Pattern: Self drafted
Fabric: Tencel jersey from fabric.com
Notions: fusi-knit tricot interfacing, elastic tape to stabilize the shoulders
Sewing Time: 2 hours
I’ve never been a lover of spring, but this year I’m a convert. In the past two weeks every tree and bush has erupted in blossoms. Each day I find a new favorite – sometimes it’s the magnolia, sometimes it’s the cherry. Today, it’s the peach. All over my neighborhood there are branches of these blush red flowers. Up until this week we were having some phenomenal weather. Saturday was 78, if you can believe that. Unfortunately, I had to go and ruin it by cutting my first piece for my Spring Wardrobe Challenge. I kid you not, the very day that I cut this fabric it started to rain and the temperatures dipped to the more seasonal appropriate 50’s.
This pattern was my first attempt at drafting for knits so I referred to my school text on how to treat the darts and waist shaping on my sloper. My sloper has four darts in the front (shoulder, armhole, bust and waist) and two in the back (shoulder and waist) all of which needed to be taken out. After I had taken care of the darts and waist shaping, I altered the neckline and drafted the yoke and front gathering. All that was left was truing and adding seam allowances. I was surprised at how quickly it came together and was just sure that I had missed some critical step but in the end it all came together!
Since I had ordered much more fabric than I needed for a simple blouse, I decided not to make a muslin. If I had, I think the final garment would have come out much more professional but it’s still a good casual top. One thing I wish I could change is the gathering at the front yoke. I had never used gathering on a knit fabric but figured I could just treat it as I would a woven. I ran a few rows a basting through the fabric, gathered, and then serged it to the yoke. Unfortunately, the serger flattened the gathering and it’s more like random tucks than gathering. Can you recommend a better way to do this? I was thinking of sewing a straight stitch to secure the basted and gathered piece before serging it.
I tried out two other techniques on this blouse. The first was to use clear elastic tape to stabilize the shoulders. At first I had trouble feeding the elastic in my serger but I learned that if you leave a tail coming out the back before you start it’s easier to handle. The second technique I tried was using fusible tricot interfacing to stabilize the neck and armholes for the binding. Wow! Did this ever make a difference. You may recall this dress from last fall – while I realize it could have been worse, I was really disappointed that the neck was so wavy after I had carefully followed the instructions for applying the binding. The interfacing solved this problem in a snap and was so easy to stitch into that I even used a single (rather than twin) sewing machine needle to stitch in the ditch. I’m curious to see if interfacing would do similar wonders on a hemline.