Category Archives: 2013/5-01 Curved Hem

Otto 5/2013 #1

I’m always looking for variations on the classics, the Vintage Blouse and Basic T. These are GoTo garments in my wardrobe so easy changes absolutely thrill me and spark my sewing mojo.  I compared this pattern with Otto’s Basic T and decided that it had a

  • Slightly wider and maybe a little deeper neckline
  • Breast pocket
  • 3/4 sleeve length
  • Curved lower hem.

Easy peasy says I.

I chose a cranberry slinky purchased late winter last year. So late it was early spring.  While slinky is wearable in summer, I had purchased enough for long sleeve tops so I washed and put it in the stash. Speaking of the wash,,,,  This was advertised as “sparkly”. To my surprised it was (operative word being “was”) heavily glittered.  In the wash, most of the glitter detached and was captured by the lint filter. However, an astonishing amount simply fell free and lightly attached itself to the other fabrics.  From there it dropped off onto the floor, wherever I carried it.  Looked like the pixies had visited my sewing rooms. I’m quite sure I’ll be finding glitter for years. I could criticize the vendor and manufacturer. Vendor for not adequately describing the fabric, manufacturer for not using a better quality glue. But truth is, I prefer the fabric in its de-glittered state.  What remained was a printed floral pattern in an old-gold color and a sprinkling of sparkle. Slinky is famous for, among other things, having no wrong side.  This is wonderfully true. As I have both a plain and patterned cranberry side for creative use.

As for the pattern, I didn’t even pop the master pattern from the 5/2013 issue.  I smoothed out Otto 2/2006 #1 (whose pieces are now covered with fusible interfacing for longevity) and placed it upon the folded slinky.  I did have to trim the slinky’s selvages. They tended to draw up the fabric, or maybe the interior was freer to drape. Whatever, the fabric did not lay smoothly until I trimmed the selvage.   Sigh, my T’s are beginning to feel a little snug – the result of eating  but not exercising well this past year. However, for slinky I prefer Zero ease. Otherwise the garment just appears to be too large. With all things considered, I placed my basic pattern without alterations on the fabric and cut the pieces.

I folded up the tissue and starting making the alterations.  I trimmed the neckline 1″ wider (both sides, both front and back and scooped it about 1/2″ deeper (also front and back).    I skipped the pocket. I prefer a modest front and pockets seem to be to draw attention to the area I most prefer to be modest.  I also kept the long sleeve. I do like 3/4 sleeves. It’s just that in the cold weather I prefer to wear long sleeves. You would too if your DH drove with the air conditioning on max while in the middle of a prairie blizzard.  To curve the hem, I measured 1″ up on the side seams and used my french curve to chalk the new hemlines. I used the rotary cutter to trim and cut all. Slinking tends to want to spread. The rotary cutter minimizes that issue.

I stabilized the shoulders and back neckline with black bias tape, then serged front and back together along the shoulders.  I’ve sewn with lots of slinky. Lots.  This is a fabric I love. It travels well. Washes in the sink (if laundering facilities are not available) and looks good even if you spend all day in the airport.   But this slinky wanted to creep out from underneath the serger foot. I ended up serging and then stitching the shoulders.  This is something I never do. A 4-thread serger creates the perfect stretch seam for knits. But I’m telling you, this slinky was uncooperative and required extra handling

I didn’t dare try to use the cover stitch for binding.  I basted the neckband into place at the Ruby, who BTW never missed a beat. Ruby handled this slinky like a pro.  So anyway, I basted the neckband into place and checked to be sure I like it. The binding.  Several years back I discovered I could make perfect binding every time, with very little fuss or ripping if I would baste, check and adjust before permanently serging the neckline. So that’s what I did here.  Then I pressed the binding up and over so that it wrapped the neckline.  I top stitched using the cover stitch machine using Maxilock Stretch in the looper and polyester embroidery thread in the needles.

I thought the neckline would be so cool especially since I used the plain side to contrast with the printed fabric.  But when it was done, I was just, meh, about it.  It’s ok but not really that great. Certainly not worth the extra effort.

I hemmed it 1″ first.  I have learned that a curved hemline is impossible (for me) to get right after the sides seams are done.  I used 1/2″ fusible web to turn the hem and hold it in place.  Then I stitched two lines at the Ruby. Oh I tried the CS. Even though I had tested before even beginning to stitch and even though I had just finished the neckband, the hem would not stitch properly.  I had 3″ of stretched, knotted, ugly hem.  The most time I spent on this garment was ripping out that hem during which I ripped a small hole. Fortunately, the hole was in a place that could be covered with a little knit interfacing, turned up and be invisible.

I pre-pressed the sleeve hems, then serged the side seams and finally stitched the sleeve hems.  I didn’t even try the CS.  Since this slinky behaved at Ruby, I stitched two lines of hemming on my Designer Ruby.

The end result?  Oh gorgeous.

I know I’ll enjoy wearing this for the life of the garment.