Lesson one – Read pattern instructions. Seriously. Two of my failures this year were because I didn’t bother reading the pattern instructions first. It’s not like it would have taken a lot of time to read them, either. Must. Slow. Down.
Lesson two – What works for pregnancy and breastfeeding. (Breastfeeding was the hardest one to get my head around, surprisingly!) My conclusions – the 1970’s had it pretty good when it came to preggy patterns, with those loose shift dresses. Although I preferred to wear them belted above-bump to add a little bit of shape to them! And as for breastfeeding? Centre-front zips are awesome.
Lesson three – I can’t believe it took me so long to learn about these, but pattern weights and a rotary-cutter-and-board combo are awesome. Fact. They must have saved me so much time this year, and they’re so easy (and fun!) to use. I used to hate cutting out fabric – it was my most-hated part of the sewing process. (Well, to be fair, my absolutely most-hated part is cutting out the pattern. All that easily-torn paper. Gah. That’s actually one of the reasons I use vintage patterns – they’re often pre-cut! And if they’re not, I put them in the too-hard basket and find something else to make instead. Yes, I hate cutting pattern pieces that much. *hangs head in shame*.) Anyway, now that I have a rotary cutter and cutting mat, I don’t hate the cutting-out process any more – so much better than pins and scissors! If you haven’t tried it (and using pattern weights, too), I very strongly encourage you to give it a go. It’ll change your life. True story.
Lesson four – While I got into vintage styles through the allure of the 1950’s, I’m now more and more attracted to the tailoring of the 1940’s. Expect to see more of this in the future. (Is this a sign I’m “growing up”??)
Lesson five – I hate ironing. (This, however, is something I’ve known for quite some time now.) My ironing pile grows and grows, until I have no choice but to iron a small part of it. Then it grows some more. But, I’m happy enough to break out the iron to press while sewing. So I’ve learnt to incorporate chores into fun times – now when I need to press something I’m working on, I have to iron one item from my ironing pile before I can press. Sure, I never quite get rid of that ironing pile, but it no longer threatens to topple over and suffocate me whenever I open the wardrobe door. Progress!
Lesson six – What works and what doesn’t with babies clothing (and gifts for baby showers etc). I’ve never really know what to make people – what would they find useful? Now, I know. (Knit fabric trousers, cardigans, burp cloths, play mats and sleeping bags, in case you’re interested.)
Sure, there are six lessons there, but I couldn’t decide which one to take out. 😉