originally published July 31, 2011
.It shouldn’t be surprising that I jumped right onto this pattern. I’d been thinking about the inspiration garment
ever since I saw it on someone else’ blog. My questions at the time had been how to duplicate the lace and how to support the girls. It’s pretty obvious this was designed for a preteen without too much up front or at least someone not needing any front support. Let’s face it, when you’ve survived 6 decades you either support the girls with a properly fitting br@ ; or you, your friends, significant others and neighbors discover that your n_ipples hang about even with your knees. One of the benefits of a long life for women is long girls. I could, like several that I know, wear my br@ and allow the staps to show. But to me that’s always slightly uncouth. I just don’t care for the look and so over the years discovered ways to conceal my “supporting cast”. Burda Style 104 in August 2011 seemed like a perfect answer. I may need to include lin_gerie snaps in those narrow shoulder straps. I’m OK with that.
I began with the lace:
I really thought this contained the essence of the lace in the inspiration garment. I’m always telling DH I should seriously take up digitizing. Even though this design was in my “stash”, I spent 4 hours cleaning it up and right sizing it. Next was joining in groups of 4, 3 and 2. Followed by trimming off those 2 bottom circles and arranging them in multiples to form a trim. I have a good 12 hours in editing time. I’m fairly sure I could have digitized these from scratch in less. But I always think “Oh the worst is already done. I just need to make some connections.” 5 minutes for connections turns into lots of time as I clean up blobs, stray stitches and in this case a weird line of stitches down the vertical center of the design. I can’t and won’t blame the digitizer for the issues I corrected. Our automatic softwares keep “assuming” we want changes when we don’t. I’m fairly sure that early on, Embird converted a number of jump stitches to running stitches and added tie-on and tie-offs before I knew I needed them. As much as possible, I’ve turned off these automatic corrections. But I find that with every update, Embird keeps turning back-on things I’ve long ago decided were not helpful. Nonetheless, Embird is still my digitizing program of choice. Not only for the cost, but for the ease of use. Point here is that all my issues were not the original digitizer’s fault. Neither the design nor the digitizer should be criticized. Had I used the designs exactly as they were purchased, I’m unlikely to have had problems. I’m also unlikely to have had the size I wanted and would have had to invested other time and effort into connecting the individual motifs. It’s a trade off.
Once I started the laces stitching out, I turned my attention to tracing the pattern from Burda’s Maze:
Thank heavens AnnR clued me in about 6 months ago. I circle the numbers at the side and then search straight up the pattern maze until I find the pattern piece. I do trace with my finger before adding tracing paper.
BTW, this is a great place to use those Frixion Pens everyone is humming about
I used to use my Ultra Fine Point Sharpies. But I prefer the Frixion’s because I can erase them and not be distracted by previous tracing efforts.
Back to the tracing, I placed my paper on top and traced the neckline and straps. I do have a fairly decently fitting tank top pattern. I have no desire to fit a second tank top, I just want the very narrow straps and neckline and that’s all I trace:
After that, I remove Burda’s pattern maze and create a sandwich of my already fitted tank top and the Burda narrow straps and neckline.
I tape them together using Repositionable tape. Yeah, not cheap but I do find it to be helpful. I pull off about 1″ pieces and I use them again and again until they won’t stick. The repositionable tape will hold my pattern pieces, tracing paper or whatever in place while I’m doing my thing and then remove without damaging anything. That’s what’s worth the $$$. Once I’ve traced what I needed from my fitted tank pattern, I do add the seam allowances and then trim the new pattern piece.
I know some people don’t trim the pattern piece. But I find I’m more accurately placing the pattern and cutting fabric if the tissue has been trimmed. That’s especially helpful if I’m short on fabric or matching stripes, plaids or prints.
I went ahead with my original fabric choice, the light-yellow, rayon crepe. I was perplexed by Burda using a full front and a half back pattern piece. I checked with my SG friends and received no advice to the contrary, so I folded the front in half and placed it on a fold as well as the back (which was specified to be placed on a fold). I ditched the side zip. I mean when I can’t get that low of a neckline over my head, I’m probably too old and feeble to be making and wearing such a thing. I cut my bias 1-3/4″ wide. That’s just my preference based upon the normal width of my serger stitch and how much I want to fold and turn. I do a french binding, nearly always i.e. fold the bias in half, place all raw edges together; stitch desired width from raw edge; press, turn to inside and topstitch. It makes a nice clean finish. Just exceptionally easy to do with no exposed raw edges when you’re done.
I did have 2 problems with the bias. First off the neckline was much, much lower than I thought. I kick myself for not comparing the tissue to Mimie. Had I done that I would have raised the neckline long before even contemplating cutting the fabric. I even asked myself, why? Why didn’t I pin the tissue and check on Mimie (my dressform). I don’t know. I guess it was just a brain-f-art The neckline almost, ALMOST covers my front br@ line. Almost. I did not turn and topstitch the neckline bias. I pressed nicely and decided to see how I could work the lace with the bias to create a little more modesty. I did press, turn and topstitch the armscye binding. To my surprise the binding is not snuggling to my dressform. Nope, the binding is standing tall and proud or as the experts would say: GAPING. I have gaposis at both armscyes and now looking carefully at my neckline too. I know that I’m going to need to adapt my Quick Neckline Fix to all 3 bindings if I’m to have a top that doesn’t suffer with gaposis.
I serged the sides and hemmed my top. Then I placed it on Mimie. The lace was continuing to stitch out nicely and at least getting close to time to arranging for use. I tried the group of 4 on the top (now being worn by Mimie) and realized my calculations were slightly off. This required another few minutes a the computer creating a group of 5 and then of course 88 or so minutes stitching the new group out. I rough trimmed all the lace as it came off the machine.
As I’ve said before, I gave up true FSL long ago. So these come off the machine in another sandwich, this time a heavy water soluble, topped by tulle and then a layer of light water soluble. I do hoop all layers and baste them together in the hoop. Generally, when the machine is finished, I rough cut the lace from the sandwich, rinse all or most of the WSS and then burn the edges with my wood burning tool. This time though, I rough cut the lace out of the sandwich and then pinned it to the waiting neckline. Oops:
What’s the point of all the lace if it doesn’t show up?
I’m thinking I need to choose another fabric with enough contrast that the lace will show up. I suppose I could redo the lace in another color. I’m talking about 6 hours of stitching; after all the digitizing is done. I could choose a different lace—purchased lace— to finish the light-yellow, rayon crepe OR I could just toss it. I purchased this fabric years ago during the Walmart Fabric O-rgies. I started with a good 5 yards and am down to the last 3/4-yard remnant. It could be time to quit on this fabric.
Sigh, what would you do?