Sewing I love To Do

No foolin, this is the kind of sewing which is immensely and personally rewarding to me:

I purchased this Silk Matka about 2 years ago.  During the pre-treatment, my 2 yard cut shrunk both width and lengthwise leaving me with 42″ x 1.5 yards.  Still enough for short sleeve.  It has not exactly languished. I’ve thought of it often and I couldn’t decide how to use it.  Now full into summer I wanted to test my go to woven/non-stretch tank top pattern, 59269 My Hearts A Flutter. This silk should be perfect with a little left over for another small project.

I have 2 HAF tanks already in rotation. Both are comfortable and look good from the front; OK from the back.  I’ve got  a little mid-back bunching and side views shows the back hem is sloping upwards.  Definitely a sign to me that I don’t quite have enough hip ease.  I did take time to compare one of my HAF’s to my traced pattern. I decided I would add 1/4″ to the side seams and 3/8″ to the center back to create a center back seam for more possible shaping.

Next I lopped off blocks from the fabric that would be sufficient for backs and front and began the real creative work: choosing an embroidery.   I considered several (about 30) and tested 5.   Silk Matka has a distinctive hand.  What I had in mind would finish fairly large.  I didn’t want to ruin the hand of the silk. Nor did I want the embroidery to fail during the garments lifetime.  Hence, test 5. I wanted tone-on-tone but wanted it noticeable. I mean why go to all that effort if the stitches just disappear? Which design looks good in multiples? Which design doesn’t harm the fabric or change the hand?  I don’t really know the answers to these questions or how the design really will stitch out before I test. Also, I was focused on maintaining the silk’s hand  and opted to use sticky, water-soluble stabilizer and with a water-soluble topper. (The water-soluble topper lifts the thread above the fabric surface, my preferred finish.)   44,000 stitches, two 14×8-hoop  hoopings and 2 days later: the fabric was embellished to my satisfaction.

I cut the fabric using the slightly modified HAF pattern. Taped shoulders, armscyes, and necklines then serged center back and shoulder seams. I basted the side seams; slipped the garment over my head and took initial pictures.  I decided not to increase any of the SA’s.  Using the 1/4″ added to the side seams added enough ease to skip the hem vents drafted onto the HAF.  I like the hem vents. They are a very nice detail. But I also like having the option to close the side seam all the way to through the hem.

I ripped out the basted side seams and finished the neckline and armscyes with 1/2″ single-fold bias tape.  Those of you with sharp eyes will see a pucker along the front neckline and that the neckline seems to “stand proud” in the front.  I think the “proud” issue is due to taping the neckline and then later finishing with bias tape. The neckline just lacked a lot of give which I normally see on a bias edge.  I’d press the pucker. Think it was gone and it would reappear.  I may need to rip a few stitches, press and stitch again to fix that issue.

I also finished the hem with a 1″ bias tape facing.  I liked the length during fitting and wanted to keep it that long.  A facing was IMO the easiest option for finishing that edge.

You know, I’ve been experimenting with chain and washers, right?  Attempting to add weight to avoid velcro-butt?  I didn’t add either to this shell. I didn’t want the risk of an experiment damaging the silk.  So the back might hang better with a little weight.  It might also be better if I added a slope to those 2.5″ shoulders or even adjusted the armscye depth which is pretty high and tight. It’s even possible that taping and then finishing the neckline and armscyes had a negative effect on the back. But I don’t see my back much and have decided to not worry about it this time.

I love the embroidery and wanted you to see it up close:

This is just so me.


6 thoughts on “Sewing I love To Do

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