Amongst them - should you ever find yourself with puckered seams in silk charmeuse:
- Try a walking foot. (I'm not sure if this helped in my case, but it didn't hurt. And I can imagine, depending on the silk and the machine, it could be very helpful.)
- Check out Gorgeous Things' method for pressing in steps - it totally works, peeps!
- Use a ham while pressing, if you're working some princess seams.
- Adjust stitch length - sometimes shorter is better, sometimes longer.
- Adjust tension. Generally low tension is better for silk, but I didn't find that.
- Use silk or cotton thread - not much help once you're half way through and/or using out-there whack colours.
At any rate, I put in a good 16 hours constructing this shirt - that's a long time given I had fit more or less sorted and I've made it before. Note: I did not find the Pendrell easy the last time I made it, though the instructions are excellent and clear. It takes some working knowledge of methods and some dexterity - at least when making version B. Having said that, I put this slog down to a) being out of practice and b) really fucking difficult fabric.
But look how pretty it is:
(Note: I don't know why blogger keeps compressing my photos and making their awesome quality look fuzzy and crap. You have to believe me when I say I took very nice pics...)
As I seem to so often these days, I'm calling this a qualified success.
- The hem is gorgeous, inside and out.
- Ruffles worked very well.
- Binding method (inside) worked quite well, though was finicky on the neck. Very clean.
- The overall fit and colour of the garment.
- When my serger likes to slice and dice, it really does it with gusto. I had a couple of near misses (leaving hideous wrong side spots on the seams). I tried to improve them cosmetically by going over them again with the blade turned off, but the result was meh. I also had to do some reconstruction inside the serged seams (re-seaming with my machine).
- Even though I pressed the crap out of those puckered seams - and it made things 200 per cent better, easily - they're not perfect. I don't know if I'd do princess seams in silk again. That's a lot of seams with a potentially puckery fabric. You should note that these photos are unforgiving. On me, the puckering is barely noticeable. That's the plus of having boobs!
- The last time I made the Pendrell, I used a synthetic with utterly no stretch. And I still found the waist a bit large (I should have made the 8, instead I altered down the 10 so that was a residual challenge). I know this top needs to be roomy, given that there are no closures i.e. it has to fit over your head - plus, it's not meant to fit close - but, given my shape, it's a bit boxier than I'd prefer. This time, given that I had a lot of stretch, I brought the side seams in further. My execution was regrettably not perfect, but I think the shape is better on me. Word to those who are thinking of making the blouse: IMO, it's sized large.
Next up: My pants sloper in stretch wool (another RTW fabric bought from my designer friend). I have every reason to believe this fabric will sew up without trauma. Not that I want to get over-confident!