Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Not A Happy Ending

Just to let you know - in advance - this is not a happy ending posting BUT it is a this has possibilities only I really don't have time to explore them right now so I better put down the pins and walk away posting - as in I'll deal with it later and we'll see.

The fabric suggestions for Vogue 8886 include double knit. Since I'd sewn the pattern before in a stable knit, this black one with moderate width-wise and virtually no length-wise stretch seemed entirely appropriate. It sewed and pressed lovely but it's a thick fabric which creates other issues. And I should have probably tried my dress from the same pattern on and looked more closely at how it fit especially as it's sewn in a print (which hides things better) and this is a solid (which does not). ANYWAY...

I sewed the front and back sections together and then pinned the side seams wrong sides together and tried the top on and then pinned the side seams in considerably everywhere but directly under the arm. The chalk line shows the new seam line. It's pinned to the other back side seam so I can transfer the markings and make them both the same. Once marked, I sewed on the line and the fit of the t-shirt through the shoulders, bust, and torso is FABULOUS. Very flattering. That's why it has potential. After that, things went downhill.

The collar is supposed to be more traditional, sewn from two fabrics wrong sides together and turned right side out. Because of the fabric's thickness, I used one layer and straight of grain fusible to stabilize the neck edge and stretch fusible for the "hem" edge. I turned under 5/8" and stitched the hem with a double needle. Stabilizing the neck edge of the collar eliminated the need to stabilize the neckline of the bodice. As long as one of the edges is stabilized, the neckline will be held to the correct length and shape. And it is... only...

... this is not, in my opinion, at all attractive. The shoulder seams have not been pressed yet but the hemline has and those pokey-outies are not for me. The collar is pinned in place and hmm... maybe in a woven, maybe not at all. The shoulders seem too wide and the sleeve isn't hanging quite correctly although that might be the need to press but I think it's more the problem with losing size. Your general shape stays the same but all those little fine tuning details you'd worked out previously take a shift and you have to work their new subtleties out again. It's why I'd rather stay the same size or lose size and stay there. Up and down is way too frustrating. BUT...

... the top is not hopeless. I think it might make an interesting sleeveless tank top if I think about different hemming and neckline options. The woven instead of knit collar thought has possibilities. So does a raw hem or serged edges and I can see how surface design elements might save the day... if I'd just get to it.

I'm wondering if beyond the lack of skill and the repetition factor is something about not having the laundry room at ready with better lighting especially and something about how I don't wear a lot of surface design garments - as in none. I've never been a person for decals and labels and I like to wear necklaces in particular and don't want those two things to interfere with each other so I'd need to incorporate the imagery in a way that I'd actually wear which would be more about pattern, line, or texture and on garments that would actually get worn which in turn made me think about the number of pieces I sew versus the number of pieces that actually make it to my closet. I think - VBG - I might be picky. Just maybe. A tiny bit. I've sewn three black t-shirts in three days and the count is 0 for 3 right now although I did make a fabulous dress and a print t-shirt before that... she says... just to remind herself she actually can sew successfully.

Beyond what actually makes it to my closet, there's an even smaller number of the garments that become favourites because while nothing makes it to my closet that isn't at least 95% of my opinion of well done, my favourites are probably more in the 98-99% (rare) range. I could tell myself that this t-shirt is good enough but the problem is it's not good and enough. I won't wear it so I may as well continue attempting to make it into something I would wear. And this is fine. I'm dressed - although if you see a near nak-d woman running around Sew Expo who looks like a black t-shirt would be all she needed to complete that outfit, could be me - LOL ! ! !  Please say hi.

I'm leaving early tomorrow morning. There won't be any more postings this week. The camera is packed, the lap top is not. Hopefully I'll get some fun filled pictures and tell you all about it next week.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - my son achieved his fundraising goal. YES YES


  1. That is so close to being fabulous--it's always frustrating to sew with a short deadline. If it were me, I'd pull out the collar and hemline, and redo both (sans collar) with simple bias tape, or turned under hemming lace. That should eliminate the poking out issues and also make a better showcase for your necklaces. Have fun at the Expo!

    1. The collar is pinned so I'm going to take it off, pick out the hem, decide if I'm x-ing the sleeves or if I need to cut the armhole in closer and then I'll explore some of the ideas pushing around in my head - like adding to it to make a dress - and debate some more about adding surface design elements. Could be an interesting playground. I'm hoping to take in a talk of Diane Ericson's at SewExpo. She always gets my juices going and that just might be the link that connects the dots. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. Bon Voyage Myrna! Have a great time at the Expo! Next year I am going! So, see you there in a year!

    1. Thank you. Oh what fun that would be to meet up next year. I'm seriously debating going by myself so I can do coffee and lunches and dinners without worrying about my travel partner.

