Wednesday, February 13, 2013

V-Day Victory

...loosely named, of course. As always, don't look too close to the seams. So here's the beginning:

Not gonna lie. This was a nightgown. There's something about (irony maybe) taking a picture of myself in a nightgown while wearing my own pj's underneath. It's certainly a generational experience, that's for sure. This fabric was "well loved". It was faded, thin and very see-through. I am also pretty sure that it was handmade - the stitches were obviously hand sewn, and after trying to sew the fabric myself I can certainly tell why.
First thing I did was try to take out the bib in the front. My original intention was to take the bib out and leave the lace - I'm a sucker for lace. I don't know if I just wasn't paying attention (likely), or if the bib and the lace were just not feeling the garment anymore, but when I started seam ripping the entire front panel fell off the back. If not for the side seams, the whole nightgown would have fallen into 2 pieces.

So this is when I had my "make it work" Tim moment (yes, I have been watching Project Runway). I looked down and saw myself wearing one of my favorite shirts - a basic from H&M. So, I took off my shirt, plopped it on the nightgown and used it as a pattern.

I pinned up the sides and took it in. This was mess-up numero dos: I didn't take into consideration that the H&M shirt was made out of stretchy fabric and the nightgown fabric was definitely not. Therefore... it was very very tight. To fix this issue, I chopped off the bottom so it was no longer a dress. I tried on the new shirt/nightgown, and it was still a bit tight, but I knew I could fix it when I was hemming it up.

So then I still had the problem of the top of the front of the shirt being completely separate from the top of the back of the shirt. This was my second "make it work" moment. I ended up taking the extra fabric from the side seams that I cut off and measured how long I had to make them to make them into straps. I then put right sides of the fabric together, sewed up the seam and turned it inside out to make "tubes". I then sewed the tubes to the front and the back of the shirt to create straps. It was by no means even... but it worked and at least now I had something resembling a full shirt.

Then I got to the problem of having to hem all of my raw edges. So far, every time I've sewn this fabric it has bunched like crazy. This shirt was small enough that I certainly didn't need any more "bunching" going on. More bunching would have made a shirt more in the size of my thirteen year old niece rather than myself. So what did I do? I turned to my good old Liquid Stitch a la this post. I "stitched" all the raw edges on the back, the arms and the front, and then I "stitched" the entire bottom hem as well. My hands were stark white and sticky as hell when I was finished. I also remembered why I was not all that partial to Liquid Stitch before - it creates a very stiff hem. The shirt no longer "swayed" as a normal cotton fabric would. I'm hoping after the mandatory 24 hour drying period, it'll have a bit more movement to it.
I also should mention, when I put on the straps, I decided to keep a bit of fabric in between the straps in the front to create a type of cowl neck. I was hoping it would drape down a bit and show off the cami's that I always wear under my shirts (which often include lace) so I thought this would be very pretty. Between the Liquid Stitch and the too-little amount of fabric that I left in between the straps, that baby was by no means draping and definitely had no resemblance of a cowl neck. See for yourself:

So it wasn't horrible - but it sure wasn't awesome. And the fact that my husband straight up laughed at me when I showed him didn't quite boost my confidence. So in a "quick fix" method, I cut from the neck down about 2 inches, "Liquid Stitched" it down and created my go-to v-neck. After I did this - the whole shirt was WAY better.

So here's the final product. My plan is to wear this to work with a pink sweater on top for Valentine's Day tomorrow. We don't have many plans - and I'm extremely okay with that - so it'll be nice and festive and I won't have to do much else. Plans = solidified.
What Did I Learn: 1) Stop buying thin fabrics. I always think the Liquid Stitch is a good idea - and I never turn out to be right. 2) Leave myself a seam allowance and stop getting antsy with the scissors. Or at least try it on before I start chopping out excess fabric. 3. I definitely bought the wrong bobbins. When I use the ones that come with my machine I have absolutely no problem. When I tried to use the bobbins that I bought... horror. Thread went everywhere, the bobbin kept on falling out of it's little case, and it only puts about half the amount of thread on the bobbin when I thread it (is that what that's called?) I'll have to make another trip to Joann's... and I'll probably have to drag that damn instruction manual along.
Happy Valentine's Day, friends!