TRT: SleeveLESS Knit Top

I have a respectable stack of fabrics ear-marked for sleeveless tops. A sleeveless top takes a fraction of a yard. Well a little more if you make facings.  I accumulated these small yardages in the “Sleeveless Tops” stack from excess fabric from` winter sewing. Also I regularly cruise the remnants section of FashionFabricsClub.com.  I often find a piece or two that will make a nice summer top. I wash and then put it in the stack until summer finally arrives. Summer is here but I don’t have a sleeveless pattern which fits. Well, not one I trust.  My sloper will needs additional work. Even more to turn it into a sleeveless wonder. I’ve contemplated what it would take to make the TRT sleeveless.  I’m sure this can be done.  It would be a variation of a classic princess seamed vest.  Then I realized a pattern I had passed over might have the answer.

Yes, it’s right there in the “Swing Variations”. The vest. The people at Fit for Art have already modified the TRJ into a sleeveless Vest. I ordered the pattern and adapted the swing side-panel for my Spring 6 PAC 3rd layer (my post here).  It seemed natural to me to now pursue the idea of adapting the side panel to create a sleeveless knit top.

I’m using a remnant cotton-lycra knit with about 80% stretch. More stretch than I wanted, but this is a fabric I can easily toss if I make a mess.

I copied the straight side panel then added 3″ height to the top of the panel.  I convinced myself that the vest (in which the armscye is usually lower) was 2″ longer than the straight panel and by adding 1 more inch the side panel would be as tall as I needed.   I thought that I would probably need to narrow the panel at the top (the underarm) but decided to wait until I could actually see, on me, how much narrowing was needed.  Well that was interesting

The side panel just barely covers my underwear! What you can’t see is that I have pinned a 1.5″ dart in the center under the arm to make the new side panel narrow enough beneath the underarm. Then I took a 12″ ruler in the bathroom  and standing  in front of the full-length mirror  measured how much higher the side-panel needed to be. To my surprise, I measured 2.5″ and could have raised it even more.

Well I did. I added 3″ to the top (now a total of 6″). Then I measured out from the center of the side panel 3″ on either side (of the center mark). I wrestled with my curve for a while before reaching the conclusion that I would need to draw the curve so far and then reverse it to make a nice smooth side seam. Then I cut a second panel and basted into place.

The new panel worked so well I finished the neckline and top of the armscye panel with FOE before folding the bodice along the ‘armscye’ 5/8″ to the inside and top stitching from hem up the side panel, over the shoulder and back down.  Lastly I top stitched a hem in place.

I like this but I may want other versions in which the armscye rests on the edge of my shoulder.

See? It is pretty shoulder baring  and

like the vest square, angular where the panel meets the bodice. However, that’s not bad. It’s an interesting detail I just don’t want that style detail on every sleeveless blouse I make. I see a couple of options. I could finish the armscye with a classic rib binding. I could and probably will wrestle with my sloper until I make a nice sleeveless classic  top.  I could continue to alter the side panel adding more width across the shoulders as well as curve where the side panel joins the bodice. I could recopy the bodice front and back, apply my alterations without narrowing  across the shoulders. It could be interesting.  But for now, this is ready to make over and over.  Love the TRT pattern. Just love it.

 

 

The 3rd Layer

I had given up on making a 3rd layer for my Spring 6PAC.  I couldn’t choose from amongst the large number of possibilities. Every time I imagined my fabric in one of those, I’d see a big blanket somebody forgot to leave in the bed. I’m a short woman, but no longer small.  Like most of my ancestors, OK maybe only the aunts and uncles I remember, as I have aged I’ve added width. While not the biggest in the room, I’m still substantial. A very bright fabric will make me look like a walking easy-chair or bed-blanket. Normally, I mull things over, make a decision and cope with the result good, bad or ugly. Partly because I love this fabric and want to use it to best effect, this time I just couldn’t reach a decision.

