Sewing and textiles with Ann
This ‘shrug’ is my first use of Vogue 9190, yet another Marcy Tilton design. The design is great; the fabric isn’t.
This is yet more fabric from Girl Charlee. The rest has been great, but I don’t like this. It would make a lovely baby’s romper suit, and indeed, has made a rather nice shrug, but the fabric fought with me, especially when I was making the matching t-shirt out of the rest of the 2m that I had to buy.
Firstly, the colour ran, but at least I learnt the lesson early on and there was no damage done. The picture above was after it had been on the ironing board, and I tweeted that I did luckily have all day to get it straight. Its a pity there is no way I can iron on the cutting out table, but I did try to steam a bit. There was also one part of the fabric that refused to be sewn. It was round the neck edge of the t-shirt. An attempt to stay stitch just made it less stable (and I needed more steam) and at the same point I had an almighty machine jam when I was finishing with the twin needle. I was amazed that there was no hole after I had pulled the needle plate out and cut the threads.
Anyway, the main show, the so-called shrug, has come out fine, and in fact, the fabric instability meant that I could press my way out of difficulty if necessary. Its quite a smart little design and I may use the pattern again.
I just want to share with you the technique for making the drawstrings, especially as jersey straps was the first thing that May Martin covered at the Simplicity Bloggers Meet Up on Saturday, so I used one of her methods.
The missing instruction is to sew across the top of the piping cord at the end, so that the cord will pull through, and then cut that part off at the end. As May found, the hardest part is getting the ‘pull through’ part going, but once the top of the fabric is on its way, the rest will follow easily. (Photo source: Simplicity)
To ‘install’ the drawstring into the collar and front facing, I attached a large safety pin to the top end, and threaded it through the button hole in the front facing, and then, having left the collar ends open at this point, placed the drawstring top in the marked position inside the collar. Only then did I stitch the collar channel across the drawstring and down the side to meet with the front facing stitching.
I also think this was the first time that I have used the overlocker to sew a set-in sleeve (after tacking – I always tack sleeves whatever method I am using).
If I can, I would sew in a jersey sleeve flat i.e. after the shoulder seams are stitched, but before the side seams. Then I stitch the sleeve and side seams in one go. But its less sensible to do that with this design, as you have to stitch the side seams in the right order to get the bottom, front facing and collar properly finished. You could sew the sleeve flat, but then you’d have two sleeves flapping about whilst you did all the other work, and they’d be a bit of a nuisance. I considered it, but rejected the idea. So in all other similar situations I would have set in the sleeve and sewed first with a stretch stitch on the machine, before finishing with the overlocker. But for some reason I dived in with the overlocker to set in the sleeve this time. Possibly with temperamental fabric, I trust the overlocker to tame it more than I trust the sewing machine.
So, the t-shirt…. Its New Look 6217 free with Sew magazine a while back and very simple to use. I don’t really need another sleeveless t-shirt, and indeed, this one will go to Oxfam. Having finished the neck edge by turning in, and twin needling, (and fighting with the fabric) the neck edge is now too wide for my neck and shows my bra straps. Hopefully Oxfam will get more for the t-shirt than it cost to make, which is about £4. Good luck to its new owner!