I had this idea, after watching a few episodes of the Great British Sewing Bee on my iPlayer, that I might try to sew against the clock. On GBSB they usually get three hours to make a garment. I asked you to estimate how long it would take me to do the jacket and skirt.
Here are your views:
Mrs Mole: Jacket and skirt 6-8hours
Sew2Pro: 6 hours
Sewniptuck: Thought 3 hours for skirt, and 3 for jacket
Lyn guessed: 6 to 8 hours
I used a tried and tested fairly simple pattern for a jacket and I worked as fast as I could. Here are the timings (to the nearest five minutes). I did not baste unless it was necessary (collar attachment), used no markings beyond the notches, CF and key pattern marker, and worked as quickly and steadily as I could.How did I get on? Hopeless!
The added complication of pattern matching slowed me right down. I don’t find it particularly easy, to tell the truth. I don’t know a quick way to do this. I cut each piece separately, having to remember which direction we were going in all the time, checking where the seams would join and ensuring I had enough fabric left over for a skirt, so being as economical as possible.
Time taken: (cutting out and tacking the main seams together to ensure a match); 1hour 55 mins
Sewing the jacket together
Apart from two bust darts the jacket had just four main seams. Although I had to do one twice this was a quick job, followed by pressing and cooling.
Time taken: 45 minutes
Creating and attaching the collar
The collar has a stand and fall. The collar needed interfacing. Then I stitched together, top stitched the joins, trimmed, pressed, and pinned to the stand so that it dried into shape. Then it was attached to the jacket, pressed and overstitched. Finally I stitched the revers, timmed, pressed, folded them out, pressed some more and then hand stitched the inner collar to the inside of the jacket
Time taken: 1hour 35 minutes
I trimmed, measured and hemmed the jacket and sleeves by hand. Pressed.
Time taken: 55 minutes
Cutting out the lining
I decided to use up some cheap, inferior, exceptionally lightweight silk for the lining. It was a false economy (£5 a metre) from Simply Fabrics. But the colour was good (navy) and I couldn’t bear to not use it up, so in it went.
Time taken: 20 minutes
Sewing together and attaching the lining
Time taken: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total: 6hs 35mins
What could I have done to make the task quicker?
Obviously using a plain fabric would have helped. And I could have done a machine stitched, bagged out lining. I could have left out the top stitching but it helps support the collar and the hemming may have been easier with a plain fabric. Maybe I could have shaved one hour off. Now to spend another five minutes pulling out the tailors’ tacks….