Sunday, August 17, 2014

BUSTed

It's been a decade since I actually sat at my sewing machine and sewed a piece of clothing for myself.  I used to make a lot of jumpers for myself and I've made a couple of fancy dresses too.  I made my prom dress, for which I was famous for years. 

One thing I NEVER did was touch knits.  I've been afraid to sew with a knit for 3 reasons:

1)  the stretch of the fabric
2)  the need for a stretch  needle
3)  the worst one- trying to find the right stitch!

My sister sews with knits like it's her job.  She is always whipping up tops, bottoms, dresses and even underwear for Beanster and knits are an absolute staple in her stash.

When she made a top for herself called the Comino Top from kitschycoo, I  thought I might like to give it a whirl.  Between the kitschycoo website (fantastic tutorials, trouble shooting and suggestions) and my sister, I felt like a monkey could probably sew this top, so I needed to put on my big girl knits and just try it.

I bought the pattern online and moved into the modern age.  Did you know that with the wonder that is the internet, we can just buy patterns online and print them our very ownselves?  K-ster asked how I would print it on tissue paper like the old days.  Ha ha ha.

Assembling the pattern was a fun trick.  First, I had to figure out which pages I needed to print since I was just making the top.  There are two versions of the top and then a skirt you can put it on either of them to also make a dress.  I figured I'd stick with the simple top first.

Funny thing:  the page numbers in the PDF are not the numbers you see here but because I am D-U-M-B, I started printing all the wrong pages.   DUh.

Magically, I measured myself in the 3 places she advises and they all fit under one size, so that's the size I cut out.  That's never happened with a pattern before.  Usually, they fit in 3 different sizes, so I throw a dart and pick one at random.

I have no pictures of how that turned out because I had a major disaster which I will explain later, but also, I would not have worn the top  because it was a little more snug than I like.  So, back to the printer, and I cut out the next size up.  It's kind of cool that when you want a different size, you can just reprint and cut again.  Oh the trial and tribulations we used to go through!

There are literally 4 seams, the neck and arm bands and a hem.  Why I thought so long and hard about this is a mystery.

Well, if you know anything about me, it's no mystery.  I perseverate on most things that involve cutting.

It's mostly because I wasn't certain I had found the right stitch on my machine and when I thought I had, I didn't think I had the tension right.  Nothing is more irritating than a stretchy knit that can't stretch because the seam is too tight.  I know this because I've tried altering things like t-shirts over the years and they never work because I don't use the right stitch.

First, let me show the part I'm most proud of.

See how those lines came together at the shoulder?  That literally makes me do a happy dance every time I look at it.

The peeling paint on the door?  No happy dance over that.

I was no surprise that when I went to Joann fabrics, their knits choices didn't thrill me.  I thought I should get something other than a solid but I didn't like most of their prints.  I loved this stripe, but it was very, very thin and probably added to my angst.  They had other knits that were more substantial, and I'd recommend a more substantial knit for your first time.

So, here's where the first one went wrong:

The neck band went on so smoothly, I patted myself on the back for days.

But the arm bands.....

When I cut this out the first time, I did not attach the piece that says FOLD, so when I cut the arm bands they were literally like the elastic bands on lobster claws.  Not sure what that means because you weren't raised in New England?  They were #(*%^ing small!!  I pulled, stretched, swore, but there was no way they were going on. 

And when you sew with the knit stitch on my  machine, it's a triple stitch and it's unreasonable to rip it out.  I know this because the first time I put in the neckband, I did something wrong and had to rip it out and start over.

I was about to give up on this project entirely at that point because it was causing me too much frustration for something that was meant to be simple, fast and tailor made for me.

But, I bought another piece of fabric, went up a size, attached the papers together properly and came up with this:



I know this might be hard for you to believe, but I still think it's snug.  I don't wear shirts falling off, but I like them a little looser than this.

Who wants to suck it in all day long?

Want to see the back?

There's some kind of optical illusion going on with the stripes but you can see how it came out.  Again, I don't usually wear tops that are this snug across my back and shoulders, even with the stretch.

But, the bottom line is that it all worked as I had hoped it would, sewing wise.  The directions made it a breeze  and it came together exactly as it should have.  The bands, once I cut them properly, worked just as they were meant to and made it look so well made.  The recommended top stitching gave it a nice, professional look.

I will warn you that it is truly a "cap" sleeve, which I am trying to get used to.  I have never owned a top that has them, so it's weird for the sleeve edge to touch my shoulder where it does.

I made a dress too, and I'll share that another day.

I thought I'd love this pattern and make one in every color, but it's not a style I'm madly in love with.  It has nothing to do with the quality of the pattern.  As I said, she explains it all so well, with plenty of pictures both on the website and in the pattern that I bought.

But here's what I dislike the most.  And how the post got its title.

It's too snug in the bust for my taste.  I just don't usually wear things that snug for everyday wear.  When I told my sister, she attributed it to my "full bust" which made me wet my pants.  I'd never say that about myself because I think I'm modestly endowed, but apparently, for my size, it's full.

Therefore, that first one I made, with the measurements I took, was spot on. It is meant to allow the boobolas to be showcased.  Even a size bigger showcases them more than what you usually see from me.

Stay tuned for the Comino Cap dress, which I'll post as soon as I have a photographer handy.

In the meantime, I'll let you wonder what I was doing here:

Linking here:
http://www.flamingotoes.com/2014/08/think-pink-sunday-178/
http://www.lovebakesgoodcakes.com/2014/08/freedom-fridays-with-all-my-bloggy_14.html
http://www.glitterglueandpaint.com/project-pin-40/
http://lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com/
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2014/08/clever-chicks-blog-hop-100-with.html
http://www.skiptomylou.org 
http://www.sewcando.com

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