A New Tool and A Half-Assed Project

Have I mentioned how wonderful the online sewing community is? Because seriously, it’s great. Someone, somewhere, pointed out that JoAnn’s was having a sale on Singer dressforms on August 1 only. The husband happened to have the day off, and went to the store for me and picked one up. I paid 40% of the retail price! I’ve wanted a dressform but didn’t want to spend the money, and this sale was the perfect opportunity. So, without further delay, meet “Alice”:

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“Alice,” being indecently naked

It’s been handy having her around already: she wears my Hawthorne for me so that I don’t have to keep it in the closet!

On Wednesday, I stumbled across the Sorbetto pattern from Colette. (Again, I have no idea how or where, but thank goodness for other sewists!) I downloaded and printed it and decided that I would make it out of some Hawthorn scraps so that I could wear it for an out-of-town thing we had this weekend. I cut everything out on Wednesday night and did all my sewing on Thursday. Unfortunately, I hit many a snag during the course of this project. First, my scraps were not nearly plentiful enough to make this entire tank top–I cut the back on a fold, but couldn’t do the same for the front. I gonzo’d my way out of that by squeezing the front pattern piece onto the fabric twice and letting the pleat section overhang the edge. Since I had some other scraps (thank goodness I didn’t throw them out!) from another dress I’m working on, I substituted a strip of that for the pleat section. I measured it and cut the appropriate width, and sewed it to the front pieces just inside the pleat area; the idea was that I could then sew the pleat on the original pleat line without having bulky stitches. It worked! I gamely proceeded forth, getting so far as to attach the neck binding (in the contrasting color again) before trying the top on. BIG mistake. It’s super tight across my chest and barely goes on over my head! I cut the size 0 because that’s the size I wore in the Hawthorn; I assumed (dumb of me, I know) that the 0 in a 60’s-style swing top would also fit me. Nooooooooope. Not only that, but when I ironed the pleat and basted it, I apparently did it off-center. Since the color is contrasting, it’s pretty obvious. Lesson learned: don’t “eyeball” stuff, even on a quick project!

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The sad Sorbetto

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At least my binding looks kind of okay!

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It may not look like it, but it’s super snug. In a bad way.

After trying it on, I stopped working on the project. The armholes aren’t bound yet, and the hem isn’t done. (Speaking of which, it’s already too short without being hemmed. I can’t win!) I did French seams again, and I’m thinking I will need to let them out and use a very small seam allowance instead to ease the pressure around my bust. I haven’t even tried this on with my bras, and it barely fits; adding the bra would probably pop the seams! I’ll also need to realign the center pleat, which means unpicking the very center of the neck binding. Needless to say, I headed out on our road trip wearing one of my RTW tank tops and a scowl!

I’m trying to make myself feel better by finishing my other project and planning the next one. They are both from vintage patterns, and I’ll post more about them another night. Since we were so busy and sleep-deprived this weekend, it’s past this blogger’s bedtime!

Wherein the blogger has no spare time

Can I just say that I’m really glad that the Hawthorn Sew-Along is focusing on versions that I’m not sewing for the next couple of posts??? I am so far behind that it’s making me crazy. All I want to do is sew this damn dress, but life beckons. Dear Life: Please go away for a minute so a bitch can do some sewing!!!

Since it’s me we’re talking about, things can’t just go smoothly during this process. (Not that you knew that, but I have a feeling it will become clear as I post more about my projects. O_o) First, I realized that I had gotten the wrong kind of interfacing upon seeing the photos on the official Sew-Along post(s). I got a very thin web-like variety that is fusible on both sides, so in the end I improvised and made a fabric sandwich with muslin, my interfacing, and my fabric. It worked very well, but I could have done without the extra work and frustration! I screwed up part of the collar, which meant re-cutting, re-fusing, and re-sewing most of the pieces for that. So between all my setbacks, novice mistakes, working, and a sudden uptick in social engagements, I have stalled out right about there. Hopefully I’ll carve out some time tonight and at least get the bodice faced, collar’d, and sewn together at the side seams. (Who am I kidding? I’d settle for ONE of those things getting accomplished.)