Sunday, June 21, 2009

Making The Most of a Setback - The Asterisk Shirt!

I used the T shirt pattern from Christine Jonson's new pattern, Travel Trio One, to create this deconstructed quickie. It's a great pattern, but this post is not about the Travel Trio One.

The back story -- if you read this post from last week, you know that earlier this week, I was feeling like one super highly motivated sewing dynamo. I was. I cut out and sewed a most lovely version of a certain wrap dress - a Kwik Sew that I've made twice before. I love both of those dresses and wear them a lot, even though I've had them both for over 2 years. So I thought...why not make another of this great pattern? Well, things were winding down on the project. As I finished the waist attachment to the bodice, I tried it on as an assembled garment. Although it had looked lovely in pieces on the dress form, it did not look lovely on me. Why? Well, the fabric, a polyester knit, hugged every one of my itty bitty curves (not just the top two) way too much for decency. I brought Nick (my husband) in for an opinion. He agreed. Not that it was indecent...just that I should not wear it in public and expect to be taken for a lady.

So what happened? Previously, I'd made this dress of a rayon lycra knit - not more substantial than the polyester -just draped differently. Even though I tested the fabric, even though the weight was ideal for the dress, the fabric just did not work for me. (I guess, for someone with way more willingness to show the body's dimensions pretty completely, this fabric would have been just fine in this dress.)

If you're thinking that this problem would not have happened if I'd just have stabilized the fabric at key stress points, thus negating the fabric's tendency to cling - I did that. I did it all. I stabilized at shoulder seams, neckline, and even did a waist stay. But the fabric was just not right! This kind of thing happened to me a lot when I first started sewing. It has not happened for a long time. But that reminds me that the craft of sewing is loaded with variables that must be considered and controlled. Design of garment, construction techniques, fabric, quality of ancillary materials (like interfacing), whether the moon is full...

OK, so after that, I was in the mood for a pick-me-up. It was too early in the day for a few good slugs of Kentucky Bourbon, so my pick-me-up came in the form of a deconstructed t-shirt.

I did not finish the edges. I just serged all around the neck, all around the sleeve hems and all around the hem. I lengthened the shirt 1 inch. The fabric is from Jomar. It's a very stretchy rayon, with very little recovery. The front decoration (the asterisk) was done on a whim, after I cut the shirt out, but before I started to assemble it. It's simply eight 10 by 2 inch strips of fabric. I attached each strip to the shirt with a zig zag stitch running smack down the center of each strip. The fabric curls in to hide the stitching. The whole design of the shirt and it's deconstructed nature takes advantage of the knit jersey's tendency to curl toward the right side.

This project was a quick way for me to get my motivation back after that wrap dress setback! Onward, ho!


gwensews said...

That's a girl! Never claim defeat--just move forward! You let the dress go and made a unique garment. One door closes, another opens, even in sewing!

Gorgeous Things said...

"It was too early in the day for a few good slugs of Kentucky Bourbon"

Hahahahahahahaha! Snort!

Yes, I think we've all had that experience. Everything seems to be in alignment but somehow, the fabric/pattern/stars combination just turns out wrong. But your shirt is very, very right!

Mardel said...

The shirt is wonderful. Too bad about the dress though, sometimes things just don't work no matter how right it seems they might be.

I love the bourbon line, but the top will probably serve you better.

Christy Sews said...

I love that shirt!!! It's amazing what a couple of shots of bourbon will do!!

Berk said...

I love this top! The Furry Mind wore this great top to the beach house this weekend! It is fabulous!