Thursday, 29 September 2016

Admitting to my mistakes - so you can avoid them!

Not everything I sew makes it onto the blog - I hardly think it's worthwhile sharing all the pyjama pants, t-shirts and track suit pants I make for myself and the kids because I have nothing meaningful to say about them and they're not glamourous enough for just a show and tell type post!

So the tops I'm about to share here almost fall into that category, except that I made a simple mistake on each that I mainly want to post here as a note to my future self, but it may help someone else avoid them too. Plus I'm keeping it real - even experienced sewers sometimes commit simple stuff ups so no one ought to feel bad about that all.

First up, a simple round neck top from Burda 2/2011 #106 which I've made many times before and is my go to pattern for long sleeve t-shirts:

Burda 2/2011 #106 polka dot top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Burda 2/2011 #106 top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

This one is made from a light sweater type knit fabric that I wanted to be able to wear over other layers for warmth in winter so I needed it to be a little looser than the others I had made. Instead of thinking it through properly and slightly increasing the width of the body and sleeves I simply traced out a larger size and made that up. Well that meant the top is too large through the shoulders and the sleeve cap hangs off my shoulder:

Burda 2/2011 #106 polka dot top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I've left as is and happpily wear this top, but it does annoy me everytime I look at it. It's a common complaint I hear about some plus size patterns - that when pattern drafters grade up a pattern they increase all measurments equally, even though shoulder width doesn't usually increase as dramatically as say the bust between sizes. Note to future self - next time fix the pattern properly and don't look for the quick solution!

This fabric is awesome though - it's a polyester knit that I bought recently from The Remnant Warehouse (when I was there buying them out of gold sequin fabric), and the dots are actually flocked velvet. It's very tactile, and I do find that my kids like to touch it whenever I'm wearing it. They also had this fabric in a blue and a brown colourway that I had to restrain myself from buying since I only need so many polka dot tops after all.

polka dot fabric www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Ok, onto the second mishap. In August we went skiing with a large group of friends, and given that I dislike both the cold and doing exercise I was a bit apprehensive. So I sort of went overboard buying warm thermals to wear under the ski gear and chunky wool jumpers to wear when not skiing. I also decided to make a high necked top to wear to make doubly sure that no cold air was going to sneak in my ski jacket when I was trying not to break bones on the ski slopes. Sue at Quilt Sew, Sew Sue had previously recommended Burda 9/2010 #121 (not available for download unfortunately) a while ago, and a quick google search revealed that loads of other people had made it too so I figured I couldn't go wrong.

Burda 9/2010 #121 funnel neck top in french terry www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Burda 9/2010 #121 funnel neck top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

It is a very simple, quick and easy top to make. Essentially it's just three pieces - the front, back and sleeves and the neckline is formed by cutting out an extra long neckline and then folding it over. My mistake with this one is that my fabric has very little stretch so it's very hard to get over my head (either that or my head is larger than the average German head!). This fabric is also wonderful though, despite the stretch. Another purchase from The Remnant Warehouse earlier in the year it's a French terry knit - one side is smooth and the inside is looped fibres. I've worn this a lot and it hasn't pilled at all yet. I only wish I bought more of it at the time, because sadly it's all gone now.

french terry fabric www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I find the neckline a bit annoying though - it's only sewn down at the side seams which means that the fabric at the front wants to roll up and it gets a bit bunchy. I overlocked the edge of the fabric hoping that would keep it flat, but I think I really need to stitch it down the whole way around.

Burda 9/2010 #121 funnel neck top in french terry www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Burda 9/2010 #121 funnel neck top in french terry www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

The sleeves on this one are also really really long! In the Burda photo you can see it's meant to be worn scrunched up a little around the wrists, but because my fabric doesn't have enough stretch it doesn't stay like that. Note to future self: choose a stretchier knit and reduce the sleeve length.

Burda 9/2010 #121 funnel neck top in french terry www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

The final project for this post is made from some beautiful wool fabric I bought from the Tomato fabric store when I was Tokyo this time last year. This was one of those fabrics that I really wanted to use but couldn't decide on the right pattern because I didn't want to waste it. Eventually I settled on Kwik Sew 3915, which is a simple top with a v-neckband that I've made once before:

Kwik Sew 3915 v neck top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com
Kwik Sew 3915 v neck top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Regrettably I only bought a single metre of this fabric (it was quite expensive and by that stage I had already bought a lot of fabric!), I had to change the neck band by reducing the width to remove those gathers and the fold over bit at the back of the neck . The v-neck point turned out perfectly, and in fact I like it better than the gathered version:

Kwik Sew 3915 v neck top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Unfortunately I didn't think about what changes the back of the neckline would also require. Now that it didn't need to turn over on itself outwards, I really should have angled the centre back seam so that it would sit snugly against my neck, and since I didn't the neckline sags open at the back:

Kwik Sew 3915 v neck top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I've been wearing this lots though despite this problem, and the easy fix is to wear my hair down so that it covers it! Note to future self - make this again, but change that centre back seam.

So there you have it - nothing major but I guess what annoys me the most about these is that they were easily avoidable. They are also easily fixed, but since that involves unpicking overlocked stitches on knit fabrics that won't be happening anytime soon!

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