Sewing and textiles with Ann
We took our holidays in Rye this year, and found ourselves to be staying 5 minutes walk from the Merchant and Mills shop. You may have noticed that i haven’t sewn anything for myself in the last 18 months. It turns out that i have missed sewing my own clothes. I treated myself to a present from Rye – a pattern and fabric from Merchant and Mills.
I chose Francine, a top and dress based on a fisherman’s pullover. It is suggested that it is made in denim, but i selected a heavier linen, which looks a bit like denim, but i think, easier to wear as a top. I am conscious that the design in a bit like The Maker’s Atelier Holiday Top, of which i have 3 versions, two of which get worn a lot. The Francine cut is closer to the body, features top stitching, and uses a rather different construction method for the collar and facing. Previously i have top stitched with ordinary thread, creating a tidy finish, but not usually a feature from the stitching. This time i bought top stitching thread, in a dark grey, creating a bit of a contrast, and meaning that great care was needed when stitching to get a neat finish. Whilst i have twin needles, i don’t like using them (especially with heavier thread), so the parallel stitching is done by eye, using the foot to follow the first stitching line.
The pattern says to set in the sleeves flat. I’d do that if i was using stretch fabric, but prefer to set in woven sleeves ‘in the round’ using my tailor’s dummy to get the hang right. I quite like setting in sleeves this way! I tack them on the dummy, stitch them on the machine, and then finish the seams on the overlocker.
I could not work out the instructions for stitching the side splits. I left it over night to have a think about it, but that made no difference. I still couldn’t work out what i was intended to do. So i just folded the seam inwards and edge stitched right round. This may mean that the front doesn’t quite hang the way it’s mean to, but i think it hangs OK as it is.
I lengthened to bodice by about 5cm, and shortened the sleeves by 3cm. I note that the pattern says that the pocket should be on the left. It can be placed inside or outside. Mine is knowingly placed outside on the right. I’m not sure what use an inside breast pocket is, and i can’t see why it needs to be placed on the left….
My apologies that the pictures are all on the tailor’s dummy again. I have worn this with friends who could have taken photos, but whilst collecting things together for a picnic at outdoor theatre, taking a photo of my new top wasn’t high on my list of things to remember.