So one slapped me in the face. Well, what happened is that I love the Fit For Art Jacket and Tee patterns so much I’ve been contemplating what would be necessary to convert them to sleeveless versions. I’d come to the point of realizing that I would need to ditch the sleeve and reshape the side piece. Yes the side piece would need to be longer,  raised to a decent point in the underarm area, but would also need some changes so that it filled in the side-boob area. I don’t know how many times I looked at and dismissed the Swing Jacket alternative

Swing tops have a limited presence in my closet. They are a nice variation but I don’t want them to dominate. Just don’t.  So I skipped over this swing version until I realized that with the vest,  FFA has already done some of the work needed for converting the pattern to sleeveless blouse.I saw enough here to make the purchase. Cha-ching!

I think there is a 1/4 pattern-sheet. Not much tissue and not many pieces.  I’m not interested in the neck and sleeve flounces. Because of the alterations I make, the flounces will need to be redrafted. It is a waste of time for me to copy the flounces when I’m going to redraft anyway.   I’m not interested in guides for cutting bias or a straight band.  Hello?  I make a better cut with rotary cutter, ruler and dimensions that a light, easily blown about and small tissue piece. (Long skinny tissues are even worse. I can knock them to China and back with no effort at all.)Honestly,  if this doesn’t work for me, I’m going to feel I paid much too much.  Especially since there wasn’t a straight side piece. Why was I thinking there would be?  My bad. Definitely my bad. But I was able to figure it out how to create a straight side piece for the vest.  I pressed the tissue and pulled out my side piece for comparison.

I think my side piece is 2″ shorter than the swing side for the vest.  I traced the upper oh 4″ of the vest piece then laid my side piece on top to trace its long sides

Finally, I trimmed the excess from my tissue

I marked both the large and medium sizes and measured the difference (1/2″ on each side) because I plan to use the large for vests and the medium for blouses.

Now it was a matter of cutting and stitching fabric. I used the originally selected boucle. I want my vest to last. I’ve noticed the vests which wear the best; the vests that look good year in and year out, are heavily interfaced and lined.  Well, I didn’t want this heavily interfaced.  I don’t want to stiffen the boucle.  I want a relaxed vest. I looked for lining but didn’t find anything I thought would work well with my 6PAC plans. I opted to fully interface the vest pieces with fusible tricot.  I was looking at a lighter fusible (I wanted to retain the soft drape of the boucle) but decided upon this slightly heavier interfacing because I’d already decided no lining and this tricot was slick. I want a slick lining.  Well what I want is a lining that slips over whatever is underneath and doesn’t catch or cling. The tricot was a better match for that characteristic. I cut interfacing first so that I could immediately fuse the boucle when it was cut.  I returned the boucle to the cutting table after fusing; placed the pattern tissue back on top and trimmed boucle+interfacing back to pattern dimensions. Then I stitched darts and shoulder seams.  I finished the long side seams (front +back) with a quick run through the serger.

I mucked about with the front band.  Part of me saying “Hurry so this will be done within the 6PAC time-frame” and part of me saying “Relax. Lot’s of 6PAC’s  are posted after the end date”.  Part of me knows the real ‘win’ is getting a coordinated wardrobe; but part of me wants to beat the deadline at all costs. The logical side won. So I mucked about, eventually deciding I wanted a band that wrapped the front edge with a 3-button closure.  I cringed when it came to cutting bias from the boucle.  I know that cutting the band will leave large remnants of fabric virtually unusable. Least, I never seem to find a use for them. I considered cutting a band cross-grain but this band must follow the curved neck.  I know from experience that a woven fabric, especially a woven without any Lycra, will not stretch around the neckline and I will have an uncomfortable neckline. Eventually, I remember the 1+ yard of fabric left from my Second Blue T. I had gleefully placed it in the stack I think of as “Summer Tanks”.  It’s a wonderful weight fabric that works 4 seasons of the year.  I cut a small strip and started experimenting with wrapping the edge.  I wanted a french binding. You know, one large strip folded in half sewn raw edges together; wrapped and top stitched. The small strip (1-3/4″) was widened to 2-1/4″ and finally 3″ before I liked the results.

