Well, I have almost completed, my second attempt at the knit tunic. I hand basted the sleeve and bottom hems, and the neckline. I need to thread the cover stitch machine and I am good to go. I know that many people pin or simply fold the hem, and use the seam guide to sew. Although faster, this has led to good but not great consistent results. I think about the cost of materials, my time, and the fact that I will be wearing this garment for hopefully a long time. I want the hems as straight and neat as I can make them. Also, sewing a pinned garment is tricky, you know either you are going to get stuck, or the needle may make contact with a pin, or both. Hand basting allows you to concentrate on sewing a good seam, without distractions. Be sure to hand baste close but not too close to seam to allow quick removal. I also recommend using a basting thread, which tangles much less than threads used for machine sewing.
For my second project, I drafted a pattern from a ready to wear jumper that I love but that is too large for me. I painstakingly placed the pattern paper over the top of each piece in the jumper, and pressed along the edges. I lifted the pattern paper, trued up the seams, and added the necessary seam allowances. I then compared all adjacent seams to verify they would align during construction. I put on the original garment, and pinned the adjustments needed for a better fit. I made these adjustments to the pattern pieces and verified the adjacent seams were still compatible. I selected a nice corduroy, similar to original garment and cut it out. I contemplated the steps needed to construct this garment. Studying the garment itself, and referring to patterns I had on hand, I formulated a plan. The garment went together fairly well, with only a few detours. As I sewed, I would stop and try it on, to test the fit, and make adjustments if needed. Always be sure to make same adjustments to pattern pieces for future use. This garment included a front zipper, inverted box pleats, pockets, a collar, and a facing. I took it slow, I relied on hand basting to verify the steps prior to machine sewing, eliminating the need to pick stitches as well as making the machine sewing much more manageable. The results were very good. I noted my process, on the pattern pieces. I will definitely be making this garment again, and next time the finished results will be better, but for now I have a very nice jumper, in a fabric and a color of my choice that fits me. Wearing a garment that fits, and is in the color and fabric of your choice is a great feeling, well worth the time to take it slow, and take the extra steps of hand basting and test fitting.