Monday, September 16, 2013

Sew-Away-My-Stash Project - Two Hours

Kwik Sew 3801 Pattern, view from the right.
Get it HERE
After filling my stash cupboards to the brim with new fabric...I am officially on fabric-purchasing hiatus. I know, I keep saying that, and I can't seem to stop acquiring new stuff.  It's for real this time. The only thing I'm going to let myself have between now and the end of the year are notions I need to complete the project.

I don't know about other sewists, but some days I just don't have the time or patience to start a detailed project that I know will take me eight hours or more to complete. More often than not, I need instant gratification...particularly on days where I feel like I didn't get much work done.  Today was one of those days.

Enter: accessories. Sewing them are easy, useful, and make a great size-free gift. A couple of weeks ago it was my reversible linen tote bag, which I completed in one go from start to finish. Best gift I ever made in a couple of hours.  Today it was this shawl/cover-up/top piece.

I want to give Joann's Fabric a shout out, because I have found some pretty crazy prices at their discount table. Coupled with an additional 50% off coupon, I was able to get pieces for $4-6 dollars a yard. And if you buy the whole bolt end, you'll get a little more off the last quarter yard or so.  If you dig hard enough...you can find a gem. I consider this lemony knit one of those hidden gems.

View of the top from the left. This is really more 
a shawl than a top, and would look great worn over 
a pretty sleeveless dress. 
This little fancy knit number is a loose weave made to mimic a knitted lace, and it's decent quality considering the price I paid.  It came straight from the discount table this past summer, and being an end-bolt piece, I got a little more off the final price. I am certain this one and five-eighth-yard of fabric cost no more than six or seven dollars. The Kwik Sew pattern I used might have cost about the same price as the fabric.

I am not sure about the fabric content, but it is definitely a blend of some sort. It feels like a cotton, but it's not.  I know this because it pre-washed well in a lingerie bag in cold water, and survived the dryer on low with very little shrinkage.  Maybe some of you sewists out there have this knit in your stash and can let me know.

Sleeves work like a Kimono cut. They are almost
three-quarter length, and fit very snug in the forearm
area.  Make sure your fabric is stretchy. 
I have to admit that I was a little lazy with the seams. I also didn't have clear elastic for stabilizing the back neckline.  (I've got to add this to my stash...and you can get it HERE at Fashion Sewing Supply. It's great to use and nearly invisible.) I just used a remnant piece of white elastic for the back collar. I serged everything except the hem, which I used a long and wide zigzag stitch.  I didn't bother to hem the sleeve and just freehand zigzagged it on the machine.  It created a nice little ragged look that I wished I used for the hem.  If I wasn't so lazy about adjusting my serger to a rolled edge, I might have tried it on the seams, but I didn't feel like playing around with it and wasting time. The fabric was tricky to work with because the edges kept rolling up onto itself, making a clean seam challenging. If it wasn't for this, I might have been done a half-hour earlier.

Careful with the hemming! A rolled edge is best or you have to stitch the hem in different directions so it's less obvious. This is because of the way it wraps in the front. I had to drape it over my dressform to figure out which direction to hem it. But if you're doing a rolled hem...no worries.

It is long enough to cover my backside. I am 5'3" 
and it wasn't too long for me.
This was just a muslin, but it turned out so well that I can actually wear it. The pattern is almost fool-proof, and the fabric is forgiving for the most part.  I didn't even use matching thread, just off white, and you can hardly notice.  This pattern is almost a one-size-fits-all type of piece, even though there are four sizes available. I sewed it in medium which matched my bust size. I was going to shorten it, but I'm glad I didn't. The finished length was about 28 inches, and I like how it covered my backside. There's a huge amount of ease in this top too.

Happy sewing your away your stash too! (I know you got some.)