Ever make things you’re just not sure are worth writing about? I like to document my flops alongside my successes, (although I’ve noticed that it often takes me a while to realize what is actually a flop vs. a success), but I’m talking about throwaway pieces. Stuff you just knocked together because it would serve a purpose (or because your kids were bugging you, as the case may be). It’s sloppy and half-ass, simple, and maybe the fabric just drives you nuts.
No? Just me?
This pair of tops for Syo falls into that category. I’m writing about them only because, well, I have nothing much else to write about right now (unless you want me to start in on the weather again ;) ). I keep looking at my Lonsdale pattern. I ALMOST got the pieces laid out yesterday, but ran out of time. Anyway.
This fabric is left over from one of the cowl-neck iterations. It’s got a lovely, soft drape, an interesting knit stripe, is wriggly as hell to cut out (we pinned it to the carpet), tends to grow like crazy when handled, and a dull colour that just irks me. It looks like the colour the block of white paint turns when everyone’s been mashing other colours into it. Hmm, I may have been spending too much time entertaining small children lately…
Syo was inspired by the fabric (she does love wriggly knits >_<) and Babydoll’s dance-rehearsal outfit from the movie Sucker Punch. Yes, we probably do have questionable taste in what we let our children watch. At least it’s with parental guidance.
There were actual patterns involved!
In particular, McCall’s 4821 (View B, the one-shouldered top) and Kwik Sew 2448, the long-sleeved tee from view A. What do you mean it doesn’t look anything like it? Both of these are thrift store finds, although I don’t think I’ve blogged either of them before.
Ok, so let’s start with the McCall’s pattern. This is another of those “Sassy Girl” brand of patterns, illustrated to pique the imagination of any little girl. I used another of these for Syo’s vest. They’re adequate patterns, I guess, but I find them really simplistic, to the point where I suspect the final result is likely to be compromised. I haven’t read the instructions, so I can’t really comment on them. For a simple knit top like this, though, I guess there’s not going to be much to the pattern in any case. The smallest size in my envelope was a 7, which is borderline too big for Syo; given what I know about this fabric—it GROWS—I figured we would need to narrow it a fair bit.
I took out something like 4cm of width and then re-drew the front and back top curves. I didn’t adjust the length at all and it’s a bit short, but that may be a) deliberate and b) an effect of the prodigious width-wise growth of this fabric. Because the fabric was so thin, we double-layered it, which made finishing the top easy. I used clear elastic to reinforce the neckline side of the strap, and the small shoulder seam, but not the arm-hole seam. I’m glad I did, as I think it would be quite saggy without. We haven’t done the hem yet, but probably will at some point, although I don’t think twin-needling will hold up terribly well on this fabric.
My serger tends to turn soft, light fabrics like this into ruffles, so we sewed it all on the newely-serviced Janome, which worked like a dream. Syo would’ve stitched the entire thing if I let her, but I’m not quite sure she’d be up to keeping an eye on the seam allowance width and the clear elastic at the same time. She did quite well on the armscye seam, though, even without pins, and would’ve done the side-seams but it was the end of the night and we were in a hurry.
I think we just about nailed the sizing, actually. Which means if I use any other fabric in the world it’ll be way too small.
The little tie-sweater is based on Kwik Sew 2448. What, you don’t see the resemblance? Use your imagination! Actually, I traced off the pattern pieces for the long-sleeved version of the top, which is an utterly ordinary knit tee pattern. I cropped it short at the “lengthen and shorten here” line, which wound up being a bit short (but again that might just be the fabric), and turned the cut-on-fold of the front into an extended tie.
Syo originally wanted 3/4 length sleeves, so I shortened the length of the arm to a size 4 (I was tracing the size 6). They still turned out mostly full-length, which she says she is liking for now, but we may very well shorten them in the future.
I’ve noticed in my one Kwik Sew pattern that has an adult-sized tie top, the ties angle down considerably, and looking at how it sits on Syo it seems like this would probably have been a good idea to emulate. (I might have paid closer attention but on inspection the only pattern pieces actually in the envelope of the adult pattern are for the leotard. Poop! So I’m going by the illustration of the pieces on the instructions)
Syo stitched the underarm seams for this one. Kwik Sew uses 6mm (1/4″) seam allowances, which are a bit harder for her to maintain, at least in this fabric, than the wider ones on the McCall’s pattern. I used clear elastic to stabilize the shoulder. Considering how this fabric grows (especially as I didn’t use anything to stabilize the neckline) this seems like a very trim-fitting tee pattern. Which I guess makes sense for something meant to go under a dress.
In any case, Syo is, at least momentarily, satisfied, and this godawful fabric is out of my stash. There was a very tense moment while sewing when Tyo nearly started WWIII over the fact that Syo was getting two tops in a row, but it was headed off (grudgingly) when I pointed out that these two tops together, including tracing, are still less time-consuming than Tyo’s last shirt.
I think it’s time to make something for me, don’t you? I do like sewing with my kids (as opposed to for my kids), but I think I’m ready for something for me. ;)