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relaxed sewing

July 17, 2011
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There has been sewing going on here…of the undemanding kind.  There are times when I can only sew a seam or two a day, and fortunately there are some patterns with very few seams that lend themselves to those kinds of restrictions.

After the Martha Market and the class I attended on white shirts, the time was finally right to make up an eggshell polyester that has been in the stash a long time. I bought it because even though it’s poly, it has great substance – weighty and drapey, and feels so silky too. It’s a very nice poly, if you can believe there is such a thing.

It found its destiny as the shirt/tunic from CLD’s Your Everyday Drifter. Big shirts seem to be making a comeback in the Vogue pattern catalog, and I thought it would be a good use for the poly — no creases from sitting on the tails!

I made some changes to the pattern which made it a quick sew. First, replaced the collar and stand with a scrunch collar as described by Louise Cutting in this Threads article: collar how-to. Second, I left off the cuffs and traditional sleeve placket. I did a turned-and-stitched hem and then just overlapped the hem at the spot where the placket would have gone. Secured with a button. So I left out all the challenging parts. That turned out to be extra-smart, because even though this is a nice poly, it still handled like polyester and wanted to pucker. No way the collar or placket details would have come out nicely.

I also made up the vest from YED, so have actually made both items from that pattern. This piece is illustrated like a top, but described as a vest. Made without any changes, it has deep armholes like a vest. I wanted a top, so I just sewed up the armholes a little higher.

The fabric has woven-in puckery polka dots! I love texture and thought this was really interesting. Where one of the dots crosses an edge (like hem or sleeve openings), the texture keeps you from having a straight line, but that’s just a characteristic of the fabric. I guess this is what is called a cloque?

The drawstring waist is not my very best look, but it’s fine as long as it’s not cinched tight and is a nice change. If I make this again, I need to raise the neckline. That part is also cut to be a vest…it’s wearable at this level, but I’d like it better just a tad higher.

Continuing on my Cutting Line Designs exploration, I made the top from the Anything But Ordinary pattern. This is an oversized top with dropped shoulders and sleeves that makes a good t-shirt alternative. I made it in a mystery fabric that has some acetate or tencel or something in it. When wet it has that cardboardy stiffness. But when it’s dry it’s very drapey and hangs close to the body; nice in an oversize top. The pattern for the top has one detail – a tab and button closure on one of the shoulders. Since I was simplifying everything, I left that off. Besides, the detail would have been lost due to the print. This was super fast to sew. Next time I’ll make it just a little shorter and maybe give it a hint of shape.

Last item — I have made Simplicity 2614 three times this year. I guess you could say I like the pattern. It’s easy to make, with no closures or fiddly little pieces, and even I can make it with a scant yard of fabric. If you’re a smaller person, you could make it with even less.

Numbers 1 and 2 were done earlier this year and I may have posted pictures of them already. The third one was recently completed and I used some prized Liberty Lawn for it. With the raised waistline and gathered bosom, the pattern has a bit of an Edwardian feel to it, and the peacock feather motif recalls the same time period. That motif just symbolizes Liberty to me. Here are all three versions of S2614.

Pattern alterations: #1, made the ties much narrower than the pattern. #2 – added the shoulder flanges. #3 – no alterations, added a row of buttons at the bodice center front.

It’s been fun being so productive even when I’m just sandwiching a seam or two between other things that need to be done, and having an expanded selection of tops is nice! Love me some instant gratification!

Time to suck it up and start a longer project, though. Yes, it’s time to get going on my July jacket.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    July 19, 2011 3:39 am

    Love all your tops!

  2. July 20, 2011 2:55 am

    Your tops are wonderful and look so professionally done! Tell me, have you worn that scrunched collar yet? I was wondering if it was comfortable. Way to go!

    • July 20, 2011 12:54 pm

      Thanks, Kuby! Yes the collar is comfy. It slouches down quite nicely, doesn’t choke. In fact, I just happen to be wearing it today.

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