Friday, July 20, 2007

The Simple Top that Ain't


So I thought I'd pull out one of my 'simple' projects that have been recently added to the 'make it now' pile...when at Sir's in May, I picked up a nice piece of rayon lace for a ridiculously cheap price...I think it was like 2.14/yd, tax included. And I had some nice shiny rayon cross-dyed faille that matched it exactly. So I might as well go ahead and get my intended simple City Dress Shell (a modification of the bodice of the Loes Hinse City Dress) cut out and stitched up, no?

Well...I cut the front and back (only pattern pieces) from the rayon underlining, then centered those pieces on the lace yardage and basted vertically through the centers and around all the edges, then cut the lace larger than the rayon. I'm already intending to do massive amounts of hand-sewing, tacking down all the edges, so I want to leave lots of seam allowance on the lace. It looked good, laying on the table.

But, when I picked it up, I noticed a severe case of the 'honeycomb effect' (So named because of a skirt we made for our first Scrooge production, from a honeycomb-netted lace. It worked fine the first year, but over the months in between, the hanging weight of the skirt caused the honeycombs to collapse vertically...that is, they got longer and skinner. That skirt grew EIGHT INCHES! So...now, the 'honeycomb effect' is my phrase describing what happens when a fabric with gaps woven or knitted in changes shape under the effects of gravity). In the case of my top, when I picked the front (all nicely basted around the edges) up, the lace collapsed and I had extreme puddling going on just above the basting on the bottom edge.

So the top pieces went very quickly back to a horizontal position on the table, and now I'm basting chevrons out from the center to the edges. I'll have to stitch the two layers together (that's why I had to go get some grey thread yesterday...didn't have an Exact Match in the house). There's a nice vertical line I could use to baste, but I really think the diagonal will hold it better...if I can stitch it and keep everything dead flat.

Once the two layers are secured together, construction is a snap...but I'll have a sizeable amount of hand sewing to do to get the finish work done.

It's a lot of work for a $4 top, but it'll look like a million bucks when I'm done...if I can keep it all square.

Simple it ain't. ;)

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