More Feb sewing

I did not get pictures of the next blouse.  It turned into a prototype although originally I meant it to be in my wardrobe for several years.  I used Vogue 8248

I think this pattern will be a gem.  First it’s made simple because of the cut on dolman sleeves.  The sleeves are shown in 2 lengths, but how easy it would be to change the length.  Leave off the cuff and you have bracelet.  Cut somewhere between 1/4 and full length and you have either elbow or 3/4 length sleeves. Want cap sleeves?  Wack off close to the armscye.  The cuffs are easy to sew on and could be changed up for several different versions. Also the sleeve has a tuck into the cuff which could be changed to a dart or removed entirely.  I rather like the tuck.  But I also like the variety that this offers.

Being dolman doesn’t mean being shapeless.  It has a 4 darts plus the back seam. I can see a version without the back seam. But you would lose some shaping.  It’s one of those things that you do, but know that in so doing the shape will be slightly different.  If I should decide to eliminate the back seam, I might also want to lessen or eliminate darts. It’s a choice. A slightly different look.  Being as I will always be wearing the prototype under a vest, I could have skipped back seam and darts making it that much faster to sew.  I did not however.  I made every detail. Because my thinking was to fit this now and understand it’s engineering and structure.  I can see suddenly wanting a coverup in the summer. What to do?  Well this blouse, since it is already fit, could be cut and sewn in an hour or 2.

Yes an hour or two, but I might have to skip the collars.  Maybe not, because those collars offer 2 looks, OK 3.  Notch collar, banded collar and collarless.  I can easily see minor reshaping to the collar and lapel. Simple rounding of the points or even enlarging the collar or lapel points.  I can see reshaping the front from the collarless, round neck to collarless V neck and then drafting collars to fit the V neck.  Yes this pattern excites me. I can see so many possibilites with just the shapes.

I apologize that I have no pictures and I’m not up to taking pictures today. Today I’m trying to talk myself into staying up and moving about and so I’m limited to describing the completed blouse.  I constructed my blouse from a mint aqua cotton/poly blend.  I would have called it lawn, but there is poly content.  I was quite excited about the possiblities of using this blouse as a canvas.  With a bright color or print, it can stand on as it own.  But I love embellishment and saw this as a perfect opportunity.  I chose the color to work with my NL6538 vest

Knowing the blouse was going to be worn beneath the vest, gave me free license to embellish as much as I wanted.  I chose to use up some of the bias strips lurking in my stash of trims. I had two colors of 1″ bias that were close, but limited quantites.  I used the one least matching to do my trials.  I experimented with several stitches built into my HV Ruby and selected one.  Then I stitched nearly 3 yards of bias with this one stitch.

Well not before spending some time choosing stabilisers.  I’ve found that it’s not your machine that counts or the stitch or even the digitizer that determines the success of your project.  It’s the stabiliser.  If you want decorative stitching that lies flat or floats slightly about the surface of your fabric, you must have a good stabiliser.  I’ve got some MeltNGone that I keep trying to figure out how to use.  I was excited upon reading about this new product, but apprehensive as soon as it arrived.  Frankly it’s plasticie. Like the plastic used for food wrap only heavier.  Many moons ago, when we didn’t have all the wonder commercial stabiliser, the internet was on fire with the many at home trials and uses.  Lunch bags was one of those trials.  I admit that they did their job well, but their removal was a problem.  Tearing seemed to tear the stitches. Melting left gunk on your iron.  Did I want to use this plastic stuff just because it was commerically available?  I didn’t want gunk on my iron so I tried melting it with a paper towel on top.  Didn’t work.  Tried that at my clam-shell press.  Well it worked better but clearly this was plastic.  When I lifted the lid the plastic stretched like taffy. Oh yuck!  Did I want this anywhere near any of my irons?  I finally worked out a compromise.  Heating the stabiliser slightly so it would pull away easily then taking the rest to the clam-shell press to finish melting it away.  That’s a long process. But it will use up the rolls I have.  Rolls? Yes well, I ordered from one company who ignored my “fill or kill” and sent me back order status “delivery date undetermined”.  So I ordered from a 2nd company who said it was in stock. Oh darn they ran out just before they filled my order and sent me back order status. The first company, having decided I couldn’t possibly really mean “fill or kill” sent me a roll about 2 weeks later (Oh and charged my credit card too).  The 2nd company was so sorry about their mistake that 2 days after I received the killed order from the first company, the 2nd company sent me 2 rolls for the price of one. I have 3 rolls of this disgusting stuff and I’m out about $60 (including shipping). So I’m determined to find ways in which it can be used. But I sincerely doubt I will be re-ordering, ever.

