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.