Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Floral heaven!

Well, what can I say? I rushed off to the fabric shop last Saturday, as I warned you I would, and rummaged round the bamboo fabrics. They're all plain, by the way, I've never come across a patterned bamboo fabric before. If anybody knows of any, let me know!

So, anyway, there I am rummaging around the bamboo and going into the nearby jersey fabrics when I spied this lovely floral patterned jersey. That was it! It's got all my favourite colours in it...and it goes with black! It's the perfect patterned fabric. Also, at £12 a metre a new top would be mine for £18. I know other sewists like to get a bargain, and I do too, but I just haven't come across any places in Edinburgh I can get cheap fabrics. I think you just have to think about the cost of buying something like this RTW and £18 for fabric still makes a cheap top in my opinion. Part of the reason for me taking up sewing again was becoming really fed up at the cheaper quality fabrics used in RTW clothing that just didn't survive three months of moderate wearing and washing. I'll stop my ranting now and get back to the flowers!

 So, this fabric is cotton with 3% spandex which gives it a
 nice stretch, but not too much, if you know what I mean. I haven't pre-washed it which could be a big mistake but I only yesterday found out about the importance of pre-washing jersey fabrics. This could be the only photographic evidence I ever have of me wearing it!

I used my trusty Favourite Pattern Ever, New Look 6216. I made view A and added 2" to the body length. Just like my cream bamboo top, I cut a size 14 for the top part and then tried graduating to a size 12 for the waist and hips. These areas are too big for me with the cream bamboo top. Now, for the sleeves I thought I'd simply make the sleeves as long as I could get them as there's plenty of fabric width in this 150cm wide fabric. So, I ended up lengthening the sleeves by 10cm and also cutting to the end of the sleeve, where the size 16 sleeve length cutting line is. All I was intending to do was to have longer three quarter length sleeves but happy accident...I ended up with long sleeves. Hurray!!! (Warning: impending)...and here it is...even in winter you can't buy a long sleeved top. They all have three quarter length sleeves, or in my case, just-below-the-elbow-length. My arms get cold! (rant over).

 This New look pattern has dolman sleeves as you can see from this photo. This makes for fast cutting out and sewing up as the front and back are both cut on the fold and there are no separate sleeves. There is a neck band, so all in, there are only three pattern pieces. I cut out and sewed the top within 3 hours last Saturday afternoon and wore it to the theatre on Saturday night. In the grand tradition of a lot of what I wear, it's now been worn and is now waiting to be washed. Result!
 I was also able to use my twin needle for jersey fabrics again. Here's a close-up of the neck band and double row of top stitching which you can't really see among all those flowers.

The one thing about sewing with a twin needle, though, is that you have to have three sources of thread- two on top of the machine (see photo below) and the bobbin underneath. I'd just spent a small fortune buying a large reel of black thread so didn't want to buy another one just yet. So I wound some onto another empty metal bobbin and put it on the top of my machine. I wasn't sure if the bobbin was too lightweight and would simply jump off when the sewing
started but it was as good as gold and behaved itself perfectly. So I thought I'd take a photo and show you my set up. The twin needle is great and gives a good professional finish to the garment...just take a bit of time to go slow and steady and use a long stitch, on my machine that's a 4 which is the longest stitch it does.

So, all in all, a definite success!

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