Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Fabricoholics Anonymous

Hi, My name is Cammie (Hi Cammie) and I'm a fabric addict.

Confession time: I like fabric. A lot. In fact I love fabric, all sorts of fabric. Fabric is what I spend all my money on. If I could I'd marry fabric and have a fabric themed wedding where my wedding ring would be made of fabric.... Too far? Or just far enough?

Either way I think I've got my point across. The problem is that my ongoing love affair with my fabric has completed a civil take over of my room/sewing studio and is slowly but surely instigating an invasion of the rest of the house. So maybe it's time to, I don't know, sew with it...? I know, crazy idea, right? (Honestly though, I don't think I buy fabric because I sew, I think I sew to justify buying fabric!)

With that in mind I set upon my second button-up Sorbetto. I never blogged my first Sobetto but it gets worn a tonne (and cropped up quite a lot during Me-Made-May) so I thought it would be perfect for the summer. The fabric itself is pure heaven. It's soft and drapey, has awesome raised jacquard spots and is the perfect shade of teal. (I bet you didn't know there was a perfect shade of teal but trust me, there is!) I bought it during the John Lewis clearance sale almost exactly a year ago, it's sat on a shelf ever since because it was too perfect for me to risk ruining it. I wanted to do the fabric justice.

Spoiler alert: I didn't.

Okay, that might have been a bit extreme; I actually love this top and have worn it A LOT since completion, but there were definitely some issues with construction and I'm not as proud of it as I could have been.

Firstly: The pattern
Don't get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with the pattern, it's all me. I made my first Sorbetto months ago and drafted the button band without making any alterations to the pattern.  This time around I couldn't remember what I'd done so I just fudged the front and it's a tad wonky (also I should have interfaced it because it has a tendancy to drape open in between buttons. Also, The shoulders are a tad large and tend to fall off. I think this could be addressed by picking a smaller size and doing an FBA (I made a straight size 8 but graded out to the width/length of size 18 below the waist to make it really long and drapey)

Secondly: Construction
Now let me tell you this fabric is pretty but it's also pretty damn annoying. It's had a seriously loose weave meaning it frayed like a bitch and even a 70 needle made tiny holes nearing the stitches. Despite this, all was going well until it came to finishing off the neck/armholes and I realised I'd run out of bias-binding. Instead of making/buying more like a normal person I thought I could just double fold the hems and call it good. This ended up with a bulky, uneven neckline which I then had to painstakingly unpick. Yup, you guessed it, unpicking also made holes in the fabric! Eventually I managed to cobble a neckline/shoulders together but it ain't pretty.
Note to self: ALWAYS trim seam allowance when doing French seams

Often if I have a really hard time sewing something I love the finished garment even more because it shows how I overcame my problems (Ya'know like some sort of philosophical metaphor about how beauty is born of adversity...) , sadly with this top I feel like the end doesn't justify the means. Off to the "Meh" pile it goes.

The bottom half of my outfit, however, I love! My most favourite sewing project to date was my Culottes, finishing those was the first time I properly realised that I could sew,they're the first thing I was 100% proud of. Since I love my first pair so much making a second pair was a no-brainer. There's actually not a lot to say about these culottes.

They're made of the lightest, floatiest rayon challis ever. (So light I sometimes have to check I'm actually wearing something!) Cutting out was a little difficult, with the fabric shifting around everywhere but it wasn't as bad as I've heard it can be. The waistband stretched out a little, despite being interfaced, so these culottes are a little looser than the first pair, but that's actually quite nice in the summer. The only problem is rayon wrinkles, like A LOT, so I tend to get a crumpled butt when sitting...
Crumpled butt...

In one respect these culottes actually have one up on the original pair. Since my culotte fabrics were so light and drapey I interfaced the side seams before I inserted the zips. Unfortunatey, on the first pair the interfacing was too heavy for the fabric so the zip tends to bubble out dramatically ruining the silhouette. This time I learnt my lesson and used a super lightweight fusible interfacing (LOVE that stuff) and the zip went in like a dream! Hurrah!
Side zip

Construction was a breeze. All seams were sewn and overcast (Like serged but on a normal sewing machine) in one afternoon. I let them hang for a day to see if the bias stretched out (It didn't) then did a rolled hem to maximise floatiness. Easy peasy.

Oh and just in case you forgot they were culottes...

These two projects (Sorbetto and Culottes) are sort of polar opposites: One quick and easy which became a wardrobe staple, the other long and arduous with questionable results. I guess that's why I like sewing, there's never one definitive path or outcome and even if you've done something a thousand times you never know what will happen in the next project.

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