Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Three's a Charm

It is a warm, sunny last day of September and I am sitting on my deck with the laptop, a cup of coffee and so many things to say.  I had gotten out of the blogging habit this summer but thankfully not the sewing habit.  Since that's what most of you come here for, let's start with one of my new favorite patterns, New Look 6110.  Back in July I wanted to continue on my summer boho theme.  Turns out that I have two RTW blouses already in my closet with these exact same lines so perhaps this pattern would work out for me.  I am thrilled with the results and have a few more ideas to make this one well loved TNT pattern.  Here are my three recent versions and the adjustments that I made:

New Look 6110
This first version is from a silk georgette, long aging in my resource center.  I think it came from the Jomar store in Lansdale, PA.  I did make a mock up of this pattern  and discovered (to no one's surprise) that I needed a slight FBA, a center back seam and 1 inch added to the sleeve length...not the 2 inches that I anticipated and I narrowed the sleeve band by 1 inch.  I never regret making a mock up....but I have regretted not making one.  

When I cut out the georgette, I placed newspaper on my cutting table and then pinned the fabric and the pattern pieces to the newspaper before cutting out the georgette.  I just needed a little more stability to keep everything steady and on grain.  
Newspaper, then fashion fabirc, then pattern pieces
I sewed the vertical sleeve and body seams with french seams.  First pass, wrong sides together,  I used my 1/4" foot which also has just a single hole for the needle, making it precise all along those seams.  I trimmed the seam allowance with my sharp Ginger craft scissors and used the presser foot to hold the fabric taut for closing trimming:
The presser foot is just holding the fabric in place so I can trim the seam neatly with scissors.
Press and then stitch right sides together for a wonderful seam that is strong but totally finished inside.  Around the raglan armholes I did use my serger instead to finish that curved armscye seam.
Since I needed a FBA on the front, I transferred the side dart into more gathers along the top edge.  But that meant I had to be extra careful about making those gathers relatively even at the neckline.  I hand basted the neckline pieces onto the entire garment.  Yes, it's a bit tedious but it ensures that I don't sew and rip when I make mistakes at the machine.  Sewing my mockup taught me that I could easily get lumps and bumps along that area when I just used my machine:
Whoops, front neckline on the mockup would not be satisfactory in finished garment
Using silk thread means that it will be easy to remove.  I also used my stiletto when sewing in that area to keep those gathers even and spaced:
Basted gathers
Stiletto used at the machine
Finished neckline and shoulder gathers
I did not make functional buttonholes since this top nicely slips on over my head.  But I like the button closure so I used my handy spacing tool to decide how many buttons to add and where to sew them.  Do you have one of these tools?

Once I get a pattern to fit, then it's time to do some customizing.  My next version was from a Fabric Mart fabric.  I initially remembered it as a cotton voile but instead it was a very lightweight polished cotton.  Hmmmm, I knew it would not drape as nicely as that silk georgette so I made a change to the hemline by modifying it into a shirt hem, using a template from Louise Cutting's Perfect Shirt pattern (which I have never sewn but of course I own!)  It's a little deeper than I would have liked but still wearable.  I looked too much "mutton dressed as lamb" in this version so I needed to give it a glam it up to take it to a more designer version.  I had just merged my two bead collections from our Baltimore and former Florida home so I pulled out a variety of beads with colors from the fabric and hand beaded it like crazy.  Just random all over the neckline edge to give it a subtle but heavy bling factor.  I am thrilled with the result.  I'll be able to wash it on delicate and any beads that don't make it over time can easily be replaced since there's no special design to it.  
Beading in process....plain neckline on the left, beads started on the right.
Full beading front to back 
New look 6110, version #2
So one of these in July, one in August and I decided to do one more for the slightly cooler but still warm late summer/early fall days.  This version is from a fabulous silk cotton blend from Fabric Mart.  When I felt it, I just had to buy it.  I avoid grey but I loved the gold tone in this fabric which I think means I get to enjoy it with my blonde hair.  The drape on this one is right between the two.  Thin enough to be lightweight and yet with some body so that it doesn't cling to my no longer 1970's body.  
New Look 6110 with gold in the fabric and goldfinch feeder in the background
Auditioning the buttons for version #3
Last picture for this long overdue post will show you version #2 in action....and give you a clue as to what else I have been doing this summer.  Lucky the rescue dog and I are now certified as Pets on Wheels visitors.  We've started making visits to a nearby assisted facility and a local library branch where young readers can sign up to "read to a dog" for practice.  He's a friendly, frisky guy and puts a smile on every one's face.  Next post, some more new garments and more late (not late-breaking) news about summer at our place.  
We both passed!  Lucky and I are Pets on Wheels visitors.
Waiting for someone to read this book to me.
Here to bring some cheer....