Monday, January 23, 2012

The Sewing Continues Apace...

Somehow, though it's hard to say why - see, I've really have been trying to stay low key - I've been oddly productive on the sewing front.

I'm two (or three) garments down on the six I've committed to making for the Spring Basics Palette, now that I've completed the Kwik Sew yoga pants and another version of the Jalie top. The second top isn't technically in the plan, but I had my reasons.

Yesterday I spent an hour altering the yoga pants to match my TNT crotch depth and length and I'm shocked to tell you that it took a mere 15 minutes to cut the 3 pieces and then 2 hours to put the garment together. It's a really clear design. If you've ever sewn with knits before, or sewn pants before - and you know your way around a zig zag stitch and some elastic - it's quick. With a serger, it's delightful. Of course, getting to this stage takes some time. But once you're there, it's lovely.

I regret to say that photos make this (somewhat pedestrian, let's face it) garment look utterly shapeless. It's not. In fact, it fits well. Much better than my previous versions wherein I had not yet taken an 2 inches out of the back crotch length (I took the same 2 inches out of the front piece at the lengthen/shorten line to even the hems) and altered both front and back for crotch depth:

Oooh, pretty "faux coverstitch", accomplished with a twin needle.

These cost $12.00 to make. Not bad, given that ones you find in the store often cost 4 times that amount and, often, they don't fit well.

I'm thrilled to tell you that my serger completely cooperated on the pants project and on the second Jalie top:

This is one of the ways, other than a bow, in which you can wear the ties. They're threaded through an inch wide hole that begins an inch below the apex of the V. I've top stitched the seam allowances above the hole (to the apex) to keep that area clean and stable. The pattern doesn't actually instruct this, but I think it's wise the long run. However, it does mean that you can see the stitches.

I know that this looks weird at the front arm hole. Again, my dress form is wider than me and sometimes garments pull on it, though they do not pull on me. This is one of those instances.

You're right in wondering: Wait, a second. Didn't she say that the pants were gonna be grey? And that a second Jalie isn't a part of the Spring Basics palette.

Here's the thing. I realized a few days ago that I didn't have enough of the grey cotton jersey to make the yoga pants. I had 1 yard, 60" wide. It looked like enough when I turned it against the direction of greatest stretch, but when I realized what I was working with, it just wasn't going to fly.

At the same time, I found the remainder of the orange knit I used to make this wrap dress.

(On a total tangent: I did what someone recommended (can't remember who, right now!) and just cut the facings off that dress, right close to the top stitch line that I added in an effort to keep everything lying flat. You may remember that the facings kept flipping up. Nothing worked but cutting them off - and now the dress fits fantastically, even if it does look horrendous on the inside. I will likely not make it again, too much effort, but if I were to, I would totally finish the edges with self bias tape.)

Back to the Jalie: I had just enough of the orange knit to make the sleeveless version of the Scarf Collar Top. But I did have to shorten the tie by about 3 inches on each side. That's why the pull through version works better than a bow, though a compact bow is achievable.

This knit is more stable than the floral I used for the last version. I actually prefer the heavy drape of the floral bamboo jersey. This orange jersey is rayon, I think. It's got nice drape too, but it's not quite the same. So my vote is to use very drapey fabric. Almost as drapey as it gets.

I will use the grey jersey to make the T shirt for which I was intending to use the aubergine rayon knit. One must be flexible.

Note that I finished the sleeves before serging the sides together. And I finished the hem before serging the final side seam. I much prefer to finish flat garments, when possible.

Alas, I had just enough orange thread to do the top stitching - that was even using a different colour thread in the bobbin! - and my hem top stitching is woefully terrible. I had the machine tension set too high. Oh well, there's no fixing it now. So I'm just going to ignore that aspect of things and enjoy the rest of the work.


  1. I love the new blouse! So how do you keep your serger stitches from sewing when you do the side seams? I always hem last because it hides my serger stitches that way, but I'd prefer to sew them flat if possible.

  2. How nice that I got to see this top in a solid color—now I get to enjoy and understand how the entire neckline works.

  3. I love that top - great colour, too! I have a shopping list of Jalies as long as my arm for when I finally go on this (much-delayed) business trip to Montreal... (Please tell me they're cheaper locally, right??)

  4. B: I'm not getting what you mean about the serging. Can you say it a diff way so my brain understands it better? :-)

    E: Isn't it a fun way to wear the ties??

    Melissa: I have only ever bought from Jalie online. I've never seen their patterns at fabric stores but, in truth, I buy practically every pattern online so I don't pay much attention. They cost me 13.00 plus tax and nominal shipping fee - so CDN 18.00 all in which is about the same as the Euro cost. Maybe you'll save in the shipping (or with the exchange rate)?

    Clio: I love it.

    Thanks Katy.

  5. Nice job on the yoga pants, they look really comfortable. Love the faux top stitching, I've gotten that effect as well using the cover stitch machine.

    The orange top is the tops!

  6. Love the orange - wish I could wear that colour....

  7. I love that orange top. The pulled through ties is a really nice look.

  8. I'm in love with that top. I need to order that pattern!

  9. That's a really striking top, and I'm so glad you got the pants fit figured out! I just ordered the Jalie yoga pants pattern the other week... I've been meaning to make up my own from an old pair that fits like a dream, but I finally decided I just wasn't getting around to it. Only problem is all the really good athletic knits are super-duper-astonishingly expensive. And somehow they never go on clearance, either... :P

  10. Oops! I realized that what I mean was how do you keep the serger threads from SHOWING at the hem or whatever? Or do you just always use matching thread and don't worry about it?

  11. Susan: Ah, the cover stitch machine is the "real" method! You've got the authentic top stitching.

    Emily: You know, I love to say that everyone can wear every colour - just gotta find the right shade.

    Sera: Thanks!

    Erin: Don't delay :-)

    T: I know, they are! I've been using rayon jersey or t shirt cotton jersey, but it's not as good as that tencel stuff the likes of which you see at Lulu Lemon. That stuff is a fortune, if you can find it.

    B:Sometimes they poke out at the bottom. I just snip them close which is, btw, not what you're supposed to do. You're supposed to thread the trail back under the serge line. It seems v complicated though. At very least, I should be fray checking the edges.