Sunday, October 16, 2011

The slower sewer

Another skirt came down the assembly line last weekend ... I am not tired of making them or wearing them yet!   Once again, I piped the pockets ... not tired of that either!  Here it is:

The images are a tad blurry because it was pretty dark and rainy when I took them, and because I was using my new Holga lens for my digital camera (Olympus Pen E-P2) -- just like the Holga, it performs a little better in brighter lighting conditions.

The fabric is quilting cotton -- a cute bird print by Carina Gardner.  Strangely, this fabric ends up crazy wrinkled by the end of the day, whereas my Birds of Norway skirt barely wrinkles at all.  Clearly not all quilting cotton is created equal, not even designer quilting cotton.    But the reason I'm sewing with it in the first place is because all the best prints are on quilting cotton, so if I want them in my life I have to make it work.   :)   Anyhow, here's a better look at the print:

I also tracked my sewing time.  I did this a while back while I was making a shirtwaist dress ... then it took about 14 hours, and the skirt took me almost seven, which makes sense I guess since a skirt is half a dress!

Now, I do line pretty much everything I make, and do serged French seams, and hand-sew the lining to the zipper, but still ... that's pretty slow, isn't it?  I only ran the timer while I was actually working ... okay maybe there was a few minutes of dog-petting or enjoying the (very rare!) rainy weather, but really, it was mostly sewing.  If I left the sewing room, I stopped the timer.  

While it would be nice to be able to sew faster (since I could make more stuff!)  I don't really want to rush the process, so if I am slow, so be it.   But I am curious:  have you tracked how long it takes you to complete your sewing projects?   I imagine lots of things -- skill level, but also attention to detail, and degree of prefectionism impact how long sewing takes us.    It's a bit like cooking, I suppose:  some people follow recipes to the letter, while others just throw stuff in the pot  based on instinct.  You can end up with a lovely result either way.


  1. I don't track my sewing time, but I did make two dresses in one day, at the end of June. Well, they were already cut out, but I did take a day off work to put them together.

  2. Cutting out everything only took about an hour and 20 minutes of the seven hours on this skirt as I recall. So you are certainly faster than me!

  3. Oh my, another beautiful skirt. I love all the attention to detail you indulge in your projects, like the lining and the different coloured inner waistband!

    I've never tracked my sewing time, but I've always thought I'm incredibly slow. I'm too scared to track it now in case it proves me right ;o)

  4. You've made some really cute skirts, and this one is no exception. I love how comfy cotton skirts are too. I haven't officially tracked the time of a sewing project, but I know for me it has a lot to do with focus.

  5. There's enough in life to beat yourself up about - don't start worrying about how long you're taking. I'm not fast. Even a Sorbetto top takes me 3/4 hours, I reckon. It's about the doing, not the speed. Where's our deadline, other than self-imposed? Keep swimming!