Plan A went according to schedule - easy tops, quick to sew and good use of bits of leftover fabric.
I did feel a little sorry for Paco the other day - he spends countless hours drafting and perfecting a design; testing and making it up in the most luxurious and expensive fabrics; posting about techniques and tutorials on his blog; the pattern is then hand drafted and unleashed into the hands of amateurs like me who abuse it by making it up in T-shirt jersey instead of silk twill!
Anyway - back to progress.
Numbers 4 & 5. Simplicity 6078.
You may remember this suit from way back. I had this remnant of lining fabric that I always intended making into a matching blouse - well now I have!
Numbers 6 & 7. Vogue 8504
We are now down to small, small remnants and the only thing that fit was a vest top. This one is quite nice as it has shaping bust darts and little slits at either side - which for speed and expediency I didn't make. All raw edges are bias bound.
This is a fine chiffon. No stretch to this fabric but the vest has a low scoop at the back so it's easy to pull on and off even when made in a woven. This version had to be shortened due to lack of fabric.
Then the leftovers of the Fireworks. You can see the low back here.
What this exercise taught me was application of bias bindings in various guises. All the arm holes had to be finished one way or another and the vest tops had to have the neck edges done too. I don't have a serger (overlocker) so it was down to manipulating bias stripes to suit the fabric. I tried every method I know just for practice and see what different results could be achieved.
There's a wonderful tutorial with easy steps and great pics here if you can't picture in your head what I'm talking about below.
This one had bias stripes of jersey (more scraps) sewn to the right side edges, seam allowances trimmed, under-stitched and turned to the inside where a couple of hand tacks on the seams hold them in place. The benefit of this method is that there are no stitches visible on the outside of the top. Because the jersey doesn't fray I didn't need to hem the other edge and a good pressing ensures it lies flat on the inside. But sometimes they do work themselves loose and need to be tucked back in while wearing.
This one had the bias strips attached by hand. The strips are about 2" wide, pressed in half and then the long edges pressed in to the centre. This fabric is very fine and I thought machine stitches would be too heavy and cause the bias to sit away from the body. The arm hole edges were attached with a not invisible running stitch and the the neck has a slanted slip stitch - also not invisible.
This one was finished in what I believe is called French bias. Make the bias strips and press in half, wrong sides together. Sew the raw edges of the bias and the top together on the right side, then trim and fold the whole lot to the inside. I then stitched the bias to hold it in place. The benefit of this method is that there are no raw edges anywhere and the bias facing has no chance of folding out while you wear the top. But there is stitching visible along the arms and back neck edge.
Well. the marking and academic world are in a small hiatus at the moment, just before then next onslaught at the end of June so I'll be back sewing in the meantime.
But before I finish this post please read the following - Little dresses for Africa
Prttynpk highlighted this project and I think this would be a much better use of remnants than my selfish tops. So like her- one for me, one for another. In the future, Plan B is for others and what's better than hope and pretty dress?
Thanks for reading. Ruth