Fabric nemesis

I picked up a lovely silky drapey knit to sew a top for my sister-in-law’s birthday. Great colours, nice pattern, all good. Mystery composition but probably 100% synthetic.

Cut out top. Made modifications to suit her (she’s tall). Gung ho, I started testing on scraps… AND MET MY NEMESIS.

This mofo WILL NOT SEW. Not on my machine, anyway. I’ve tried jersey needles, which were worse than the regular ol’ universals. It slips and slides, it skips stitches, the length is irregular, it won’t sew straight, and sewing through tissue doesn’t help. Oh, and the Singer 201-K and the overlocker hate its guts, too.

While I’m hardly a master of the stretch, I had no idea that this would be so diabolical. Anyone got tips? I’ve sewn wool and cotton jersey with no problems at all, so I’m not a complete knit fabric dunderhead.

Waistular areas – added and subtracted

In a fit of usefulness last weekend, I did three things.

Thing the first: I took an old ratty petticoat I’d bought at a garage sale that was too short and had lost the stretch in its elastic top and fixed it. I sawed off the old top with my overlocker. Then I traced off the nicely-fitting waistband of the 80s skirt I shortened a while back and used it to make a new top from a thin cotton. No, it doesn’t match, but it’s very fine so it adds hardly any bulk at all. Yay.

Thing the second:  Bolstered by my waistband drafting success, I had another bash at New Look 6981 that I’ve made previously with a poorly-fitting waistband. I used a winter-weight denim pinstriped with little rainbow threads and drafted some in-seam pockets. Other than me botching the left pocket due to to too-short zip/overzealous seam allowance trimming incident that we need say no more about, it’s a good ‘un.

Here Headless Esme models the skirt and, simultanously, because she can multi-task despite her cerebral disadvantage*, she models Thing the third. From a recent clothes swap, I picked up a silk tunic from a friend who complained it was shapeless and didn’t fit. Thus, sadly, is the nature of tunics, I find. So slashy-slashy, hemmy hemmy, I took it up and made a top.

NEXT. Well, next is some sort of warm weather pfaffing about sunfrock. Yup, it’s the middle of winter. But I am off to warmer climes to pfaff about for a couple of weeks. And that deserves a new sunfrock.

*she must, however, be excused for not ironing said garments. She has no arms. Be kind.

Tulip blouse

Tops. Don’t have enough tops. So I took a flipping awful Burda dress pattern and used the top half only. I’d chuck some more darts in it but I don’t want to hide the beautiful, beautiful 50s chintz tulips. Aren’t they amazing? I’ve had two squares of this fabric for years with no idea what to do with it. It was just enough for a top with only a couple of bits of fabric spaghetti to spare. Snout to tail eating.

The allure of velour

I was obsessed with the idea of a jacket with pockets for jamming my hands into. So I borrowed a handful of Burdas from the local library thinking there’d be something in there with hand-jammable pockets.

I leafed through them over and over again, past the MC Hammer disaster pants and weird sportswear with drawstrings and toggles, and found nothing much of interest. Only a simple jersey top (4/2009 #112) caught my eye. So I made three of them because they take no time at all.

The brown one is velour. It’s virtually impossible to wear it and not gloat to anyone who’ll listen about how fuzzy it is. I feel I’ve reclaimed some childhood… didn’t we all wear stiped velour in the 70s? The green one was a bash at using up the scraps from the Texan Polygamist Nightmare. I still despair at the spider print jersey that should be so good but just looks awful. Not sold on this one. The third is just black and not worth photographing.

So, no jacket, but have you felt how fuzzy my top is?