher voice. It was awesome.

A bit more on teacher voice, because it is a fun concept that we, as teachers, often discuss and joke about. I have my normal voice, how I talk and act in my regular life. And then there is my teacher voice, the voice I use when I am in front of a class or explaining something. Teacher voice draws you in more, its says “listen to me” with it’s tone. It is confident and a bit authoritarian. Every teacher has a unique teacher voice…and I find it hilarious when teacher voice just pops up in unexpected places or at surprising times (like while crafting or even better, when out at a bar during a normal discussion).

So anyway, Miss Pascal gave me a great lesson on pattern reading and I took notes (seriously, I am that kind of nerd). After our lesson, I returned the favor by teaching Miss Pascal how to set up our school calendar on her new iPhone. I help with technology, she helps with sewing. It’s a good friendship.

After a few more hours at work, I ventured home ready to work on cutting out all my pieces. I cleared off my dining room table (the biggest flat surface in my apartment to work on) and gathered my supplies. Because I can’t focus on just one thing, I also set up my iPad and put on the latest episode of Boardwalk Empire. I really enjoy the show, but it is pretty mellow and slow (but definitely not boring) so I knew that I could craft and watch at the same time. Here is a quick photo recap of what I was able to accomplish. It took about 1 episode (55 minutes, yay for HBO!) and then about 20 more minutes. Not too bad.

OFFICIAL SPOILER ALERT: Krypton’s mom STOP reading now!!!

First, I cut out the 7 fabric pieces I needed. I got my orientation down so that the pattern is right side up and everything came out looking pretty good! (And yes, I did look at my notes to help me out multiple times.)

Next, I cut out the 3 pieces of lining I needed. I decided to just go with plain black lining for the tote. The pattern is busy enough, I wanted something simple on the inside. Notice my fabric scissors – they have a scrap piece of owl fabric tied to them so I remember to only use them for fabric. If you use fabric scissors on paper and other things they can get dull, so you want to keep a crafting only fabric pair. The handy little tip of “labeling” them with a swatch of fabric is courtesy of Miss Pascal!

Finally, I cut out the 4 pieces of interfacing I will need to give the bag some stiffness. So in total I have 14 pieces that will come together and make a “simple” tote! Sewing my own things (hats, dresses, bags, etc) has really made me appreciate all the work that goes into relatively simple things! Particularly all the work that has to be done before you can actually sew. All the measuring, pinning, cutting, etc is really a time suck. Here are all the pieces stacked together, just waiting to be put together into a sweet bag.

Given it is only November 8th, I have plenty of time to complete this project. I’m going to need all that time because I just started making the list of things I want to make for Christmas. And there are a pretty good number of things. And I make A LOT of Christmas cookies every year. I’m going to need all the time I can get to complete all these projects!!

~Love and Stitches,



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