Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One pattern many versions

I have just completed six tops from one pattern.  The pattern was developed from an armscye princess sloper I had fitted earlier in the year.  I have made several tops from this sloper and am working on more.  Fitting is one of the most time consuming, arduous and challenging aspects of sewing for most home sewing enthusiasts.  My mantra is fit once, change the style.  A top becomes a T shirt or a jacket by changing the ease.  It becomes a vest by increasing the armscye slightly or a sleeveless top by decreasing the armscye so the under arm side seam covers the bra.  The style changes to a drape front, a wrap, a cowl neck or ruffled blouse with a few modifications to the neckline and center front.

The teal blue top was made into a cowl neckline by extending the center front neckline above the shoulder seam about 6 inches.  It was cut on the fold and the additional fabric drops down inside the front at center front.  This fabric is a rayon jersey from Fabric.com

A big ruffled colar was grafted from an Ana Sui Vogue pattern an added to the gray charmeuse.  I use this rule for ruffles...The diameter of the inside circle or circles must equal distance of the neckline where the ruffle will be attached.   I raised the neckline 3/4 " on the v neck of the vest and added some additional ease since the charmeuse does not like to be too fitted on me.  This top has six or eight seams if I add a center back seam.  An eight of an inch ads 1 1/2" to 2" in total circumference.  The gray charmeuse is from Cleaner Depot in Norcross, Georgia.

The blue drape front was done earlier in the summer and the photo shows that I just used my hip rule to add to  a nice curve to the center front seam from about waist high up to just above the shoulder seam level.  This fabric was 45" wide so the drape was just below the waist.  This fabric is an Expo purchase from Vogue Fabrics.

The multi animal print drape front was done the same way except the fabric was about 58" wide.  I used the same hip rule as it give a nice curve but the drape was wider as I used the full width of the fabric.  I placed the center front piece near the fold and cut to near the edge of the fabric.  The fabric is a Joann from their "as seen in Vogue Pattern Magazine collection."  It is a poly sheer and I loved the print but it behaved badly.  I tried a baby hem but I did not like the outcome and I ended up doing a hand rolled hem.  I am looking for a silk chiffon animal print to try this again.

The black/red is ITY jersey knit purchased from Anne St Claire at Needlenook Fabrics.  She did a bra program in Columbus Georgia recently and I had to have this fabric.  Anne also had a nice selection of fold over elastic which I used to finish the neckline. I also found at the store there an eyelet punch and bundles of great ribbons and threads to use for embellishments.  This fabric has pretty much 100% stretch in both directions.  This required that I interface the neckline with fusible tricot and measured the placement of the holes from center front using my french curve for even placement.  I wove the red ribbon through the holes and tied it at center front.  I found that this is very stretchy and unstable while sewing.  The armscye and sleeves relaxed after being stitched to give some puckering.  The fusible tricot worked really well on the neckline so I fused 1inch bias strips of the fusible tricot to the armscye from notch to notch and also the sleeve cap.  This gave enough stability for the armscy to remain stable and the sleeve caps to ease nicely.  The fabic is also somewhat see through so it requires a lining or an appropriate undergarment.  I am making a matching bra to go with my top.  Anne sells her knits in two yard kits with the matching thread which is enough to make the top and enough scraps for the bra.

I have found that the last several items that I have sewn have been from fabric purchased right before I used it....hmmmm About that stash.