Monday, 8 March 2010

Phew, a narrowly averted UFO

Really? It's been two weeks since I last posted? Time really does seem to speed up when you get older, doesn't it? Been a busy two weeks though - we had our half yearly council rubbish collection so while my husband wasn't looking I chucked out heaps of junk from our garage and we can now fit one car in our (two and a half car) garage. Just in time too, because we've bought a new car, a station wagon to signal our recent arrival at mid-life, although my husband wasn't too keen to let his youth go and we've bought a sporty Volkswagon Passat. My lovely parents also came to stay for a few weekends to help us repair the floor in the dining room and that's all back together. Anna is still growing teeth and not sleeping at daycare so she's still spending most evenings crying and whinging instead of sleeping. And to top it all off, I'm been given the world's least fascinating project at work, writing a policy for the sustainable use of soils which is a very important issue but oh so dry.... (pardon the drought related pun there)

Anyway I did manage to finish a top that I had cut out before my overlocker went beserko. I do admit though it was only because I had publicly pledged on this blog not to create any new UFOs that I finished it at all! A combination of bad fabric choice and operator error is to blame, but the end result is passable to wear. I made this top:

using McCalls 6237, a 1960s vintage pattern that I got from Zip Zap Kap etsy seller, part of the prize I won from Sew Retro. It's a simple shell top with a bateau neckline, centre back zipper and the arm and neck facings are sewn on the clever way of lining a sleeveless sheath dress (sew back and front together at shoulders, sew the facings down, pull the back through the shoulders to the right side and then sew the side seams last of all), which is proof that despite the crappy way the Big 4 pattern company now instruct how to sew sleeveless dresses (handstitching the shoulder seams) wasn't always the way. I wonder why they changed their methods, when the clever method is easier and looks better?

The fabric I used is a floppy polyester chiffon (I think), that I bought from a garage sale from an elderly lady who used to work for Carla Zampatti for many years. I don't know if this fabric is something she got from the Zampatti workrooms, but it is a very pretty fuschia with little grey random squares. The floppiness of the fabric was the problem though, the fabric kept slipping and getting pulled under when I was sewing the invisible zip at the back so that I had to re-do it at least three times. And since I couldn't try it on for size until the side seams were sewn (almost the last step), I didn't realise until the end that the top was a little loose around the bust but too tight to slide down over my hips! Damn my pear shape and my lack of careful pattern measurements before cutting out!

But I perservered, let out the side seams as much as I could and finished it off. It's not perfect, look at the side view and my misplaced hunchback that I don't really have:

I think this is caused by the zipper being much stiffer than the fabric and because it's still a little too tight around the hips. Ah well, it is so cold in my office, even on the hottest day like today I always wear a suit jacket (and still my hands get so cold I can barely hold a pen), and the top certainly gives a much needed colour boost to this boring grey suit I had made for me in Bangkok a few years ago:

I even made the matching scarf to go with it, which gives the neckline a totally different look:

Overall I'm pretty happy with it, and will still wear it as long as I wear a jacket over it to hide that back!

Thank you all for your handy tips on stopping the ripply hem on knits, I will keep an eye out for either some embroidery stabiliser or fusible webbing next time I have to go to the fabric shop and will try that out. My next few projects are with my old friends woven fabrics in natural fibres, so I know I'm in safer territory there.

I can't say I've worn the dotty skirt since I took the photo in the last post, so I haven't had a chance to test out all your fashion advice. But I can say Carol that I just happened to buy a pair of hot pink shoes a few weeks ago, so I'll definately try out your suggestion!

17 comments:

  1. That's a really lovely top, matches the skirt beautifully. I never look at people side on...either I am talking to them or they are walking away, so don't even worry about that side view.

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  2. That top looks so different with the scarf - what a fun idea! It looks great with your suit, I've a dress with the same puffiness in the back, and I've the same solution, so you definitely aren't the only one...

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  3. Don't let the UFOs snatch you away! Excellent job on finishing. The weird bulges are the price to pay for a woven top that's not a button front, I think. I wish there were a magical way to get a nice looking pullover woven top.

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  4. I love Vintage style, I find that you wear magnificently well! And the choice of fabric is excellent.

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  5. I love this top, the fabric and the whole look. The scarf addition is great, too. These colours are great on you.

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  6. I like the new top... one idear to make it more... ahem, hip manageable.... add an upsidedown v shape to the side seams... this will give you extra room and maybe help out with the back area too.
    The color is great! Keep up the good work!

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  7. Thats really pretty. And I like the scarf. Shame about the zip.

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  8. What a genius idea to add a scarf to make it look like a totally different top. It's true that only on posed side photos is anyone even going to notice the puffy zipper so I would wear it happily, it looks great.

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  9. What a gorgeous suit but I must say the top photo is my favorite. You look absolutely lovely. BTW, what a brilliant idea to make a scarf from the same fabric - I'm going to steal that idea.

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  10. what about some back darts? they could bring it in at the back?

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  11. It looks great with the suit. What happens if you tuck it in? You've lost weight since you went back to work.

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  12. Nice top. It looks terrific with the gray suit. Love the skirt in your last post also.

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  13. The scarf addition is wonderful. Please tell us how you cut it,etc. It really pops that basic top. mssewcrazy

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  14. The new top looks great!!!
    I love it with the scarf and when you team it up with your suit jacket you look awesome... Job well done..

    Hugs
    Jodie :)

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  15. First this is a very pretty top and quite workable with a jacket. You have learned something about the pattern and the fabric in case you want to make it again.

    And second I can't believe it but I have that pattern too - purchased from an eBay seller last year!

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  16. It's really lovely! I've had horrible times with floppy/slippery fabrics so I've sworn off them for the foreseeable future. I think you did an excellent job!

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