About me

My photo
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


Follow by Email

Follow me on Instagram


Monday, December 31, 2012

Barbara's Useful SWAP part two

The second blouse I have made from the Jane over-shirt from StyleArc is this one with my Liberty cotton lawn:

There is not a lot to add about the construction, except that I added the split cuff treatment from the StyleArc Sasha shirt to finish the 3/4 sleeves. I have sort of given up totally on full length sleeves. My hands are always busy and the sleeves are always rolled up so it makes sense to just start out that way.

Also I never use any kind of back neck facing on a blouse. Those are just nuisance units in my opinion that never quite fit, always flip up, and look lumpy from the outside since they are usually interfaced. I even find a bound seam a little bulky.

This seems to me to be a big price to pay to finish the little bit of back neck seamline. So even though I try to do quality work every where else I always just serge this seam. I made this decision when I saw that the first shirt I did this on, a 20 year old camp shirt that I put on every summer and my family always says "Mom when are you going to stop wearing that shirt?", has a serged back neck seam and has aged better than I have.

I also find that serge finishing this curved seam keeps in some flexibility that doesn't fight the roll of the collar, which is good.

My other comment on this blouse is that the fabric is terrific. You don't get much real cotton lawn anymore - this quality stuff is much different from just cheap thin fabric - and I am astounded by the fact this blouse neither wrinkles or weighs much at all.

I did some scientific testing holding the blouse in one hand and various other objects in the other and my calculation is this blouse weighs about the same as a 1000 m spool of Gutermann thread. 

This would make an ideal travel piece for hot weather, you could pack it in a change purse, and would be perfect say if you were going on safari and needed something you could rinse in a camp sink and wear the next morning. 

Since I am unlikely to be going on safari this term I note it would also work well for trips to the garment district and meals in the East Village that leave the kinds of exotic stains you know you have to rinse out right away before they set.

Which is a lead in to my next top. 

I am really happy about this one which I am calling my Zany top for obvious reasons and because I am well past needing what looks like a maternity top.

The problem is I used a blue washable marker to mark the pocket placements and it didn't really come out. So of course I went on the www this morning and armed myself with all possible hints:

And it looks like the vinegar may have done the trick.

My husband once pointed out that 110% of all household hints involve either vinegar or baking soda which is true.

I am hopeful I can get this top done before next year.

While I sew I am going to be doing some thinking. 

Plans for next year (again person mentioned above says I don't really plan as much as scheme, which is actually fairly perceptive) and what to write about to respond to some much appreciated blog award nominations.

I have to write things no one knows about me and since I  a) am not that complicated b) think I have said it all here, I will have to think what those things are. Unless you have some questions I can answer.

Now off to hold this top front to the light at the window and see if I have to move onto rubbing alcohol and dishwasher detergent.


a little sewing said...

wow, you really sold me on that cotton lawn fabric. I bet it will wear well too.
I know what you mean about 3/4 length sleeves. In my climate, I find I can wear them year round. In the summer, it goes over a camisole, and in the winter it goes under a warmer layer.
I have a question, have you always been funny?

annie said...

Rubbing alcohol is useful but detergent for the dishwasher has bleach in it. Learned that many years ago w/ a beloved denim skirt.

Love your Liberty shirt and your back neck hint. I hate those facings.

badmomgoodmom said...

At the risk of sounding geeky, I weigh my fabric before cutting and then the garment and leftover scraps to calculate my % waste. It's part of my experiment in zero-waste living. I don't expect to live zero-waste, but I think it is a laudable goal. I just wanted to see where I stood.

It turns out that, like the gauges on cars that display instantaneous gas mileage, seeing my stats changes my behavior.

Jane M said...

Your description of that cotton made my fingers tingle with wanting to fondle it. Lovely, lovely.

Margy said...

Do the "things no one knows about you" have to be true? I love creative storytelling! Happy New Year to one of my favorite bloggers...

Judith said...

Beautiful shirt - and I am totally with you on those back neck facings. Just plain annoying.
Your description of the fabric is great - can nearlyyyyy feel it in my hands....

gwensews said...

Another nice blouse. I like 3/4 length sleeves. I don't care when they go out of style--I will sill wear them--blouses and jackets as well.

The Hojnackes said...

Of course this makes me want to buy some lawn. Why is it not on my list?

sewingkm said...

Lovely blouse and the attributes you state reinforces the merit of buying quality (although expensive) fabric as justified.

At what age did you begin sewing?

Mainelydad said...

I just found your blog via Mrs. Mole. OMG. Liberty shirts AND how to re-grout the shower all in a single blog? Count me in! I look forward to following you in your sewing adventures.