Sunday, April 04, 2004

Sewing and Sanding

I managed to make a lot of progress in my sewing projects yesterday. I just about finished the Burda blouse - everything except for buttonholes and buttons - and decided to try it on. Hideous. Well, not exactly hideous, but not flattering at all. I had intended to make it as a muslin but since I can't do anything half-way, I took my time and decided to make it wearable if I could. There are a couple of problems with it, some of which I'll remember when I make the blouse out of the intended fabric. First, the fabric is striped. It'd be ok if it were a one-color stripe, but they're multi-colored. This is why I didn't like the fabric in the first place. Second, the fabric is too heavy. It reminded me of muslin when I worked with it. It was very well behaved but had no give or drape. Third (and lastly), the length is too long. I thought long would be classier but I "forgot" that I have hips. I cut the pattern larger to accomodate my hips, but because the fabric is rather stiff, it sticks in place - right at my hips. I am rethinking cutting the long style in the intended fabrics, a sueded polyester and a rayon . I may do the short version instead. That's probably a much better choice for my figure anyway. The model on the pattern envelope is a stick so the long style looked just fine on her. I'm not a stick. It's strange because I like the way the blouse looks...on the dress form. It just didn't look right on me. I decided not to spend time working buttonholes and sewing on buttons. For now I'll keep the blouse until I've made the pattern in other fabrics, so that I can refer to it and remember why it didn't work. Eventually I'll finish the buttons and then dontate the shirt to Goodwill.

And now I'm free to start on the t-shirt hoodie from the Burda WOF. (Remember, I can't work on more than one project at a time). I took a painfully long time to lay out the fabric and finally plunged in with my rotary cutter. It's a simple pattern - 4 pieces: front, back, sleeves, and hood. The Burda WOF instructions are quite sparse but in this case that's ok because this really is a simple project. I put the zipper in without any trouble. I added iron-on stabilizer to the shoulder seams, as I do with every knit top. It works great to keep the shoulder from stretching. I used a 4-thread overlock on my serger to construct the shoulder, sleeve, and side seams. I felt "advanced" that I serged the seams even though the instructions only talk about using the sewing machine. Of course it's a very simple, and reasonable thing to use a serger on a knit top such as this, but I felt accomplished none-the-less. The fabric is absolutely scrumptious. It's nice and thick and soooo soft. I tried the top on, even though I haven't attached the hood yet, and it fits pretty well. One sleeve is a little tighter than the other - a result I'm sure of my innacurate serging. I traced the pattern to have 5/8" seam lines and just eyeballed placement of the fabric on the serger. The sleeves aren't tight, but they are close fitting. If I were to redo it, I'd make them a little larger I think. But maybe I'll change my mind after I've worn it awhile. And I do expect to wear this. I love the fabric so much that while sewing I was torn between wanting to finish it quickly so I could wear it right away, and taking my time so I could fondle the fabric longer. I think I would have finished it last night too if it weren't for the eyelets. I have metal eyelets for the drawstring holes, but I can't figure out how to put them in without crushing them too much.

I was hoping to work on the top some more today but hubby had sanding plans instead. He wanted to get moving on the hallway floor so we rented a sander and got to work (after having a beer and enjoying our back patio for a bit first :-) ). Sanding is messy, noisy, and annoying. The rented sander is large and the hallway is not. Plus, the hallway has a 90 degree turn in it plus 6 doorways and a closet - a lot of places that the sander just couldn't get to so we have to use small hand sanders (powered, but still a pain to use). We've got the sander until tomorrow afternoon and originally I suggested doing the back bedroom too, but we'd have to first clean it out and then rip up the carpet. I think it can wait. We can rent the sander again.

Gotta go turn the clocks forward an hour now...

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