Tag Archives: knits

Draping for Spring

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I had a few scant hours this morning to spend sewing. In search of something quick, but more exciting than yet another pair of leggings, I pulled out Drape Drape (vol. 2).

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I have been wanting to make top # 4 since I got the book, a year and a half or more ago. I actually attempted it last winter, but made the mistake of using a border-print knit with almost no stretch at all, and didn’t modify the neckline, despite reading warnings of its depth. The result was too low for decency (and I am not shy of cleavage) and way too tight in the hips. It gets worn to bed once in a while, but otherwise was basically a waste of a really cool fabric. Bah.

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Anyway, take two is in a much more suitable lightweight knit, which claimed to be a cotton but I think has a fair whack of rayon, or maybe just a nice polyester.
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Either way, it’s soft, drapey, and just right for this pattern. I re-traced (man is that a big pattern-piece!) and tried again, raising the neckline by two inches and widening the scoop of it a bit more. I also added a tiny bit of width to the hip, straightened the hem (since I figured this would look better than the curve with the stripes) and straightened the hem of the left sleeve, again to look better with the stripes.

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I tried to take my time with the construction, reinforcing the shoulder seams with strips of fusible knit interfacing and taking time to press my neck band and twin-needle my hems (after reinforcing them with steam-a-seam).

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I am not a big fan of the double needle for knit finishes, despite it’s superficial RTW look. It tends to tunnel, often doesn’t stretch enough, and, most importantly, I tend to kill the needles quickly. This one bit it right as I was finishing the neckline. I had to do two lines of straight stitch across the back of the neck. BLERG.

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I wasn’t sure, given the odd shape of the pattern, that matching the stripes across the seams would be possible, so I didn’t try too hard. This is kinda too bad, because it turns out they actually could mostly have matched up really well, if I had tried a little harder. They’re not terrible, but definitely not awesome.

So, summary? Quick, a little crazy, comfy, and most importantly, done!

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Now if only that spring weather would come along to go with it!

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My Wild, Crazy Friday Night

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Um. So I’m officially old and boring, k? I’m cool with that. I think. My Friday night was awesome. I bounced between cooking with Syo, playing Final Fantasy XIV with Osiris, and sewing. I’ve moved from procrastinating on the Pikachu onesie (photos forthcoming once I manage to pin Tyo down) to procrastinating on Syo’s onesie. So instead I grabbed this gorgeous knit (a lightweight sweater-knit which, amazingly, has only been marinating in stash for a few weeks) and my knit sloper.

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And all I can say is, why don’t I have two dozen tops like this?

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This.

Cozy. Comfy. Sleekly elegant. Perfect.

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Yes, I’m wearing my fleecepants. Aren’t you? Why not?

Not much to say about construction, except that I finished the seams with my new/old/borrowed serger (that’s a whole ‘nother story I’ll hopefully get around to. Or not; it may not be interesting to anyone at all but me.) But I haven’t figured out what kind of needle it takes so I couldn’t try a four-thread serge so I didn’t want to use it for seam construction, so I did my usual thing of sewing the seam on the sewing machine (narrow zigzag, very basic) and then overlocking. Actually, overlocking first works better, by the way. If you can get everything aligned properly. Again, I found the length a bit short, so I added a wide band on the hem, which is coincidentally the easiest way to finish the bottom of a knit tee if you haven’t got a coverstitch. Which I haven’t. Someday, my pretties. I wonder if my taste in tee-length hasn’t changed in the last couple of years. Though I would’ve sworn I’ve always liked them long.

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I used steam-a-seam to get nice, crisp sleeve hems, and then wimped out and did a zigzag finish. I didn’t feel like fussing with a twin needle.

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I used fold-over elastic around the neck, the way I wanted to with my fleece shirt (because I bought some since then) It’s maybe a little heavy for this fabric. I increased the tension going around the sharper curves so it wouldn’t stick out, but it also gathered up the neckline a bit more than I would’ve liked. It doesn’t actually look gathered when worn, which I was a bit worried about, so it’ll work, but I think a narrower elastic or the fold-over fabric binding I used on the fleece shirt might’ve been better.

My only reservation about this fabric (some kind of a poly-rayon blend) is that it hasn’t got any spandex, so I’m not sure how much it’ll bag out with wear. That could interfere with these sleek, elegant lines I’m loving so much. I can always take it in if I need to, right?

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I hope your Friday night was as exciting as mine!

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