Sunday, April 19, 2009

Woe to go

I am really enjoying sewing this trench. I have doubts, I'll confess, as to whether I will want to wear it at the end, but as in so many things, better to journey hopeful than to arrive.

Do you remember Joseph Campbell's "journey of the hero?" It's the barebones of every heroic journey: the call to action ("hey, Nick's having a $4 a metre sale"), the arrival of a mentor (my man at Mt Albert the ex tailor who runs Smart Dress Fabrics, "Don't interline it, it will hang terribly at the back" ), a series of challenges to overcome. Ok that's where I'm at now. The series of challenges.

First challenge: not enough fabric. There was only 2 and a half metres left on the roll, which has limited me to this pattern (Burda 7786), and view b :

Next challenge. Those darts are not suitable for my figure. And yes, Antoinette, you are right: they will be hidden by the pockets! They are not easy to sew because they have to be sewn from pivot point to one edge, and then from pivot point to second edge. Plenty of pucker potential there, thank god for my wrinkly fabric. But the big problem is they do not allow for enough waist shaping and once the back is factored in they bag out. I have had to completely reshape the darts, seen pinned here. No way to escape conical boob point now. It's that or weird flat shape. I'll go with the Madonna look.

Next challenge. What the hey! Why did I not notice those awful Krystal Carrington shoulder pads! They are massive my friends, just massive. They have got to go. This is not Dynasty, and it is not the 80's.

Next challenge. The wrinkly fabric cannot be interfaced with iron in facing. I tried, but as I suspected it bubbles and won't seal flat. That can only mean one thing: hand sewing in hair canvas with herringbone stitch to avoid catching the interfacing in the seams. It's actually quite soothing.

It reminds me of sewing my quilt, only this time it won't take me 2 years. At current pace, I should come in a week before schedule - I'd say this trench will be done wo to go 3 weeks. Wo to go, isn't that a great expression? That's exactly what sewing is like, isn't it. From "woe" to "go!"


  1. Hair canvas with herringbone! You are a legend... I haven't done that since university. Very much enjoying your trench journey.

  2. Um, you may as well be speaking in Greek now...But I still read this blog of yours and hope to learn something, I just glaze over a little about pivot points and that sort of thing.

    I guess you're really in the trenches.

    It all sounds unbelievably complex and out of my league, but it's something I could aspire to. Maybe.


  3. Oh yes, I too am a little wowed by this depth of sewing nouse. "Hair canvas" sounds like a delightful euphemism for something.
    Pah ha ha ha ha ha! Ah...

  4. Bah. I wrote a comment this afternoon and blogger seems to have eaten it.

    Yay for your man in Mt Albert and his tailoring advice. So nice to find people working in shops who know what they're talking about, particularly if it means not having to frequent icky Spotlight.

    See you Wednesday for winey cheesey crafty goodness.


  5. you've inspired me to find something that I can do and write about in such extraordinary detail, demonstrating tremendous expertise. I think at the moment, it'd be how to change a nappy on a bchild who's running out of the room. Possibly not suitable.
    Yours is much better

  6. You've started your own Project Runway, girlfriend (snapping fingers in Z formation).

    I feel as though I'm in the same PR sewing room with you, sweating over our garments and watching the clock tictoc.

    I must sew the waistband on today. Woe to go, ha ha ha!

  7. You are making an impressive amount of progress! I don't actually know what hair canvas is... a difference in colloquialism or it's a standard in garment sewing and I've never heard of it before? Sounds intriguing!

  8. Wow-- I have been away a week and you are on a new adventure!! I love seeing the process.