06 June 2007

The Nice Thing About Sewing Is You Can Make Mistakes More Quickly

You know how it is when you're picking out a pattern to make. You look over the possibilities, you see what looks cute, you see what you think you have the ability to make (for the record, I ALWAYS assume I can make any knitting pattern; I figure I can sew well enough for about 50% of sewing patterns, and there's another 25% that I don't sew well enough to make but give it a whirl anyway because who knows, maybe I'll get lucky), you see what others have to say about using the pattern, and, most importantly, you ponder whether or not that would actually look good on you.

Except sometimes in all of the excitement I forget that last one about whether something would look good on me.

This t-shirt is from Ottobre Woman 2/2007, design #4 (yes, the one on the cover). It's out of the minty yellow bamboo cotton spandex from Sewzanne's.

I cut it out right after Easter, thinking it could be a Project Spectrum sewing project, since green was one of the colors for April and May. Except then we had out-of-town company, so it got put away. And wasn't brought out again until last week.

Once I got going on it, though, it went together quickly. Really, it just flew together. And you should see that 2-thread overlock blind hem on the bottom -- it's so perfect it takes my breath away. I SEWED THAT HEM! Myself! And it looks so good!

Well, really, everything hummed along just hunky dory until I got to the sleeves. Putting that elastic in the bottom of the sleeves was a disaster. Ottobre wants you to finish off the edge, appy the elastic directly to the sleeve, flip it up and sew it. I've done this before on other items, but for some reason it wasn't working with this fabric and pattern. There are people who could tell me exactly why this happened (they are known as Better Seamstresses Than I Am), but they weren't hanging around the house to give me advice. So I eventually just sewed a casement and threaded the elastic through.

It was while I was messing and gomming with the elastic (which I put in at least 3 times before I got it out; and, yes, that means I also had to tediously pick it back out that many times) that I had my first inkling that I had maybe made a mistake in the entire concept of this top. Specifically, my 11 year old came into the room while I was trying on my latest rendition, one sleeve elasticized and one sleeve still hanging loose, and commented, "the elastic bottom looks better with the style of the rest of the shirt, but you'd look better with a lettuce-edge on that sleeve." (She's a designer-in-the-making, I think).

Umm, yeah, thanks for the vote of confidence. Too bad she's right.

I perservered, got it done (more or less), and modelled for MrV, who commented, "you know, that neckline really isn't the best for you." Which is true, sigh, since where other women have cleavage revealed by decolletage I have an anatomy lesson on how the sternum connects to the clavicle and ribs. In a too-low neckline.

So, overall, I'm thinking I won't be making this top again, at least not with this neckline. Maybe I'll draft a new neckling. And the puff sleeves are so very much Not Me -- my daughter was right about that.

On the other hand, I'll keep wearing this one, if for no other reason than I enjoy looking at the hem.

The bamboo cotton spandex is a nice fabric, by the way. I took this picture after mowing the lawn then lifting weights. It stayed cool and comfortable, a nice light layer, through all of that.

On the bright side, if I had knit something like this it would've taken hours and hours and hours, and the yarn would've cost more than the fabric did, and it still would've looked so-so. And it wouldn't have had the kickass hem at the bottom. I made that hem, did I mention that? It's a really nice hem.


mermaids said...

i think the neckline looks great. i am not among the "well endowed" either and that is why i like this top. the gathers soften the neckline. here is a link to my version: http://mermaids.wordpress.com/2007/03/11/gather-ye-rosebuds-while-ye-may/

i didn't do the puffed sleeves because i thought it might look to "little girl" on my petite frame. i used the plain short sleeve from the other tee in the issue.


GailV said...

For the record, Teri, you are my sewing idol. I'm giddy that you even commented on this top.

Y'all, get over to her blog and look at her stuff. That's REAL sewing.