Hey dear readers!
HAPPY STRAYA DAY!!
Or to my international friends, Happy Australia Day!
Well, I’ve been busy playing with a horrible yellow stained poly crepe – for a muslin, don’t worry. I get all kinds of ‘interesting’ fabrics from thrift shops and use them for muslins…they’re like $1 or less and you built up a real good collection of fabrics to choose from when needing a muslin in a similar characteristic to your fashion fabric of choice.
The crepe I used was a bit thicker than I would have liked, but just as shifty (@%!$) and drapey. For this reason, I only did one sleeve…but HOYA MONTOYA it fit like a dahream!!!
Even the sleeves were long enough! WTF was up with that? Anywho, no complaints…only happiness.
BUT! I needed EVEN MORE PRACTICE!
I got a remnant from Spotlight of a poly chiffon for like $2 which was enough to use for the sleeveless version. I wanted to practice the actual construction of the blouse (collar etc…) before using my expensive and very lovely silk chiffon. The sleeveless version uses a surprisingly small amount of fabric (yay), so I had heaps.
But HOYA MONTOYA it taught me a few things about working with nifty but shifty fabrics. Here’s what made my swear the most and 10 tips for next time:
1. Use SHARP NEW pins. You want to disturb the fabric as little as possible so you want the pins to slllliiiiiddde through the fabric without hooking it.
2. Freaking *everything* can throw your fabric off grain. Say, a small gust of wind, a hooked pin, the fabric draping ever so slightly off the table/ironing board, the slightest touch. Thus, disturb the fabric as little as possible and always watch the grain. To cut, I lined up the grain with the edges of my table – this helped tonnes.
3. Cut with a rotary cutter/mat and use pattern weights. This helped me immensely
4. Baste baste baste and baste some more
5. Before you handle anything, stay stitch all bias edges such as armholes/necklines – they stretch
6. Use a fine point needle – I used a 70/10
7. Sandra Betzina in her book “Fabric Savvy” recommends a short stitch like 1.5-2.0mm. I’ve also seen 1.5-2.5mm and short-medium length. I found a 2.5mm length worked well for me, but may change for my silk chiffon. I suppose the best advice is to just experiment on a scrap of fabric. Will try some experiments myself on my silk to nut this out.
8. Use gelatin to firm your fabric (see Technique of the Week) – I didn’t this time, but will next time!
9. Stabilize front facings, collars and bands with silk organza
10. Don’t clip toooo close to stitching, the fabric is unstable and will fray
Well, I learned more than a few things as you can see here; which was the point, so that’s good.
AND I’ll have a beautiful new sleeveless blouse soon. Here are some of the points which I deviated from the instructions (such a deviant!).
First, I used silk organza as an interfacing instead of fusible, which I think looks bad with a sheer. I simply basted the silk organza to the fashion fabric
Secondly, I used a long strip of silk organza to reinforce the front facing where the buttonholes/buttons go. I figured the blouse really needed it even though the facing was folded over twice. I just couldn’t see how the delicate chiffon would stand up to a button hole/button. So, first I basted it to the wrong side
I then folded the facing to the inside, pinned, pressed and basted
I then folded it again, and yet again pinned, pressed and basted
As an aside, Susan Khalje taught me to sit the pins perpendicular to the straight edge of the facing to make basting easier! And it does because I don’t stick myself anymore and it makes the fabric flexible in the right direction when you’re taking up basting stitches….huzzah!
There! A suitably stabilized button placket. Happy Kat.
Everything else went according to plan… albeit slowly. I have yet to finish the armhole facings and the button/buttonholes and hem…but here she is on Lola!
I must say this is one of the more beautiful things I’ve made and I’m really looking forward to the finished result! Hard going, but worth it, ya know? The tailored collar with poly chiffon was yeah, challenging. But I did say I wanted a challenge…right? :P
Anywho, hope you enjoyed my practice…tomorrow it’s finishing and then a serious gelatin bath for my silk chiffon – fun times all around.
Have you worked with troublesome fabrics? Any tips for the rest of us? Don’t hold back!!!
Relax and Enjoy,