Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wearing my SWAP

This is me yesterday on my way to class wearing shirt #5 of my SWAP and bottom #2. Or, in pattern numbers, New Look 6785 and Simplicity 3754. I really love my new black top and it wasn't hard to make at all. The pattern went together really smoothly with just the fabric itself tripping me up - it's rough crinkle cotton from Joann's and I've certainly learned a lot. The first being that while it said 45" on the bolt, that's before the crinkle process. Afterwards it's a lot less which makes a cutting layout fun. I could have ironed it out flat and cut but that would have made for some interesting distortions at the seams so I just went with the crinkle, cutting slowly and figuring any mistakes would be hidden in the fabric itself.

To keep the crinkle from uncrinkling as I sewed (since machines, by nature, really like fabric flat as it feeds) I started by with the collar since that was interfaced. First basted collar back to interfacing, keeping the fabric on the bottom as I sewed and letting the feed dogs do their thing and ease that bottom layer to fit the interfacing, and then I sewed the outside collar to the interfaced inside, again letting the feed dogs ease in the new fabric just enough to fit it. Next sewed the front and back pieces to the sleeves, going slow and decreasing the pressure on my presser foot to keep from stretching out the fabric more than absolutely necessary. Serged the seams to finish them. From there sewed the body of the dress to the neckline (treating all three layers of the neckline as one - no fussy sewing of the top layer then turning over and handsewing for this dress - it's too casual for that) and then, once I happy with it, serged the seam. Took a while because instead of gathering, I pleated in the front, sleeves, and back and it took a few tries to get the pleats just right.

Sewed little band to sleeves leaving 1" unfinished, serged the sides, then used that hanging 1" of sleeve band to cover over stitching and finish sleeves. Which probably doesn't make a lot of sense. Hm. Must think of better way to word that.

Serged hem, turned up and handstitched blind hem. Still deciding how I like it.

Anyway, wound up with a nice little tunic top that I really like! I'd like to make a few more, first in some gorgeous purple satin I have and then a few more breezy cotton versions though those I'd like to be closer to knee length - unfortunately, due to that whole not-really-45" thing I could only get a tunic out of this one. Oh, well. Great pattern, though, and I'm just about done with my SWAP!

And, best, I'm actually WEARING every part of my SWAP, so far. Well, except for the black sweater I didn't finish until it was already in the 70s here. But that doesn't count. Once it's cool it'll get worn too. So success!

SWAP Progress check

Top #1 - Black tee
Top #2 - Maroon Cowl
Top #3 - Purple knit top
Top #4 - Black cowl sweater
Top #5 - Black peasant blouse (this one!)
Bottom #1 - Denim skirt
Bottom #2 - Green cord
Bottom #3 - Black yoga pants
Bottom #4 - Black wool skirt

In Progress
Jacket - Black Coat (which is being a pain - seriously, I've ripped more seams out of this thing...)

To Start
Top #6 - Purple satin tunic

Sooooo close!

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