Friday, October 5, 2012

The Proper Order

Order and simplification are the first steps towards the mastery of a subject.
~ Thomas Mann

Remember the St. Louis Cardinals fleece jacket that I made for my friends' son over the weekend?  Here he is posing in it - practicing the face he'll be using in Chicago when he runs into Cubs fans.  ;)

Anyways, I deviated from the instructions when it came to attaching the sleeves.  And that got me wondering about the standard order of construction...  

I did some Googling, but ultimately found the most comprehensive treatment of this subject in A Guide to Fashion Sewing by Connie Amaden-Crawford.  So, I reviewed the relevant section of this book (pp. 84-94) and here is what I learned:

First, this general sequence is designed to accomplish these objectives:
  • Keep the garment flat as long as possible.
  • Make it as easy as possible to assemble the garment and to handle / control the fabric as you are feeding it through the machine.
  • Minimize the amount of time that each section of the garment is handled – so that it stays as “fresh” looking as possible.
  • Make it easy to press.
  • Minimize the amount of time needed to complete the garment.

Now, here is the general sequence she recommends:  
(Of course you would skip any step that doesn't apply to your garment.)
  1. Interfacing
  2. Darts, tucks & pleats
  3. Seams OTHER THAN shoulder seams, armhole seams and side seams (e.g., princess seams, yokes, etc.)
  4. Pockets
  5. Zippers
  6. Shoulder seams
  7. Side seams and inseams
  8. Waistband and/or facings for skirts and pants
  9. Prepare collar
  10. Attach collar
  11. Prepare sleeves
  12. Set in sleeves
  13. Bodice facings (for tops without collars and/or sleeves)
  14. Attach bodice to skirt in dresses
  15. Insert zippers in dresses with waist seam
  16. Hems
  17. Closures (hooks & eyes, belt loops, buttons & button holes, etc.)

She does go on to mention one significant variation associated with the sleeves.  Just like I did with the little fleece jacket (!!), she recommends (for knit t-shirts, for example) attaching the sleeve along the shoulder seam while both are laid open and flat, BEFORE closing up the side seam and underarm seam. 

So, good news - I'm not in trouble with Connie Amaden-Crawford!  ;)

By the way, this content comes from just one short chapter out of the 22 chapter book.  I’ll do a “Peek Inside” post on the whole book sometime soon…  

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