Even with the sample, I wondered if it looked OK.  Did it look cheap?  I double checked with DH who wouldn’t know couture if it bit him in the rear. But, he does know when something looks cheap, haphazard or other wise not flattering.  With his approval given, I trimmed the back neckline 1/2″ deeper.  My rounding back results in necklines creeping forward and being uncomfortable. I was afraid that between that and having 2 necklines fighting for dominance (vest and blouse/sweater), I would be unhappy. So I trimmed the neckline and then bound the entire edge from hem up, across neck and down the other side to the hem.

The pattern comes with extensive directions. Enough to make me fall asleep. I’ll give it to them. They are thorough and I should not complain.  I skipped over most and went directly to the vest instructions. Reading carefully before I even adapted the tissue for a straight side from the flared side.  I was surprised at how the armscye was finished. If I read this correctly, the underarm of the side piece is bound; the side piece sewn to the front and back and then the armscye bound. Well this could be useful for some artistic touch but I wanted an easy clean application with emphasis on easy.  I bound the armscye edge of the side piece  and serged its sides before stitching to the  back and front sides.  I added a little SAS in the armscye area of the back and front, folded to the inside and carefully pressed. Using the cover-stitch I topstitched nailing the side seams and the armscyes into place. I should mention that I used the coverstitch to top stitch the long front binding and again when I hemmed the vest.  I used the coverstitch more than the serger and sewing machine put together.  But I didn’t do anything new or unusual with it. I like the way it nails things into place and catches the edges.  Had I used the sewing machine, there is a chance a few edges would have escaped.  My thread matched so well that you won’t see my topstitching in any of the pics.

As shown earlier, I had attached pony-tail holders on the right to function as button loops (I hate making buttonholes in boucle even interfaced boucle) now I added the 3 buttons on the other side.

These are fabulous buttons. Fabulous enough I wish I was a better photographer.  They are artist glass. A half-globe set onto a gold ring. They change color as the light strikes and could easily have been used with a different colored fabric – like purple. However my photo skills are lacking and of the 3 pics this is the best which is wholly unsatisfactory IMO. At least it is clear and you know you’re looking at buttons.  Total time start to finish, about 3 hours. I did note that the side piece is curved, but the finished armscye looks very square.

I made one big mistake with the vest.  Sort of an oversight.  I’ve noticed that all my vests really need to be refitted. My back is rounding so that my vests pitch forward as well as creep up the back of my neck. This is corrected somewhat by adding an RBA (already done for the TRJ and TRT). I also think that I should add a front closure to all my vests so that  my vests won’t hang oddly in the front especially noticeable in side views. Well, I added the front closure but I didn’t think to compensate for the smaller, vest-circumference.  My vest, when closed is obviously too small across the waist:

Left open, It fits fine from either side

No falling forward or back front wrinkles. I am once again surprised at the back

having those 2 diagonal lines. Swear, I haven’t been noticing them on other versions of either the jacket or tee. Was I blind?  Did I pull things out-of-place when taking pics?  Do I need to make further pattern alterations?  For now, I think I’ll make it a point to take pics during subsequent wearing of these troubling garments (vest and T2).  I’ll gather a little more data before making changes.  It is possible that I have fabric issues but I hate to fall back on that old excuse. Especially since I’m complaining about 2 very different fabrics.

I have to say I don’t love the vest with my Print T

My Print T doesn’t contain this bright blue. The vest looks fine with both my blouse and T2 because they contain the same color.  Again, my mistake. However, I don’t hate my vest either. Plus, I have another vest in my closet that I can wear with the Print T. So not a big loss. Just not a big win. Well, except that I did complete my Spring 6 PAC on time!!!!

