First there were several questions posed from my last couple of posts...
The first was about directional sewing...which I subsequently found out after a little internet research is also called directional stitching. These were the two explanations that I liked best - italics are mine:
Directional stitching: 1 All sewing lines follow the direction of the fabric grain – also known as ‘stroking the cat’ (to find the direction of the grain, run finger along cut edge and stitch in direction in which fibres curl smoothly). 2. In dressmaking, directional stitching refers to stitching every seam in the same direction, ie: all seams waist to hem in order to prevent seams puckering or stretching. 3. On a sewing machine, this refers to multi-directional stitching including side to side (not just forwards and backwards).
Directional stitching - Stitching with the grain in woven fabrics. In knits, stitching all seams in the same direction
These websites had actually pictures and descriptions of directional sewing/stitching:
discusses directional sewing in knits
about.com’s instructions on directional sewing:
Taunton has a book called Sew Basic that also discusses directional sewing. And there are three blogs on the internet that talk about directional sewing: Shannon (Hungry Zombie Couture), Tany’s (Couture et Tricot) and yours truly.
Did I give you enough links? *LOL* I started looking this up and was amazed at what I found though most of the good stuff was further into the pages of the Google's hits!
Okay, next - Seam Integrity...sorry no Googled links for this because I can tell this to you in several short sentences.
The seam allowances are drafted into the pattern to serve a purpose. And seam integrity is always being true to the drafted seam allowance....not shortening it, not messing with it, etc. sewing it exactly as the pattern dictates. For example, if a pattern has a 5/8" seam allowance always sew it 5/8. Or if it's 3/8" sew it that amount, do not tinker with it, hence the term seam integrity.
Of course this leads to Nancy's question about how do you fit if you don't take it from the seam allowances...this opens an entire suitcase full of worms...a Pandora's box of fit if you will! But briefly, IMHO true fit should be achieved by either slicing and dicing the pattern, using the pivot and slide method that Nancy Zieman teaches, or by altering the pattern piece in some manner. This is a very brief description because posts and posts and posts can be written about how to achieve a good fitting pattern. I think each sewist has or will have a method that they have perfected and that works for them and I WOULD NOT tell anyone that the method they use is wrong because fit is sooooooo subjective!
However, I will tell you that before I learned more about fitting patterns that I always altered a pattern at the seam allowances, too. Then I would wonder why my side seams or back seams were wonky. So instead, I will share with you a few book titles from my sewing library on fit!
1. How to Make Clothes that fit and flatter
Author: Adele Margolis
2. The Busy Woman's Fitting Book
Authors: Nancy Zieman with Robbie Fanning
3. Fitting Finesse
Author: Nancy Zieman
4. Every Sewer's Guide to Perfect Fit
(I think this was reissued under another name!)
Authors: Mary Morris & Sally McCann
5. Fabulous Fit
Author: Judith Rasband
6. Fit for Real People
Authors: Pati Palmer & Marta Alto
7. Singer Sewing Reference Library - The Perfect Fit
8. Fit and Fabric from Threads Magazine
Finally, the challenge! During my googling frenzy, I happened upon a sewing test on this site, [DOC]
Name - 2:23pm
File Format: Microsoft Word - View as HTMLDirectional sewing lines. Notches that are used for matching pattern pieces. Pattern decorations. Used for shortening or lengthening. ...my.uen.org/documentsDisplay/downloadfile?userid=ostlerh&documentid=3058123 - to make this enormous link work just click on the Name-2:23pm portion. I have tried really hard to give as much "copyright credit" as I can to this googled entry by listing the entire link. If anyone knows who the test belongs to and can send me some information about it so that I can properly credit the author of the test, I would appreciate it.
There is a sewing test here. You should take it and see how well you do. I'm gonna take it too and we can post our scores - let's say 2 pts for every right answer - in the comments section. Ready, set, go!