I’ve been itching to make a garment. I saw the Agustina Boxy Top on my IG feed and thought it looked perfect: free download, I knew I had fabric for it in my stash and it was super simple. Ah, not so:
I consider this my muslin and I had hoped it would be a “wearable muslin”. Unless you’ve sewn a pattern before, it’s always a good idea to make a muslin so you know what adjustments you’ll need to make. This was so simple that I thought I didn’t need a real muslin. Hah.
This top would be best made out of linen, but I only had some plain white PFD linen and I wanted to save that. I found this double gauze that I had intended to use for someone’s baby quilt but…. I wanted a lightweight diaphanous fabric; I thought this was a good choice.
The length is good on my short body, hitting at the hips. But it was way too boxy for me. Little people look overwhelmed by too much ease in a garment.
I really don’t like the back. I do have a wee bit of a hump and my shoulders throw forward about an inch, something I automatically correct when cutting any pattern. The shoulder seam does perfectly hit my slumped shoulder but ick, this is not flattering. I decided it was the fabric, let’s make another!
So far, garment lessons learned:
– Always make a muslin of new-to-you pattern.
– Make sure the lines of the garment fit your body type. It can look dog-gone cute on someone else and awful on you. See above!
I don’t know why I thought fabric would make this right:
Oh this one is worse! That fabric is divine, not sure where I got it, but I’ll bet it was Fine Fabrics of Santa Barbara. It is a knit that stretches just one way and the other way acts as a woven. It has beautiful drape and sheen, a very high-quality fabric…that I wasted.
I thought it was a brilliant idea to use true French grosgrain ribbon for the neckline facing. Not. It does not mesh with the rest of the garment, just sits there shouting. True French grosgrain ribbon is divine, it will steam into any shape and is super flexible. I could have made it lay better with more steam but at this point it was clear to me this was not a go.
Adore this detail, the only thing I like about it except the fabric. I added the label to the outside of the back neck to cover the grosgrain join. Cute huh?
Back view: Scrubs? Pajama top? The way it lays on my neck is very unflattering.
Operator Error produced a longer back than front, something I went with, a detail I liked. I would have finessed the finishing if I was to actually wear the garment, but I won’t.
In my little mind, I tried to like it. But the ultimate question for a me-made garment is always this: If I saw this in a store, would I buy it? NO! Done. I have no desire to “fix” either of these.
Another garment-making lesson:
– The more simple the garment, the more on-point details must be. Like the finishing above. It really does need to be perfect. You Do Not want to be asked, oh, did you make that?
I did finish my SAQA donation piece, well almost, as it still needs a sleeve and label. It is sheer, therefor reversible. Which do you prefer?
Or this one:
Once it was done I liked the “back” a little bit better because it was bolder. I used a more colorful thread in the bobbin. But the stitching is a wee bit rougher because it is the bobbin side. Also, it goes “left-handed” since it’s the reverse. Does that bother you?
Summary of materials: Three layers of hand-painted silk organza free motion quilted.
And, a fix:
I purchased a fabulous batik panel from Turtle Hand Batiks in Houston around 2012-ish. It was so special I was hesitant to quilt it. I finally quilted it, trapunto’d the flowers and stalk and quilted the rest with a variety of designs. I can’t believe I didn’t get a full photo of the quilted panel before I “fixed” it, but here is the unquilted panel:
I love the way it turned out and I wanted to hang it in my Den. But the green of the leaves just did not work. At the suggestion of Donna Brennan, I “fixed” it by using Inktense pencils and bringing the leaves to a color more appropriate for my decor.
I was hesitant. This is a small batch panel made by artisans in Malaysia, a work of art in itself. I wondered if it was right to take someone else’s art and alter it this way. I ultimately decided it was okay, I was keeping the original intent of the maker, only altering the green. I was so afraid I would ruin it so I started with some very light markings, liked the resulting color, then continued on until I got this:
The leaf on the left is “altered” and the leaf on the right is the original green. I’ll keep going and probably have a completed piece to show you next week. Stay tuned!