The Last Knit Top for my Spring 6PAC

This was the hardest garment to sew. The pattern was easy. Actual sewing was a cinch. It was the choices of fabric, trim cuff finish that stymied me.  I was brunt when my Faux Surplice went so wrong and then was destroyed by the slip of the ripper. I still wanted/needed a plain top appropriate for South Dakota spring. But I didn’t want “just another Tee”. I wanted it to stand on its own as a garment rather than exclusively being a supporting player.  Supporting players are very important. In this case however the Tee might become the star should the weather become very warm, as it often does during SD springs.  Then again it needs to submit to being covered up and becoming a supporting player when the weather cools sufficiently that a 3rd and 4th layer become necessary. Changeable weather is the reality of South Dakota Springs.

I mulled over possibilities. Delaying until it was almost too late. I realized that the Colette Sorbetto , wildly popular with the sewing community a few years ago, had crossed into RTW and was being interpreted as an inverted pleat and waist released and several other minor variations  in addition of Colette original pleated front.  I realized this was the easy change I wanted that would make the garment both supporting cast and star as needed.

I chose to use this double-knit fabric which I think I purchased from Nancy’s Notions.  I questioned the statement ‘ ideal for jackets, pants, tops, and skirts’.  It’s been my experience that fabrics I’d wear for pants are not the same as what I would wear for tops.  I went with my gut and ordered royal blue yardage for a top.  When it arrived, I knew I was correct.

I made 2 changes while cutting out the fabric.  I placed the center front 1.25″ away from the fold. Secondly, I had decided upon a faux cuff.  I added 1″ to the length of the sleeve.  I spent a lot of time making sure that center pleat is as perfect as I can make it.  I chalked the lines; then based and heartily pressed.  This fabric is not going to make a sharp pleat. I’m hoping that it will keep the press-lines so that I can easily press the pleat back into place.  I stitched the pleat first, shoulders next and then finished the neckline.  After that, stitch sleeve to side piece and finished the cuff.  I serge finished the hemline and turned it up 1-1/4″ and stitched from about 2″ on either seam of the underarm before inserting 1″ elastic.  I made this very close-fitting. My elastic finished into an 8″ circle which is only 1″ larger than my wrist.  The elastic has to stretch to get over my hand!  The only sewing I’d criticise is the closing the opening that I left over the underarm seam.  That was a darn tight place to get my machine foot into.  My stitching is not perfectly straight and one of the 4 ends of stitching does not meet.  I really must think this further through before choosing this finish again.  I can do better. If only I could remember how.

I top stitched the hem in place, started beneath the pleat on one side, stitching all the way around and end under the pleat on the other side.  This left the pleat itself, free.

I did not wear  a camisole for pics.  I think I need to Roger-up and wear a camisole under all my tops. My figure is such that a camisole helps my tops to slide over my body.  I discovered this in Nov of 2015 when working with sweater knits. Made numerous camisoles (think I have 8) and wore them religiously.  Every pic proved that a cami, a slick cami was a good choice for me.  I think that’s what I need to do with all my tops.  Put something under the tops so that they don’t cling to my body. That’s not going to help my pics.

Several posts ago, someone suggested I give consideration to a Full-Tummy-Alteration. I think they have a point. Especially since that’s the only thing ruining the front view of my blouse. The back, I dunno

I did not expect those 2 strong diagonals. Haven’t seen them at all before this pic. Is it possible that the fabric is too drapey?   Although I do have to posit, that may be the result of my sharply pulling down the back side seams just before the pic.  My goal is to pull the garment out of the center of my back where it is pushed by my butt. I find it interesting that those diagonals are appearing right above where I pull.

Still I think the camisole is the right decision. One a day. Every day. Summer may be a little warmer this year.

Finally, I do want to say, I love this fabric. I plan to buy 3 or 4 cuts next payday.  It behaved beautifully during the construction process from layout to hemming. (Hemming is usually my final step.)  It did not make a crisp pleat but then I seldom want a crisp pleat. The blouse looks better on the hanger then on me. Without my body to distort the fabric, it makes a gorgeous garment. This kind of garment I want several hanging in my closet and I’m happy to have it as my 2nd top for my Spring 6PAC

A collar for the TRJ-B

I wanted a collar. In my mind a classic blouse needs a classic notch collar.  The Variations package does not have a notch collar so I set about creating my own.

