Monday, July 13, 2009

Stitching Again

I seem to be having a love affair with this book. Once my Alabama stitch skirt was completed, I started turning pages again, so many that the book has a frayed and broken binding. I love thumbing through this book and imagining all the wonderful projects in there coming to fruition under my busily stitching fingers. There was a bit of a lull after the skirt, mainly because I could not figure which project to try next.

I flipped to this page and had a feeling I should try it.
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I was feeling the need for a little top, something on the sexy side. This seems to fit the bill. I have heard from a few that the neckline dips a bit low, so sexy it is.

This was one of those impulsive starts, where I grabbed a spare black tshirt and the thread I had on hand. The cutting took place in one nap time and the sewing during SYTYCD and a during the next nap.
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It is really quite simple with five panels in front, three in back then joining with stitching up the sides. I will get to the end results in a minute, but I wanted to leave a few tips here if you decide to try some of the great projects.

The book is written with wonderful instructions on choosing knits, cutting etc. The first time around I used a traced paper pattern and a rotary cutter and struggled a bit to keep the pattern in place while I cut. This time, I cut the pattern pieces out of the grided pattern fabric you can find on the bolt at any JoAnns.
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I love making pattern pieces out of this stuff as it is a little ‘sticky’ and clings to the fabric when you lay it out. I placed my cutting mat on the floor and used the rotary cutter again, making sure to keep the blade perpendicular to the fabric so it would not ‘push’ it out of place.
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I really loved how quick this method made the cutting. I also came away with really precise points and curves which seems to be important in this project.
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The fabric came from a plain black tshirt I thought about embellishing, but I really wanted to see how this would come together so I avoided anything fancy and got to stitching. Like I said, it stitches up fast and I had the end results to try on the next day. And I am quite glad I did not invest too much effort because I am not really loving the end result. I made a few mistakes that made me less than happy with the finished piece.
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First, I used a cheapish tshirt. Not a good idea for a top. The cotton is that almost sticky knit that does not feel good on the skin and kinda’ smells. So now I know to splurge for the organic yardage over at the Alabama online store. This uses very little yardage and would be well worth the extra pennies.

Second, I am not loving my choice of cream thread. I should have gone with the grey thread, the cream makes it all a little too Black n’ White, it just feels a little trashy to me. I think the low top sexes it up enough.
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Speaking on the front cut….I meant to readjust the low neck line but forgot when cutting out the pattern. This front is cut low, folks. I think I would be more comfortable if it were about 1.5 inches higher. That way it would not cover up the girls, but they would not be on such, um, display. Remember, the knit stretches as you wear, so it gets lower as the day goes along.

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I am glad I made it, though. I plan on making another with modifications. I used the largest pattern size and it is a bit too generous once it stretches, so I will likely use the next size down, lift the neckline a bit and also shorten the back a bit. Overall, it is a great and flattering pattern and I look forward to trying it once more.

If you want a wonderful and inspiring book that focuses on hand sewing, the Alabama Stitch book is your friend. She sure is mine. And the next book is coming soon. So, happy sewing, folks.

Next up…reports from our lakeside vacation. I wish we never had to leave.
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4 comments:

LauraC said...

Now I know what to do with my beloved "Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Republican" shirt that is super stained in the armpits. Salvage it and make it sexy!

kat said...

love that book! and, your t-shirt is making me want to try and make one for myself.

kitchendoor said...

I hate when projects don't come out quite like you see 'em in your head. That's still super cute, though. I'm gonna see about getting my hands on the book.

Preeti said...

This top looks lovely and I don't think that the neckline is too deep. The stitching really brings it all together, lovely! Can't wait to read all about your lakeside vacation!!