Learn to Trust your “Sewing Instincts”

by Ramona on January 12, 2017

How often do you check your patterns? By that I mean do you check all the pieces, one against the other as if they were being sewn together?

Recently I downloaded a PDF digital pattern. Maybe it is experience, maybe it was intuition, but something in my gut told me to “check this pattern!”

Downloading PDF files of patterns give us great convenience. With that convenience, though, comes potential for errors. I’m extremely confident the pattern was drafted properly because it is from a very reputable company, but more likely than not it is on my end where errors occurred.





When downloading patterns, the patterns are printed at “actual size” or 100%.











The pieces of the pattern are then “tiled” together matching letters and numbers to each other as indicated in the pattern instructions.









The number of pieces, of course, will depend upon the pattern; this pattern only had a front, back, facings for each and a pocket. It was the facings that caught my eye.










—they didn’t look right at the neckline just glancing at them—compared to the shape of the neckline. So, I checked.






I cut out the facing on the actual sewing line, aligned the center front sewing line (on this pattern seam allowances are added after printing) as if it was sewn, and just as my intuition indicated, the facing was way off the front neckline. So, why did this occur? I have no idea. Could it have been in the download? I doubt it because it was a PDF file. Could it have been in the printing? Perhaps, but all pages were printed on the same printer at 100%, at the same time with the same paper. Could it have been in the drafting? Maybe, but I highly doubt it. Could it have been when the company saved it as a PDF file? Again, it is doubtful. It is one of those doggone mysteries of sewing that sometimes never gets figured out.






I could have re-printed everything and checked it again but there were an awful lot of pages to print and I was under a deadline, so I just chose to redraft the facings myself from what I already had printed.

The red lines indicate the new seam lines and the black slash marks indicate the lines no longer used (a little technique used in pattern drafting). Then all I had to do was lay a piece of tissue over the pattern and trace the new facing. I checked the back facing and as it so happens, it was fine—go figure!

Moral of the story? Trust your sewing instincts and act upon them. Even if you are not sure why, prior experience is probably subconsciously telling you something and you should probably listen to save a headache and real dilemma down the line.

Sew ‘til next time…enjoy the journey of sewing!


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