Winter Tops: But That’s not all

***edited 20101227 to add photo of scarf******

Not at all. Wednesday was very productive. Granted DH’s shirt didn’t take all that long to finish I had hems, cuffs 11 buttonholes and buttons to finish. Even though I proceeded slowly and carefully, I was done within any hour and still had plenty of sewing time that afternoon.

I turned next to a square of silk found whilst refolding. This was a large square purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics last year.


As a matter of fact I purchased 3 of the most gossamer silks that time; each one a work of art on their own. When they arrived in the mail, DH asked if I was going into the silk business. But no, see these hark back to my summer tanning “problem”. I’m the one who spends 2 hours in the sun and then hides out in the house for 2 weeks with 2nd degree sunburns. At my age I no longer attempt to tan; I concentrate on NOT burning. A layer of fabric is very effective at preventing sunburn. Think about it. Did you burn where your bathing suit straps were? But in the summer, out doors, you know without air conditioning, I don’t want to wear a ski suit. I don’t need to. Even the lightest layer will prevent a severe sun burn. Even the lightest, most gossamer silk. Hence, 3 silks last spring. Except I goofed. The blue had lots of yardage available. I bought 2 yards and completed Butterick 5355 immediately. Oh and its a keeper. Beautiful drape. Really pretty on me. The other 2 cuts however were “last yards” Very wide (66 inches) but the last yard. I know I can use a single yard to make a garment; especially a summer garment. So I bought these last yards and discovered that one was 48″ long and the other 66. Which made me think. I’m now getting into enough yardage to do something with. But they sat in the stash while I was thinking. When I refolded this one (sorry no pic). I decided I could use it temporarily as a scarf. This is not it’s final iteration, hence no photo, but is only intended to give me time to play and enjoy the fabric. I used a very very ease finish. To the  selvage edges, I did nothing. The other 2 edges, I trimmed with my pinking rotary blade and then stitched close to the edge with a 1.6 double needle. I don’t know if Ruby didn’t like the twin needle or the nasty thread, but this was the first fight I’ve had with her. OK, I’ve noticed before that she’s not found of cheap serger thread. But I’ve never had to fight to keep a straight stitch stitching. It could be the entire combination: silk, 1.6 double needle and nasty thread, was just too much. Even my Bernina 1630 wouldn’t have cared much for it. But I chose this because the pinked edge then neatly folded to the back, as if hand-roll hemmed. And despite the fact that I sewed slowly, the entire process from laying out to declaring TA DA DONE was less than 30 minutes. Still time to sew, eh?

Well the answer to that was cutting. I pulled out Vogue 8323 and cut View B. This is very similar to the famous Burda Sept 2010, 129 pattern. There are significant differences. This is a princess line, Burda’s is not. This is a tall, tall turtle neck. Burda’s Turtle neck is rather pedestrian in comparison. But this is Vogue and that was Burda. I also cut View C, the scoop neck, but I cut the scoop higher. This is winter. I’m always amazed that the designers post chest baring garments with long sleeves (and sleeveless dresses) in the winter. Hello out there. When we want to be warm, we want to be warm everywhere. In the winter we want. to. be. warm. OK I know my Australian friends probably do appreciate the cool looks while I’m desiring warmth. But even they’ve got to admit that navel exposing tops and long sleeves aren’t really compatible weather-wise. But onward; because once I started cutting, I needed to follow through on my ideas.

This time, I pulled out a sketch book. I started making a quick sketch of what I wanted to sew, added pattern number, and a snippet of fabric. When I was completing my review of 2010, I wished for a better record of all that I’d sewn. I’ve been contemplating how to accomplish that. It needs to be easy and disposable. (I’m not making this for prosperity); and can’t take much room. It occurred to me that while using the sketch book idea, I could also make notes of plans for the individual garments. Er, this is I confess  another issue of mine. I tend to have cutting frenzies. The ideas just flow and I cut as fast as I can trying to capture the ideas. Trouble is that a few weeks later when the cut pieces are hanging in the closet queue, I don’t remember the original inspiration. The final garment may have little resemblance to my inspiration, strictly because I don’t remember the inspiration, at the time I’m sewing. Son of a gun, I will remember it a few wearings later. I’m hoping that by making the quick sketches and a few notes that the inspiration will stay with me.

So on to cutting because I also cut. Vogue 8616  the blue view using  a light grey blue single knit; and Pamelas Pattern 103 in a beautiful dark chocolate brown fabric. I was a little short on the chocolate fabric. I needed 1-1/3 yards and I had 1 yard and 4 inches. PP103 works, even with the long sleeves (and I plans for the scraps). The chocolate fabric is intersting.  It is two layers of very thin single knit attached like double-gauze.  It’s not a woven fabric.  it is clearly a knit fabric. Oh and it has a micro-thin white horizontal line on one side only. Very interesting.  I just had to have a way to use it.

Yes I planned 4-5 tops and I’ve now cut 4. My mojo has really taken off. I could have cut many more but decided to wait and see how far and how fast I get with these 4. Don’t forget, I also had to do alterations on these patterns. Except for PP103, I compared each pattern to PP104. The Vogue B cups, Size 14 seem to be fine across the shoulders and chest, but lack ease in the hips; and of course every one of them needed to be petited above the waist. Oh and then again above the hips. These were almost tunic length. I shortened them to a more flattering length for me. Got to tell you, my Sewing MOJO is at an all time high. I’m positively excited about the cut projects.