Category Archives: 59269 My Hearts A Flutter

Sand Washed Silk

I was perhaps a bit naive.  I thought having fit the HAF for an ITY knit, that the sand washed silk tank for summer would require no effort.  It did occur to me that silk would not have as much stretch as ITY. I thought that wouldn’t be an issue because I’d sewn the ITY seams 7/8″ instead of 5/8.  Just for a little fit insurance, I added 1/2″ at the side seams when cutting fabric.

My silk is a 1.5 yard remnant from a long ago project. It has a flaw, a pulled thread that completely crosses the fabric about a foot down from one edge but there was more than enough for this tank even with the altered front piece. I added a 4″ wide piece which was embroidered and then folded and stitched to form a tuck.  This is a heavier silk and of course the sand washed side is textured.  It behaved  well when sewing and serging. I did use and extra pin or two keeping the long seams aligned and SAS to hold the hems in place while topstitching. I used commercial bias tape which is 100% cotton to finish the neckline and armscyes but merely turned up and top stitched the hem after serging the long edge and mitering the corners.

I serged the shoulders first and then, no longer ignoring that I have one lower , I stitched 1/8″ deeper along the right shoulder seam.  I find that’s just enough to eliminate 99% of the back and side wrinkles.

Except this time. First off, I really did need that 1/2″ added when cutting. In fact, the final line of stitching is only 3/8″ deep and I increased the side vent 3″. My side seams can really flap around! It amazes me that changing from a knit to a woven requires nearly an extra inch (each side, each seam) of ease. Then again that old trick for sizing knits, the “just go down a size” never worked for me.  Tell me it didn’t work for you either. Please.

At the same time that I revised the side seam depth, I also checked the bust darts. I’d managed to sew one 1/2″ deep and the other 5/8″.  I made sure they were both 5/8″ deep. It was a foolish hope that the remaining drag lines would simply disappear because of these 2 changes. Sigh, yes I did hope and I was disappointed. I started tweaking the shoulder seam angle. I increased the angle another 1/4″.  You probably don’t recall but I had increased it 5/8 for the ITY.  I now have a net increase of 7/8″ and still have gaping at the armscyes. More troubling is that the back neck is now standing up and away from my body.

2nd fitting, 3rd, Finished Garment

(Look closely in center picture at the neck edge.) Not much, but enough to know I can’t tweak the shoulder slopes any more. I increased the bust dart from 5/8″ to 3/4″ – something that I didn’t do on the ITY and then finally increased the underarm from 3/8 to 5/8.  I should know by now that my fitted garments will not have a vertical side seam. Since this garment should appear to have no waist shaping the side seam should and is oblique. Just slightly but visually oblique / to skim my pear shaped torso.

I still had gaping in the front armscye (far right photo is finished garment). But since you can’t see my bra and really wasn’t possible to tweak the 3 places (shoulder, dart side seams) again, I decided it was good and enough.  I planned to lower the armscye a bit – just scoop it like for a pants crotch – to remove some of the underarm U’s

2nd fitting, 3rd fitting, Finished

but then totally forgot. Yep had finished neckline, armscyes, side seams and was nailing the hem in place when I realized I hadn’t scooped the armscyes. OK will need to be done but not today — or maybe ever.  I mean, truth is  with each tweak, each 1/8″ adjustment, the fit was better and better. I think I’m at the point that I need to start fresh with 1″ seam allowances everywhere and fit for woven.  I marked this tissue “knit” and traced a new copy from the original pattern. But I have another project first and it’s still kind of cold to be trying on these light weight and sleeveless garments.

2nd fitting, 3rd and finished garment

Ach, so there’s room for improvement. I can promise you that RTW never fits this good. Heck after I press it next time, it will look even better.