Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Spring Ruch

We are having digital camera difficulties, Microsoft Windows upgrades versus camera drivers. so I won’t be able to post pictures of completed garments, but I did want to tell you about what I have been working on.

My company has recently opened a manufacturing plant just outside Williamsburg,Va., and I have had to make several trip there for work. It is convenient 5 minutes drive from the Outlet Malls in the area. Weekday evenings, the outlet malls are deserted. It is shopping heaven! I spotted a cream lace top at the Micheal Kors Outlet, with style lines similar to this New Look pattern. It was unlined, which would not work in my wardrobe, but I liked the style. Shortly afterward, I saw a dress featured in a recent issue of More magazine. It was made of brown cotton/nylon lace and lined in an aqua fabric. It is available at Target stores and on their web site. I thought that the New Look pattern, the sleeveless version, made in lace and lined in a contrasting color would be neat. I already had the pattern and Hancock Fabrics had brown cotton/nylon lace and teal rayon challis (at half price). I cut all the pattern pieces out of both the lace and the challis, and serged the challis to the lace. This finished the fabric edges and allowed me to treat the lined pieces as one. This top also coordinates with unofficial Summer SWAP (link on side bar). It turned out well and I will try and post pictures soon.
I also completed Burda World of Fashion April 2006 Top 103.,1270777-1000019-1484044-1484048-1484277,enEN.html It is described as fitted blouse jacket with plunging scoop neckline. All edges are trimmed with bias-cut self-fabric bands. The bands are gathered or ruched, a detail I love. I made it in a green silk mini check. The fabric came from an ASG fabric exchange. One of the members brought in several large bags of home furnishings fabric. This fabric was actually made up in a hassock cover with yards of gathered panels attached to a large rectangular top. Being a sucker for silk fabric, I took the cover. There was no competition for it. I removed the gathered panels, pulled out the gathering threads, washed and ironed them.
There must have been 5+ yards of fabric in the thing. Back to the top. I raised the front neckline 2 inches; otherwise the “plunging” scooped neckline would have been even with the bust points of the pattern. Not a good look for me. I shortened the sleeves an inch, because they were very long on me, which is normally not a problem. In all the magazine pictures the sleeves are pushed up, which makes me wonder if the model had the same problems. I lined the garment to finish off the interior nicely. I also omitted the buttonholes, attaching the buttons on the outside and using hooks and thread loops for the actual closure. The buttonholes would have had to be right up against the bands for the buttons to be located as per the picture and work correctly. I personally found this pattern to be challenging and time consuming, with high error potential. There are not separate pattern pieces for the bands. They are cut from the edges of the main pattern pieces. It took me it took a lot of time to trace, and add seam allowances to the main garment pieces, bands and facings. Then more time actually cutting, gathering and sewing the bias pieces to the bands. I had to recut some pieces because I forgot to add seam allowances the first time I cut them. The experience did give me the knowledge and confidence that I could add this type of bands to any garment. I have pictures of the process, on the camera, which I will post when our technical difficulties are resolved.