Thursday, February 27, 2014

On A Roll

Yet another garment has rolled off the Damselfly Assembly Line. This time it’s my rip-off clone personal interpretation of Marcy Tilton’s Vogue 8582:

V8582 Marcy Tilton

This pattern is out of print and as such was prohibitively expensive from BMV. Until they recently when they had a sale on discontinued patterns but by then it was too late! I had already made my own using my TNTee as a basic block. I was going for View A, the sleeveless version:

V8582 ViewA

Not in polka dots though! They are definitely Not Me. The line drawing gave lots of clues as to the shape of the pattern pieces:


Easy-peasy. I needed to make full front and back pattern pieces which actually helped to get the most efficient placement on my fabric. This was the same charcoal cotton/lycra single jersey as the last 2 garments. And no, you haven’t seen the end of that particular 3-metre piece quite yet!

So please forgive the usual non-professional photography. I do the best with what I’ve got and can’t be arsed to try to set up the tripod etc. Anyhow Debbie is exactly my height and my shape and she stands very still for me! It might help if the light were better in my studio however…


Don’t you love how the camera picks up all the wrinkles that you can’t see with your eyes in real life? Not. I didn’t use the Steam-A-Seam II in the hems on this top because I wanted a more drapey effect. It wasn’t too difficult to stitch them with the the twin needle after a really good pressing and pinning. And I think it did give me a more fluid hem without the fusible web inside.

Anyway, I quite like this piece! (There may be more of them in future.) And a fuzzy detail shot of the neckline and armhole treatment:


It was very fun playing with this detail! The armholes are snug enough so I can wear this either as a tunic on its own but still loose enough to fit over a t-shirt. It’s quite lightweight so will not be too hot to wear in warmer weather. My only concern, especially after I’ve made so many pieces from it, is that this fabric will eventually pill. Oh well. Time will tell.

I was asked by dear Pao in the comments how I learned to sew the knit seams. Actually it’s a combination of lots of experience, hints and tips from many sources, and The Ultimate T-Shirt class with Marcy and Katherine Tilton on Craftsy. (It’s currently on sale but I don’t know for how long.) The Tiltons have such great ideas for working with knits and make the kind of tops that I like to wear: a little artsy, a lot practical, and very wearable for women whose bodies are no longer sleek. Even if I don’t use their patterns exactly, the information is invaluable and I used quite a few of their techniques on these garments. There’s also quite a lot of inspiration and tutorials on Marcy’s website. Unfortunately it takes a lot of hunting to find things in her blog archives and in her tutorials, Marcy’s Closet and T-Shirt Gallery. I clip the good bits into Evernote so I can find them again.

In the end, you just get better by doing things over and over. Each knit is a little (or a lot!) different to work with. They’re pretty forgiving though so I really don’t know why so many people are afraid to sew with knits. You don’t have to worry quite so much about perfect fit. However I’ve definitely changed my preferences over the last couple of years for how a knit should feel. I’m avoiding the ones that just feel cheap, plasticy, sleazy, or likely to pill. (Note that you can’t always tell about the pilling thing until you’ve washed and worn the thing a few times.) I like knits with some body and definitely some lycra which gives good recovery so things don’t stretch out permanently. I’m quite fond of double knits which avoids the rolling edges problem because they lay flat. They are usually less stretchy, though really that’s not a big deal-breaker. I don’t make tight-fitting garments anyway!

All of the above are my favourite reasons why I don’t order fabrics online. I need to touch before I commit. Even if there is a good return policy (which doesn’t usually happen for us Canadians) I’m not going to risk it. Sadly I have less options available locally. Hence why I go a leetle beet crazed when I’m in Portland which has fabulous fabric stores! Hmmm…I honestly can’t remember when or where I bought the charcoal jersey because I’ve been hanging on to it for a number of years. I guess I just had to get better at sewing before I tackled it. And it had to figure out what it wanted to become. It changed its mind at least 3 times! Now it’s going to be 4 garments in total. Worth the wait, I’d say.

Yes, Top The Fourth. The last bits of this jersey (a pair of long sleeves and some edge binding strips) are going into yet another top. One that isn’t finished being cut out yet. And there’s lots more garments in the pipeline. I’m on a roll! So…

More anon!


Sharon in Surrey said...

Interesting pattern & I see you made it in your usual drab palette - not being mean, just remembering how great you looked in that WONDERFUL RED DRESS/tunic. I've been saved several times from buying a pattern because of the drawing which told me how easy it was to adapt another pattern I already had. You remind me that I must get out the serger & use some of the knits in my stash!!!

pao said...

Ahh, I took my first Craftsy class for the Alabama Chanin course to make the bomb I just finished using a Vogue DKNY pattern. A double layered knit. Dare I take another? I do like the Tilton's patterns though, although I usually don't use knit when I make their stuff. Anyway, your rendition looks great, especially the twisted bindings. I guess I just need more practice, practice, practice.

Heather said...

Good work, Damselfly!