Sunday, September 14, 2008

Silk tops and wool skirt

Ten days since my last post. Hmm. I've been busy! But I haven't even finished those tops. So back to where I left off...
silk tops
That silk I bought on sale was so narrow (how narrow was it?) that I had to cheat to get the tops cut out. I had only bought a metre of each colour, thinking that was enough. As you can see in this layout photo, there was no way I could get both the front and the back cut out on a fold. I thought I could fold each selvage into the middle and do it that way but it was just too narrow.
silk tops
Even though I put the back seam right on the selvages, the sides overlapped by a few millimetres and I had to make them with a 3/8 seam allowance. Talk about cutting it close.
silk tops
Here is the blue top, inside out, with the back up. You can see I didn't need to finish the centre back seam because the selvages are already finished. I zigzagged the other seams and trimmed them, although they are not trimmed yet in this photo.
silk tops
Here I am, ironing the neck facing on the ham. It really is easier on something like a neckline or shoulder, to use the ham, instead of trying to iron it on a flat board. In this photo, I have already understitched the facing and all I need to do now, is iron it folded under.
silk tops
Here's the ham from another angle. After this, I stitched the facing down to the shoulder seam by machine stitching in the ditch of the shoulder seam from the outside of the garment.
silk tops
That was the end of the machine sewing. From here, to finish the tops, I have to hand stitch the hems. They are pinned up and ready to go. I generally save my hand sewing for sitting in front of the tv. These tops look awfully shiny and that pink one is very pink, but when I wear them, it will only be under jackets so all you will see is a little bit of the top at the neck.
wool skirt
Because I only have hand sewing left, I am not breaking My Rule by starting a new project upstairs in my sewing room! This is the beautiful wool I got at Darrell's sale. He only had the oatmeal colour left at the sale and I kicked myself when I discovered he had had two other colours - blue and green - as they would have made perfect, all-purpose serviceable skirts. Oh well.
wool skirt
I am making my tried and true, no-waistband, knee-length skirt with a small vent in the back. It will go with everything this Winter!


xup said...

Have you ever thought of giving sewing lessons to young girls/women? Your blog is very informative, but it would be great to have the hands-on experience.

Chicago Sarah said...

Wow. You are very brave and I'm impressed at how you squeaked the silk to work. :) That wool looks so...yummy. I literally want a blanket made from it (very very bad idea, note to self)!

Meg said...

That settles it! I'm getting a ham!

JuliaR said...

Xup, thank for the compliment. I do teach for a living (law, at Algonquin) and I have discovered that I am pretty good at the process of teaching. That said, I don't know if private sewing lessons would pay enough to make it worthwhile. I could look into teaching at someone else's place... But I created this blog to be a value-added to a "You Can" kind of sewing book that I drafted and was trying to sell back in 2005 when I started. I still think the book is a good idea and it may eventually find a home. The working title of my book is in quotes in the sub-caption above.

Thanks Sarah! The wool is really nice but since wool makes me itch, it would have to be a top layer on a bed, for me to use it as a blanket. I can stand a wool skirt and jacket, as long as I have a shirt with a collar tucked in to the skirt but as soon as I get home from work, I have to take the wool off, scratch all over like a dog and then put on fleece or something. :)

Meg, the ham is another tool that I cannot believe I spent 30 years without. Go get one! And a clapper and a sleeve board!

Darrell said...

I think that you are absolutely amazing. You always make me smile

JuliaR said...

Aw shucks, Darrell! Thanks. You make me laugh too.

Ankara Hotspot said...

Great Coat!! Pure Talent!!
I just though you might like to have a look at the African Fabrics I supply on:

...You could try other projects with it! Good luck.

JuliaR said...

Thanks Ankara Hotspot. I checked you out on the internet and Facebook too. Your fabrics look great! I love bright and colourful cottons although I'm not actually clear on if they are cotton or what? I see you sell out of London, U.K. which is one of my favourite cities. I would love to read a fuller explanation of the Ankara fabric and why it is called that. I only know the name Ankara as the capital of Turkey.