Oliver + S

Red riding hood pattern size M – can't get hood to line up right :(

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    Profile photo of SwissmamaSwissmama @Swissmama

    Hello. I am new here and almost as new to clothes sewing. I am working on the red riding hood cape from the Little Things book and just can’t figure how to line up the pieces for the size medium hood. I can line up the front ends and darts and the back ends and darts but there is a problem with the area between the single and double darts. Is there something I’m missing? I have spent a small fortune in imported fabric and I really want the project to turn out nicely. Help!

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    Profile photo of Lightning McStitchLightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    I haven’t made this hood (yet) but I think the School days coat one is similar.

    The problem may be that you’re attaching opposing curves to each other. Break it down into sections, use lots of pins and it will come together.

    Or you’ve got it completely mucked about! 🙂

    Can you post a picture to the Flickr group so we can try and work out where the trouble lies

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    When you say darts, do you mean the little cut-out triangles? I am wondering if what the pattern instructions refer to as ‘notches’ are called ‘darts’ elsewhere and that’s caused some confusion … but I’m guessing that it’s what McStitch says, that it’s just tricky to sew opposing curves. I remember getting very frustrated with the Tea Party bodice when I first started sewing because that kind of curve just takes some practice for your hands to get the feel of it. Do you have any scrap fabric you can practice on before you start stitching the good stuff? Maybe some old clothes or even kitchen towels?

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    Profile photo of mkhsmkhs @mkhs

    I’ve made the size medium twice, and can’t remember having that problem. Double-check your seam allowances– there are a lot of pieces coming together there, and if the seam allowances are off by even a little, it adds up.

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    Profile photo of SwissmamaSwissmama @Swissmama

    You guys are the best! Thanks so much for the replies.

    As mentioned, I am a real novice at the clothing sewing. I am used to quilting and the like – and simple at that. I should of used the term notches (not darts) – single and double. I gave it another whirl today – I lined up the single notches and then the double notches and then was able to almost get the middle pieces to fit. I tried this on the canvas outer fabric. And did it pretty fast as my 2 mo baby girl needed me :). I took some quick pictures with my iphone but have never used Ficker before but I will look into posting there if I can’t resolve this problem by trying once again.

    It is helpful to hear that the size M turns out for others. So it must just be me. I double-checkes how I cut everything out just to be sure and it seemed ok. I think opposing curves are what’s getting me.

    I have always pinned my fabrics together near the edge and not necessarily at the seam allowance (1/2″ for this book). Could that be the problem? Do experienced seamstresses pin right at the seam allowance, perhaps?

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    Profile photo of SwissmamaSwissmama @Swissmama

    Sorry about the typos – on the ipad 🙂

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    Profile photo of Lightning McStitchLightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    It Probably is the opposing curves problem then. One piece looks a bit concave and the other convex and they just don’t want to meet each other! Match your notches, pin at the seam allowances and even make small cuts half way into the seam allowance along the tighter of the two pieces and then they’ll marry up happily.

    Fully understand the problem of sewing in short bursts due to the demands of kids. It’ll be worth it in the end!

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    I have heard folks say that they always pin within the seam allowances, but I can see that pinning pretty close to them might give you a truer sense of how they are to fit — since it’s special fabric you might even want to baste by hand since they’re not very long seams, it really won’t take that long and it might give you a little more confidence. I’m sure it’ll be very cute!

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    Profile photo of SwissmamaSwissmama @Swissmama

    Woo hoo – project complete. And I’m satisfied with it. How does one post pictures here?

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    Profile photo of Liesl GibsonLiesl Gibson
    Keymaster
    @liesl

    Glad it worked out, Swissmama! I hope you’ll post photos on the Flickr group.

    With regard to opposing curves, I find that it works best to pin near the seam line itself. And if you need to clip into the shorter curve you can certainly do so. Some fabrics (wool) stretch more than others (canvas), so different fabrics will need more clipping than others. Just be careful not to clip too close to the seam line itself.

    I’ll put it on my list to do a tutorial about this sometime soon. I think it causes a lot of confusion for beginning sewists, and it would probably help to see it handled via photos/video/etc.

    Cheers!

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    Liesl, I have this on my ‘to sew’ list.

    If I get to it first, I can do it for you. It won’t be as good as yours, obviously, but it will free you up for designing…..maybe a child’s blazer?

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    Profile photo of RobinRobin @Robin

    Happy to help out with any kind of chores if it frees up time for designing a child’s blazer!

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    I’ll come do your laundry and make you dinner! As long as we’re trying to barter!

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    Profile photo of SwissmamaSwissmama @Swissmama

    You have motivated me to try out Flicker. I am logged in and will try to post now.

    Any idea why the outer and lining seams didn’t line up exactly? I will try to put a picture of what I mean. I am a microsurgeon by day and was very careful with everything but as I have mentioned I have little experience in sewing clothes. Is it normal for things to be a bit off or is it something particular to my skills?

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    There are a lot of places where there can be a bit of ‘creep’:

    when tracing

    when cutting

    when pinning

    when stitching

    And it’s partly that you’re dealing with fabric, which isn’t rigid and indeed isn’t even shifty in consistent ways (it wiggles differently on the straight grain and around the bias bits of a curve) and partly that you’re dealing with a machine that doesn’t feed continuously but in little steps, and probably also not perfectly evenly. Since you’re a surgeon you probably are used to working within minute tolerances and maybe your eye will just need a little time to adjust. Take a look at commercial sewing and you’ll see a lot of little imperfections that you probably didn’t notice before.

    But yes, part of it is muscle memory and your hands needing to learn new skills. It takes a bit of repetition. I can’t speak for others but I try to correct little inconsistencies from earlier in the process (or indeed inconsistencies that arise from using fabrics of variable thickness) while I’m stitching. Or not. With some garments made up in precious fabric I care a lot about getting everything just right and with others, I’m more forgiving.

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