This has been a day of extreme frustration for me. It started all well & sunny by unpinning the drapey jersey I’d cut out last night for a Day to Night top by Maria Denmark. I’ve wanted to make this for ages. I bought it earlier in the summer & decided Daughter No1 would get first crack at it. I read the instructions re FBA etc, knowing I’d need one here. Can you believe I’ve never done one? That’s because all the tops I make for myself & No1 are self drafted!
Anyway, I was slightly suprised to note the pattern doesn’t go down to her size, unlike the Kimono tee – but the smallest size is 1cm wider at the bust than the measurements I had. A decision was made to wing it for the toile & see just exactly what and how much I’d need to adjust. The fabric chosen was from the stash, I’d bought copious amounts of this drapey poly-jersey some time ago. I found a couple of packs of clear elastic in the elastics stash too, no idea what I’d got them for initially!
A quick read through the instructions left me feeling confident, lets face it, there are only 2 pieces to this pattern, it’s hardly rocket science. However. My old Bernina refused flatly to have anything to do with the clear elastic I was to sew to the back neckline to stabilise it. I begged, I pleaded. Eventually it gobbled up the first 2 cm – fabric, elastic, the works. Cue much cursing & frantic tweeting – help!! Obviously there was a “tutorial” which wasn’t much help. If I had a teflon foot apparently all my hair pulling & scaring the birds outside my window would go away. I. Don’t. Have. One! Trying to find one for a 42 year old machine is pretty nigh impossible too.
In the end I managed to bully, cajole, persuade (you pick the right word) dear old Bernina to zigzag the elastic to the neckline. Reluctantly it obeyed but I was gifted skipped stitches & pulling where there shouldn’t be any. This didn’t get any better when turning the elastic over & stitching the seam allowance down on the outside. I tried the suggested zigzag again & ripped it out almost as soon as I’d started! In went the twin needle & things were a bit better. Bernina was still sulking & skipped stitches in revenge. The same happened with the armholes.. By now I was thinking this whole thing was jinxed. Shoulder & side seams were fine, the overlocker behaved perfectly.
I put it on the dress form – I don’t think this will fit Daughter No1 over the bust. The waist & hip will be fine, probably even slightly baggy, but the bust line looks pretty darn snug. By this time I was pretty fed up. A walk in fresh air and some loud music in my ears was in order so I left it for a couple of hours.
It fits Daughter No2 fairly well. You can see all the pulling from the neck & armholes clearly and again, it’s snug over the bust. This is the size I’d have made for her, without adjustments. She rather likes it & would be happy to wear it, but there’s no way I’m allowing that thing to see the light of day! I haven’t done such a poor job on a garment since I was 14 in Home Ec!
On coming home from my “clearing the air walk” I thought I’d make another one, but with a different jersey. This time I used some back cotton/lycra blend, also from the stash. Applying the elastic at the neckline was much better, without the slippness of the other jersey, the elastic was easier to control. I still got some skipped stitches but it was far better, as was the twin needle top stitching. I left the elastic out of the armholes all together, just turning under the 1cm seam allowance & using a twin needle to stitch it down. The hem was also stitched with the twin needle. I don’t think I have to say how much better this one has turned out! No swearing, no scaring the birds or wishing for the death of the fabric!
I still need to see if it will work on the missing Daughter No1 (still away visiting the boyfriend) but it looks good on No2.. Will I make another? A proper one? Yes, but I will be oh so careful about the fabric choice! Drapey stuff feels good, and looks good but is a pain in the be-hind to sew & I really don’t need the aggravation. If I buy more fabric to make this top again, it will definitely be of the controllable sort & I might try to source some fold over elastic & give that a try.