Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Winding-Down Weirdness

The SWAP is coming to an end. So is my sanity.

Nothing is going very well. Mistakes everywhere. Someone on the board mentioned not being in the Zone, and I think that is what's happened. All my hobbies are done when I "feel like it." Otherwise, the quality suffers. In an effort to finish this project, I've been working when I should not be, and mistakes and errors of judgement abound.

However -- the Stippled Jacket is done, except for buttons, and I'm not sure I even want buttons on it. I know about all its shortcomings, but it seems to be getting lots of compliments, so they must not be too noticeable. There are a few things I would do differently next time....I think they are noted, or will be, on the Instructions Page which I was bold enough to write with ZERO experience beforehand.

The bamboo cowl neck top has turned into a wadder. The neckline seam doesn't want to go together correctly, I've misplaced the sleeves, and I generally got sick of it.

Arrival: Burda WOF for March!! I chose a pattern for a tunic style top. (#103) (without the decorative buttons)

I should note that the pattern pieces for this shirt are very oddly shaped, and should be carefully marked as to where the top of each piece is. I spent awhile looking at my unlabelled front pieces trying to figure which of the 4 sides was the shoulder seam. (Tip: a friend last evening, at our Sewing Group meeting suggested that when tracing a pattern, you should only put the upward facing arrow on the grain line. That way, you always know if your pattern pieces are headed the right way.)

By happy chance, this shirt is Burda's Sewing Lesson of the Month, so there are detailed instructions. This is a cool shirt. Not being in the Zone however, I messed it up miserably by making my muslin from a lovely soft viscose fabric that slips a bit when being cut, and a lot when being sewed. It drapes beautifully, and anyone in the Zone would have used fusible interfacing on the bands, especially with soft flowy fabric. Not me. I chose this moment to experiment for the first time with slippy soft flowy silk organza. DUH. Long story short: There are a few wrinkles where they aren't supposed to be, a few seams not quite straight. But not so terrible as not to be wearable. (I am a poet in another life).

The worst part of the tunic experience is that I decided to actually follow the given directions. Not something I necessarily do, but something I have learned in this SWAP is that I can get into trouble inventing my own rules. BUT...in this case, the Burda instructions leave raw edges of seams at the neckline (where there is a zipper), and at the bottoms of the sleeves -- where I know they are essentially invisible, but still.......As well, the interfacing is exposed on the inside of the garment. Never saw that before either.

After realizing that I should have followed my instinct about the bands and sewed them on so as to hide the seams, I decided to try to do that after the fact, ripping out a bit of seam/topstitching and trying to undo and redo stitching, all to no avail and resulting in loads of frayed ends and frustrations. After all that, the sleeves seem to pull awkwardly and hang crooked.

As we speak, I have decided to forgo the bands on the sleeves, totally remove them and hem the openings. This presents its own set of fitting issues because of the kimono type styling to the sleeve/side seams.

On another point, this pattern calls for a 24" invisible zipper in the back. I could only find a 22" one, and even though I added an inch to the length of the garment, the zipper is still extra long.

Though I don't like its directions, most of my troubles are self-induced on this pattern, which of course is another way of describing a learning experience. It has intriguing construction and fashionable syle, and I will make another one of these someday, but probably not for the SWAP. My nice red cotton which was to have been my post-muslin shirt will be made into something without so much oddness. Meanwhile, off to supper, and then another attempt to get this one finished.

Later: I got the sleeves organized in an acceptable manner; I'm leaving the zipper until morning. I have to figure out how to finish the seams, as they want to fray all over the place. I probably should have serged as I went along. (Note to self about next time!).

I think there's hope for this shirt, assuming the zipper goes ok, but it won't be a masterpiece.

1 comment:

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Betty ~ I totally feel you! I am in the same place right now...just treading along trying to keep my head above water! But I know you can do it. I know you can finish it and Julie has mercifully given us a few more days....