Sunday, August 25, 2019

Summer white

I recently completed this top:

Wore it to work so I took a selfie with Curiosity

The pattern is Vogue 1306 - a "Rebecca Taylor" design from around 2012 and now out of print. 

The fabric is a white cotton with some cross-grain stretch. The fabric had been aging in my stash - I recall purchasing it from around 2001. Yikes!

I made no changes to the pattern and cut a straight medium, based on reviews that the pattern ran large.

The finished top looks like the pattern envelope but not quite like the line drawing. The gathers are more horizontal and not at an angle like you see in the drawing.

Here are my construction notes:

For the placket, pay attention to the seam allowance of 1/4 inch because that will determine how large the visible binding will be. I sewed only one line of top-stitching instead of the two the instructions called for. I also top-stitched the shoulder seam. I don't think the instructions say to do this, but I usually do this on t-shirt-like tops because I see that top-stitching in RTW and it keeps the shoulder seam in place. 

I used the "tricot" stitch on my sewing machine, which is a narrow type of zigzag, to sew on the neck band but then I didn't like the way the seam allowance laid. So I went back and used the serger, sewing very close to the first seam, and then top-stitched with the sewing machine. I still didn't like the way the neckband and placket join, but I'm not sure how I'd construct it differently. 

For the sleeves, I usually sew them in flat on knit shirts and that's how the instructions have you do them, but they also say to gather the sleeves between the marked dots to manage the ease. I found I had to do the gathering - I tried without it but couldn't line things up. I used my serger to sew the sleeves in and also for the side seams. But fearing that the top might be a little snug at a size medium, I serged only a 1/4 inch seam allowance (and I'm glad I did!)

I used the coverstitch on my serger for the hems and left the sleeve un-cuffed.

Lessons learned:
  1. Mark the dots - there are a lot of them: for the gathering, the placket and to ease in the sleeves. Since this was white fabric I used tailor tacks.
  2. The pattern points out where to slash for the placket and the gathers, but don't do it until after you stay stitch on either side of where you will slash. I didn't pay attention so I made the cut for the gathers when I cut out the pattern and though it wasn't the end of the world, it made the front pieces floppier and a bit more difficult to stay stitch.
  3. Next time I would trim the 5/8 seam allowance to 1/4 and use the serger for everything except the gathers in the front and maybe the placket.
  4. If I make this again, I'll lengthen the front a bit - the gathers are hitting a little high and aren't quite under my bust.
Overall, it's a nice casual top and a change from a plain t-shirt. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

More spinning, but there was some sewing

I did some more home dec sewing to finish summer outdoor covers for new patio chairs (boring stuff, so no pictures). I did sew a new top to wear, but I'll show the results in my next post after I get a picture of me wearing it. 

So in the meantime, more spinning!

This is a fiber I bought in Tallin, Estonia in 2013. Here's a picture of me when I bought it. Look how happy I am to have a big blue plastic bag of yarn and fiber! The prices were pretty fantastic too.

And this is a close-up of the fiber - nice pink, cream and tan colors and already prepped into a "pencil roving." I guess you could knit with it as-is, but it might fall apart because it has no twist in it. I don't know what kind of fiber it is, I mean it's wool from a sheep, but I just don't know what breed.