One of my readers was commenting about the difficulty of getting rid of all the wrinkles during fitting, especially when fabric comes into play.
This ITY knit is a perfect example. The previous version of Pamela’s Patterns #104 was constructed of a rayon knit. ITY is 100% polyester. I know that some people steer clear of polyester. I don’t. I think polyester is manufactured in a wide range of quality levels. I felt very confident in buying this one from Gorgeous Fabrics.
The rayon version, when compared to MHP version, was still a mite big across the shoulders and a bit small across the back, waist and hip. For the rayon version I had made a 3/8″ tuck the entire length of both front and back pattern pieces. Since it was the back which appeared too tight on the rayon version, I let out the back tuck and made a 1/2″ narrow shoulder adjustment (NSA). On the front I added a 1/8″ NSA. Every time I looked at pictures of the previous long-sleeve versions, I thought the sleeves were overwhelming. So I reduced the sleeve length 1″.
I added lace to this ITY version. This time it’s a large neckline piece salvaged from a lovely lingerie set. Although I had written that I would use a long, straight stitch, I used a long, narrow zig zag to attach my lace to garment. I set my HV Ruby at 1.5mm wide and 6 mm long. This is one feature I love about the Viking Designer Ruby. All my previous sewing machines assumed that any stitch longer than 4mm was a basting stitch. Somehow even the mechanicals released the tension making the 4+ mm stitch easy to rip out either intentionally or accidentally. Viking assumes unless you select the basting stitch, you want a permanent, balanced stitch. They adjust the tension for perfection regardless of length. I understand, although I can’t imagine how, the newer Vikings are even better at this feature.
I added the lace early in the sewing process. I lightly pressed the center front forming a faint line. Then I centered my lace over that line, touching the shoulders but slightly back from the front neckline. I used SAS to secure the lace but did not add other stabilizer. I did stabilize the back shoulder line with stay tape; and confess that moving the lace out-of-the-way while applying the binding was – well not awful or time-consuming, but demanded a little attention.
I used a 1″ cross-cut length of self fabric for the binding. I basted it in place using the quilter’s method to join the ends. This time, basting was important. I removed another 1″ of length and then permanently stitched the binding to the neckline. Then I folded the binding down so that the entire binding was on the inside. Last time I did an up-and-over application that resulted in filling in the neckline a small amount and looked like a separate neckband. For this ITY version, my final stitching was done at the cover stitch which secured the binding to the inside and finished the raw edge. I know that knit doesn’t ravel, but I like finished edges. Just me being weird.
Back to the effect of fabric on fitting… this ITY version looks like it could use a little more ease. This surprised me because the summer rayon version and the cotton knit used while testing the multi-position hoop were both roomy. That’s why I decreased the ease for the Mandala print version.
Sorry to say, my back is definitely rounding as I age. I used the 1/4″ foam shoulder pads again. I think they are barely visible. Like just at the shoulder edge.
In addition to finishing the neck binding at the CS, I also cover stitched the hems. As Debbie Cook recommends, I pressed up the hems while all the pieces were still separate and flat. Much easier. Thank you Debbie for that suggestion. I used SAS to secure the raw edges. I tried just pinning because Debbie Cook recommends pinning and she’s my hero when it comes to the cover stitch machine. I also tried to place my stitch completely on double layers instead of straddling the raw edge, another of her recommendations. This means that there is a small amount, no more than 1/8″ and closer to 1/16″, of the edge which is not enclosed in the CS. But, true to Debbie’s recommendation, tunneling disappeared completely. I did have problems stitching sleeve hems because the sleeve is so narrow around my wrist. I’m thinking of making that wider. Also, just pinning didn’t work for me. Even adjusting the differential feed didn’t stop fabric creep during stitching. Thank heavens, CS is easy to rip—once you get it started. Now I wish I could figure out how to add SAS while the fabric is flat.
I didn’t try this top on until completely finished. I know, that’s risky. I wasn’t expecting it to need any more ease. Which didn’t matter anyway because I didn’t have enough fabric left to fix it. What I noticed was my reaction before taking pictures. It was similar to a new sewist. The new sewist is very impressed with the slightest improvement. Their garment really does feel better because it has more appropriate ease and length that they need. But the new sewist fails to see all the other issues that need to be corrected. Highly enthused about a minor improvement, they sets off to make 6 more ugly copies. When I tried on this garment, I loved, loved how it felt. It slipped over my head and rested on my shoulders wonderfully. Slipped further down and settled into position at hem and wrist. No flopping over the shoulder; restriction of the arms or tightness across the back, tummy and hips. It looked felt wonderful just wearing it and looked terrific in the mirror. But the pictures told me: not quite right. I’m going to keep the back NSA; remove the vertical tuck and make a proper NSA on the front. I need to measure stretch and start making a more concerted effort to determine how much ease needs to be included when cutting the fabric. Sometimes I hate fitting. But I have to admit, this is a puzzle that keeps me coming back.