Tuesday, June 26, 2012

racerback & forth

Not-so-new jersey. It was high time to use these two lengths of rayon jersey I've had for awhile. Granted, "awhile" for me means like three months. "Why stash 'em when you can make ho-hum clothes out of 'em?" is my motto, after all.

I don't think the hem is crooked IRL, but I won't guarantee it either way.

You may recognize this feather print fabric from Dixie's and Suzanne's past creations. I feel like I link to those gals a lot. Blog crushes, you know how it goes.

Heyo, 4th grade throwback. I used to wear my shirts tucked in like this (only in the front), because my best friend in elementary school, who was way cooler than I was, did it. Say aye if you wanna be like me now. 

...fair enough.

Swayback or big bum or are those interchangeable? Who cares. I'm truly not crazy about my pattern choice here (McCalls 6359) because I don't even like the racerback style on me. I should have used my feather print on something more elegant. Erg. I actually tried to sell this pattern in our Memorial Day yard sale, but no one bought it. So instead I made it for myself... twice... and I'm somewhat grumpy about it. It's one of those patterns that produces clothes that no one will suspect you made. Non-sewers are so bored by these clothes that when they hear they're handmade, they're fascinated.

The pattern lists both wovens and lightweight knits as recommended fabrics. Leave off the bust darts if you use a stretchy knit. Also, make a test garment or take into account the stretch of your fabric. When making my usual size on my black polka dot version, it was enormous. I took in each side at least 47 feet and it still looks a little loose under my armpits, but I decided to keep it a slouchy-ish style. For the feather dress version I was feeling annoyed so I just dramatically cut the smallest size in the envelope, a 6 (whaaat). It's obviously more snug but I'll dare to get away with it. Here it is hanging dead on a hanger, pretending to be a swimsuit cover-up the Old Navy clearance rack:

For the feather dress, I added an elastic casing at the waist and an underlining to make it opaque.

Wanna see some edges? Of course you do. You live on the edge for these edges.

The pattern calls for store-bought bias tape to be applied as a facing to the armhole and necklines. I tried that but polyester bias tape was too heavy and not stretchy enough for this thin rayon jersey, so it made everything gape and stick out. I decided to make narrow edge binding from self-fabric instead. To do so and not lose my sanity, I used Portia's method of cutting strips of jersey by first applying masking tape/painter's tape. It stabilizes the fabric so it doesn't slink around as you cut, and it's already a perfect inch wide so there's not much measuring involved. Just cut along the edges of the tape and remove it. I tried here for consistent pattern placement but I think I just wasted fabric:

I didn't want to create bias tape-like creases, but instead just fold them in half before attaching. Since rayon jersey's so unstable, I used my handy dandy DIY fabric starch to stiffen up the strips after I folded them in half. The starch actually works kind of like an adhesive, too, so I didn't even have to baste the raw edges together after folding, starching and pressing:

I measured and applied the binding to the neckline and armholes in a method that was a combination of this Threads video and a narrow version of the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern. Nice!

You know what else is nice?

So what's your honest opinion on the racerback style? Too sports-bra-like? 
And what's your honest opinion on the sockbun style? Too ballerina-bun-like?