Sunday, April 21, 2019

Bobbi squared

I'm heading off for a two week holiday in a couple of days, so of course I had some last-minute sewing projects. (You do this too, right?)

I'll be in a place that's somewhat warmer than here, but not hot. So I was thinking layering. Knit tops are always great in that situation, and I had the Bobbi pattern from Jalie and some fabric in stash. Ready, set, GO! In what seemed like a few minutes I had a top. And then the next day I had another one. And they are both already layered!

Bobbi #1
Bobbi #2
I started with this crazy poly print. It is very soft and would probably be too hot in real heat, but in this mid-season I think it will be just the thing.

And then I threw caution to the winds and my second Bobbi is made from a somewhat less stretchy knit that has these little plastic ... blobs ... uh I mean dots all over it.

I wasn't sure how my serger and sewing machine needles would like these but they chunked through them. On the other hand it was really hard to sew over them in an actual straight line. A moderate amount of re-sewing occurred.

So this top is extremely simple. There are 4 pieces, two inner and two outer. The inner is an ingenious "facing" that is really more like a cropped snugger fitting top that connects to the drapey outer top at the neckline.

The inner top does two critical jobs. First, it prevents the loose top from gapping away from the body at the neck. There will be no unintentional cleavage displays while wearing Bobbi, even when bowing very low!

Demo at right.

The second job is similar but operates differently. With a more conventional armscye, the inner facing covers the bra and stuff so there will be no unintentional side-flashes while wearing Bobbi either.

Demo at left.

So for a simple little top, this pattern is unusually sophisticated.

Inside-out Bobbi

I made this up pretty much as instructed except for one thing. I did not turn the armscye of the under-layer under and topstitch, I used fold-over elastic instead.

For my crazy print top, I had some standard white FOE.  On the dotty top I used some strange stretchy woven tape from Mokuba. It is only 9mm wide and it took some effort to keep it folded nicely around the curves of the arm opening.

Maybe I'll get to visit Mokuba's head office - we are headed to Japan!

Friday, April 19, 2019

A couture guipure lace skirt

Find the seam...
This took an awful lot of hand sewing!

First there was the basting of the lace to the underlined and hemmed skirt pieces (as seen in the last post).

Then I sewed the darts and completed the side seams (by machine).

Then I took a deep breath and cut into the lace to separate the motifs so I could overlap them over the curves at the top of the skirt. I was worried that because the lace has such a regular pattern, the places it overlapped would be really obvious. This turned out not to be a problem at all.

Then I hand felled the edges of the cut lace, tacking it through all layers.

Tiny snaps
Back zip
Then I sewed the CB seam and hand-inserted the zipper (it would have been pretty hard to do it by machine). Then I cut the lace motifs to overlap the zip opening and also to mold around the vent at the CB hem.

I did some more hand tacking of the lace around the zipper.

I added tiny snaps so the bits of lace that overlap at CB would appear attached to the base fabric when the skirt was worn.

Lining attached at CB - all by hand
Let's see... Then I sewed the lining and basted it to the skirt, wrong sides together, at the waist edge.

I had some dark navy grosgrain in stash. It was originally meant for hat bands. It is the perfect width and colour for a ribbon facing of my skirt. I attached it by machine and checked the fit. The waist was a bit loose but I was able to ease it into the grosgrain.

The lining is attached at the zipper, down the CB seam, and at the sides of the vent.

I added a large hook and eye which are attached to the grosgrain at the CB waist.

The pattern is the one illustrated at right from the February, 2009 edition of Burdastyle.

Here are a couple more shots of the completed skirt. It's pretty comfortable!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Using up some Aussie fabric

Remember when I went to Australia and shopped for fabric? It was months ago. Among the pieces I brought home were a length of dark navy wool jersey and some rather chunky cotton guipure lace (paisley!). Also navy. I bought enough for a skirt because the Sewing Lawyer should have a guipure lace skirt. Better late than never!

I used the Itch to Stitch Brasov top pattern for the jersey. Based on my test sew, I shortened it by about 8cm (3") and eliminated the lowest of the side seam pleats. I'm much happier with the length of this top now.

The wool isn't quite as drapey as the rayon I used for my test sew. I had to take that version in quite a bit. The shortening is the only change I made for this version.

Now, about that lace skirt.

I came across this project on the Burdastyle site - perfection! I realized I had this issue of the magazine (Feb, 2009, a good issue). I traced it and made a muslin. I decided to peg it in very slightly as I find this is more flattering in a pencil skirt.

Then I downloaded the Threads Magazine article on making a couture guipure lace skirt (Susan Khalje, October-November, 2014).

I want this thing to be wearable in my real life so the charmeuse under-layer was out - shiny and high contrast were not in the cards.  The stash contained navy wool crepe and navy silk organza that looked pretty good with my dark navy lace.

Front- thread traced darts
Skirt with lace laid overtop - hem is sewn and side seams
joined to the point where they start curving
I joked that I was winging it in making this lace skirt, but in reality I dutifully followed Susan Khalje's instructions to thread trace the darts and hip line onto my underlined base. This is necessary because you don't sew the darts until quite a bit later after the fabric has been handled a lot.

The Sewing Lawyer at work
(yes that is a head lamp)
I spent much of this weekend bent over my skirt, hand tacking the lace to the skirt base (horizontal basting lines approximately 5cm apart from hem to waist). After this, I sewed the darts and side seams and then painstakingly cut the lace and repositioned it over the curves of the darts and side seams. The cut motifs have to be invisibly hand sewed through both lace layers and the skirt base.

Lace manipulation in progress
I thought the repositioned motifs would be obvious because the pattern of my lace is so regular. Nope! Once tacked down, the shaping becomes invisible.

At left is the CB zipper with cut lace. Some of the motifs overlap the zipper and I'll sew tiny snaps on those bits to hold them down.

I'm almost finished with the lace. Then just lining and the waist finish remain.