Couture Lunacy

Exploring Fashion One Thread At A Time


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The Southwestern Top

While I’ve been mooching around trying to talk myself into actually making something in the sewing room, I finally got the energy to cut something out and start on it. For once I had the right color thread to sew it! That seriously makes a lot of difference.

The pattern I used is a version of

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this one by Marcy Tilton. I’ve made many tops from this pattern and I like it much better with the excess “wings” removed. With the wings on the top seemed too long and bulky in the thigh. I mirrored the side without the excess for drape, cut the pattern to match that non-draped side and then did a full bust adjustment on the top. You can see my explanation of a full bust adjustment here http://wp.me/p3i7tb-P.

Once that FBA was done, I had to “rotate the dart” because I don’t want a dart in a knit fabric that’s going to look odd. I rotated the fullness created by the FBA to the side bottom. This gives a nice shape to the top. It has a drape at the bottom creating a nice line from the bust down. It skims my stomach and hips which are definitely areas I want skimmed!

I love the fabric. I was a bit hesitant about the direction until I notice that most of the stretch is lengthwise so I had to use it in that manner. Had I tried to cut the top crosswise to have the pattern vertical, there wouldn’t have been enough stretch for the top to be comfortable.

So far I’ve done the shoulder seams to which I always add clear elastic and then fold over the seam allowance and topstitch toward the back. After that’s done I can trim the seam to neaten it up.

I cut my neckband two inches wide and sewed it into a circle. Then I did an overcast on the two edges because the fabric rolls a bit and the overcast stops it. On my Bernina this is stitch #31 and I use it a lot.

To step back a bit – the neckband needs to be shorter than the length of the neck, otherwise it won’t snap to the edge and you will get a baggy-looking neckband. Not good. On this top I first tried a band that was 75% of the length of the neck. That was too small for the style. It didn’t suite the nice flowing shirt so I cut another one 90% of the length of the neck and that’s what you see here.

The neckband of this top takes the most OMG panicky breathes while sewing. I mark the band in quarters and place pins in the marks. Then I do the same with the neck line itself. This way I distribute the stretch of the band evenly all around the neck. I have also overcast the neckline partially as a stay-stitching, but mostly because it gives a finished look inside the garment once the neckband is applied.

After stitching the neckband on, and congratulating yourself that you don’t have to take it off, all I do is press the seams down toward the shirt and “stitch in the ditch” created by the original seam. This forces the seam allowances to stay down when wearing and gives a nice finish.

I have only to put in the sleeves, sew the side seams and hem and I have a great top. This is a good three-season top because it is an ITY knit. I shudder at the thought of wearing it in 90 degree weather!

Here’s the pictures so far –

More to come ……… I’m getting new ideas ……… the more I sew, the more I want to sew ………….

I’ll show you the bottom drape once the sides are sewn up ……. you’ll be able to see the line of the top better!


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ARGH

I want you all to picture me pulling my hair out. I am still in the middle of the sewing block from hell. Now I’ve decided I want to use the “blond” faux leather to make a jacket with a zipper. Hah. Unfortunately I do not have a pattern for a jacket with a zipper – except for a hoodie. Maybe I could use that – but not the look I’m going for.

So fuss fuss fuss – I’m making myself seriously annoyed just deciding what to do. Until I can decide, I’m not starting anything. Which is the opposite of what I think I want to do.

Moan. When I am in the zone – I’m happy as a clam. When I am not – oomph God you wouldn’t want to be around me at all. Mopey. Definitely mopey.

I’m going to go back into that room and only one of us is going to come out ——– the one in a good mood – not the mopey one.


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The Swamp

fbOh man another day in the sewing room – clearing out all the stuff I don’t need and do not use!

This is back-breaking work, which might explain why I don’t do much of it. Today I picked everything up off the floor, grabbed the vacuum cleaner and vacuumed everything. Even the shelves got polished off.

I threw out another 2 garbage bags full of stuff. Not to mention 7 or 8 finally empty boxes. Whew.

Then I actually organized the two patterns. The ones that started this whole mess. Two nasty little patterns – oh yeah – they’re in envelopes now. Behaving themselves, not getting lost, being good – only took me two days …………………….

 


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Wading Into The Swamp

A Flea Market in Paris

A Flea Market in Paris

Yesterday my son was uploading an animation to YouTube. It is huge, so it took from early in the morning until 4:30 pm. I was having withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from the internet, that is.

I had the brilliant and soul-fulfilling idea to organize my sewing patterns. I have several that I’ve adjusted and copied from books and I wanted to put them in something just in case I ever wanted to see them again in this lifetime. You see my sewing room is (was) a mess.

I proceeded to the sewing room with some envelopes and a marker. I looked around. If I was going to organize these patterns, where would I put them? Hmm. There was no more room on the shelves. I started looking at the shelves. There wasn’t a lot on them that I use with the exception of the printed patterns. Hmm.

I sighed. Then I went downstairs, got 10 garbage sacks from the kitchen and started pitching.

For some reason, ever since I was an art quilter, I have saved the teensiest bit of fabric – just in case. Who knows what I might need it for? Seriously! I’ve saved everything from the clothes I’ve made. The scraps were taking over two shelves.

I was merciless. If I looked at it and my first reaction was to pitch it, I pitched it. Sometimes I would grab it out of the bag and then put it right back in. I am serious about simplifying my life. I chided myself.

Most of my “good” fabric – stuff that I have recently purchased – was on the floor still in the original boxes. I cleaned out my pretty hot pink plastic storage bins, grabbed two more in the basement and started culling fabric. I may only have created another problem, since some stuff went into the old “spinning room” which is no longer a spinning room because I don’t spin and I sold my spinning wheel – but that room can wait – it needs a major re-order too.

I took all the fabric from their boxes and put them neatly in bins. I now can see what I have without standing on my head. I put all my little pieces of pattern tracing material in a box. Who knows? I may need a tiny piece here or there for a pattern. I think the same scrap hoarding disease may have hit again. No matter. I can control it. I can quit whenever I want.

I also had a pile of clothes/projects on the floor behind my door. Super nasty mess that it was, I went through that pile and pitched a ton of clothing I don’t want and can’t wear. I would like to tell you that I’m taking it to SA or GW but I’m not. Nobody would want this stuff. I am doing them a favor and throwing it out.

I cleaned under my sewing table. I removed 8 or 9 cardboard boxes and 6 full bags of trash. This from a room that is 10 x 12. Imagine if the room were bigger? What would I do?

I still have one shelving unit to sort. It is where I keep most of my notions, hand-sewing supplies, marking tools, interfacing – stuff like that. I have beads in a box, an old shawl I was making from felted wool, a doll I will never finish, a box for my iron, my Bernina sewing machine bag for when I jet to Paris and need to take my machine (I can’t imagine traveling with a sewing machine). And all sorts of other “stuff”. I have a bin full of Lumiere fabric paints and a box full of watercolor paints and another full of brushes. I have a huge box full of buttons from all over. Really nice buttons – I do love a bit of pizzazz! And all of this will be sorted, filed and controlled.

I will not give into the swamp. Today I will wade in again (because my two shelves that are clean look so pretty!) and I will conquer the other shelves, the table and finally get the patterns organized.

This is so strange and so soul-satisfying. For almost 3 years I haven’t had time to do anything other than working, caregiving or worrying. Let me tell ya, the worrying was sure a waste of time! I have managed this week to clean my bathroom storage closet of another huge bag of trash and now the sewing room looks like a real person lives there ————— I have offered to start on my son’s room – he won’t let me in…………………