Sunday, 16 August 2015

Pink Cadillac

Sooo, today I am sharing my second attempt at the Sewing Bee Fashion With Fabric shell top.  The first attempt can be found here.

After making my first attempt (which I still love and wear), I decided some alterations were required - a small FBA and about 2 inches adding to the length, so before I cut out my new shell top, I made this adjustments to the paper pattern.  I have done a few FBAs now, but I still feel that I need to follow instructions to make sure that I have it right, so this tutorial from the Curvy Sewing Collective is the one I use.  I love these guys - they have loads of tutorials for the larger ladies amongst us and you know that what these girlies say is true, because they are also larger ladies and have often encountered the same fitting issues.

Anyway, once I had made these adjustments, I simply needed to cut out my fabric and sew. I say simply . . . .

the wind was whipping my hair (back and forth . . . back and forth)

My fabric feels gorgeous.  It is a poly that cost me the grand sum of £2 a metre from Boyes, but it feels like silk :-)  It also asks like silk!  I don't think I have ever tried to cut or sew anything so slippy slidey :-(  I got there in the end with the cutting, after using a LOT if pins.  It also marks like billio - I was so careful to make sure all pins went in the seam allowance, but when not concentrating properly I am sure a couple may have escaped out and I am panicking that you can see holes in my top now.  No one seems to have notice though, or haven't said anyway - I think I might have hidden/pressed most of them out (I hope).

Anyway, although the fabric is not sheer, it was so drapey I was worried that I need to treat it as such.  I contemplated using sheer interfacing, but in my tiredness (nearly B12 injection time - Sleeping Beauty impression imminent) I cut out ordinary lightweight interfacing.  I seriously should not cut when tired - I managed to cut two fronts for a kid's dress last night.  Luckily I had enough fabric (just) to also cut two backs, but that is sheer dumb luck.  Isn't one of the most important rules of sewing not to cut when tired?!  Why do I not listen to these rules.  Although, in my defence, I am now permanently tired until I get my injection, so if I don't cut when tired, I don't cut at all, which means I don't sew, which I also probably shouldn't do, but that is another issue entirely . . . .

worn yesterday with my Mingoes skirt

So anyway, I cut out the normal interfacing and ironed this to the fabric pieces.  As I was slightly scared of my fabric, I used a very low heat iron - like below silk setting low - and pressed for longer than I usually would to make the glue melt.  I did consider no interfacing whatsoever, but decided that this was probably not wise. 

I then set about sewing - not consulting the instructions of course as who does that when they are on their second make of a simple top - not me that's who.  Who should consult the instructions?  Me!  Especially when sewing relatively late in the evening.  I thought I would start on something easy - sewing in the darts and then the facing pieces together.  The darts were fine - they facing pieces - rookie error!  What in fresh hell made me sew the side seams rather than the shoulder seams.  I know that this hardly ever the way to some something as you are never going to be able to pull the top through to the right side if we all started doing it that way - idiot!  I realised this just as I was finishing the second seam, but I suppose it isn't a Holly project unless at least one seam has been unpicked and re-done.

and from the back . . .
Anyway, I gave up for the evening at that point and picked it up again the next day.  Thankfully, as I had a nice quiet house and started as soon as I got in from work things went pretty smoothly.  I sewed the SHOULDER seams on the main fabric, then attached the facing, the turned it through and sewed the side seams.  I'm not entirely sure what happened in the cutting out stage, but my facing pieces turned out to be too short for the main top pieces.  I still don't know if I cut the main pieces too big or the facing pieces too small, but either way I am blaming the slipperyness of the fabric.  Because I can, so there!

This was but a minor convenience, as upon trying on the top, it turned out that I could simply cut the extra fabric from the main top - unconventional I know, but I don't care, because I am just that side out at the moment.

Anyway, I left it at that at that moment and went to get something to eat and watch Nashville.  Upon return-evousing to the sewing studio (yes, my sister has finally moved out and I have moved my stuff into the spare room instead of the cubbyhole I had previously, so it is now a studio dontchaknow) I only had the facings to sew down at the back, the back seam and the hemming to tackle.  Simples, thought I.  Not so simples said everything else.  I still don't quite know what I did to the back seam, but I somehow seemed to manage to sew half of it inside out.  I only sewed one seam, so God knows is my conclusion on  this one.  It was at this point that hubby returned from cycle club and started talking at me, so I am blaming him, and he got snapped at for it, because he was talking at me while I was trying to figure something out, which I still haven't done, but I did unpick the seam and try again and it turned out fine the second time.

Instead of doing a thread loop for the fastening at the back, I simply folded a piece of pink ribbon and sewed this into the facing.  I then spent hours choosing the correct shade of pink button from my stash to complete the fastening at the back.  This turned out to be pointless, as you will see from the photos.  Upon washing the top, all the colour drained from the ribbon, leaving me with a a white loop, but never mine.  Lesson learned, do a fabric loop.

Hemming was straightforward - I double turned a 1/2 inch hem and then topstitched in place,  it was a bit slippy in places and apparently hubby says there was much cursing, but I do not recall this so it must not be true.

So, on wearing my lovely new pink top (the day after the night before finishing it) with my fave flamingo skirt I had many compliments.  My colleagues (it was dress down day) liked the outfit as a whole (and I was skeptical it was too much pink!), and my friend, Lauren, liked the fabric (not bad for a bargain), so I think it was a win.  Me being me though of course there are some things I could improve on/change.  I still need a further inch or two adding to the length, but that is my personal preference on length - it covers everything, I just like long tops.  I also need to alter the bust dart slightly.  The apex needs to shift down about an inch.  I know this can be a problem when doing FBAs, so I know to alter my paper pattern now, but when I was making this up, I figured the fabric was so cheap it didn't matter if it went a bit higgledy piggledy. On wearing, I have also noticed that the fabric pools a little on the top of my ample buxom, so I might make the fba just that little bit larger.  It is still a perfectly wearable top, it is just things to make it a bit more perfect.

concentrating on keeping my hat on in the wind
I have been and bought some of the fabric in black to make another, and I think I will try the button back hack this time, and I also have some odd feeling, slightly houndstooth fabric to make one aussi.  This could be my next years's One Week One Pattern sorted, although there is fast becoming a couple of contenders for that.  This is definitely my go to pattern for tops, and I have some of my own hacks and added details that I plan to try out on future projects, but you'll just have to wait and see for them.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting!


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