Rock climbing as a sport has been around since the late 1800s, but it’s become increasingly popular in the last 50 years or so since the advent of indoor climbing walls. Not only do these walls help climbers stay fit over winter, but they also provide a great training ground and social area for newbies to learn the ropes (pun intended) – making climbing more accessible than ever.
Autumn has well and truly arrived, and the hedgerows around here are dripping with blackberries. If you’re anything like me you’ve probably collected enough to sink a small ship, but fortunately I’ve found an easy (and tasty) way to use them up.
On to the fun part – actual sewing!
Obviously when starting to assemble your garment you need to pin or baste your fabric pieces together first. I can be pretty lazy when it comes to basting, so for the ‘simpler’ seams (i.e. long straight edges) I tended to just pin the pieces together. To make sure I’m getting everything lined up, I find an ‘intersection’ or corner in the plaid and stick a pin straight down through the fabric.
I then lift…
Hopefully you’ve got your fabric and pattern all sorted out now, so it’s on to the fun part: cutting out your pattern pieces! This stage is worth really taking your time over, as it will be the foundation for your garment’s success (personally I see it as a good excuse to marathon episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer while I work).
My first step was to take a good look at my fabric. I could see pretty easily that the…
When working with plaid, it’s worth taking a bit of time to study your fabric before you set to with the scissors. The various colours and structures of tartan designs mean that there are a few things to take in to consideration when working with this kind of fabric.
Balanced vs Unbalanced Plaids
First you need to establish whether your chosen pattern is balanced or unbalanced, as this will have an effect on how you cut out and construct your shirt…
Going through my wardrobe recently I realised that the two plaid shirts I own were both pretty ratty, which is probably unsurprising when you consider that I’ve worn them for everything from Duke of Edinburgh expeditions to painting a stable roof. They’re also one of my go-to clothing options when I’m heading out for a leisurely ramble in the countryside. Unfortunately a trawl through the high street failed to turn up any acceptable replacements, so I’m turning to my trusty old friend the sewing machine to make myself a snuggly hiking shirt.