Monday, 16 December 2013

A quick, satisfying make NOT!!!

It was supposed to be a quick satisfying make while I worked up the nerve to start on my green pants. You know, a simple pattern - should be able to knock it together in a couple of hours. Well that isn't quite what happened.

It started with this

How hard can it be - it only has two pattern pieces.
I chose size XL based on these measurements and finished garment size;

Bust 112 (mine is 114) Garment 123
Waist 94 (mine is 103) Garment 123
Hip 117 (mine is 113)   Garment 128

Problem number one was that I am still getting familiar with exactly how a certain amount of ease translates into a finished garment. Just what does 5cm or 10cm extra look like?

Well let me tell you I now know that this is enormous. I basically took it into a size L and there is still plenty of room. Especially given that my bust is 12cm larger, my waist is 13cm larger and my hips are 6cm larger than the pattern size.

And the fabric has no stretch whatsoever - because it is cheap (and I don't mean inexpensive) rich, red satin. Fortunately it was inexpensive as well at only $1/mtr - even I was surprised by that. And it is a gorgeous colour - just the thing for a party top. Although more dark red that it looks here - no amount of colour manipulation helped.

Great, isn't it? And well it should be since it took 3 days to make. And why was that? Well after the sizing debacle we then had the great bias binding disaster. I tried to make my own for the first time ever. However, this fabric did not press. At. All. But it did fray fabulously. So I ended up with manically fraying, getting smaller by the second, completely flat with no creases at all, bias binding. Ok, so we aren't using it after all.

I thought about facings. But I have a gorgeous powder blue silk satin blouse that I had made at a tailor that has the front facing hand stitched down. They did a great job and only caught one thread with each stitch (I know, I checked) and every time I put it on those hand stitches are the ONLY thing I can see. So no facings aren't going to work either.

So I'll make bands (for want of a better word) and handstitch them. The sleeves went together beautifully, no problem.

Now I knew the neck would stand up a bit like a collar but I did it anyway and then threaded elastic through it and I really like how it turned out.

And that just left the hem, which I ended up handstitching two and a half times!! Originally I made a 10cm band with the intention that it would look like a design feature rather then a "thing stuck on the bottom" as MrH described it. (Obviously design feature fail). So then I reduced it to the finished size you see here.

 So why all the restitching? The first time I got half way round and realised that I hadn't eased it or had twisted it or something. Anyway it was off. So I redid it. That was at the original large size. So then I had to redo it again when I made it smaller.

The funny thing was that I actually kind of enjoyed the hand sewing, which was a bit of a revelation and should be useful to know in future.

So here is my finished party top after all my labours....

Oh, but it looks lovely - why did she say it was cheap satin? Because of this

This fault just appeared, all on its own, ages after I had finished everything except the hem. That is, I wasn't sewing anywhere near the shoulder. Lucky it is at the back and I have long hair.

Ever had a quick make turn into a nightmare? Spent hours only to discover a flaw in the fabric? Tell me I'm not the only one, please?


  1. Ah yes, this is all sounding very familiar! Best laid plans and all that. Still, it turned out nice in the end, eh? Perfect for the Xmas parties.

    1. Definitely best laid plans etc. But yes, it turned out ok in the end.


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