Efficient and/or Effective

We always want to work smarter, not harder. But we need to make sure that we really are as smart as we think we are. When I planned to make this skirt with a gray border I decided it would be most efficient to sew the border panel to each of the front and back skirt panels before sewing them together. However that made it just a bit complicated attaching front to back because I had one extra thing to worry about matching. Not terribly effective of me. When I made the next skirt with a border (Minions) I assembled the skirt and then added the border; much better.

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The same principle is true in cooking, planning the path for running errands, and many other endeavors in one’s daily life. I have worked for an hour on a spreadsheet only to realize that I have just been copying the same error over and over because I didn’t check carefully enough at first. Major head-desk event.

Lesson Learned: Before starting, think through the whole project so you can (hopefully) realize steps that need to go in their proper order.

Skirt for sale on Etsy

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Shaking off the cobwebs

Ten years ago my first godchild was born. In preparation for that event I made him a baptismal gown; a linen slip and a silk gown with silk lace and ribbon. I chose to hand sew the whole thing so that every stitch would be a prayer for him and any future children who might wear the gown. They weren’t perfect but I was quite pleased.

baby (2)
Baby Sister in same gown

 It had been a couple of years since I had sewn anything at all. Before that I had spent over twenty years making SCA costumes and even a tourney tent. I have always been good at sewing and simple dressmaking but I never learned tailoring. I was rarely concerned about fine details, just grind out the needed items

After a ten year gap, about two months ago I wanted a comfortable, casual skirt that I could lounge around in but I couldn’t find anything I liked. Then it occurred to me that I could make one and I didn’t even need a pattern. I bought the length of the skirt twice plus a little more: I got twice the width of the fabric around to pleat onto the waist and enough for a waistband. There was even enough left to make one in-seam pocket. The pocket was a bit small and not in quite the right spot, but it holds my phone so I’m happy enough.

I took my time and tried a technique I had wanted to try; I constructed it using Elizabethan seams. While sewing, a couple of times my thread got twisted and I remembered my old German sewing teacher and the idea of this blog was born.

Lesson Learned: If you don’t know how something works, get help. I bought a skirt pattern after just so I would have a template for the size and location of pockets on the next skirt. I also needed the written instruction’s details about construction details. I’ve been very happy with results since.

Relearning old lessons

My first sewing/embroidery teacher after my mother was the German mother of one of my scout troop mates. At least once a lesson she would cluck her tongue reproachfully at one of us and say, “Long thread, lazy girl”.

I used to sew a great deal but have not done any for well over ten years. As I relearn the details of sewing, the lesson of long thread, lazy girl keep presenting themselves. I’ll share as I go.