Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tip Top

It must be the change in the amount of daylight, or the sun's angle in the sky, but my brain has really kicked into craft gear. I can't stop thinking about upcoming projects. Some might call it rumination. I like to call it creativity.  At any rate, here's where I'm at:

The Peplum Top

Since I didn't hear back from the pattern designer, I opted to cut out the Salme paper pattern in a size 12.  (Update: Elisa, pattern designer, just replied with very helpful feedback. She thought she had replied to my question but her email got shuffled to her drafts. More on this feedback in a later post.) S, my fitting friend, gave me this awesome double pencil gizmo that lets you trace the outside of your pattern while simultaneously drawing a 5/8" seam allowance. Really made that part of the job less onerous than usual. It took about an hour to tape the paper, cut the 12, tape it to tracing paper and add the seam allowances. Very reasonable, IMO.  

What I like about patterns that don't include SAs is that it's easy to see what the finished garment dimensions will be because you can actually observe the outer edge of the pattern, minus those allowances. I suspect the 12 is going to be too large, though it remains to be seen. It would appear that the shoulders will be 16" (a good inch wider than mine) and the bust will be 41" (2.5" larger than mine). Of course, how this will fit is much more ephemeral than simple flat pattern math so I'm going to have to make a muslin to check it out. (Ain't avoiding that, apparently.)

It occurs to me that, for my body - in my experience, so far  - I'd rather cut to fit the bust and then grade all the other areas down a size - exactly what the experts tell you NOT to do. Thing is, the more I learn about my shape, as it interacts with various patterns, the more I discover that I am generally the larger size in the bust only and the smaller size everywhere else. I think this is a strange feature of my narrow proportions. Maybe an FBA won't work for me because I really just need a bit more space in the bust (rather than everywhere). Anyway, this is my latest experiment, based on the learning I've done on bodice fitting in the past few months. Of course, were I draping or drafting to fit my exact size, or working with someone else (S is very occupied at the moment and we're not well set up in my sewga room with the reno) then I would likely approach this another way. But different circumstances call for different measures. And all learning is invaluable.

Moving onto the fun part, here's how I've decided to a) use my stash fabric to b) make something sassy:

Remember this garment:

It was made of 2 fairly expensive fabrics - navy lace and navy silk charmeuse. It just so happens that I have just enough left of each to make this top.  Instructions for the peplum top indicate that the top is lined (the finishing method). Lace, being see-through, will not hide ragged seams, so I will need to underline the lace with the charmeuse in order to create the fashion shell. (Note to reader: Haven't done this before so I wonder how it's going to go.)

Natch, that leaves me still in search of a lining. What to do?

Well, I'm going to use this silk charmeuse, presuming it's compatible with the weight of the navy:

It's an unusual pairing, but I'm motivated to give it a go.

In summary, vis a vis the peplum top, I've got 2 things to work on: fitting this garment (muslin-process) and then making it up. I'm hopeful I can get through the fitting process this weekend.

The Sweater

The other thing to occupy my attention this weekend is finishing the McCardell Convertible. I hope to have the final knitting done tonight or tomorrow. I've sure made a lot of progress in the last 2 days. After this, I still have to block (trying to determine which method to use), press, seam, hem, use ribbon or seam binding on the hem and insert the closure.

I have to say that the second side has gone WAY faster than the first, partly because I figured out how everything will work while making the first side (so I could apply it to the second) and partly because of the detailed instructions I wrote for myself. 

I really hope this thing is going to be wearable - though I'd be wise not to get my hopes up too high. As a distant alternative, I suppose I can hope that it will work perfectly on someone else. You know you've become some crazy-ass crafter when you'll consider your project to have been a success if it teaches you how to avoid pitfalls in your next version.
Today's question: What do you think of the strange pairing on the peplum top?


  1. I love patterns with no seam allowances too. My sewing mentor friend who sews professionally (she works for a place that makes costumes for Broadway shows now) taught me to remove seam allowances on patterns and to add them in after, saying at work they do this a lot and it makes fitting more accurate. She was also trained in Switzerland (she's Swiss) so this might have something to do with it as well.

    1. Fascinating! It really is much easier to figure out what's going on.

  2. I have come to like the lack of seam allowances with Lekala patterns. I don't worry if my cutting is off a little bit because I have the seam lines marked on the fabric.

    I think the top would be lovely. What a great way to use up your scraps and stash and silk charmeuse would be lovely as the lining.

    1. I'm hoping it's going to work out alright. And I just realized that the peplum is not lined, so I may be able to line in self fabric (if I'm careful with the cutting).