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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, June 4, 2011

McCalls 6241 and making things worse

Last night I made this pattern, previously written about as a what-was-I-thinking? and loved it. Just goes to show, try new things. Some work, some won't.

I will qualify that.

At the fitting stage, before I had hemmed the neckline, sleeves and bottom, I loved it. I was surprised at how elegant it was. Maybe not wearing it with sequined leggings as per the pattern envelope helped.

The fabric I used was a rayon/polyester single knit from Fabric.com and it had the drapeyness that this pattern obviously needed. I went slowly (easy to do when it is a super easy pattern) and basted the pleats in place so they wouldn't slip:

Because it was hanging so nicely in the fitting I decided to keep the edge finishes as light as I could (the cut edges hung perfectly). I then spent about a hour trying to get a roll hem on this fabric and even a 3 thread with no luck. The fabric curled away from the stitching in the roll hem and even with the differential waved too much with the 3 thread. 

So in the end I hand basted all hems in place and cover-hemmed them.

Not so good.

The hems at the bottom and sleeves were fine but the neckline was terrible. With the weight of the stitching the edge turned towards the front and the backside of the stitching showed. I was sooo disappointed. 

In the end as a fix I turned and hand-stitched the neckline down which is not a good solution and means I won't be wearing this for anything but dog-walking.

But I want to make this again. It has great potential.

Solutions I am considering include a facing for the neckline. You know extra length that you leave just cut and turn under. I have seen and used that on other patterns.

I have some more of the same fabric in navy in the wash now and am going to have another go at this.

Any thoughts?


Dinah said...

Love the top! How about using some fold over elastic rather than a facing? I've seen that frequently used on ready-to-wear.

Anonymous said...

The design is lovely. Maybe it was simply the choice of knit as some are more troublesome than others. Will it take a simple serge and turn under? Or if the fabric is really fussy sometimes I just turn under, no serge or finish, and hem down, then cut close to the stitch line. I sometimes see this done on RTW short sleeves. The facing for the neckline sounds good since that area will get more wear.

Bunny said...

Two thoughts: one, you could try using clear elastic in the neckline and hems, then just turn and topstitch. Keep some tension on the elastic as you stitch, but don't stretch.

The other option would be to use steam a seam. This is great for hemming knits. Just use a narrow strip, turn, and topstitch.

Hope this helps. I think this would look great in a print. Some knits can be so stinky.