Well, not entirely. I copied the collar from Connie Crawford’s Camp Shirt #5047. Then measured the neckline of the TRJ-B and subtracted 1″.  I folded out enough length so that the tissue was the same as the neckline -1″.  Then I cut two. Interfaced. Stitched. Turned inside out.  I basted the collar into the neckline. But didn’t feel entirely comfortable.

So I turned the collar again stitched 1/2″ in along the collar edge.  Trimmed. Turned. Pinned to collar edge. Twice more and the collar looked good, except not quite as wide as I entirely envisioned. Not entirely satisfied, I finished my blouse.

I like the way it looks in front, but seems a bit narrow across the back.  I will use the collar again, I’m just not sure at this moment what my changes will be. Definitely want a wider collar across the back. I’m thinking, of making  a series of blouse each with a slightly wider collar until I settle on a collar I like that also looks really good on the TRJ-B.

I do like the blouse,muchly.  Possibly it’s the ITY knit fabric and the geometric print. I wouldn’t say I love those colors, but they’re really very nice.

Somehow, the sleeve is slightly longer  this version but not so that I’m going to do anything about it. I’m more concerned about the difference between right and left side views:

The left is exactly what I want. However the right is showing the effects of the lowered shoulder.  I made no changes to the pattern and no changes during cutting.  When stitching, I stitched the right 1/8″ deeper than the left i.e. the left SA=1/4″, right SA = 3/8″. That is apparently not enough.  I must remember to make a  greater difference. Also interesting, and I have no explanation, the  front is rouched along the side piece while the left is pretty smooth. No idea why this is a problem now except that drag lines and errors are more evident in light colors.  I will walk the seams and recheck the notches.  Sometimes thought, it’s just the sewist. Not the fabric or the pattern.

An Easy Sew

which I really needed after the fitting disasters and the easy update that went wrong (I ripped a hole while I was trying to remove the surplice layer); oh and the T that looks so terrible I’m still considering fixes.

I think I understand why there are more quilters than dressmakers in the U.S.  It is because you do everything right, even make a mistake or two and your quilt will still work as a quilt. But with dressmaking you can do everything right, technically, and still have an unwearable garment. Am I right?

So I I needed this easy sew and chose an interesting cotton, jersey, print fabric paired with the beautifully fitting Tabula Rasa T.

Unfortunately, I don’t have it sitting on my body correctly and there are a few pull lines in the pic that disappear with a quick smoothing of the fabric.

The real surprise however is how well it looks with the previously sewn Tabula Rasa Blouse:

I like it so well that I’ve decided to replace the aforementioned “Print Tee that looks so bad on me I don’t know how to fix”.

But what I”m sure you’re all wondering about is that line of safety pins.

Well, I’m wondering, since I can’t fit the Ebb can I add an Empire line to the TRT?

I drew a straight line, in pencil, across the pattern and then replicated it on the private side of my blouse. Of course when sewn and slid over my head, the line is not visible. I opted to replicate the line with  a series of pins across the front.  What it tells me is that despite having adding 1″ more length to the front of the pattern, the empire line cannot be placed perpendicular to the center front/grain line. The empire will rise at the CF.

When I pursue this empire idea, I will adapt the pattern accordingly.

Beyond Frustrated

I’ve just had 5 days of sewing which made me want to destroy my entire pattern collection.  I’m documenting it here so that should I tackle these particular patterns again, I will have some recollection as to what I’ve previously done.  You, the reader, shoulder probably skip this post because there are no pictures only whiny bitching.

I was at a standstill with my Spring 6PAC. I wanted a little time to figure out corrections for both my printed and solid Tee. Also when it came time to cut fabric for the 3rd layer, I wasn’t so sure I had the right fabric for the type garment I wanted. So a time out which I would use by sewing something else.

