How did that dog get in here?

KwikSew3870 and fabric

KwikSew3870 and fabric

Hi everyone! A few little changes to my plans as my fabric search for Vogue 8950 was unsuccessful. I didn’t realize at first that the pattern called for a 2-way stretch fabric, and I couldn’t justify the price of the gorgeous stretch jerseys (but oh how I want them) for a first garment. So, a new fabric choice: bright, lovely rayon challis and a new pattern: KwikSew 3870.

So excited to begin, and then……oh my! Perhaps this isn’t the best fabric for a first make.

It’s so very pretty, but so very shifty. Enter the dog from the title. He came and left his hind legs throughout my cutting and stitching. What to do now? Well, I persevered, cursed a little (only in the most ladylike manner of course), and trimmed and basted and pinned, and re-trimmed and re-basted and re-pinned, and finally we have a tunic. A very long tunic. Not a good match for my short legs. Had already shortened the pattern at sleeves and bodice, but it needed another 2 inches off the bottom. The extra inches are now gone, but it still needs hemming, so no picture until next time. And alas, the fit is a little wonky; I see a fitting class in my immediate future.

So sewing wizards, I have questions. What might have made the cutting out easier? Are there some absolutely necessities I need to start with? Maybe a cutting mat? Do you cut directly on the pattern or transfer all markings with chalk or tracing wheel on transfer paper? Do you hand baste your seams? Machine baste? Just pins? I seem to recall using a long machine stitch to “gather” the sleeve excess at shoulders; does that sound right? Still determined that V8950 will be my next pattern, and I’m looking for a nice orangey-coral, Mood has some nice selections. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, before sharing the finished top, here is a little glimpse of the woods near my home in Rochester NY; we love to walk up there. So relaxing, and lots of wildlife. And now I’m off to hem. Happy sewing, all!

Up in the treetops

Up in the treetops

Entering the woods

Entering the woods

 

 

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19 thoughts on “How did that dog get in here?

  1. I recently changed to cutting everything out using a rotary cutter. I use a lot of stretch fabrics and find a rotary cutter is more accurate with any fabric that ‘shifts’ because scissors tend to lift the fabric up and then it gets distorted. As I am a quilter (sort of) I already had the cutting mat and rotary cutter but I think they are worth the investment even if you are just going to use them for dressmaking.

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  2. I came across a blog post on sewing with chiffon the other day (http://cationdesigns.blogspot.ro/2012/08/guest-post-andrea-of-four-square-walls.html) and you might find some of the advice helpful. I tend to shy away from tricky fabrics like challis and chiffon, so I haven’t tried it out yet, but most of what’s in there is what I’ve heard from other people, so it seems to be the standard advice for shifty fabrics.

    You might consider using a more friendly fabric for your next project . . . cottons that aren’t too light and floaty are usually easier to handle, stay where you put them, and press well. Linen is also usually well-behaved, and often has a nice drape, especially if it’s blended with something else like rayon.

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  3. I have never tried a rotary cutter. I just use shears but lots of people like them.

    In my opinion synthetics are quite hard work compared to cotton which I would start with. It more or less does as it is told. I use pins most of the time. I would not recommend gathering a sleeve head – always ease it in. You will get much better results that way.

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    • Yes, it will definitely be a cotton next time. The good thing about this fabric? The colorful design is so lively that it covers up some of the untidiness. Might even try the same pattern again, it has a nice topstitching all around.

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  4. Yes, I would stay away from slippery fabrics to start with. Rayon is lovely. There are nice cotton blends too. I usually pre-wash my fabric before I cut it. I trace the pattern pieces, but that is not necessary. I do use a mat and a rotary cutter and some kind of weights to keep the pattern piece in place. I quite often mark the fabric with tiny snips into the fabric and/or a chalk marker. I just finished sewing and blogging about sewing with chiffon and I found “Wonder Tape” or something similar helped to keep the fabric still and together as I sewed.

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  5. Just go for it girl!! It won’t be so bad, and if the hem doesn’t work out, see it as a practice and make the top a bit shorter!! I always find the thought of doing something is often harder in your mind than doing it in real life!
    PS I like my rotary cutter too, but probably use it about 50% depending on how I’m feeling!

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    • You are absolutely right about mind….I will finish the top and move on the next one. The pattern has a 1-inch hem on sleeves and bottom (5/8 around side slits) but that seems large for this fabric. Once I decide on that I’m off and running! Thanks for the encouraging words. 🙂

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  6. I can’t wait to see pics of your top when it’s hemmed. I’ll bet it’s lovely. I love to work with finer fabrics but, always need to remind myself to go slow and make sure I have correct needles, machine settings and such. I have yet to try using a rotary cutter for cutting out garments. I love using it for squaring up my fabric and the little bit of quilting I do. After reading some of these post I may just have to give it a try. It makes sense to me about how it keeps the fabric laying flat rather than lifting it with the scissor blade. And I also agree that our minds can create such huge hesitation when trying something new. I have to remind myself that I LOVE learning new skills then take a deep breath and jump right in. I usually don’t regret it either.

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    • Hi! Pics will probably be up next week. The busy print hides much of the wonkiness so it really will be fine I hope. (Maybe there were some adjustments that I should have made to my machine….no “notices”, so I just forged on (slowly). I’m going to try that rotary cutter, too. So much good advice on these blogs! Have lots of supplies to obtain, since I’m still just getting started. You’re so right about learning new skills…always a positive thing, isn’t it. It’s best to keep at the front of the mind, and not leave room for hesitation! But, it’s coming. Fun, fun, fun to be back playing with fabrics and patterns and all. I’ve really missed it!

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