Wednesday, December 6, 2006

The Agony continues

Its the third day, now, and I'm still working on the shell. After much welcome advice from group members, I re-tackled the edges.

First I removed the twill tape, then cut pieces of crossgrain velour for a binding. Watched the video, clipped 1/4 inch off the seam allowance, measured , stretched, and did all the fitting fun at the neckline. The 1.5" wide velour strip would not stay together at the edges even long enough to pin it in place. Each edge rolled under itself and totally disregarded the opposing edge. I considered basting the edges together, but didn't. This strip of binding became THE ENEMY.

I toughed it out, and pinned the binding on. There is a secret to how much shorter the binding is than the neckline. I've read a few articles, watched the video, and all you can get are suggestions. Only experience tells you -- sort of like how you know when muffins are done. Anyway, the pinned neckline looked like it was going to make gatherings in the shirt fabric, so I chucked to velour strip with a MIGHTY SIGH OF DEFEAT. Thanks to input from a group member, I re-considered interfacing the neckline and folding it under.

That process went quite well. I used a light-weight pellon fusible, not the slippery knit stuff. The edges stayed put and folded under nicely. Next time I would do it before sewing together the top, as it is quite painful to get the iron on the interfacing without mushing up the shirt pieces.

I basted. The neckline looked as if it would pop out a bit, but once stitched, it seems ok. I only did one row of topstitching. Tending to leave well enough alone. One bit of one armhole has a few wrinkles. That's because, after stitching the neckline I decided to remove the basting then and there, before stitching the armholes. Somehow, I removed the basting from the armhole I had not yet sewn! I did not rebaste before stitching it. Will I never learn!

Some days are just not sewing days. However, all that's left is the hem, and with luck I'll get to that tonight. What do I like about this? I like the darts, and I like the way the back fits after the bazillion changes I made to the seam line. I'm not crazy about the neckline, and the extra fullness there annoys me. I am experimenting with a nice button at the front to hide the mistakes.

This is not a pattern I will repeat in knit -- I still like the idea of having a basic shell pattern, so I might give this one a try in a woven fabric -- with suitable modifications.

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