I opted to make a quick check of the Ebb.  I love this pattern. It’s been one of my favorites ever since my first muslin.  But in recent years I’ve been unable to fit it completely. Last fall I thought my remaining issue was the rising CF which was emphasized by the empire line. During the review of my spring clothing, I discovered and was somewhat horrified that NONE of my Ebb’s fit even close to nicely.  They all suffered with not only the rising CF but also deep V’s on the sides. Since I’d recently discovered that I need an RBA, I thought of making a quick muslin to see if the RBA would fix my issues. I traced my size based on finished measurements. IOW I measured the pattern and compared with my completed Brad’s chart.  I opted to trace a medium shoulder, large side. I added a 1/2″ RBA and 1/2″ shoulder slope. After that, nothing went right. Since this was a muslin, I slashed freely to let the CF drop as needed. Would you believe, it didn’t drop? Nope instead it slid to the back; and in the process all the V’s I had removed returned. What’s worse is that the original fitting, the one with only the RBA and Shoulder Slope changes fit better than the 8 subsequent changes and fittings.  After 2 days of futzing with not 1 but TWO muslins. I decided I needed to get smarter, still.  I’ll find notes on this in 2016, Indy’s, Ebb Muslin Apr folder

Moving along, how about adding sleeves to the “fit” Sweater Set, Silhouette Patterns 195. I  had fit this for a sleeveless version. Didn’t want to make sleeveless tops right now but the pattern was supposed to be easily adaptable for sleeves. The sleeve pattern is already enclosed. The designer claims that the armscye for knit sleeves and sleeveless patterns is the same.  This may be a personal preference, but I always seem to want my sleeveless versions to rest higher at the underarms and that’s the way I fit the sleeveless 195. So I thought it would be easy to add the sleeve; just trace the sleeve and lower the armscye as needed. (I even considered that the designer might be right and the armscyes be the same.)

But I ran into problems immediately. I looked at the final muslin and didn’t think all the changes had been transferred to the tissue. Yet, I swear I did that before I wrote my final blog post. Well, easy to check, do a quick muslin.  Sure enough, the center back needed to be taken in a little more, i.e my rounded back adjustment needed a little tweaking at the neckline; also the back armscye darts had not been transferred to the pattern. So no big deal. I make those to the sleeveless pattern. Then I trace the sleeveless version and get ready for a sleeved muslin. As always, I walk my seams. Let me repeat, AS ALWAYS I walk the seams. I’ve learned that anytime I make changes there is room for error. My seams won’t walk.  The front hem is 1.5″ shorter at the side 1″ shorter CF. I thought I added an even 2.5″ to both front and back to make the whole garment longer.  I don’t like the length. It’s a simply style change, isn’t it? Then I find that the side seam notches don’t match. the front armscye is a different depth from the back at the side seam. The back armscye dart has never changed the side seam length before this, did it now? Somehow, I have gotten so many things mismatched that I don’t believe the sleeveless version fits either!

I start the fitting process over, tracing a 5W at the shoulders/armscyes and 7W at the side seams. I intend to remove 1/2″ circumference on each seam at the bust after all the other adjustments are made.  I do RBA, shoulder slope and add length now.  I walk the seams. THEY WALK!!! Well it’s a good sign.  Then I add 5/8″ to the side seams so that I will have a 1″ wide seam allowance for fitting.  I make my first muslin. At which point I discover I haven’t made the 1/2″ adjustment to circumference at the bust. After that it goes downhill. Downhill through 2 more muslins. (I made a total of 3 muslin).  I adjust the RBA up (3/4″) and down (3/8″). I increase and decrease the shoulder slope.  I add 3/8, then 1/4″ shoulder pads before deciding that no shoulder pads are needed and that I’ve stretched out the neckline (reason for beginning muslin 2) I take in a let out seam allowances. Just before Muslin 3 I decide that one of my issues has been ignoring hip circumference. The designer did not specify hip circumference and the waist was more than sufficient. I assumed the designer was correct and there would be plenty of circumference at the hem. Nope I need 6″ more.  I tell you I made, increased and decreased everything I could think of. Lowered the armscyes repeatedly.  I ignored the wrinkles on the sleeves thinking I needed to get the bodice fitting first. Never, ever did the bodice fit me again. I never removed the V’s. I never made the pattern look any better than it did when the only changes were RBA, Shoulder Slope and increased hem. What’s worse, I was trying to transfer changes that I thought successful to the tissue and add the 6″ (1.5″ each SA) I needed for the hip but I could never draw a nice curve. There was too much difference between bust to waist and waist to hem.  I was thoroughly frustrated.  3 muslins, innumerable changes and fitting pics. (I will find detailed notes in Indys, 195Muslin, Muslin2 and Muslin3). I threw all my tracings and all my muslins into the trash. It shouldn’t be this hard!!!

