Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pattern Morph Part 2

I was attempting go from the blouse with set in sleeves in the top drawing to the T shirt in the bottom of the drawing.

Changes I made to Pattern Front

1.Discarded front yoke piece
2. Smooth out lower armhole
3. Remove facing and added 5/8 " SA (seam allowance) to center front
4. Used raglan sleeve pattern from another pattern

Changes I made to Pattern Back

1. Added seam with 5/8" SA to center back
2. Divided back neckline in 6 equal parts
3. Redrew top of center back and side back sections to correspond with markings, This created seam lines radiating from neckline similar to front.
4. Used raglan sleeve pattern from another pattern. Required some changes to back sleeve seam for my unique body shape

After cutting out the fabric, I sewed the garment together using machine basting stitches. It was late and I was tired. I inadvertently sewed the sleeves on backward. The fit was horrible, It took several minute for panic to subside, and logical brain functions to resume. I restitched the sleeves in correctly. The fit was fine, so I resewed all seams using shorter stitch length, except the side seams, which I left open so the garment could be laid relatively flat for coverstitching. All seams were pressed open
I made a template for the openings from the swim suit pattern. I laid the template on each of the five seams on the front, aligning the center of the opening with the seam line. I marked the shape with wash away pen.
I cut out the middle of the shape, leaving 3/8" of fabric beyond marked line to turn under.
I turned under the 3/8" and hand basted, being careful not to stretch.
The seam was top stitched on both sides with a narrow 3 thread cover stitch, using variegated thread (Maxilock Swirls Polyester). The cover stitch was sewn so the chain stitches were to the outside and the double line of stitching was to the inside. I had a horrible time sewing the cover stitch around the openings because they were hidden under the pressure foot and tended to wrinkle and bunch up. I tried ironing a large piece of dissolvable stabilizer to the wrong side of the front, under the openings. But any time I moved the fabric, it came unstuck. So I hand basted the openings to a large piece of wash away stabilizer. This kept the edges of the openings from stretching. My coverstitch machine has a large pressure foot that starts behind the needles and extends to an inch in front of them, effectively blocking the view of the fabric any where near the needles. After many attempts, I learned to visualize the needle location to the edge of the opening, under the pressure foot. I also learned how to remove three-thread cover stitch quickly (pull on all three threads at the same time at the same rate). I believe I did each of the seams with an opening, at least three times. The armhole and back seams caused no problems.
The neck was finished with a simple band attached to the wrong side, wrapped to the front, turned under and top stitched. Sleeve and garment hems were done with matching white thread
In hindsight I think I would use one of these alternate methods to stabilizing the cutout openings
1. Steam a Seam to hold the hem under and prevent stretching.
2. Face opening with silk organza or similar sheer strong fabric, It would be held in place to the wrong side with the coverstitching.

Not everyone has a cover stitch machine, and believe me when I was having all my difficulties, I was also thinking of alternate techniques for top stitching the cutouts and seams. These included decorative stitches on my regular sewing machine using the variegated thread, decorative stitching over coordinating 1/8 ribbon, or couching decorative yarns or narrow bias strips cut from coordinating printed fabric.
This is the one of the few times I have made significant design changes to a pattern. I think what gives me the greatest satisfaction is that despite a lot of frustrations, I just kept plugging away, trying different things. until the problems were resolved. I now feel more confident attempting other sewing challenges.

No comments:

Post a Comment