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A tricky little top

February 26, 2011

Introducing Look #2!

This outfit consists of three pieces – skirt, top, vest.

The skirt is the piece that started it all. It was just a quick piece I whipped together in under an hour, with some fabric I had lying around, because I needed a bottom to go with a jacket for a fashion shoot I was styling (you can see the photos of this shoot in my Time for a fresh start post). So many people loved it and were asking where they could get one, I knew I needed to start a collection around it, so here we are!

The top is what I’ve been working on the past couple days and it’s been giving me grief. The pattern took me practically no time, so I assumed it would be easy. First of all, this is a nice and light double layered camisole set to be made with a white chiffon layer over a coral bemberg under-layer. My first attempt wouldn’t even pull over my judy’s bust, since I foolishly cut it on straight grain – wovens don’t stretch – Duh! I was able to carefully wriggle into it though, so I could check the shaping of the neckline and armholes, so not a total loss.

Quickly re-cut another test on bias, which made it a tad trickier to sew but it slipped on beautifully! The cut was gorgeous, just a little adjustment of removing some excess, no biggie. I pinned ribbon to the shoulders to find the right strap length then was good to go to make my pattern adjustments.

I went ahead and began making the sample in the actual fabric, confident the pattern was fine, but wanting to see how these fabrics would react to the finishing methods I was planning to use. I French seamed everything, because even though it’s tedious, it just looks well made and more expensive. Another tedious, yet expensive looking finish I used was baby hem on the chiffon. My original plan was to avoid this time consuming hem and use the fine baby serge setting on my serger. I’ve used this setting on many fine fabrics, including chiffon, with great results – unfortunately, this time around, the chiffon was just too fine and delicate that I should have used a very fine silk thread (which I don’t have) to achieve the look I wanted. This is how it turned out…

Eeeeek! So, I trimmed it off and continued with the good ol’ fashioned baby hem and it’s soooooo much better.

I bought a new attachment for my sewing machine so I would be able to finish the armhole the way I wanted. I bought a binding attachment that screws on to my sewing machine and lines up infront of the presser foot, so I can feed long strips of bias cut fabric through the attachment and it folds it up and feeds under the presser foot to be stitched down into binding – glorious! As wonderful as this little attachment is, it’s a bit finicky and I had to spend a lot of time testing it out to get the hang of it.

Lastly, I French seamed the neckline. This isn’t usually done and now I know why –  less control of the neckline stretching out. It doesn’t look that bad, but with all the effort I put into the other finishings of this garment, this neckline finish didn’t turn out as polished as it should be. For the final sample, a neckline facing will be my best bet.

Now it’s time for me to put this aside and get started with the vest. Fingers crossed it goes smoother than this tricky little top.

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