Road to Speedy Sewing: Cheat Sheets For Sewing Task Order

Finding yourself lagging during a sewing project for no reason other than a general languish (which may or may not be a sign of these pandemic times)?   It’s been happening to me.  I want to speed up the sewing time lapse – not sure if that’s the correct term but you know what I mean. I am trying to find ways to achieve that speed-up goal.   One of those is cheat sheets for some of my frequently used patterns; it’s a “snapshot” of the sewing process, whittled down to the essential sewing order.

Sewing order is the gist of each sheet, not the instruction, and the process assumes that a particular pattern has been sewn previously by following the pattern guide sheet, and that you are generally familiar with any design details therein.

A sewing order cheat sheet begins after the cutting process has been completed. My cheat sheets take different forms, but the end use is the same: 

  1. Listed sewing order in text, dutifully typed up, revised and edited.
This is my son-in-law Brian’s shirt where the last task is yet to be accomplished (buttons and buttonholes) . On the right is the typed up cheat sheet which lives in the envelope when not in use.

2. Sometimes the cheat sheet is written in bad handwriting, with scratchy edits (below); but it works.

Lots of edits and adjustments in the cheat sheet. It assumes that I know to finish the neckline treatment before sewing in the side panels. By the way, the assymetric detail has a dedicated post somewhere in this blog.

Remember that cheat sheets are the order of sewing at the most granular level; they’re helpful in putting together the shell of the garment.  They assume you know how to add any details that must be worked on in between the sewing order.  For example, the neck treatment of the above Simplicity pattern is the first task after stay stitching the neckline. The cheat sheet will only tell you to “make neck placket” – it assumes that I know how to do that with or without the pattern company guide sheet.

3. Cheat sheet with graphic interpretation (fancy term for a drawing).

My favorite pant pattern has seen many iterations since the pattern was released! The sewing order of the design seams is important for a successful outcome. Therefore, illustrating the order and numbering each seam works here.

Everyone has favorite patterns, used multiple times; I have a few of them and still mess up the order of sewing tasks, having to go back to the unwieldy pattern guide sheets to check, thereby using up precious sewing time. Therein lies the cheat sheet advantage.

What is the next item on the road to speedy sewing? Even my “simple” sewing projects need to be thoughtfully and carefully finished — a time eater.  I will explore more ideas in subsequent posts.  Okay, your turn — throw it out there in the comments section.

A few days early, but….. Happy July 4th!!


2 thoughts on “Road to Speedy Sewing: Cheat Sheets For Sewing Task Order

  1. Funny, I was just thinking about this very thing. I have been sewing shorts in multiple colours and was thinking what a good idea this would be. I just haven’t given up any of my valuable sewing time up to make this list yet! Great minds think alike! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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