During the week I shared a blog post about my new sewing project and how I was working with stretch fabrics for the first time. I wanted to share my progress with you and let you know how I got on – so here goes!
As you know, I spent a lot of time getting the measurements right and carefully cutting out my pattern. In the end there were only 4 pieces of fabric needed to construct the top: a front and back – made from the ‘lemon summer’ floral jersey fabric – and two sleeves, which I cut from lilac jersey fabric from Minerva. The top was constructed in a rather unusual way (or at least in a way what I’ve never done before) which was to sew the darts and stitch the top seam of the front and back together to make a sort of tabard before insert the open sleeves into the open sleeve holes – so the sleeves were stitched in at the shoulders before sewing up the side seams or the sleeve seams.
The sides were then stitched in one continuous line from cuff of the sleeve, up the arm and back down the side seams. I tacked this seam using a long stitch so that I could try it on for size, and even though I’d double checked all the measurements on the pattern, the top was still too large for me. So I took the opportunity to take in the seams at both sides when I stitched them closed using a zig-zag stitch to allow it to stretch with the fabric. Because I was using a stretch thread (Mettler Serflock) I was able to straight stitch around a finger-rolled cuff to finish off the sleeves and I did a double-row of top stitching at the hem of the top (above).
I decided to finish off the neckline with some contrasting pink stretch bias binding to pick out the colours in the floral fabric. This was a great product to work with and I could use it in the same way as normal binding, but it stretched easily around the curved neckline and still has a little bit of give in the fabric so that it can easily be pulled on and off over my head. I pinned the binding around the neckline and stitched the binding open, using a straight stitch into the crease line. I then folded this back to behind the fabric, ironed it flat and then pinned again before stitching around the neckline on the right side, very close to the edge of the binding, but not on it. This caught the binding at the back and stitched it in place without leaving a line on top of the binding at the front.
I am very pleased with how my summer top has turned out and I will share some photos of the finished item soon. I really love the colours and floral pattern. It was such an easy design to create, with very few pattern pieces and nothing too technical – I guess that’s why it says ‘FACILE/EASY’ in big letters on the Vogue pattern! I guess it would have been more tricky if I’d used the neckline pattern pieces rather than using stretch bias binding, but if I can find a shortcut to creating something that looks great in half the time, I will of course use it! I’m planning to make this pattern again in different fabrics and I think it would take me even less time and effort now that I’ve done it once – who needs high street shops anyway?! 😉