I'm having a bit of a rayon run at the moment. Summer will soon be here, and in our hot and humid climate the best sort of clothing is loose and baggy in a fabric that breathes and absorbs moisture. Rayon is ideal, although I hate sewing with it.
I fell in love with this pretty printed rayon, which came from good old Spotlight. I'm not sure that this folkloric look is quite me, but it has some sort of nostalgic feel to it, because I used to wear prints like this during 1974-1977, when I was doing my training to become a Registered Nurse. I think I should have left the look behind, but still, rayon tops don't last forever, so I might as well enjoy the re-emergence of this type of print.
I used New Look 6461:
I shortened both the front and the back, because I don't really like sitting on long shirt tails - they get so wrinkled. And I am not a lover of extreme styles. Funnily, I had a top like this during my nurse training days - complete with ties at the side. Certainly won't be revisiting that again!
I cut size 12, which gives me a lot of ease, but believe me, I need it when I bend over, which I do frequently as I am that sort of person. I actually fill the back out when I bend my cross my arms to the shoulders.
I used the size 12 armholes, but I think these would have been better as a 10. I raised the back neck slightly and reshaped the front to make it less wide. By my standards, it is still fairly wide.
The pattern is an A line shape, but the hem is cut straight across. On this drapey fabric the result is drooping sides, but I see a lot of drooping sides in the shops at the moment, so wonder if it is a "thing". In any case, with the side splits, it seems to work. And certainly, as the border print is straight as well, it is just the right sort of line.
Although my big machine is back working, I decided to make the top on my computerised machine. My DH gave this to me as I spent a lot of time grumbling about buttonholes and wanting to be able to do them automatically. He wanted to solve the problem for me (good man that he is). I waited until this model was half price, and then suggested it. It also does stitches that are handy with knits, and has some embroidery patterns as well. But I had never used it to sew a woven garment, so decided to give it a test run.
It took a bit of getting used to, as the CPU seems to have a small delay between programming and action. But it did sew quite nicely. I didn't like the reverse function, because with the delay, it wanted to take another stitch forward before reversing. I also didn't like the way it didn't allow me to crimp when I attempted to ease the sleeve. I ended up having to pull the threads up myself. And then I found that there were puckers when I sewed the sleeve, sleeve side down, on the free arm. So I put the sleeves in sleeve side up so I could see what I was doing. Then they went in perfectly!
But, this little machine failed at what I call the hem corner test, even when using another piece of fabric to level the foot with. The cheap mechanical Brother managed this with ease on the last top. So, I got frustrated and used the big machine to quickly finish the hem. Ahh, the bliss of the big engine sound, and the let's get on with it stitching.
However, I do now know how both these machines perform, and they will have their uses for things that I want to make on them. Perhaps things like lingerie and knits, because I now have a walking foot that can be attached to these little machines!! You can't put them on industrial machines, you have to buy a walking foot machine instead, and I draw the line at that!
I'll quickly post the pictures, and then it is time for me to get some dinner. Life is still busy here, but is starting to get more manageable again. I even had a few hours to get a new garment cut out today - including assessing pattern and working out what to modify, doing a quick toile, and cutting the main garment out. That means my sanity sewing for the week is now organised.
Some quick pictures for the record - still dark, I really do have to solve the photo problem one day. Even though I look shadowed, the colour of the top has turned out well!
Well, that's my Summertime Nostalgic Folkloric Resort Style Top. It's also my chosen garment for the Make a Garment a Month Challenge. And, if you are wondering, the pants are also made by me - in a lovely cotton dobby.
I might retire this pattern now, but then again, I just had an idea. This would look fantastic in the longer length tunic in a cheesecloth over matching loose pants. With a little cotton cami underneath. Maybe next summer...
That's all for now, I'm hoping to get back to blogging normal next week and get back to replying to your comments promptly.