29 March 2015

Getting back into garment sewing

Since seeing the asymmetrical top on the last episode of The Great British Sewing Bee, I've wanted to make it. The pattern is in a book, and this involves tracing it off from the sheet -
 Not my favourite task, but while I was at it I traced the pattern for the top with big pockets, shown on the cover. The vintage tracing wheel that came to me via Sally Douglass (thanks, Sally!) got good use, as did the weight that came with some ancient scales at one point and has proved SO useful since -
Much paper was pieced to make sheets big enough.

Nor was there table space big enough for laying out the fabric.
Ah, the fabric - I was attracted by the "dazzle" pattern and the fluidity of the fabric ... which will be causing me problems, as it shifts all over the place. Trying out sewing threads, I'm not having much luck with what's on hand, and don't seem to have nylon or polyester in navy blue. 

The serger is threaded up with black thread, which might do - but when I tried it out, one of the threads promptly snapped. Which will involve finding the manual and re-learning the threading. Or sticking with the ordinary machine ... either way, some research is needed.

At the moment I feel that this will be another trying-to-sew-knit-fabric disaster ... the jersey dress I made in 2007 is still unhemmed, gathering dust on Esmerelda the dress form, in a corner of the hall outside the weekend studio.

Several hours later
After cleaning and rethreading the serger, and a visit to the local [how lucky to have one] fabric shop to get ballpoint needles and polyester thread, and some fiddling around with stitches and tension on the other machine, I worked through the instructions in the book ... and cursed my choice of fabric. Then, once the neck was done, I cursed myself for not following my instincts - to staystitch the neckline, for a start: the fabric stretched, and the strip for facing will be much shorter next time!

The fabric feels lovely to wear, or would if it was warm enough to wear this yet. Even in summer, thanks to the stretched neck (and floppy facing) it will have to be layered over a teeshirt -
The next version will be made in cotton jersey, something irresistible from the local shop.

Lots of lessons learned. I don't have much experience of sewing with knits or with stretchy fabrics ... more research needed, for a start - and two garments are waiting to be made in cotton jersey.

10 comments:

Heather James said...

None-the-less it looks lovely.

Sandra Wyman said...

It does look good, Margaret. I too am getting back into garment sewing (mainly ecause I am addicted to African Fabric Shop fabrics and Magie won't sell me any more until I've made up the ones I bought earlier... but not brave enough to try stretchy fabrics yet.

irene macwilliam said...

well done looks well.

rosecolouredworld said...

Tres chic! Well done for managing such tricky fabric!

momid5 said...

I think it is adorable and only if you really have to, one might try running a thin thread of elastic, like mask weight or round, thru the facing in the area , you feel is flopping. However , you would be the only one to know. It is a dazzle!

Living to work - working to live said...

i ought to try to get back to sewing garments. I used to do a lot of sewing but years ago and somehow have hardly picked it up again. I guess, like you, frustrations rather put me off. But I do have some favrourite clothes which are wearing out and which I will never be able to replace unless I turn them into pattern and have a go! Really ought to get my act into gear.

Margaret Cooter said...

Thanks, all, for the encouraging comments. I'll try the elastic around the neck...

Using favourite garments as patterns sounds eminently sensible - and a bit adventurous as well, sewing without instructions!

I'm finding that garment sewing is addictive, so when you start - beware...

beatrice De said...

With a jumper it is perfect waiting for the sun and wear it without !
:Please, go to see my *tricot, couture and bricolage * Clic on the picture on the right hand side, on the pink jacquet.
Keep well. Béatrice from Lausanne.

PS. The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition is now in Paris. Lucky having seein with you in London.

beatrice De said...

With a jumper it is perfect waiting for the sun and wear it without !
:Please, go to see my *tricot, couture and bricolage * Clic on the picture on the right hand side, on the pink jacquet.
Keep well. Béatrice from Lausanne.

PS. The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition is now in Paris. Lucky having seein with you in London.

The Idaho Beauty said...

My, but you do look stylish though, for any of its shortcomings. I see why you were enticed to make something from this pattern. Almost makes me want to try my hand at something similar again. Almost. I gave up making clothes after a string of disappointments, ill fits & "challenges " such as you describe!