It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sew & Learn...& Learn...& Learn....

....aka, there is no substitute for experience.   Especially for those of us who just HAVE to try it for ourselves, even when we've been told that xyz isn't such a good idea.   Or, sometimes, just BECAUSE we've been told that xyz isn't such a good idea......

I've been head over heels with Decades of Style patterns since my re-entry  into the sewing world (after a 20-year absence from fashion sewing of any sort); in fact, the very first thing I made was the DOS Collar Confection blouse, Reviewed here at Pattern Review   So when a few new DOS patterns were issued, I jumped on the 1950's Stole!


There are only 4 pattern pieces - easy peasy!

(I tried to take better pictures this morning, but it looks like my camera battery is on its way out....hopefully it's just the battery, because I'm not ready to replace the camera just yet!  I wonder what the life span of a digital camera is.....)

Note:  Instructions say to cut Main Fabric and Lining w/ Right Side Up, but the Lining needs to be cut WRONG side up!  - I think there was a note added to the pattern packaging about this.


I made a wearable muslin first, in a size small, thinking it might be a nice warm winter wrap for the Mumsy.   It turned out quite nice.  Too bad it doesn't really work for her & she won't wear it.   Can't win 'em all!

I snipped & sewed the first one in no time.  I did have a few question marks trying to wrap my brain around the unusual layout of the design (& the sleeve is where exactly?  & the back is which side???)   I do recommend putting a little marker or label at the neck back, so that it's clear which side is the back...even after you've worn it a few times it can take a moment to figure it out as you're putting it on.   Here's the Mumsy wearing hers (which she only put on for the picture...I'm afraid it needs to find a new home, since it just didn't work for her, and it's too small for me)

The small (which was done in a stable woven mystery fabric, with a lovely silk lining), was a bit too small for me, so I decided to make mine in a Medium.   So far, so good, right?
Close up of Buttons.   These are actually plastic reproductions of those vintage thread buttons - For a really perfect match I'll find some real ones!


In the end, I LOVE this shawl!!!   I'm actually wearing it as I type, and it's been a perfect wrap to wear around the house on these cold San Francisco winter evenings.  It's casual enough to wear pretty much anywhere, yet could easily be dressed up as well.   In spite of the extra time I spent learning my lessons about matching fabric to lining, and learning a bit more about what stretchy stuff will...and will not...do, I'm really happy with the result!

....So I dove right into cutting my lovely wool blend knit, & was so pleased that I had this stretch bemberg lining that was a nice match!  Now, I knew at the start that the bemberg didn't stretch nearly as much as the wool knit, but I thought maybe it would just help stabilize the knit....right?   Sounded logical to me....  Snip Snip, Sew Sew.....hmmmmmm......things aren't matching up very well......the wool stretches.   A lot.   The bemberg stretches.....not so much at all.   No worries, I'll make adjustments....it'll work.

Even after adjusting here...there....pretty much everywhere.....I STILL ended up with little puddles of excess fashion fabric at the edges, but I'm not going to let a little thing like that stop me.   (Call me stubborn & determined....and willing to unsew & unpick....a LOT....but I haven't had a wadder yet!)  I figured I could solve this by topstitching around all of the edges, & that would at least stabilize it enough to make it wearable.

But before that....

On to the next issue.   Do you know how SLIPPERY bemberg can be???  especially when it's sliding all over another rather soft & slippery fabric?  No way did this shawl want to stay in place!   I flipped it this way & that way, & tried to analyze ways to keep it in place.....& tossed it over the dress form & walked away.   Several months ago.   UFO.  (I thought that stood for UnFinished Object, but I can think of a few other phrases....)

Finally, last week, it was time to take another look.   I had discovered the triple stitch!!!!  I think most modern machines have this - it's the 3 side by side stitches, a straight stitch, but it has a lot of stretch built into it.  It makes a great top stitch if you want a beefier looking stitch, & it was PERFECT for my needs in this shawl!

Here is the pocket flap - you can get an idea of what the finished stitch looks like.  And also the yummy wool blend fabric (I really do LOVE this fabric!   It has rows that are pinched & stitched, & it's actually very sheer in between the rows):
Once the topstitching was done, everything really did fall in place & stabilize much better.  

Of course, there was still the slippery factor.  Once I put my clothes on, I really don't want to be fussing with them, adjusting, futzing, realizing that something is falling off & exposing....you know....wardrobe malfuncions.....just doesn't work for me.

I decided the best way to deal with this was buttons.   So after much playing around &  pinning & unpinning, I decided two buttons were needed, took a deep breath & sewed up the buttonholes, found two "faux vintage" buttons that were almost perfect (until I find two "real vintage" buttons that are more perfect) & I have an FO!!!!   

I may I need to replace these pics in daylight - my flash was woefully inadequate, for some reason.  but for now:


With hand through the pocket flap

Just a'hangin'.....

Kitty is helping

Fuzzy with movement, but I kept this just to show how well the shawl moves - and even stays in place!



This shows the layout of the piece (sort of...if you can figure it out...)   The sleeve is upper left. The flap with the buttons crosses over the chest, & over the shoulder to lay on the back.  The flap with the buttonholes lays across the back, then flips over the shoulder to lay across the front.   Clear as mud?

Buttons & buttonhole placement

6 comments:

  1. The buttons did it! What a great idea.

    To help you find the back of any garment, like this shawl, or pants, get some of those "Made by xxxx" labels.

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  2. And one of these days I'll actually get some of those! ;-D

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  3. I love it too! It's wonderful - and such a great color on you.

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  4. These are gorgeous, Jilly Be! The small is in my color (hint!) . . . please bring both to BABES, so we can understand how the sizing works. This doesn't look like a particularly size-sensitive pattern.

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  5. Thank you everyone! Irene I will bring them to the next BABES. It really isn't all that size-sensitive, but the front of the small just barely covers my bust, & the ends feel like they aren't long enough. It's probably more about balance than it is actual fit.

    And hey - if the colors work for you, it may have found its new home - I bet the size would be perfect on you! Just bring a piece of fabric that I might fall in love with ..... ;-D

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