Sunday, 23 February 2014

Grainline "tiny pocket tank" #2 - we have a winner!

After a somewhat successful (but not really wearable) first attempt at the Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank I think we finally have a winner with my second attempt *happy dance*.

As my first Tank was WAY too low at the front I added a piece to the pattern to make it much less...indecent. I'm so pleased that this worked. When you're first learning to sew everything seems to be a matter of cross your fingers and hope for the best.

After battling with the slinky fabric in my first Tank I decided this time around I wanted something really easy to sew with. I found this pretty Cotton Voile (no idea what that actually is) at Lincraft and whilst I don't think it was cheap I only needed 1m of it so no big deal. As I was making the biggest size of this pattern I had some Tetris moments trying to get everything to fit on the amount of fabric I only it had been a fraction wider!

I used bias binding for the neck and arm holes but this time I actually hemmed the top "the proper way". It's a bit wavy but if I don't tell you that you'd never know, so shhhhhh.

I got some tips from my Twitter sewing friends (plus this Grainline tutorial also) on hemming. Basically if I sew a line of stitching around the hem and use it as a guide for turning up the hem then all should be OK. And it pretty much was. Hooray!

I'm pleased to report that the top passes my "can I wrestle someone to the ground" test. I can move my arms in it which is my Number 1 peeve in clothing. It's not tight across the back at all which shall not impede my eating adventures. Woot!

I've not yet worn this top out of the house, but it's hanging there ready to go. I'm thinking "maybe" I'll wear it to my first Sydney Sewist Meetup that is happening soon...or maybe not.

I really like this pattern. I think it's a good option for beginners like me as it's quite simple and the instructions are pretty easy to follow. I like it so much that I've already got another top cut out plus a version I'm trying to extend into a Tank Dress. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Grainline "tiny pocket tank" sans pocket!

On my inaugural visit to The Fabric Cave I found barely a meter of this lovely lavender and cream "mystery fabric"...that's it in the middle there. A better sewist than me will be able to identify this - but all I know is that it is NOT cotton and it's NOT stretchy. It's quite slinky and there's nothing "natural" feeling about it - polyester perhaps?

I bought a PDF copy of Grainline Studios Tiny Pocket Tank when there was as a sale right before X-mas and when I saw this fabric I thought they'd go well together. I do love PDF patterns. I find them less intimating than the old school type of patterns, mainly as I can reprint them easily if I make an error on sizing.

I was actually REALLY worried about sewing with this fabric as it quite slippery. Ergo, I made good use of the slowing speed function on my machine - I LOVE this. I dialed things right down to tortoise speed and slow and steady she went! I am pleased to say that the actual sewing of the fabric went super smoothly....even the darts.

Funnily enough the hardest part about the whole process was ironing the fabric, laying it out and cutting. I am SURE that the fabric slinked around so much that the top is lopsided.

The fabric frayed WAY more than I was thought it would. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting actually but at one stage I thought the whole top was going to end up as a frayed ball of fluff on the floor. I've zigzagged all the seam edges - not the prettiest but it does the job. I also got to practice more bust darts AND bias binding finishes. I'm getting pretty good at these two things now.

When I tried the top on for the first time it was pretty obvious that it was going to be "too rude" to wear out of the house.  The front was cut so low that you could see my bra and ALL my cleavage. I know this is "the look" for "young people" these days but not for me.

So I did the logical thing and took it up at the shoulders until the front covered my girls. Pity I didn't think that raising the shoulder seams would mean that the bust darts now sit under my armpits. The top is also not that comfortable under my arms either. Derp.

Whilst sewing this top I also came to the realization that I REALLY need to learn how to hem garments without bias tape. I was afraid if I attempted a regular hem on this top I'd total botch it as it was hard to iron the hem into place. Bias binding is great but not for this as it's made the hem SUPER stiff and it sticks out like I've threaded a hula hoop through the hem. Double Derp.

So all in all a good practice effort but a waste of some pretty fabric. It only cost me $6 so I'm not too sad BUT I would LOVE for someone to teach me how to hem. Anyone?