Spring Sewing and Stabilising Shoulders

Nothing cheers me up after the dark and dreary winter months than sewing with all the colours of spring. Coral was my first cheery colour but I was a bit premature sewing in Feburary! At least I’m blogging at a seasonally appropriate time.

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Originally purchased for a Renfrew, I realised on delivery that this fabric wasn’t right for the pattern – just too fine and drapey. If only I had a local dressmaking fabric shop, I could avoid these dud online purchases. Instead I traced off a dolman sleeve RTW top that is a regularly worn favourite. As a first make from a rub-off pattern it’s not too bad but still room for improvement. A direction of stretch line on the sleeve pattern piece wouldn’t go amiss – I accidentally cut  in the wrong way on this one-way stretch fabric so the sleeves are a bit tight around the biceps and it’s not due to press ups!

I free-styled again with the colours of my looper threads – anything pink and orange went over those seam allowances. When I inherited four boxes of sewing paraphernalia, a vast majority of that was  thread and I’m feeling swamped by it.  Using regular thread in loopers is such a good way to use up thread reels and dispels the myth that you have to use overlocker thread in an overlocker. As long at the left needle thread is a good match to the fabric it won’t show on the outside. I wouldn’t necessarily go for contrasting thread but a few tones either way or a mix of the fabric colours looks good.

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I tried a bound neckline for this top using the instructions from Megan Neilsen’s Briar pattern. Previously I had iffy results with this and defaulted to my usual way but a bound stretch neckline is better for floppy knit fabric. Or a boat neckline – both feature in this top. It didn’t come out too badly this time but it’s still not that easy for me to get even a passable result. It looks fine till I top stitch and I can’t seem to get the stitch positioning in a place that looks right.

Lets talk stabilising shoulders: White organza ribbon is my favourite – it is sheer enough to go with all colours of fabric. I don’t have much left, probably not enough for two shoulders but I have added it to my sewing shopping list… to buy in bulk, well it is my favourite method.

Stabilising shoulder seams 1

I also managed to speed up the process of stabilising the shoulders. I put the organza ribbon under the presser foot first for a few stitches, then put the pinned shoulders under the ribbon – stabilising and seaming in one. I also chain stitched, so that both shoulder seams were stabilised without cutting the overlock threads between them. When I chained off after the second shoulder, I pulled the ribbon across to the right to cut it. Stabilising shoulder seams 2 Stabilising shoulder seams 3

What do you think? Lazy or efficient?

6 responses to “Spring Sewing and Stabilising Shoulders

  1. Wow, what an amazing colour on you!! Great job

  2. A great colour and a great top. I hope to tackle stretch necklines on my next make. My recent cowl neck tops were a great way to avoid them!

  3. Efficient! But I would say that as this is the version I use too.

  4. stitchedupsam

    That looks lovely, it’s a great colour on you. Stretch necklines are my bugbear, they either go right first time or they don’t go right at all, and there’s no way of knowing which it’s going to be!

  5. lifeaworkinprogress.com

    Lovely colour and a great fit too. I agree that a local fabric shop would be ideal, my nearest good one is Reading nearly 30 miles away, so I too buy most of my fabric on line with iffy results sometimes. I am too impatient to send for a sample first.

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