Introduction to the Challenge

This challenge is specifically set towards those that have not had the opportunity to sew a garment/object by hand. This challenge is NOT a competion, merely a place for new handsewers to document their progress and seek feedback and help, and to challenge themselves. Sewers that are experienced in hand stitching items will not be excluded, but this is meant as a chance for those with no experience in this realm to get a start.The Challenge I propose is that all persons joining the challenge pick a garment or object of textile nature, no matter how small or large, i.e. a pilgrim bag, a Coif or any type of hat, socks, flag, gloves etc., and have at least one form of documentation for its existence during the SCA time period. Acceptable forms of documentation for this project will be paintings/woodcuts/drawings with the desired object in it or a picture of the desired object.The challenge starts first of June and will end one year later. People can join the challenge at any time during this year. Those of you with handsewing experience are invited to follow the blog, and leave comments and feedback as the challenge progresses. The challenge is based in Drachenwald, but is open to all kingdoms.
If you would like to join the challenge (and the blog) please email me at to be added!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Handsewing tip of the week (#4)

Why doesn't the back look as good as the front?

One of my biggest problems when I was learning how to handsew is that, while the front looked more or less ok, the back was a mess. It took me a while to figure out how to fix this.
One reason this happens, is that your needle is going in at a diagonal and not straight up. If you are doing your running stitch one stitch at a time (needle down, pull, needle up, pull) it helps if you check the back every time you make a stitch at first, to train your hand to put them in the right place. Another way to fix this is (if your fabric is thin enough to allow it) is to make one whole stitch in one go (down up, pull). With this, you really need to watch not only the length of the stitch, but the length of the negative space between the stitches, as this is your stitch on the back.
Now, if it's just a matter of some stitches being longer than others, you can always cover it up with a flat-fell seam. Uneven stitches running diagonally to the seam can affect the way the garment sits and falls, though. I know it's frustrating, but don't hesitate to take out part of a seam and re-do it! You'll be happier in the long run.

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