Tuesday, 26 February 2013

spring is coming top

The top (view C) version of Lisette Portfolio 2245 pattern - finished! But sewing while doing up a house and making endless decisions about radiators and floors and taps and... and... is slowing sewing down somewhat... 

I made the tunic version of this last year and really liked it so thought I would go for the shorter version.

I used a Liberty fabric that has been in my stash for a while. I really love this fabric and I was almost scared to use it because I wanted to make sure it was going to be a pattern I would really like.

I did a couple of things I haven't done before. The first is, after reading one of Tilly's posts on learning to sew, I actually washed my fabric before cutting. This is something I have always known that you are supposed to do but never do. I've never had any disasters though but I thought rather than waiting for a disaster to happen and THEN deciding to do it from then on, it would be a good habit to get into. 

The other is that I experimented with different ways of cutting my fabric. I have always pinned the pattern to the fabric and cut around it that way. But after reading a few sewing books, I decided to try to use weights (ie tins of chickpeas) to keep it steady and used tailor's chalk to draw around the pattern. It takes a little bit more time but it's not nearly as awkward as cutting around pinned paper and I think it ends up more precise.It means that you can take longer cuts with the scissors than you would if the pinned paper was in the way. 

The collar caused me great pain the last time, and sure did again. But this time, I wasn't letting it go and I'm pleased to say in the Me v. the Neck facing bout, I am the victor!

But boy did it take a long time - I had to access some inner stubbornness. I actually had to go for a run in the middle of it to let off steam. It took me so many goes I actually lost count of the amount I had to rip the stitches and go back to the drawing board. 

I hunted about books and on the Internet and I couldn't really find anything that would help me, let alone acknowledge that this is tricky so I wandered about in the sewing wilderness trying different things to get the bloody thing to work. 

I tried shortening the neck facing, then lengthening it again. The first time I pinned it on with the facing side up and I got a load of nasty puckers in the garment. So I pinned it with the garment facing me and tried sewing it that way... whatever way it pulled I couldn't get the seams to match up. 

So in the end I used ONE pin to start me off and then just tried to ease it in with my hand, not fretting too much about getting the raw edges to match. And it worked!! Hurray!
No puckers here, no sireeee..

And I used my trusty covered buttons which I think look really nice, if I do say so myself: 

And if anyone out there has any other insights into how you attach a neck facing, give a hollah - I'd love to hear about it!


  1. I had such a hard time with this neck facing the last time made this pattern that I have had a tunic nearly finished in my sewing room just waiting to be finished. It's been there for over a week. I'm scared. I hate having to be so patient and re-do things. I actually thought I might just hand sew the last bit to make it cleaner. Just thought you'd like to know you are not alone.

    1. Oh that IS actually a consolation... I hope you've tackled yours again and had a bit more joy! I know what you mean, I find it really difficult to be patient, I just want to get things done. It's my new years resolution to try to go a bit slower and try to get it right. Good luck with getting your one done, it will feel great when you do!

  2. Hi Nicoline, Thanks for your kind comment on my blog. It's great to find another sewing blogger in Dublin! I too have sometimes found it hard with neck facings. If it's particularly tricky I sometimes hand baste in a few places to get the right shape. Then I sew it up with the machine and take the basting stitches out. It does help but is a little more time consuming. I love the finshed top. I might have to get the pattern myself :) the tunic you made from it is beautiful.

    1. Thanks a mil Stephanie!
      That's good advice, I'll definitely try that the next time. My mum (my sewing oracle!) gave me some good advice of just concentrating on the seam line rather than the edges, and just do lots of easing... basting would make sense alright. I'm hoping that practice will help too!

  3. This is so beautiful! I hope you get lots of wear out of it!


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