  3. Myrna have a blast at the Expo!!! wow, sounds so fun! it'll be wonderful to hear everyone's reports after :)

    yeah.....it's always a toss up between just kinda going with the mojo-flow, in which case who knows how things'll turn out and maybe you don't get that many successes if you're super picky; and becoming super specific about your style, what you like what you don't like and being an animal about reproducing materials and techniques that work. As always, it depends on what you feel like doing and how much 'non-success' you want to have to deal with.

    I think i still don't understand why you want to include surface design on your clothes if you don't really like wearing clothing with surface design? or are you just exploring in that arena to see if you come up with something you like? If it's the latter, maybe getting some specific inspiration pieces mite help, or doing some sketches (using whatever media you like, to me a little basted up piece of fabric with notions tied on can be a sketch) will help you work thru ideas? just a thot.

    HAVE FUN!!! steph

    1. I think it's more obvious because with the way life is right now I have the opportunity to be super picky although I've always been rather particular even when buying RTW. I don't see much point in wasting closet space with garments that won't get worn.

      I love the challenge of refashioning materials that didn't work into something that does most likely because I've found it significantly pushes my creativity and thought processes and makes me more experimental. I'm wiling to risk because it's already "ugly" so go for it.

      A quick look around and I can see that surface design adds interest and individuality to garments that you just can't buy with fabric or even sew in with details. It takes things up another notch that I respect. The pieces that appear more me are commonly low key, more like creating your own print - say adding stripes to the fabric for the button band. The surface design elements are slid in there without too much fan fare and yet add a significant amount to the final outcome.

      Am I procrastinating because I haven't spent the time to practice yet, or because it's not me, or because I'm figuring out how it will be me so I can practice that direction. I think it's that later and that I'm pretty close to the click point when I'll actually do the work in a larger quantity. The few pieces I've done to date, I've enjoyed the outcome and that's encouraging me even more to think in paint.

      Diane, Marcy & Katherine are particularly good (or at least they are the artists that I'm exposed to that are particularly good) at this skill. I'm certainly picking up lots of inspiration from their work. Some concepts just need their time to mature and ripen. Perhaps I'll put it down like I did fabric jewelry but I don't think so. I think it's going to find its way.

    2. hi Myrna! thank you for such a nice answer, very thoughtful. "The few pieces I've done to date, I've enjoyed the outcome and that's encouraging me even more to think in paint." Sounds great and fun!

      Your response also made me think of your (adorably divine little) twirly coats. I have no idea if this is the case for you, but for me there are TONS AND TONS of clothes i drool over, think are fantastic and amazing well made and creativity hopping out of every poor and mostly likely pure joy to make -

      but i'd never want to wear them! It sounds to me like you are very much in the exploration/discovery phase, also your own style is very individual so i very much doubt you'll find anyone else who's style you could emulate in whole or even in large part. I'll be interested to see how you go on this one, what you end up loving to wear and what you end up loving to make, so to speak.

      ". I'm dressed - although if you see a near nak-d woman running around Sew Expo who looks like a black t-shirt would be all she needed to complete that outfit, could be me - LOL ! ! " heehee!

      The good news is, you're the talk of the Sew Expo!

      Tthe bad news is why....... haha! You're too good of a sport :) take care and have fun, steph

    3. Twirly coats - exactly - a wonderful playground. It's a mixed blessing having the time to play (as in no paycheque every other Friday) but one great advantage is exploring avenues you don't need to wear. Yes, I drool over things that will never go on this body.

      LOL - thanks for saying my own style is very individual. I'm not sure if you meant that generally or specifically but I'll take it as I'm making progress on my clothes saying who I am... now if I'd just stop changing size and growing up so I could catch up.

      Talk of Sew Expo... hmmm... I do so love to be the center of attention. I could model my me made lingerie - VBG.

    4. " I do so love to be the center of attention. I could model my me made lingerie - VBG." Myrna, don't make me wet myself!!! ha!

      no, i definitely mean your particular style. You like a lot of black and pop it with brights but you use your own particular pinks and lime greens and it's unexpected - like a button or a cuff, not a scarf or bag. And you like the seams to be emphasized, in about a billion different ways, so you get these lines of embellishment but they're integral to the overall shape and function of the garment (like that refashioned sweater coat you made, stunning!) nothing tacked on top, so to speak. FWIW. Drive safe! steph

    5. LOL

      That absolutely lovely compliment is so going in my dream book. Whenever I get a comment that supports one of my dreams/goals, I copy it onto the back of that page to encourage myself. I have a page about creative everyday wear. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. How's about a bias woven collar, and then raw edged bias at the hem, just peeking out from under a raw edge of the knit? Does that make sense? Then you have a little pattern at the top and a little pattern at the bottom. Or take the collar off and make a plain boatneck tee for necklace wearing. Many options. That's the fun part!

    1. I think the collar has great potential especially if I want to use a color or pattern other than solid black. For the hips, I need to be careful about a line across my widest part but tone on tone has possibilities. It does make sense. Playful. I have time to debate while I'm driving.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.