Friday, February 5, 2010

Slow and Steady: A New Approach

Usually when I would sew I would have a deadline, be it Halloween, a wedding, Christmas or a costume party. The pressure of these deadlines made me rush through certain steps of the sewing process, which almost always resulted in ripping out stitches or things turning out not as great as I imagined (and even sometimes having to abandon it all together and buying something, grrrr!). But this time around I have decided to take my time, and do things right. I am not kidding around here, I sewed the middle back panel of the top (see pattern pic) five times to get the center back seams to match! Now it looks great, but before I would have tried twice and then moved on, matched or not. Since these are clothes I want to be able to wear more than once, I am determined to take the time and enjoy the process. No more Ms. Impatient, although she does get things done fast, it is never done very well.

So, the top is done, which I revealed at the end of my post yesterday. Even though, in the beginning, I was caught off guard by the stretchy weave of the fabric, it turned out that it wasn't as bad as I thought. There were seams that took to the fabric far better than others, but maybe someone more experienced can tell me why that was. All in all, the top was pretty easy to put together. I tried it on and it shockingly fit! The pleating near the neckline came out kind of full, as opposed to what the line drawing suggests. Instead, it looks just like the photo. I decided to not line the inside, but if I make it again (although I'm not sure how many of these one can have in their closet) I would line it. By some good grace, I thought I bought an invisible zipper for the side seam, but it turns out I grabbed just a regular zipper. After reading this post from Gertie, I am glad I grabbed the wrong one. Phew!

The only thing I am not so sure about are the sleeves. It called for facings on the sleeves, which I did, but I wonder if the interfacing I used was too heavy for the fabric, as they seems to stick out quite a bit. Although, if you look at the pattern photo, I guess that is what it is supposed to look like. I will have to wear it and see people's reaction. If they look at me like a have big bells for sleeves, I will have to tweak them. Here is a sneak peak of the sash in the fabric I used (taken by my iphone, so sorry for the quality):

Things I learned from "Top from Simplicity #4047":

  1. Tailor's tacks are great! I am now a convert. I used to use chalk or just eyeballing what I thought it would be by the edges (this, shockingly, was the WORST method), but tailor's tacks were beyond helpful. More time consuming, but I think much better overall.
  2. Basting is our friend. I know this is why my zipper looks great.
  3. Hand-stitched hem. As I stated above, being rushed I always just sewed the hem by machine. So, this was a first. It didn't look as great as I'd hoped, but my technique looked better by the time I got to hemming the sleeves.
  4. Along with tailor's tacks, I also marked with stitches were the pleats were. Again, super helpful.
Final verdict: I am very happy with this top. I think it came out great and I will hopefully wear it soon. I am also hoping that by the time I get to taking real photos of the top, that the skirt will be finished as well. We will see.

Have a great weekend!

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