I had originally intended this article to be about the batch of face masks I stitched up to get acquainted with my new sewing machine. But, I couldn’t resist getting nerdy over the feed dog adjustments on an industrial sewing machine.
Industrial Feed Dogs
An industrial sewing machine is meant to do one specific task, and to do it over and over again. If you are working in a factory and sewing a batch of 5000 dresses, it’s worthwhile to configure the machine to work well for just that job, down the point of swapping out parts as necessary.
As I mentioned in my last article, industrial machines have replaceable feed dogs. There are several varieties, each aimed at a different type of material. Generally, feed dogs intended for light-weight fabrics have many teeth of finer weight; those for heavy fabrics have larger, coarser teeth.
Given the kind of sewing I plan to do most often, I decided to swap in lightweight feed dogs for the ones that came with the machine. At some point when I get into jeans-making, I’ll have to repeat the process to install heavy-weight feed dogs. But it does mean I have to plan out the projects I want to make if I want to avoid continuously futzing with the machine.
Sorry to keep you waiting on my fashion show debut! Between class projects and getting my teaching venture off the ground, I’ve let the blog fall by the wayside. It occurs to me I owe all of you a recap on how the fashion show went.
Here’s the completed outfit walking the runway at the City College of San Francisco Fashion Show, “Odyssey.” The model is Damon Mahoney; besides his work as a fashion model, he is a fashion entrepreneur who makes an exquisite line of hand-painted scarves and accessories. You can see his creations at his website. He was fantastic to work with and he really sold the outfit on the runway. I was so fortunate to have him model my outfit.
Runway photo credits: James Mace
Oh, my. There’s a layer of dust everywhere. Pardon me for a second.
Now that I’ve blown the dust away, time to resume the blog.
On my last blog update, I had signed up for four fashion classes at City College of San Francisco. I figured it was ambitious, but doable. The four classes were: Fashion Illustration 2, Garment Fitting, Apparel Construction 1, and Custom Tailoring.
Plans changed very quickly. Shortly after classes started, an opportunity for some freelance work (not sewing-related) came my way, and so I started working two days a week. That meant I had to drop at least one class. I wasn’t giving up Fitting or Tailoring, and dropping Apparel 1 wouldn’t have made much difference, so I let go of Fashion Illustration 2.
Even so, I’m OK with the decision in hindsight. The Illustration class was a lot of homework, and as it turned out the Tailoring class needed every moment I could spare and then some.
So here’s a very quick summary of my fall semester classes and their outcomes: Continue reading
In this third and final installment of our fitting series, we’ll see how all the previous fittings converge into a wearable shirt.
At the end of Part 2, the body of the shirt was falling into place, with the sleeves and neckline becoming the major issues of focus. We’ll tackle those, and show actual fitting photos of the BF Oxford Shirt. (Here’s a link to Part 1 and a photo gallery of the finished shirt if you are new to this series).
Issues with the body
Everything is finally looking OK. That horizontal balance line in front appears tilted, but it’s really posture and camera angle and not the garment.
I have successfully finished my course in Fashion Draping at City College of San Francisco!
I actually presented the final project about a month ago, and grades came out two weeks later; I’m catching up on my blogging. (Rest assured the final article in the Shirt Fitting series is forthcoming).
The final project for my draping class was to create our own original garment, using all of the skills we learned in class over the course of the semester. It had to be a complete look that covered the body; for example just draping a skirt wasn’t allowed.