Sunday, October 29, 2017

It Ain't Over til It's Over

With the onset of the fall season, garment makers in the Northern Hemisphere have turned to making cardigans, jackets and clothing appropriate for cooler weather.  I, however, have just finished making this little white summer linen blouse.  I purchased the fabric at Gray Lines Linen in NYC (on 39th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues) back in June.  The idea of this blouse has been in my head for months and I intended to make it to wear for summer but oh well, I just couldn't get to it.  Add to that the fact that we have thus far had a warm fall here in the northeastern U.S. so I still wasn't in the mood for working with warm fabrics.  Summer just hasn't felt like it's been over!

The pattern is self-drafted.  It is another simple shape, a basic bodice, to which I drafted a little collar to add some interest.

Since I find the raw edge of linen scratchy against my skin, I decided to sew flat fell seams for the side seams.  For the armholes, I created bias tape from the same linen fabric.  White fabric tends to show the insides and I just didn't want a large dart take-up to show through to the outside so I trimmed the dart and finished the edges of the dart with a blanket stitch by hand.

I also decided to make the facings part of the design so I turned them to the outside and topstitched them.  The facing width is 1 inch plus 1/4 inch seam allowances.

It is amazing how hanging on the hanger, the neckline looks like it would be so much lower but on the body it is not.  I will be making this blouse again but next time, I will lower the V-neckline further to make it look more like what you see on the hanger.

Speaking of the neckline, the V-shape creates a bias edge that is prone to stretching while handling.  To prevent this from happening, I fused straight grain fusible tape along the edge as soon as I removed the garment sections from the pattern.  I did likewise with the armholes and the shoulder seams.  

With my next version, I will also bring the back darts closer to each other.  They look a little too far apart to me.

I am rather pleased with how the collar turned out.  It stands up as it curves around the neckline which you can see here:

If you would like to try your hand at drafting this collar, let me tell you it is the easiest collar ever to draft.  It was all straight lines and then I rounded the corners.  Measure from the center back to whatever point you decide you want it to end.  In my case it was 11 inches.  Then decide how wide you want it to be.  In my case, it is 1 inch.  As for the corners, I rounded them using a French curve but you can free hand the shape or use the edge of a can.  I added 1/4 inch seam allowances for the collar and neckline.

I find that using a small seam allowance does away with the need to trim.  With white clothes especially, you want a straight clean edge.  I find I can cut a straight edge when I am cutting out with the pattern but no so much when trimming.  I used lightweight fusible weft interfacing for the collar.

To attach the collar, make sure the center back of the garment neckline edge and the center back of the collar align.  Then sandwich the collar in between the garment and the facing, pin and sew.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Joining Instagram - For a Good Cause

Kyle from Vacuuming the Lawn has so generously donated her time and energy helping out those in need in her own special way.  She created a beautiful tote bag and held an auction on Instagram to help those in Texas who suffered the wrath of Hurricane Harvey.  I did not participate in the auction but did contribute via my church.  It was heartening to see that my local community center collected supplies from my neighborhood.  My employer also sent out a mass email providing links to organizations that were providing assistance.  It was heartening to see everyone coming together to help those in need.

Kyle did it again for Puerto Rico.  She took the time to make this beautiful floral bag and held an auction on Instagram to raise money to help our fellow U.S. citizens. With Puerto Rico, my church did not hold a fundraiser.  My local community center did not collect supplies.  My employer did not send out a mass email.  One can speculate as to why (I don't want to get into it here) but my heart sank as I made these observations.  I am of Puerto Rican descent so this disaster has had a personal element for me.

I have for the longest time resisted joining Instagram.  I felt like it would provide me with another avenue to spend the little spare time I have.  I would rather sew!  But when Kyle held this auction, I just had to participate.  I joined Instagram (my link: Instagram) just so I could participate in this auction and I placed the winning bid!  See the Instagram auction feed by clicking here.

This bag is of high quality professional workmanship and came beautifully wrapped with a fun card.
Thanks to the generosity of others in the sewing community, a total of $580 will be donated to the Hispanic Federation which is working tirelessly to help the residents of Puerto Rico.  One poster matched my bid while two others contributed as well.  So what this tells me is that there are so many different ways to help those in need.  And there are so many good people out there!

Sometimes it seems like the world is unraveling...with one disaster coming right after another.  It sometimes feels overwhelming and I often feel so helpless.  But what those in the sewing community have shown is that we can all chip in in our own special way.  Every little bit helps!  

If you wish to contribute, you can do so via the following organizations:

In addition to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other islands in the Caribbean also suffered extensive damage and the citizens of Texas and Florida still need our help: