Monday, June 21, 2004

Well that's just perfect...

I am a perfectionist by nature and one of my quirks is that I must be organized before I can start on a project. In my college years when exam time rolled around, I would first make a stack for each class: textbook, notebook, homeworks, tests, lab reports, etc. Then I could start studying. I find that I must also be organized with my sewing or knitting projects. Knitting is easier. I have a canvas bag into which I put the yarn, needles and pattern for the project. A small pouch contains small scissors, tape measure, stitch markers and row counter. Sewing requires a few more notions. I have many notions and like to have them all organized. What usually happens is that I spend all my time organizing and none sewing.

I've had my Jalie 2005 t-shirt cut out and draped over the dress form for a few weeks now. All I needed to do was sew it up. Easy. Except that first I had to clean off the sewing table and organize some stuff. I'd recently purchased some embroidery software so I spent some time putting the designs into the computer. I have a lot of designs and just like organizing my project materials before starting, I do the same with the embroidery designs. I also have the embroidery software and it's all carefully installed and ready to go. I even worked my way through the tutorials one day. But I haven't embroidered much with my new software. Just one design so far. That makes it a pretty darned expensive design.

I've been reading the book Too Perfect. The subtitle is "When Being in Control Gets Out of Control." So far the book is pretty good but scary because I don't want to accept the truth about how my perfectionism is not helping me in life. But I already knew that. That's why I'm reading the book.

Anyway, back to sewing. After I installed the embroidery designs and organized my thread (of course it's arranged by color), and straightened up a bit, I finally was organized enough to work on the t-shirt. It's almost finished - just the hems are left. The fabric is a very stretchy knit and the edges curled, which made it a royal pain to work with. I serged the shoulder, sleeve, and side seams very carefully. The fabric is striped and although I carefully lined up and pinned the stripes before serging, the stripes on the side seam didn't meet up. Upon inspection I realized that the serger pushed the top fabric slightly ahead of the lower when it stitched. I compensated for this on the other side seam and the stripes matched much better. The v-neck was a bit of a pain as well. First, I had to decide what to do about the stripes. When cut cross-grain, the binding is its stretchiest and follows the direction of the stripe. When cut with the grain, the binding will have a horizontal stipe that may or may not match the stripes on the shirt. I turned to RTW sale flyers to get some ideas and found that striped shirts had either a solid color binding or one stripe, indicating that the binding was cut on the cross grain. Since I don't have coordinating binding, I went with the cross-grain cut. The instructions have you zig-zag stitch the right side of the binding to the wrong side of the top and then you fold the binding over the seam allowance to the front, tuck the raw edge under and straight stitch it down on the right side. This would have been easier with cooperative fabric. The neck line doesn't meet my perfectionist expectation, but it is ok. Overall I like the top in the smaller size. It fits better through the shoulders but the sleeves are tight. Even with the stretch of the fabric, the sleeves are too tight. Wearable, but tight. I will make this again but I will definitely add more ease to the sleeves.

And I better make it again. The above post was written last week and left in draft form. This was before the hormones hit full blast.

I just bought more fabric to make more tops out of this Jalie pattern. What about all that other fabric in my stash you ask? Oh. That. Well, it's just not quite right for this pattern and I sort of bought the fabric in a very weak moment. A hormonal moment and one influenced by three gin and tonics. Or was it four? I managed to spend about $128, including shipping, on 8.25 yards of fabric. That's a little over $15/yard. Not one of my better fabric-buying moments. But now that I have written about it in this blog, I have it on record that it was done at a weak moment. The fabric, due to arrive in a week, is of good quality (rayon knit) and I have no doubt that it will be lovely stuff. I bought enough for 5 Jalie T's and a skirt. So when my husband asks about the charge (and rolls his eyes again), I will blame hormones and alcohol and remind him that $128 would buy maybe three nice shirts of the type and fabric I'm making and no skirt. It's a good thing I don't drink much. Perhaps I should warn my husband that next time I turn to the alcohol to try to squelch the raging hormones, he'd better lock away the lap top too. Disable the wireless or password protect it. I am not to be trusted. I do regret making the purchase and perhaps my guilt will push me into getting this cloth on the cutting table in record time (record being something less than years in between purchase and cutting). First I will need to organize my sewing room though.

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