Tuesday, 19 May 2009


I've just finished a big order of printed pencil cases, and I can now officially sew fast. (Really fast: 'purrrrrrrr' instead of 'clackity-clackity-clack' .)

Other things I learned:

There's a difference between sewing a zip from the wrong side and the right side. Oh yes there is...

If something takes 5 minutes to do, then doing it 70 times will take 350 minutes, or nearly 6 hours. That's just how it works. I don't know why that's so hard for me to understand.

Use a thimble for hand sewing. Sure, it feels clumsy, but not nearly as bad as poking the back of the needle through your skin.

Pinning is the thief of time. Use as few pins as possible. There are many seams that don't need any pinning at all.

If there's a gap that has to be left in the lining for turning things inside out, find the balance between the wide gap for easy turning and the small gap for quick stitching. Forcing something through a small gap is less painful than having to do 5 extra stitches each time.

The crucial step you can leave out to make everything 30% faster will only come to you halfway through. Don't beat yourself up; rejoice and carry on.

Making 140 of one thing is a really good way to find out how long it takes to make one.

And here's a quick snap of two of the finished objects in a slightly crumpled state:

They'll be available exclusively from Urban Degree, any day now.


Inklore said...

Love those butterfly zips! And yes, making lots of things is a great way to learn how to be more productive. on to something new?

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful (and congratulations on getting 140 made in record time!).
I particularly like the beetle print, and the way the bug at the top looks like he's disappearing into the pencil case.

Heather Moore said...

Jesse, they're so beautiful! Well done on the order and well done x 100000000 on all the production!

Envy your zip skillz!

Anonymous said...

I love point 2 because I am just the same! It's only when I come to make many of one design I realise how every little step adds up really quickly ... steps I didn't even realise I did!

The pencil cases look great, I love the butterflies!! :)

Carina said...

Seriously, the BACK of the needle into your skin? Owie!

Congrats on finishing! Looks pretty darn good - even in crumbled state! :-)

daisy janie : scoutie girl said...

love your points! having cranked out oodles of handbags and pouches, i extra-admire your tenacity and skill! (i've never done 140 in a row, tho!!) good on ya jesse!!

colleen said...

Sooo... impressed with your zips! Print is impressive to!

Anabel Fournier said...

Wow!!!!! and with zippers!!!!! I always look at the zipper foot and get so afraid of it.... Well done! They are wonderful!!

britt said...

great advice thanks!

by the way , love the bags.

Yardwork said...

these are very cool.

Marisa said...

Ditto for step 2 - except it will usually take even longer because you also don't take into account that you're not a machine and if you are like me you are likely to pause, reflect, make coffee and find other distractions between each 5 min!

Lovely pencil cases.

Chakra Pennywhistle said...

They are awesome! I loved reading this post! I often find myself repeating "that's just how it is, it has to be done" :)