I don’t have pics of the blouse, but I do have a pic of my samples. I hope you can imagine the finished blouse from this:


The aqua fabric is slightly on the green side and the final bias is exactly the same color.  I was quite pleased to be able to use 2 strands of poly embroidery thread.  I had to change to a size 14 needle.  Otherwise the needle eye was just too small and kept snagging the thread.  With the larger needle, both strands laid beautifully.

My blouse has an old fashioned charm to it.  I’m fairly pleased with it.  So why did I say it was a prototype? Well the bias tape stretched during pressing.  For the life of me I could not press it back into place and so it curves from time to time instead of being straight as a ribbon down the front of my blouse.  I banded each side of the bias with 2 rows of pearl stitches. I followed the bias edge, so of course the pearl stitches curve from time to time.  I think the only solution is to use ribbon instead of bias tape. Oh my gosh, that’s why you always see decorated ribbons and not decorated bias.  Ya think? But I wanted to use some of the trims in my stash.  I didn’t have coordinating ribbon. I had coordinating bias.  In the same circumstances, in the future, I’d make the same choice.  The 2nd fix might be to dip the bias in liquid starch and let dry before handling.  Unfortunately, I’m having a problem finding liquid starch.  I can find a few cans of spray starch.  But for the most part, liquid starch is just not used and not available. Any suggestions?  (I’m in the U.S. foreign solutions while interesting aren’t likely to be implemented.)

Another reason for this being a prototype is the interfacing.  I like to support the local businesses as much as possible.  My local fabric store is like 90 miles away.  I asked for a light interfacing and was given my choice of a kind of firm tricot (fusible) or a non-woven tissue thin something.   I choose the tricot.  Either would have been a mistake.  I’ve used that tissue stuff before.  In about a years time it shredded inside the garment. Besides the holes being viewable, there were also lumps. The tricot that I used this time, bubbled.  It would not adhere properly.  Please don’t suggest preshrinking.  I did that.  I’m telling you that it came out of the clam-shell press bubbled and not attaching.  It’s more like the glue was not evenly applied.  I would have been better off with something that was not fusible.  Because after the clam shell press, I carefully steamed and pressed again with my Rowenta steam generating iron.  My Rowenta works beautifully with fusbiles, it just takes longer than the press.  After a session with the Rowenta, I thought I had the problem solved.  However this garment had many markings as I chalked placements lines for the bias and surrounding colums of straight stitching.  The blouse needed laundering before wear.  Which I did. Out of the dryer, the interfacing was again bubbled.  I havent decided whether to keep this for craft projects or just toss completely.  Because as usual, I bought 5 yards.  That like kissing a $20 bill good bye and dropping it down the sewage.  Just not sure I can do that. OTOH, I’m not using this for garments period. Crafting? Where can I use a bubbling interfacing in crafting so it doesn’t show?   ???    ???    ???

Oh Oh I accidentally took a pic of the blouse.  Now the pic is not really good, but I think it’s a better representation of the blouse than the samples.  Hope you like:



Just a quick note on 2 other projects completed.  The blouse above was completed Feb 6th. I completed a new clothes hamper liner on Feb 11.  Actually, it’s the prototype but I’m pretty pleased with it.  And yesterday Feb 12, I completed the 2nd pair of leggings from KS3661.  I made the crotch changes previously noted as being need. But guess what?  I found the perfect fabric for these leggings burried in my stash and I have about 5 yards or more.  Which is good.  Because the perfect fabric is an ITY or RPL (forget which) and very stretchy.  The 2nd leggings but first of this fabric should have been made in at least a size smaller.  There is that much stretch.  Am I going to wear or toss these?  Wear of course.  These are underwear, not true leggings.  I’m using these more as long johns for winter warmth.  They’ll be warm if they were 3 sizes too big.