Seriously, I was thinking ‘pretty’ when I bought the lace.
I was shopping Ebay for lace to hem the Up Cycles when I saw this lace yoke. I know these are all done by machine now but it took me back to my younger years when they were done by hand by little old ladies in Prague. Back then they were horribly expensive and I could only drool over such beauties.
My Ebay vendor is apparently also a Etsy vendor located in the US and so my laces arrived quickly. After finishing Up Cycles, I pulled out an ink blue slinky fabric and SP195, Peggy Sagers Sweater Set.
I don’t buy into the advice to ‘just stitch the seams deeper’ that is often given when someone wants to make a knit garment with a woven pattern and again when someone wants to use a normal-knit pattern with slinky fabric. I don’t go there because I’ve already been bitten. One of my first experiences with Slinky was a lovely Copenhagen blue that fit modestly at the neck when I set off for work. By noon time, I was pushing back the shoulders and grabbing the neckline every time I needed to bend forward. By quitting time I was wearing my reserved-for-the-computer-room cardigan to preserve some of my modesty. The slinky top was in the trash as soon as I arrived at home. Over the years, I’ve heard of people leaving Slinky to hang for a week before hemming; and wearing it twice at home before wearing in public; or just flat avoiding any fabric with 100% stretch. Fortunately the manufactures have worked on this issue and recovery has been much improved. But I still want to start with a pattern fit for a well-behaved Slinky.
I copied my now very-nicely fitting SP195 (do you see me glowing with pride?) and made a few pattern changes on front , back and sleeve.
- 1/8″ tuck across the upper bodice though the armscye.
- 1/4″ tuck across the abdomen
- 1/4″ vertically bisecting the neck and leaving the shoulder unchanged.
- 1/2″ horizontal tuck across the sleeve
- RETRUE ALL SEAMS
That is only part of the reason this top took 3 sewing sessions. The lace was the other factor. I cut the front and carefully pinned the lace to the upper bodice. Then I stitched following the lace design. Often, I broke the stitching because not doing so would have been obvious. I stitched slowly, lifting the foot often to allow the slinky to recover and to turn around those curves. Across the bottom of the lace (and bodice), I made 2 horizontal bands of stitching which attached the lace to the bodice. Then I took the front to the bathroom mirror to see how much of the upper bodice I could cut away. I was a little surprised but not unhappy that all but the lower triangles/scallops (which were stitched to the Slinky) could be cut away.
I tackled the back next. I keep the CB seam because it is truly easy to just serge it instead of converting and stitching back darts. For this blouse I was even more pleased because I wanted a back opening
I serged from bottom to with 3″ of the top. Pressed the remaining unserged edges to the sides and top stitched them in place. I added a hair elastic cut in half for my button elastic before proceeding to stitch the shoulders.
Shoulders of the lace are pretty square. Mine are not. Between my natural slope and round back, mine are 5/8″ lower at the sleeve edge. I carefully aligned the back over the front with the sleeve edge of the lace sticking up above; and then stitched using the back for my guide. Once done, I serged the back neck, turned it to the inside and top stitched. The shoulder was folded towards the back and my top stitching caught the shoulder and held it at the neck edge. Once that was done, I turned to the sleeves.
Well, I forgot to mention that while I was working on the pattern and attaching the lace to the front bodice, I had my PE770 running in the back ground producing two motifs for the sleeves
I aligned these center and 4.5″ above the cut sleeve-hem edge; then zig zagged around the outside edge. Unlike the Lace Insets done in March, I did not trim away any of the sleeve fabric. I hemmed the sleeves at the cover stitch; then serged them to the bodice catching the lace armscye and securing it to the sleeve.
I thought for a bit here and decided to serge the side seams before checking fit. A good decision. I found that the bodice length, was almost too short and that was before hemming. Sleeve circumference and length is fine. I’m not sure about bodice circumference. I thought I would need follow-up the 1/4″ serged side seam with a stitched 1/2″ seam (reducing circumference by 1″) . As of the fitting, it looks fine. Question is what will this look like after it’s worn for an hour? Or more?
On the pattern I ripped out the bodice tuck (front and back) over the abdomen area. That will give me enough length for a hem in future garments. This hem I had to think a sec before deciding to finish with wooly nylon— for now (DH’s famous last words)
It gives me a finished hem now and later should I decide my blouse needs to be hemmed shorter, I have a finished edge for a turned up hem.
My only other criticism is that the front hem is rising like a hot air balloon.
OK not that bad but this isn’t the first time I’ve seen the upward tilt of the front hem. I decided to fix the pattern and added 1″ length at CF tapering to 0 at the sides for the next iteration. (Did the same to the base fitted pattern.)
When finished I said “Holy Crap! This is not just pretty, it is dressy!” . So it too gets added to the Holiday Dressing even though I didn’t start with that intention.