Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fear Fabric Challenge!

Beth at 110 Creations decided that for the month of October, she would host a challenge for us sewers to conquer a fabric fear! A few of us signed up and here we are at the end of the month...and it's reveal time!

Beth decided she would work with brocade, Andrea of Four Square Walls decided to work with lace and Sally of The Quirky Peach decided to work with leather.

I decided to conquer my fear of the slipperiness that is charmeuse. In this case, polyester charmeuse. When I first started sewing, I went to Hancock and bought all manner of fabric that caught my eye. Several poly charmeuse prints were on that list. One day, I pulled out one of my "pretty" fabrics and oh. my. goodness. I hadn't been armed with tips and tricks for sewing slippery fabrics and quickly got frustrated. I've avoided the stuff ever since.

For this challenge, I worked with a pretty floral fabric with tones of purples that would compliment my mini wardrobe (more on that tomorrow). The pattern I chose was one that caught my eye when the new Buttericks were released. I only wanted the top! But, with $1 (or so) pattern sales; it's quite alright to buy a full wardrobe pattern for one piece! :)

Line Art

Even the pattern photo is cute!


So I was going to channel my fear into producing one cute top. And, it does look like the pattern photo - I need to work on my gathering skills still and yep, it hits the model about where it hits me. But I think it's a tiny bit too short!

(I could only get photos in the cave -aka- the sewing room)
The elastic wants to roll and I think the answer to that is sewing the casing in place so that it stays put. This pattern is drafted nicely I think, other than the somewhat short flounce. I cut a straight 14 and did a 1/2" narrow shoulder adjustment. Normally on tops I'd grade out to a 16 for the bust/waist but didn't on this one. I figured it was blousy enough for the bust and that the waist would also be accommodated by the elastic - I was right! Otherwise, the only other adjustment I made to the pattern was to exclude the lining. I wasn't sure if it was going to work and decided not to line it.
I'm not sold on the top 100% yet, but I think it looks pretty cute under my knit jacket:
So, how did I tame this slippery beast?
I'd posted on PR a long while back asking for help and got loads of good tips. Right around the time the challenge was announced, someone revived the thread (THANK YOU!).
*I washed my fabric and dried it
*I laid out a comforter (I have hardwood floors) and, with the fabric wrong side up, I starched the fabric very well. I used two light layers of starch to ensure it was coated. (I tested a swatch first to ensure the starch would wash out okay.
*Before the fabric stiffened, I folded it right sides together and weighted down the fold (I could have just cut my pieces single layer, but this worked out okay this time)
*When I got ready to cut, I laid down a couple of sheets of tissue paper (like regular Dollar store tissue paper for gift bags) and placed the fabric over top.
 *After sewing, I ran the top through a wash to remove the starch. The drape was restored.
With this method I had NO problems cutting or sewing the fabric and all the starch washed out.
***However, I tried this method on a different fabric WITHOUT testing it first and the starch did not wash out. So be sure to test it first.***

Since I didn't line the top, I used bias binding on the neckline and will do the same with the arm bands. I'm also thinking I should experiment some with doing a rolled hem on my serger. I used 3/8" elastic in the casing.

I LOVE the print and the colors and will likely wear it at least once to ensure I don't hate it :) I am already thinking of cutting another silky fabric for a top - it's a cool black & hot pink chevron print - so I'd say, the fear has been conquered!

Be sure to check out the other amazing bloggers on their Fear Fabric Challenge garment!

1 comment:

  1. Definitively saving these tips for later! Maybe now I'll be brave enough to try one of those beautiful "simply silky" prints at Jo-Ann's!


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