Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Style Arc Patsy Conquered - precision striping

I have a new favorite casual top!

StyleArc Patsy and Burda jeans
This made up wonderfully in striped jersey from Roz at Sew Much Fabric.  I am not sure what the fabric content is, rayon and a touch of Lycra perhaps.  She made her own adorable top blogged here using the favorite boat neck pattern from BWOF 2-2009.

Since I had already made this top in a too fluid silk jersey, it was easy to put together.  Unlike last time, I left the edge unfinished.  But, it has been leaving little fuzzes on my jeans all day so I think I need to figure out a way to finish it without my serger destroying it.
The only challenging part of this was matching the stripes down the center front and the sides.

For wonderful bold stripes and a center seam jersey top, it just has to be right.

When it has to be precise, there is only one question:

*What Would 'Sewing Lawyer' Do?*

Here is how I matched the stripes without pulling my hair out.  This is a good process to know since stripes are everywhere this season.

Precision Sewing In Action - 'The sewing Lawyer' Method

Baste a zigzag stitch catching both sides
The best and most foolproof way that I have found to match stripes precisely is a tip written by Kay Y AKA The Sewing Lawyer written on Pattern Review here. 

The first step is (with right sides together) mark the seam line and press one side open (back against the body, away from the seam allowance).  If you have a curved seam (like a sleeve) you will want to pin the pieces together through all 3 thicknesses of fabric.  I have omitted the pins so that you can see the fold line clearly.
Basted, top layer folded back

With a contrasting color of thread in the needle, baste a zigzag stitch that overlaps both sides of the seam down the length of the seam as illustrated.  To be as precise as possible on this knit, I lifted the presser foot and smoothed the fabric before each white stripe.  The basted seam will look like the photo to the left.

Seam open, ready to press flat
Unfold the folded side and press the seam flat.  You will need to tug slightly on the layer that was folded back to flatten the seam.

When you pull the top layer flat, the zigzag stitches will pull through slightly leaving perpendicular dashes all the way down your seam line as seen on the right (sorry about the blurry shot).

Stitch with regular stretch stitch or narrow zigzag
Stitch the seam together (with a slight zigzag for jersey) either stitching from the dashed lines of the topside or from the zigzag bottom side knowing that you seam is being held together securely.

Then you double check your matched stitching and pull your basting thread out.

I also used this technique on the sleeves only stitching for about 6" on the front and the back.

This is my first StyleArc and I am pleased.

I love my new top, but next time I will order the next size down. Until then I will measure my other patterns carefully before sewing.  Although this top is straight and not fitted by design, it will look better on me with a little more shaping at the waist, and it could be a couple of inches shorter.  It is also broad across the shoulders,  so I might make a center back seam of 1" down the back tapering to 1 1/2" at the waist.  If I zigzag baste and watch my seams it will look quite deliberate.  I also think this would look pretty in bias cut silk charmeuse so that the waistline drapes closer to the body.

I ordered a size 14 according to my measurements, there is 2" of ease bust and hips and it doesn't have much shaping at the waist (just like the picture) resulting in about 9" of ease.  It is also long, it measures 10" from waist to hem.  I may go back later and shape it to more of a shirt tail hem.

But for now, these stripes in this shirt are a perfect match.

This will be even cuter when I lose some more weight.

Yeah, that is what Me-Made-May Made-Me.  After only about a week of looking at pics of me I changed my eating and started exercising.  I eat small salads for lunch, meat for dinner and I walk or go to the gym 5 times a week.  I also gave up sugar.
I went back to my doctor for blood work last week and I had brought my cholesterol down 30 Points!  I have only lost about 5 lbs, but those new jeans will have to be taken in sooner rather than later.
Now, I'm going for a walk...

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