Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hate Mail

Dear McCall Pattern Company: It was with great excitement I opened McCall's 5241. I spent a lot of time thinking about a new knit wardrobe. M5241 was a big part of the plan -- I was going to make three of them. I'd been hoarding ponteroma knit from Hancock's. I looked like a crackhead as I waited for my next coupon fix. Finally, Christmas was here and I would be able to make these during my time off. My goodness, how slowly I worked to make sure I got the stitching right. I would be wearing these to work and they needed to be right. Look at that hem. I was so proud. I'm learning as I go, so I struggled to figure out how to even hem this. Did I need to finish the edge first? Was I supposed to fold it twice? I had to keep looking at the shirt I was wearing for reference. Not bad at all, not bad at all. What I do need to remember to do is not start in the middle of the hem, but start stitching at a side seam. Oh well.
My topstitching was a labor of love. I was looking for perfection -- a tall order for someone who has problems sewing straight seams. All is well, I even figured out the double-needle thing.
This was only supposed to take an hour! I'm new to sewing, so I do things slowly. I was also being extra careful, so I figured it would take about a day to make this. No problem. Okay. Time to sew the sleeves in. Gee. These seem way too big for the armholes. Let me consult the instructions. There's nothing here that would suggest I need to do anything other than pin and sew. But these seem really big. Time passes and these damn sleeves still aren't working. Maybe I screwed up the markings. I'll re-mark everything. Okay. This still isn't right. Did I cut the armholes wrong? Let me check Pattern Arrgghhh! Other people had problems with the armholes too. This is where I should have cut my losses and walked away. Maybe I could figure how to make this sleeveless later. Although this was mentioned nowhere in the instructions, I tried to ease the sleeves in. Well I suck at it and I don't want the look of set-in sleeves anyway. But alas, what if I could make the armholes big enough to fit the sleeves? Using some really unreliable methods, I figured that if I re-cut the armholes using the seamline as a guide, I might be able to get things to work. Success? Not a chance. By now I'm angry and determined (not a good combo.) The sleeves are still to big. What if like when attaching a neckline, I stretched the armhole while sewing? I'm desperate, I'll try anything. This is when I stretched the armhole out. Game over. McCall's, you owe me $17.72 for the fabric and a bottle of wine to calm my nerves. Actually, you owe me for the replacement patterns I bought/will buy too: Kwik Sew 3285, McCall's 5713 and Butterick 5394. None of these excite me as much as M5241, but I need toppers so I'll have to make due. The good news is that I'm really comfortable with working with this type of knit now. I also got to practice my topstitching. I've also become fanatical about pressing. Yea me.

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