Sunday, February 28, 2010

Monday Morning Quarterback: Taking down 2 Q's in 1 Weekend

Agnes's arm whirled. The holy water spiraled out of the bottle and hit Vlad full in the chest. He threw his arms wide and screamed as the water cascaded down and poured into his shoes. "Look at this waistcoat! Will you look at this waistcoat? Do you know what water does to silk? You just never get it out! No matter what you do, there's always a mark."

--Terry Pratchett

Okay, the quote has nothing whatsoever to do with my post. But I was looking for an appropriate quote and found this one and I just couldn't resist... ;)

Do you ever have a time when you are just feeling desperate to sew? That's how it was for me this weekend - no matter what, I felt like I just had to do some sewing... So, I turned toward my queue.

The first project I tackled was not exactly what you'd call "sewing" - it was more in the nature of necessary precursors. Without further adieu, I introduce (ta da!) my cutting table:

Look - I have a cutting mat! I hadn't seen that for so long that I almost forgot I had it! ;)

Next, I turned my attention to a queue project that I thought would be practically instant gratification - my 60's peasant top.

It's a pretty straightforward pattern, with just a couple of interesting details. First, the layout for cutting - it calls for two separate pieces of fabric, not one piece folded in half at some point.

I don't recall seeing this before and I'm not sure of the point. Turns out, I was able to fit all the pieces on my fabric in the more traditional way.

Another interesting bit is that there are seams up the center front and the center back. The center front seam makes sense, as that is how you sew the little neck slit opening. But I'm not sure why the back couldn't have been cut in one piece. In any event, I should have thought more about getting my print to line up on these seams...

The last mild surprise to me was the neckline - looking at the picture on the front of the pattern envelope, I thought it was a drawstring neckline. But turns out you just add some gathers near the front center - no drawstring.

You cut a bias strip to make the neckline binding. My "instant gratification" project was slowed down because I didn't try it on until after adding the neck binding. (Dumb.) It hung too low for my taste, and I had to remove much of the binding, pull up the shoulder seams, and then replace the binding.

You also use the bias strip to form a single button loop. I found a perfect button! It matches both the colors and the design of the print in the fabric. :)

So, it's not done yet. I have the sleeves (true drawstring style) and hem to do - maybe another hour or so of work. But it's going to be cute and fun and it felt wonderful to get back into my sewing room! :)

I hope you had a wonderful weekend too!


Zep said...

I needed some down time on this Monday morning and thought I would go over to see what my blog reader looked like. You were at the top of the list and what a great post to read. The process is so much fun.

I do so many patterns with my students I see many stupid things done in the cutting process instructions. You can always fold your fabric cross grain meaning rolling the selvage edge down on itself only when you're not working with a directional fabric(one side will be cut upside down), or if the fabric has a nap (a fuzzy top).
There are a few tricks I teach in my cutting class. I'll have to do a post :)

Isn't it fun to make tops? Yours is beautiful.. I'm liking the button! :)

Have fun finishing.. nice table!

Christine said...

Your top is looking really great, Gwen! It is a nice feeling to get back in the sewing room after a hiatus. :)

Becky said...

The fabric's cute! And my projects that I think are going to be quick and easy usually turn out to be more complicated too, lol. I bet it'll look great when you're done, though.

gwensews said...

Hey, good going with the sewing! Sounds like you definitely needed a sewing fix!

Anonymous said...

The top is shaping up! Can't wait to see it.