2010 Autumn 6PAC: Blouse 2

2010 Autumn 6 PAC Sewing Progress Update

  1.  Skirt or trousers (neutral): FINISHED Aug 3, Grey Trousers ,JSM
  2.  Blouse 1 to match FINISHED August 9, Grey Knit Henley, Pamela’s Patterns 104
  3.  Blouse 2 to complement FINISHED Aug 14. Aurora poly/cotton knit, Pamela’s 104
  4.  Blouse 3 to complement NO PROGRESS
  5.  Layering top/cardigan (to match skirt/trousers) : FINISHED Aug 7 grey Slinky Kwik Sew 3496
  6.  Jacket (co-ordinating neutral): FINISHED July 31, paisley jacket Butterick 5472 I have a confession.

I’m not pleased with the final top. Oh Pam’s Patterns fit every bit as well as always. But I had wanted to duplicate my inspiration garment:


 changing only sleeve length from short to long. I thought it would be a simple matter to make those ruffles. Those most attractive small ruffles. How wrong I was.

The fabric itself was uncooperative. It is a lightweight poly/cotton 1×1 knit. One of the nicest things about this fabric is that it has no right or wrong side. Secondly, it has lots of stretch – the better to accommodate my bodily curves or sewing mistakes. Thirdly, it’s light weight which is excellent for autumn. I may need to wear an even lighter weight camisole underneath, the better not to display my other undergarments. But it also tended to deflect the needle, the ball point needle size 12, 10 or 8. While not too bad when running through the serger for the rolled-edge finish, it was horrendous for both the ruffling foot and the shirring/gathering foot. The shirring/gathering foot refused to work. Repeatedly the fabric was pushed down into the SM throat no matter the needle size, the stitch length or width, or the throat plate in use. Short of gathering by hand, the ruffler set on 1 with length 4 was the only way that was remotely successful. Even then, it would not work with any strip less than 1.5″. I tried 3/4″, 1″, 1.25″. 1.5″ was as narrow as the ruffler could process this fabric. I realize I still have a mental problem. I paid so much for my machine, a Bernina 1630 and for the software; AND for all the various feet, that I feel it is imperative I do everything my machine. “Hand” sewing is not only an objectionable word, it’s an absolute affront to my thrifty genes inherited from a long line of crafty women. I did not even try “old” fashioned methods of gathering the strips.

I also wanted to either curve or miter the ruffle ends. Not possible and I tried. I won’t list the ways, I tried. Please just believe me, I TRIED. I finally accepted folding the ends 1/4″ twice, stitch straight across the bottoms and then stitch to the garment. It was the knit fabric that created these limitations.  These teeth knashing, lip snarling, turn-up-the-radio-so-we-can’t-hear-what-mom-is-saying limitations.

The one really nice thing, for me, I was able to use one of my decorative stitches


instead of a straight or zig-zag stitch when attaching the ruffle to the front of the top.

Since I couldn’t duplicate the path of the ruffles, I planned to at least make more surrounding the neckline. But I reached the grand total of 5 rows before the left side of my brain said “WHOA”. I took a step back. Looked. Squinted and looked again. Stepped left and then right and finally said “WHOA is right”. 5 rows was enough, this top, this fabric, this time.

Pamela’s Pattern 104 is a fabulous nearly classic T-shirt top. I continued the sewing and had only 1 glitch at the sleeve. I had adjusted the pattern so that the sleeve will end at my wrist, but I failed to adjust to allow for the extra ease the hem would require. I tried sewing it up anyway, promising myself that I would alter the pattern for future use. Did NOT work. In total frustration I left the whole mess overnight. This morning, I cut off 2″ (1″ sleeve 1″ hem) and replaced with a self-fabric ribbing.


This looks terrific, except that I’m still stretching the hem, I believe either as I’m pressing the hem up or applying the interfacing I am somehow stretching the garment at the hem. I loved the curved edge hem. I do need to alter the pattern so that I have a choice of curved edge or straight. But most importantly, I need to find out what I’m doing that is stretching that hem. It’ me. I know it is. I’ve used this pattern for at least 2 years without the problem at the hem. Somehow in the last 6 months I’ve started doing something just slightly different that causes the hem to stretch.

I posted the summary of my 2010 Autumn 6 PAC progress above. I am considering my final piece (Blouse 3), but I won’t disclose my thoughts until my next post. For now, while I’m not totally happy with this finished T, I do have a totally wearable, flattering top, which I can be happy with and proud of.


About those 3 Pics in the Right Hand Column, nearly at the top

I find myself once again, short on storage space. I have accumulated far too many patterns.  Looking through them, I know I will never use some of the patterns I paid good, really good money for.  I sometimes wonder, “Why do I buy patterns I’m unlikely to use?”  Whatever my problem is that causes buying patterns, I now have a need to find new homes for a bunch of patterns.  The first patterns I’m offering are all pants, or patterns I purchased for the specific pant pattern.  I’m letting go of these because I’m really really delighted with my JSM pattern.  I’m going back to my January 2010 desire to locate basic patterns and then morph design details onto the already perfectly fitting TNT pattern.   I’m starting with PANTS. Why?  Well because it has been very very difficult for me to locate patterns with acceptable fit.  Even my DH says, “you have a weird body”.   So I’m inclined to believe that most of the patterns are without fault.  The fitting fault lies in my ignorance of exactly what is wrong  what is different between my body and “the norms”.  In other words, I don’t think the patterns are bad, I think I don’t have enough experience or knowledge to fine tune the fit.  My plan is to take my JSM pattern and Trudy Jansens “Have A Fit” book to create pants which fit me and are trendy.  Rather than throw away the other patterns (in which I’ve invested lots of $$$), I’m going to offer the pattern to my blog readers first and later on the patterns will appear on Ebay.  The price I’m asking will include postage.  I prefer personal check for payment.  As always, I will advise the date I recieve payment and the date I mail the pattern.  I estimate there are about 12 patterns that will be available.  Please, if you might use them, please take them.