I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Work came in the way and I really struggled with the striped top I have been working on. But now it is finally finished, and here it is.
My idea was to make an interesting top with stripes that bend from the shoulders to the center front. I was inspired my the B version of pattern nr 114 in BurdaStyle 10/2012 where the top had been made with a zigzag print which I thought looked interesting.
I also found a nice knit fabric. A sheer rayon blend (I think) one way stretch knit with white and purple stripes.
The project started with cutting out the pieces from the pattern. I was very careful both to find the “grain” and to align the stripes so that they would hit the same spots on different fabric pieces. To ensure this alignment I drew up two of the front pattern piece and two of the sleeves. If I would have cut these out on folded fabric I wouldn’t be able to ensure they were identical. Also look at the funny angle of the front pieces. That is what would give the stripes the bended lines. The front seam was to be sewn with a roughing of the fabric which reduces the length of the center seam.
In order to stabilize the sheer fabric I used french seams on all seams with no roughing, the shoulder seams, the side seams and the seams at the armhole. This is the second knit top in a sheer fabric on which I use french seams and I like the extra weight it gives to the seam areas.
However, this project seem to have been cursed in some way.
First of all I had a great deal of headache over the sheer fabric. I had a hard time finding a seam length, pressure foot pressure and thread tension that would make the seam rip the fabric. Also I found out the hard way that if I made mistakes – well off course I do – I had a hard time unpicking the erroneous seams without ripping the fabric. I used white thread and the seam crossed the white stripes it was impossible to see what were the seam and what was the mesh of the fabric. I actually had to take in the top of the front seam 1-2 cm to cover a rip in the fabric right there.
Secondly, I accidentally melted the lower part of one of the sleeves with my iron while pressing. I had pressed part of the top the day before without a pressing cloth but then suddenly the fabric decided not to take heat anymore. As a result of this I had to reduce the length of the sleeves with about 10 cm.
Thirdly, the fact that the fabric has one way stretch instead of two-way stretch posed some problems. There is stretch in the fabric parallel to the stripes but perpendicular to them the fabric doesn’t have any give. That the fabric curves from the shoulders to the center front means that the upper parts of the front of the top doesn’t have any stretch at all and therefore doesn’t adjust to the curves of my body. Even though I am not that large busted it looks like the top is neer to pop in that area. This is further enhanced by the damage on the fabric from the seams. I blame myself. I should have been able to figure this one out beforehand.
Fourthly, the curved stripes which were to look so interesting instead looks ridiculous. I like my clothes to be flattering on me enhancing some parts but minimizing the appearance of others, like the midriff. What this top does is instead to enhance the midriff and create the appearance of a (more) flabby stomach. I think the stripes work like the lines of a map indicating the slope of a mountain. That is, indicating bulge. Not good across the stomach.
I decided to wear the top today but mostly covered by a cardigan. The conclusion from wearing it today was that the top is also not comfortable because of the stiffness over the shoulders and chest and it tended to twist to one side.
So, I think the top is a fail and I will not be using it. But what did I learn from the experience? Three things learned I think is plenty:
- I got the opportunity to practice sewing in sheer fabric and to sew french seams.
- I learned to avoid one way stretch.
- I got a confirmation on something I already know – that simpler, less fussy designs look good on me.
That said, I do have about 2,5 meters of the same fabric but in white and light blue in my stash. What should I do with it? Is there any hope for it?
Happy sewing everyone!