Archive | February 2014

118 Again

After the debacle of the 3 piece Eureka leg, I really needed a success. Honestly, that’s the first time I’ve been truly disappointed in any versions of the Eureka. There is something I obviously don’t get about fitting pants and selecting fabrics.   Ah, time to give it a rest and turn my attention to what I’m calling the Burda 118.

Burda recycles pattern numbers.  It’s mouthful to say and  think: issue 4 of 2011 #118. Eventually, if it’s a Burda pattern with which I want to make multiples, I start thinking and calling the pattern by just the last 3 digits.

At my final evaluation I decided I wanted to permanently add 1″ ease to front and back arm pieces; and remove some of the ease across the hip in back.  With that fresh in my mind, I taped a strip of tissue to the sleeve pieces, marked 1″ below the seam line at the hem and drew an angled  line back towards the underarm eventually merging the line with the underarm.  For the excess ease in back, I did a reverse dart i.e. I drew a line starting about 1″ below the top seam allowance and extended it to the bottom hem.  I sliced that open with my rotary cutter and then overlapped 1/2″ at the hem.  I folded the pattern and put it away until yesterday.  When I pulled it back out, I had decided that I wanted to make room for shoulder pads and revise the too-wide boat neck so that my underwear wouldn’t be visible.  This time I added a strip of tissue across the top of the sleeve extending it into the neckline area.  I retrieved the Pure N Simple shell pattern pieces, aligned center fold to center fold and traced the PNS neckline on both back and front. Then I trimmed the excess tissue and contemplated fabric.

I decided upon an ITY knit.  I’m one of the fortunate people who can wear most fibers.  I like ITY knits but mostly for slightly warmer weather. Somehow ITY is not as warm to me as cotton interlock or even woven blouse fabrics. I chose this fabric because it is fun. I love the colors and the leaf print. Most importantly though is that what I initially thought would be a fabric-thrifty pattern has turned out to need close to 2 yards. I did not think that adding ease to the sleeve would have made that big of a difference but I could not fit this on 1.5 yards of 58″ wide fabric and follow the grain lines.  The grain lines are important. They make sure that the stretch is going around the body.

Once I settled on the fabric and layout, cutting and stitching was a breeze.  I chose to finish the neckline with a picot elastic. The elastic was stitched right sides together at the neckline with one shoulder open. I stitched the shoulder closed then turned the elastic up and top stitched so that just the picot edge shows.  During wear, I wish that I had trimmed the neckline another 1/4-1/2 inch.  It is nice and stretchy but hits me in just the right place to irritate.  I hemmed the sleeves before stitching the side seams.  Last time I wrestle with trying to cover stitch the very narrow sleeve hem.l I couldn’t produce a smooth hemline.  I really do mean it felt like wrestling.  I would stitch half a dozen stitches, then try to pull the fabric forward in front of the foot and smooth it out for the next half-dozen stitches. Just didn’t work well.  So even though the sleeve hem was 2″ longer, for this version I hemmed it flat and then serged the side seams.  That worked. I cover stitched the hem as well. I’ve pretty much fallen into a habit of pressing up 1-1/4″ and then using Steam-A-Seam to hold the hem in place while cover stitching.  Somehow that’s less fussy to me than using pins, or basting first at the sewing machine; and it works really well. The layers are much less apt to slip, I don’t even worry about setting the differential.  Perhaps you’re wondering why I didn’t cover stitch the neckline?  Well I started. Cover stitched about 6 inches and stopped. The stitching was obviously wobbling. Like this was my first time trying to top stitch a neckline.  This was the only trying part about this garment.  I was using black thread to cover stitch and black lacy elastic to finish my neckline.  I couldn’t see the threads on the back to remove them.  I had to use the seam ripper to cut each stitch and pull it out.  That was, on the line of stitching I could see.  I had cover stitched with one needle falling over the edge into the elastic and one needle falling into the fabric.  After that first line of stitching (the line on the garment face)  was tediously removed, the bottom loop and other line of stitching fell out.  The SM top stitched beautifully. Last thing I did was slip the 1/4″ shoulder pads into place and tack them down on the shoulder seam.  Even with the top stitching issue, I spent more time altering the tissue than sewing. This is a great pattern.

Not sure if you can see it, but I still need to remove a little more ease across the hip.

Still desperately needing that haircut.

From the side, the back is looking good but the front hem is rising.  That’s typical for me.  I was surprised when the slinky hem was even.  Although I didn’t add any length to the sleeve, it is almost too long.  I’m thinking I can also remove some of the ease in the sleeve.  I added 2.5″ total to the pattern (1″ underarm 1/4″ on top). I needed 2″ when the fabric was slinky. I think slinky stretches more than ITY so I”m not sure what happened. I carefully followed gain placement. Anyway, I think I’ll remove 3/4″ of ease at the sleeve hem narrowing to nothing at the underarm. I want to keep the slim arm, at least for now.

Tweaks for the next version include

  • Remove .75″ ease from sleeve
  • Shorten sleeve 1″
  • Remove 1/2″ from back at hip
  • Add 1/2″ length to center front.

Most people wouldn’t see anything wrong with this garment. So I’m going to wear it with pride.