Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sewing mesh and other tips!



This combo is my latest project, really a quickie compared to the last one. This top has caught my eye since I first saw it but the tail will be eliminated. Just a bit too trendy for the amount of effort I plan to put into this top. Do you look at the garments you are making that way? I do now. Like you all, I put my heart and soul into most projects and want to get more than a fleeting fashion from the results. I like the tail, but want this top to last more than a season. So I am going for the three layer top with sleeves but no tail.. The fabric will be from my recent rust dyeing foray.

The fabric is actually a WELL WORN damask tablecloth with some deep hemstitching around all the edges, all cotton. It's in perfect shape and just feels so yummy. I put the dyeing emphasis around the edges but the overall color of the piece has changed from snow white to a lovely soft peach. The fabric is soft, like a favorite old set of sheets and I think will be very comfortable to wear.

If you look at the pattern those three layers could add up to some serious weight. To bypass that I am doing the middle layer and some sleeve embellishment  with stretch mesh. It's not that wiry tulle but a poly mesh that slightly stretches and really really looks like expensive English cotton netting. so that will be the middle layer. I did a lot of reading as I hadn't really handled this fabric before and wanted to be armed with all the knowledge I could find. There was lots of info about double layering (this stuff's sheer), not finishing seams (no need to) and more. In the end I decided on one layer of cloth and a simple cut edge hem. Easy enough, right? But this pattern has darts, hidden darts. The bottom and middle layers of the top have bust darts. The topmost  layer hangs free from the garment on one side and does not have darts. The darts will  never show but I was really concerned about how to do them in the mesh. How would I mark them? How would I keep pins in them?
. Quarter inch masking tape to the rescue! First I outlined the correct dart on the pattern with a washable crayola marker, the better to see it and just in case it marked my mesh. I laid the single layer of mesh on top of the pattern piece. I am working wrong side up. I ran the 1/4 inch tape along the dart line on each side from the side seam to the dart point. The tapes  crossed at the tip.


Next you pinch the tip of the dart and match up the tape. Because the mesh has holes and the tape is sticky, the tapes stick to each other perfectly. NO PINS! Head to the machine and stitch your dart as you normally would from the side seam to the tip. Stitch right up to the edge of the tape.


Now simply slowly peel off the tapes. I only had one teensy piece stick and it was when I pulled the tape too fast. Pull slow. One dart all done, no pins, no marking on the fabric and easy peasy!


I did steam press the mesh with a press cloth on the lowest setting. Hope this little tip helps any of you sewing mesh and needing darts.


Here's a peak at a detail of the top. I think it will be fun to wear and can't wait to show you the rest. There were issues with the draft, rather blatant, and I will discuss those as soon as I do a review on the completed top. I can't wait to wear it with all its softness and comfort. But another tip from today's sewing:

This is one of those light bulb moments, at least for me. I keep interfacing scraps and use them to alter pattern pieces like you can see at the top of this post. But the other day I was very frustrated as I could not find my box of IF scraps. Did I use them all? Maybe I did. Anyhoo, if you have read this blog for a while you know I have no use for Pellon interfacing other than to put into bags and crafts. Well, this week I took my coupon and went to Joann's and bought one yard of their cheap pellon, a lightweight with those stinkin' glue dots on the back. I took my 1.75 purchase and cut it all into one inch strips with the rotary cutter and put on my cutting table in this little box. There are TONS of strips in there and I am now ready to alter any pattern any time. Wahoo! Hope this little nugget helps someone out there in organizing their sewing space and making alterations a bit easier. When I do my necessary shortening on every pattern I use, I just make the tucks and on the back fuse the strip to the back of the tuck. The one inch width seems to take care of all the "fixes" I need to do. If I need to change the alteration, as in make the tuck deeper, I just warm the interfacing with the iron and it pulls right up. Then I readjust the pattern and press it back down with the iron.

I will have more on the Layered Rust Top soon. It's going fast. The sleeves have been muslined and remuslined and hopefully will work fine.Can't wait to get back to this project......Bunny

17 comments:

  1. You just keep giving me reason to back pat - I usually cut pellon into 1" strips too for various applications - YAY! :)

    Oh, I will be watching for the post on this top. I like the idea of using a mesh for a layer (and I have several meshes in the stash). I too bought this pattern right away but to hear there are some issues. Eek! It is on hold.

    Thanks!!!

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  2. Ok Bunny, this is another one that's getting stored under "TUTORIALS".

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  3. The tape sticking together like that must have given you so much satisfaction!

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    1. It was a major Eureka moment. Allellu!

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  4. Thanks for the useful tips!

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  5. Bunny, you are so inspirational! Using quarter inch masking tape to so the darts is just genius!

    Where did you get the mesh? It looks lovely.

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    1. I actually got it at Joanns, in the bridal fabrics. They had white, the offwhite you see here, and a nude. I like the way it drapes and its nothing like netting. This is soft and fabric like. 5.49 a yard, I think.

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  6. The tip on using masking tape is brilliant! Thanks! Can't wait to see the top.

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  7. Yeah,
    I am so thrilled you are working on this top................because, I am sitting w aiting for Postie to deliver my pattern, as we speak.
    Someone has recently done a review on this seasons batch of Butterick patterns and put this firmly in the OMG pile.............because of the tail.
    Like you Bunny, I loved the rest of the top - I have some black and white Audrey Hepburn style trousers and had been hunting for a top to wear with it. I plan to make it minus the tail and hope that the interest in the layers will be a good contrast to the close fitting trousers.
    Still have to purchase fabric and was thinking of white linen for the task??
    Must properly read what you are doing over a cuppa; mesh sounds intriguing and of course, none around here!!
    Forgive me, must also look at the posting you probably did on how you rusted your fabric................too blonde for words some days! lol.
    Thanks yet again, for total inspiration.

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  8. I have added this to my Evernote file of sewing tips. Thanks so much!!

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  9. Thanks for the tape tip about darts on mesh fabric. Do you have any ideas for what to use when your need is always to lengthen patterns? When I use pattern tissue scraps, the tape seems to eat or gum up the paper. Or dries out and lets loose.

    I'm going to have another look at this pattern, I passed it originally.

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    1. If you look at the first pics above, you will see I lowered the bust point and the dart. That left an empty space. Again, for about a dollar and change per yard, I buy NON fusible lightweight pellon and use that with the fusible strips to fill in the empty spaces. It works much better than using tissue. Its very ironable.

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  10. I am fascinated by this top...I can't decide if I want one or not so I can't wait to see your reveal. The mesh for the layers is an awesome decision!

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  11. I tried rust printing using a stapler - it gave a great result - so I am just so excited to see this coming together. I have never used mesh, but it's a great idea and I do want to use it one day. Also personally I find uneven hems (with tails!) rather annoying, especially in a skirt. Maybe I have that symmetrical OCD thing going on!

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    1. Using a stapler? That sounds so intriguing. I have a tray of nails in the back yard cultivating rust as we speak and will try some more fabric soon.

      I love assymetry but the tail thing is just too trendy to bother with, IMO. Cute but not on my time clock, if you get my drift.

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  12. Bunny, what a great tip on using the 1/4 inch masking tape. Can't wait to see the finished top.

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