Kira came for her sewing lesson today and I started by giving her an impromptu lesson on constructing a lined vest. She brought with her a vest that she started on her own. I looked at the vest and all I saw was confusion. She is a very intelligent college graduate and she could not decipher the instructions on the pattern guide sheet. Who’s writing these instructions? They are horrible!
I printed out a ¼ scale vest using Wild Ginger Click and Sew software. I cut the miniature vest using orange cotton for the vest and beige cotton for the lining. Kira watched as I stitched the vest. As I stitched I explained what I was doing. In a few minutes she understood how to construct the vest.
I then typed the instructions from the demo with Kira dictating some of them, showing me that she understood the construction of the vest. Here are the shorthand instructions:
- Stitch all princess seams first. Press seams open and clip.
- Stitch shoulder seams on vest and shoulder seams on lining. Press seams open.
- If making a collar, stitch collar together. Clip, trim seams, turn right side out, understitch, and press.
- Lay collar on right side of vest, so the underside of collar is to the right side of the vest.
- Lay right side of lining to right side of vest, sandwiching the collar.
- Stitch front hem, up front, around neck, down front, across other front hem. Stitch armholes. Stitch back hem. Leave side seams open.
- Clip and trim seams. Turn right side out through the open side seam, pulling the fronts through the shoulders. Understitch where possible. Press.
- Pin vest side seams, stitch vest side seams and as much of the lining side seams as you can.
- Fold, press, hand stitch closed. Lining only.
- Make buttonholes if needed and sew on buttons.
She is happy now. She has instructions she can understand and a miniature sample to look at. She’s amazed that it took so few steps and so little time. She says I need to make a video of this lesson for others.
I spent the next part of her session showing her how to baste, pin and hand stitch the lining seams on her Chanel style jacket using the fell stitch. Her homework for the week is to finished hand stitching the other lining seams. We finished the session with a zipper lesson. I demonstrated how to install a centered zipper in a seam and she made a sample for her notebook. She did very well for her first time. Her other homework assignment for the week is to make another zipper sample. Practice makes perfect.