Monday, 23 January 2017

Sew Along, New Look 6871 - Preparation.

I've been asked over on the Down to Earth forum if I would host a Sew Along.  Initially I panicked, but after thinking about it for a short time (ohhhh......about 30 nano seconds) decided to jump right in!  Why not?There's a first time for everything, I love to sew plus I felt honoured and humbled that the mods thought I was worthy of the job.

What is a Sew Along?  It's an online meetup of like-minded souls where everyone sews the same pattern together.  Instead of going to each others' houses to sew we're going to meet online, sew together, problem solve, chat about our progress, help any beginners, share images and have fun.  The pattern will be broken down into steps and we sew a little bit at a time so that it doesn't become overwhelming.

If you're anything like me, you can read sewing instructions ten times and still not 'get it'.  Believe me you are not alone.  That's where the support of your stitching sisters is invaluable.......that and a healthy sense of humour.

So here we are......only two weeks to go till our Sew Along starts!  I've been so looking forward to sharing this stitching journey together.

I'm also sharing here on my blog.  Mainly to give me a peaceful place to nut out each week of the sew along and play around with content and images.  So if anyone reading this would like to follow along and sew a garment.....please join in too.  You are more than welcome!

The Sew Along will run over four weeks during the month of February.  We will take it slowly, sewing a little bit each week which will give everyone plenty of time before moving on to the next step.  This won't be a tutorial as such (I'm certainly no expert) but a place where we can all work through the steps of the pattern together and help each other.  Just as if we were actually all sewing together each week at a community hall or in each others' homes.

The schedule -
Week 1.  Fabric choice, washing the fabric, straight grain, measuring accurately, cutting out.
Week 2.  Interfacing, yoke, lace, gathering, attaching yoke.
Week 3.  Sleeves, side seams, bias binding.
Week 4.  Pockets, bottom band, hemming.

Each week I'll attach links or tutorials that I feel might be helpful or be interesting. We can also post photos of our work relevant to that week in the comments if you would like to.

The pattern we will be using is New Look 6871 which was chosen because it's rated as 'easy' therefore good for beginner sewists.  It has seven sizes in the one pattern, will suit a variety of body shapes, can be lengthened into a dress or nightie and can even be made into a pop-over style pinny for the kitchen with the addition of a couple of big pockets.  If you would like to follow along and your local supplier doesn't have this pattern, it can be ordered from  I have recently ordered from this site and the UK exchange rate was quite good, with the package taking about 10 days to arrive.


Here are my experiments so far.

A pyjama top made from the back of a quilt cover from the op shop.  The yoke has been pieced and includes scraps of vintage linens.

The yoke in progress.

......and modelled!

I've got the giggles here as my daughter suggested I try to 'crook' my little finger as if I was trying to be posh.

This next one is a pop-over style 'pinny' made from two men's denim shirts from the op shop.  This is my favourite style of apron because there is no tie at the back of the neck.  I wear a lot of these pinnies for comfort and to protect my clothes.....(outrageous cooking skills).

The bottom band is pieced from scraps of the shirts and is cut a little longer for added over all length.

This next one has been cut with added length and no bottom band at all to make a dress.  The fabric came from my stash.  With both this dress and the previous pinny, I've changed the front gathers to a little pleat for an alternative look.

No chance of winning model of the year for these shots I'm sure!

So far I haven't spent a great deal of money but have improved my skill and confidence, plus I'm now familiar with how the pattern fits me.

Your tasks in preparation for the beginning are -

  • Think about the type of fabric you would like to use.  Perhaps start with something from the op shop to build confidence.  You might also like to have a read of this article on sewing garments with quilting cottons by Colette.
  • Prepare your sewing space and familiarise yourself with your sewing machine.  Know where your sewing machine manual is or download a copy from the internet.  
  • Post a photo of your sewing space if you would like to.  Or perhaps a link.  I'm not that familiar with blogger so I'm not sure if photos can be posted in the comments.
Here is my sewing space.

This room used to be our back porch and we enclosed it to get a little more living space.  I sew at the desk and cut out on the kitchen table.  I keep all my supplies in the buffet at the back, except for fabric which is out in the shed.  You can see my very first electric sewing machine.  It's an old Singer which cost me $20 second hand - and I had to lay buy it!

A final note.  The act of stitch enables us to slow down and create beauty that nurtures our spirits.  Stitch allows us to make clothing completely from scratch and add to our wardrobes and hearts with garments of utility and beauty.  Stitch gives us a place to connect, with ourselves, with the earth and with our community. 

Welcome to the journey. 


DEB H said...

You are a star. Looking forward to it.

Fran Ponta said...

Haha. Thanks Deb! I'm looking forward to it too.