October 22, 2011This IS Your Granny’s Crafting! Crankytown Edition
By Betty Crafter
Grrr! Sewing is hard y’all! Has anyone else noticed a higher level of frustration with vague instructions for vintage patterns? It seems they assume a certain level of knowledge, maybe because in those days most everyone knew how to sew and knit and cook. Or maybe I’m just not quite experienced enough to understand. But I’m diligently plugging away on Little Betty’s cowgirl Halloween costume and this darn pattern is making me totally crazypants. First of all, ever since I got rid of my serger, I’ve been at a bit of a loss on how to finish seams. Well, this helpful pattern was kind enough to offer 3 methods:
a) overcast separately.
You mean, sew stitches around the edges of each side of each seam for the whole garment BY HAND? Yikes. Too labor intensive for me.
b) Turn edges 1/8″ and stitch.
c) Flat Fell Seam. Yay! I’ve heard good things about this method! But wait – stitch the seam on the outside? Like sew wrong sides together? And past that I can make heads nor tails of the written instructions or the baffling diagram. So, turning the edges it is.
Then, every third word in these darn instructions is BASTE. Baste this. Baste that. Surely they do not mean a hand sewn seam with long stitches, right? Because that is my understanding of a baste. And I can tell you right now that I am not going to be doing that. So far I’ve been pinning when they say baste. Can anyone school me?
Lastly, I don’t know why I always think it will be no big deal to make something with a collar. But it always is. Collars are confusing in the best of circumstances. Paired with these ridiculous instructions, my life is hell. Observe.
Face collar? What the heck does that mean? Even google didn’t know. I finally cut another piece of the collar and sewed them together. It looks ok, but dang! How about a little elaboration?! Place the collar between the medium dots? No medium dots (or any other size) existed. Thanks. Clip at shoulder seam? I decided this part was insignificant enough to skip since I thought the likelihood of me screwing the whole thing up by doing it rather than not was high.
I could go on and on but I won’t bore you with my sewing drama. The encouraging thing is that what I do manage to get together isn’t looking half bad so far:
But don’t any of you go asking your old pal Betty to make you a custom western shirt for Christmas. I’m likely to laugh in your face. Or cry.
What have your experiences been with vintage patterns?