Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mystery Explained

I stumbled onto a mystery yesterday.

I pulled out the fabric I got from Peggy Sagers at the Atlanta Expo to make the Pleat Top. Before I traced the pattern size I needed, I checked how much the pleats on the fabric spread (the rough equivalent of how much it would stretch). It spread from 8" to 9", which really isn't much give at all, so I cut a size 4 top (2 sizes bigger than my previous Silhouette tops), whipped 'er up, then discovered I couldn't get it over my head. The neckline was like 9" smaller than my head circumference. I began whacking it out, which turned it from a funnel neck to a boat neck before I could get it big enough to get on. And I'd still underestimated the amount of ease I needed; the top fit like a sausage casing. And it only hit the top of my jeans waistband. But, Peggy (probably armed with foresight) had cut my fabric very generously and I had enough to call that a 'donation' and try again. The second time, I traced a size 6, lengthened it three inches, and spread the neckline 2" on either side, redrawing the front neckline curve.

Well, I could get into that one, but the neckline was huge and flopped around. With a jacket on top, the sides of the neck got kind of pushed in so it didn't look quite so strange. And I still could've used a pinch more ease in the hips since I lengthened it but, well, it was good enough for under a jacket.

But I was curious. That was the fabric on the envelope; the one Peggy used in the hands-on classes she taught at the expos. I expected it to work...somehow...but it didn't. So I sent her an email and asked.

Turns out she's had that fabric made twice, and the second time it wasn't as deeply pleated and didn't spread nearly as much as the first (which is the one on the envelope). She said when she made the top from this run, she slit the front and it opened up like a collar. Or, she said if I liked the high neck (I do), I could put a slit in the back and finish with a button-and-loop. She suggested I take the neckline back up to the original and try a slit. Then she offered to send me more fabric free of charge so I could try again.

Wow. Talk about customer service!

But I think if I take up the neck and put the slit in the back (which strikes me as an excellent application for the hanging snap that Cynthia Guffey taught in the Tricky Gizmo class), I'll end up with about the same results as starting from scratch, so I don't think I'll make her send more fabric. Unless somehow I mess it up.

But it'll have to wait until the green tunic is finished. I'm on a roll there; all it needs is a couple of hours and it'll be done.


  1. Hmmm. . . interesting. It really is gorgeous fabric, though. I'm interested to see the final product once you get done with the green tunic, of course!

  2. I have several yards of black pleated fabric that I bought out of curiosity. I had wondered what to do with. I'll try your idea and see how that comes out. I was also going to use it as panels in a jacket I have in mind. I'll can't wait to see your finished product.