Why did the TRT and TRJ and TRB fit me so easily while these two (Ebb and Sweater set) never even came close?

Spring T: Blue T

For my 3rd Top, I decided to use a poly-lycra solid-blue knit. This was the most horrible curling/furling/rolling knit-fabric I think I’ve ever worked.  It curled tightly as it was cut. Usually when that happens, I can place the curl side down on the throat plate and slide it up into the serger needles. The fabric will unfurl and the serging will keep it relatively flat. Nothing doing with this particular fabric. It curled and could not be handled into unfurling.  It was in fact this fabric which resulted in my Rolling Edges post.   After testing, I cut the fabric and painted the edges with Terial Magic. When dry, I replaced the pattern pieces and transferred markings.

I also decided to use the TRT pattern which should not be surprising since it is not only the most recently fit, it’s also been tested several times and proven.  I’ve discovered that sewing large groups of garments, like 6PAC’s and SWAP’s is best done with TNT’s.

I vacillated between sewing the TRT exactly as drafted or doing something a little different. That indecisiveness is the reason  the Blue T is next-to-last being sewn.  I considered neckline changes,  various embellishments and hem finishes. When it came time to cut fabric, I cut 2 fronts.  I had decided to make a faux surplice front. Faux because one front would be unaltered, but the other would be shaped to resemble a surplice. I prepared the surplice side first. Drawing the line using my curve; trimming excess fabric and then finishing the edge using a slightly new to me technique.  I’ve often stitched and turned that edge. The last few surplice tops, I’ve added clear elastic to stabilize the edge. This time I fed the 3/8″ elastic through the oval hole in my serger foot

I can’t claim credit for this idea.  Until someone at SG mentioned this was the way they added elastic, I’d always put it under the foot.  (Which I still would have to do for elastic wider that 1/2″).    It works really well, once the needles are sunk into the elastic. Not much effort to get the elastic through the hole and under the needles, either.  I did want to apply a little tension to the elastic along roughly the middle third of the surplice. This will be a technique I have to practice some more because…

I finished up the T except for establishing a connection on the left side. (I intended  a right-side faux-surplice crossing the body and securing on the left.) I mean I had everything done except that connection. I had hemmed. I had top stitched.  I had double top stitched. Neckline (cross-grain cut self-fabric) was attached, serged and double-top stitched.  Dang thing was done. D_O_N_E. Done!  I just needed to decide at what level to place the connection.  I pinned the connection in place and took pics.  Switched the connection up an inch, down an inch looking for the perfect place and taking pics all the while.  When I went upstairs and looked closely at my pics, all I could think is “Does anyone need a wet-nurse?  I seem to have 1 boob and a comfy tummy available.”

Obviously, I put too much tension on the elastic and gathered the surplice beyond what was needed.  I’m reluctant to rip and redo because that’s a lot of ripping. Serged elastic? Turned and double-top stitched? Yuk. I do not want to be removing that.  I’m further discouraged by looking at the sides:

I absolutely did not expect the gathering which occurred.  Is that because of the multiple layers of fabric (3 on the left) or did the Terial magic affect the seam?

Whatever caused my problem, I have 2 6PAC garments I don’t want to wear until they are fixed; or …. I could have 2 wadders and a failed 6PAC.  I definitely need a break.