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?
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!
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