Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Plenty of Fabric No Fashion...Yet

Hello everyone.  Once again the week is flying by.  How about yours?  Thank you for your thoughts and comments on the knit stripe tee.  The Slapdash Sewist asked if I had any neckband secrets.  You may have already seen this tutorial.  It is how I finished the neckband with the previous knit top.  I think this is my favorite technique for very lightweight knits. It brings more stability to the neckline; more than just turning and topstitching with a coverstitch machine, for instance.  Also, if you don't have a coverstitch machine, I do think this is the nicest looking finish with a regular sewing machine.  I will do the turn and topstitch method on substantial knits like cotton lycra jersey or doubleknit.  The third method I like to use, for medium weight knits, is cutting a binding, stitching it to the neckline, then folding it over the seam allowance, thus encasing it, and topstitching it down with my coverstitch machine.  On the latter two techniques, once you've topstitched, you can then trim the excess fabric from the binding or the fold over, to have a cleaner finish.   If I use the binding technique or the neckband tutorial technique I usually cut the binding or neckband at least 2 inches shorter than the opening to snug it up a bit. 

Here are a couple of other things I like to keep in mind.  If I don't have to stretch the neckband to get it over my head, I use a straight stitch to attach my neckband or binding, mostly because I like the way straight stitching looks.  However, if I have to stretch the neckline to pull it over my head then I like to use a very short zigzag stitch.  If your zigzag stitch is too long you can really see the wide gaps in the stitches around the neckband.  I don't like that look, so I set my stitch length short.  However, to maintain your stretch, make sure you set your zigzag stitch wide.  The loose rule I follow is: the stretchier the fabric the wider my zigzag.  You can still set the stitch length short, just make the zigzag wide.  I hope there is some new information in these explanations, and I share this based on my own personal experience.  There might be better ways, but these things seem to work for me.

Up next, the Ready-to-Wear Tailoring Sew-A-Long is starting on April 1st, and I am definitely participating.  I've settled on a pattern and fabric, based on this rtw inspiration outfit from the pages of In-Style magazine:

From InStyle magazine.
I'll be using Burda 7421 for my pattern and a grey pincord suiting for the fabric.  This is certain to be a good challenge for me as I have not made a jacket since high school, I believe, and welt pockets will be a new technique.  I am not making a muslin, so this will either be a hit or miss.  Burda patterns usually fit me pretty well so I hope it's a hit!

I am also excited to report that the bamboo jersey arrived for my soon to be tie-dye outfit from BurdaStyle magazine.  What a scrumptious color and texture.  It doesn't have a lot of stretch, but should work out fine for for design #118.   
I am also squeezing in one more skirt before the jacket.  I am revisiting New Look 6944 and am making View A out of a flowing, deep, red, linen/rayon, blend.  I didn't have enough fabric for the tie, so I am making the nifty belt carriers from the previously posted Burda shorts pattern.  I found a fun cardigan at Old Navy, cheap, that is to go with the skirt.  I hope to show you the whole outfit by the end of the week!  



Irene said...

Quite a line-up of projects you have there. I am so looking forward to seeing all the results of the jacket sew-along. Seems as though quite a few people signed on for that one.

Re: stitching along the neckline on knits - I always just use a straight stitch for the topstitching, even for turtle necks, and I've never had that seam pop. It's interesting how there are so many ways to get to the same goal. All that matters, is that it looks good in the end.

Mary Nanna said...

That jacket pattern is going to look fabulous on you.

Vanessa said...

I always live checking out what you have coming up next! I know everything will be fabulous!

Alexandra Mason said...

I love the Burda Jacket you have chosen. Thanks for the link to the neckband tutorial, i haven't seen that one before..can't wait to try another t-shirt now!

Joy said...

Busy, busy!

I love that striped shirt - the sleeve length is fun, too.

And I look forward to seeing your Burda jacket. I have too much on my plate to participate in the sewalong now, but the info will be there when I need it. And Sherry does a good job with tutorials, so I know it'll be helpful.

Myra said...

Love your sections! If I hadn't already joined the "The Over The Top" challenge, I would have liked to join this one!

Good Luck!

Karin said...

Thanks for your tips on how to finish the neck on knit tops. I am also going to try the RTW challenge. My children are off school for two weeks this April, so I will be out of sewing action for much of the month, but I will just trail along into May if I have to!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Thank you for the link and all your tips! Neckline finish is not an area in which I excel.

Caroline said...

Wow, fun plans! I'm going to check out your tutorial for neckline binding as I am really enjoying sewing with knits these days. You are so productive! I think I have as many plans as you, but alas, they do not get accomplished so quickly. :)

I'm looking forward to following the jacket sew along. I would love to do a jacket someday, having never done a tailored one.

Anonymous said...

I'm so looking forward to everything you let us know about making the jacket. I want to make one too and my previous sewing experiences were always hit (actually mostly - but that was quite a time ago) or miss. I'm hoping you'll share as much as you can about making the jacket because maybe I can benefit and be encouraging to follow your lead (1 size bigger) I think.
Thank you,