I was reading a post on Fashion-Incubator about pins vs pattern weights.  The argument was illustrated, and convincingly, that using pins to hold the paper pattern onto the fabric brought physics into play in a way that could have a material outcome on the success of the garment.

I’m a pinner.  Largely because that was how I was taught, and because I haven’t had much success with pattern weights.  However my use of pins has decreased over the last few years.  I now tend to only pin the corners, the middles of curves and really long straight runs.

One of the alternatives to pins is pattern weights.  I’ve never had much success with just weighing the paper down onto the fabric.  One problem is that when you cut out a pattern on fabric with scissors, the lower blade lifts the fabric and then things tend to move around.

However with the rotary cutter (my new best friend) one does not need to lift the fabric, and therefore nothing should move.  I tested this theory tonight with the first series of Rome and a CD holder.  It was much easier to cut the silk on the bias.  I am going to do some research on pattern weights and see what people suggest.  The Rome DVDs don’t belong to me, but I do have seven series of Buffy that could substitute quite easily.

I like to learn new techniques.  I think now that I am converted to the rotary cutter, my residual issues with weights melt away.  Advantages I see are less time farting around with pins, therefore less time playing with sharp things that might make me bleed all over the expensive fabric, and a reduced chance of damage to the fabric from a pin.  Some of the disadvantages are due to the limitations of my sewing room and my sewing table – even 115cm wide fabric exceeds the width of my table and almost of the available space in my room.  Even the most delicate of maneuvering around the table may lead to a bump which makes everything leap a centimetre to the left.   Temporary work-around is large, flat (lots of friction) objects which are less likely to move.  It worked well today.

Project progress – the silk satin is completely cut out and all the marks are transferred.  I used silk thread for those and the finest needles i can thread.

Tomorrow I do construction and another fitting.  The foundation is stitched and boned, even though I had a little brain explosion and had half of it stitched inside out.  Hooray for X-Men to keep me amused for the ripping and re-stitching.

Oh and non-amusing technical discovery of the day – the tape-measure that was purchased for the measurements is missing about 3mm from under the metal end.  I thought there was something odd about it, but it wasn’t until I was marking a seamline today that I realised that it was short.  I wouldn’t mind so much except that I used it for the preliminary measurements for Gill.  grrrr.  At least 3mm isn’t so much of a shortfall as it could be – it’s proportionally more over 1.5 cm than it is over 60cm.