Monday, June 3, 2013

Zig Zags!

My current thing is to take a piece of fabric and use as much as I can of it before resigning it to scraps.

First off is this 2 yards of knit red zigzag fabric:

It's a delightful knit that is well printed in straight lines. It pills a little and is slightly see through but it is a dream to sew with if a bit dizzying to try to match up stripes.

Success: I bought the fabric with a straight pencil skirt in mind. With my hips and posterior I really prefer my pencil skirts to be made out of knits because otherwise it gets uncomfortable/rides up real fast. You've seen it already as part of Me-Made but here it is again.

Construction is simple. Two rectangles sewn together (and I did quite well at stripe and peak matching. one side is perfect...the other is close) with a waistband made of a rectangle folded over the elastic. Twin needle hem makes this a figure hugging but not tight skirt.

the failure that turned into a success: My second project was born of seeing that fabric on my floor (where I do all my cutting out). I laid down and confirmed that indeed, I should be able to create a long enough dress out of what was left.

I drew up a croquis:
and made a bodice with shirring elastic in the center to ruche the center and then decided that midriff and skirt could be one piece. That was my fatal error.
Here's the skirt cut out and sewn together:
see the potential problem? (other than that I really need to tidy up)
too slim cut through the hips! Oh no! I'd just made it way too tight for me. Plus ALL those zigzags was doing something to my eyes-something quite unpleasant. Why, I thought to myself, didn't I do the method of cutting a rectangle and sewing the sides afterwards instead of cutting for the sewing line.

I lost heart and decided to stitch the top down to turn the fabric inside out as a contrast but not too constrasty midriff section. I then realized that since I sewed for the entire rapper team I have quite a good idea of their shapes/sizes and that this would fit another girl quite well. Oh good, this wouldn't just be a WIP tossed in the corner of my room. She was delighted to get a free dress and was game for a quick fitting. I determined that it was tight on her but did not show every bulge and unseemly fold like on me and redefined the dress in my mind as hers NOT mine. I proceeded to shorten the bodice, shirr the top of the bodice and then bind it with bias binding. I got out the twin needles again to hem it to length. I looked at my scraps and realized that if I put the zig zag vertical I could use up a particular scrap and so it went. I of course looked at my interfacing stash and went WHERE DID IT GO?! and ended up using the stay tape that I won from StephC (which makes it the third time it saved me some hair pulling and lost project momentum) to make them stronger/less stretchy.

For some reason it looks relatively shapeless and baggy on a hanger. But here it is on her!

Still a bit too slim cut but the fabric isn't working hard as when it goes on me (i.e. the zigzags don't straighten out on her).

Some real success! So after that sadness and debacle with a happy ending, I had some largish pieces left. I had already decommissioned a favorite pair of undies to cut up for pattern making but it had languished in my "things I could easily get on with but don't pile". Once I cut them up and traced them I made up my first pair of undies using the flat construction method (sew crotch together, attach leg elastic, sew one side seam, attach waist elastic, and finish off). They were a bit tight but definitely wearable but as I had just enough more fabric if I did some piecing I determined I could do with an extra cm all around and now those are the most comfortable undies I own.

What's left? Strips of fabric too narrow to make much out of but not long enough to wrap around the head, rectangles of odd sizes etc. Some of the irregular scraps got hemmed to be handkerchiefs but that's so routine for me by now that I barely noticed the decrease in scraps amount.
Success: So hair bowties it is! I've been wanting to do more of the hair decoration route of hairdressing so banging up a few mini bowties was in the books. 

The fabric gets interfaced (I had gone out and bought some by this point) and sewn into a rectangle inside out. It gets turned right side out, that little gap stitched up and ironed flat. Then you pinch it in the middle and stitch it pinched. I used some more stay tape against a small strip I fished out of my trash, wrapped it around the pinch and stitched it relatively higher on the back so that the rest of the strip could be used to bobby pin it in.

As for the rest, I'm out of inspiration. Quilt? Does knit even work for a quilt?

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