Friday, June 26, 2009

NL6163: Kindergarten Lessons

Although I finished this top over a week ago, I debated about doing this post. I've decided that I need to record my experience with this shell for myself anyway. I doubt it, but I may just warn somebody else. Here's the top:

Here's the back view:

I think that this is an o.k top. Certainly the fit needs some tweeks. I could have had a fabulous blouse. Here I thought that I was ready for the 3rd grade in my sewing education and I forgot some basics from kindergarten.
1. Listen to the fabric. I originally planned this fabric for another blouse. As hard I tried, I couldn't fit the pattern pieces on this piece of fabric. So, What did I say: Fabric, there's not enough of you for this blouse. I'll have to make this blouse out of this other fabric. You'll have to be this shell. The fabric said it didn't want to be that shell and, without thinking, I said "yes, you will". Now, I never would have talked to my children that way. I would hope that lightening would strike me if I ever said another child can have what one child wants, but he(she) can't. I would have tried to redirect the child's attention or talk about possible alternatives - just wouldn't have said "no way". How could I treat my beloved fabric this way? No wonder this fabric misbehaved. If you think that I am nuts, you are right. At the same time, I've never met (or read sewing blog or book) a sewer who I respected who didn't talk about what the fabric wants or, at least, the feel of a fabric for a particular pattern. As I was hemming this shell, I remembered that I had some orange fabric that would work beautifully for the sleeves. I could have added some trim or binding to tie in the color. There are always alternatives - I just didn't pay attention to what the fabric was saying. No wonder it misbehaved!!!
2. After making a pattern, write the corrections for next time on the instruction sheet - at the top and in red. The best thing to do is make the corrections before filing the pattern away, but that doesn't happen often for me. I made this pattern before. It fit nicely in a drapey rayon. I did have trouble with the facing fitting. I usually have to redraft the shoulders and armscye which means drawing new facing patterns. Last time I made it the facing didn't quite fit. I was able to deal with it all right because that fabric eased well. My medium weight cotton didn't ease at all - it just pulled and puckered. I found my note on a piece of paper that got stuck in one of the pattern pieces. (A lot of good that did!)
3. Never ASSUME that pattern pieces will fit together after making alterations (true for new patterns that aren't altered, too). Check them. If I had taken 5 minutes to check those facing pieces, I would have known that I had to redraft them.
4. When something is a mess, don't panic. Think of alternative solutions and how they will look on the garment. Sooo, what did I do about those pulling, puckering facings? They were drafted in one piece with the neckline and armscye in one piece. I simply cut them apart and had little, tiny facing. They were a struggle to get pressed and sewed down - even with topstitching. Certainly, the look is not very polished and professional. It would have taken less time to rip the facing off and sew binding at the neckline and armholes. I didn't have enough fabric to cut new facing but I did have enough to do binding which would have worked better on this top. Another alternative would have been to cut facings from another fabric. This blouse should have had binding from the beginning. I just didn't think. I was to busy fighting with the fabric (see #1).
Actually, the fabric is happier now that it met the orange pants. They are quite happy together. At least I learned a lot from this experience. I actually believe I will remember these lesson that I relearned the hard way.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Love your post! It made my day. I needed a good laugh today. Thanks so much!!!!!