I have not been sewing separates for sometime and I can’t even recall the last time I sewed in pastel colors. This outfit happened purely out of my intrigue with different fabrics, specifically lace, silk organza and pre-pleated. I’ve sewn with lace but have never used silk organza as underlining though I’ve heard and read so much about it. This sage lace fabric has been in my stash for years and I found the perfect coloured silk organza for it around a year ago. But, what got this project going was the pre-pleated fabric.
My intrigue with pre-pleated started here, with the fancy pleated dress I saw in a store. While I have not successfully acquired any fancy pleated fabric, I realized sewing with such fabrics could be a completely new ball game. I decided to give this fabric a trial run after I found this pleasant mint colored fabric with a subtle shimmer. After receiving it, I realized I had *gasp* absolutely no idea how to store it without flattening out the pleats. I decided to test the fabric with my machine ASAP to see if I can get the pleats to behave (stitched without flattening out) by sewing the easiest skirt possible. Yes, one with a matching wide mint colored elastic band.
It turned out easier than I imagined. I bought 2 meters of the very wide fabric and had sufficient to cut the piece into half down the middle of its width. One piece was used as the main fabric and the next as the lining as the fabric was rather sheer. For the back seam (both layers), I followed Sandra Betzina’s tips – flattening out the vertical pleats by pulling the fabric flat to avoid catching folds of nearby pleats. This was repeated for both layers and worked magically. For stitching the right side of elastic and right side of pleated fabric together, I sewed the lining layer first by pushing the pleat folds together and sewing over. It can get a little tedious because you have to keep checking, pausing, pushing the folds, stitching repeatedly but the end result is worth it. I repeated this process with the top layer while making sure I do not catch the lining by mistake. The skirt was completed in a few hours.
What about the hem? Turns out, most RTW pleated skirts are hemmed before the fabric is pleated so for home sewers, it’s important to select pre-pleated fabrics where colors and pleats run from selvage to selvage as it is best to leave the hem raw. If you are interested to sew pre-pleated fabrics, another useful resource is Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide here. I am definitely keen to experiment more and see how the fabric might work on a dress.
The blouse with back buttons, cut out front, front and back tucks which created a slight bloused effect was made from vintage McCall’s 6256 (view B) which I believe is a 1940s sewing pattern.
On hindsight, this lace fabric is probably not the best material for a garment with cut out details as it has a tendency to pull in the direction of the stitch and add bulk around the cut out area. To minimize the pulling, I hand-stitched the facings in place, instead of topstitching them. The neck binding was also hand-stitched.
In contrast, the silk organza was a dream to sew and I love the feel of it next to my skin. The fabric provides fabulous support to the lace without increasing bulk and I was truly impressed. It was the perfect fabric for the neck binding too.
I really like this blouse pattern with its cut out details and will gladly sew both view A and B.
And now, info on the lace giveaway!
The first piece of lace fabric happened to be exactly the same as the main fabric used for my Ivory Kaftan blouse below. I didn’t realize that they were the same until I compared them. The piece is 2 yards with small corner cut. I only used one yard for my blouse so this piece should be sufficient for a blouse, skirt or a short shift dress. This lace is woven and easy to sew.
The second piece is a white stretch lace with floral and black tartan print. The piece is 2 meters and perfect for making a stretch lace top or the lace cardigan pictured below.
Burdastyle’s lace cardigan
Next month, hubby and I will be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. I’ve been thinking of sewing him something. I went to the Spotlight sale today and ended up with 3 ladies and 1 girls patterns. The men’s selection was disappointing, mostly PJs or costumes.
So, to participate in this giveaway, all you have to do is to let me know which is your favorite men’s sewing pattern and the link to it ( if any).
Indicate if you prefer the ivory or printed lace as there will be a winner for each.
As usual you double your chances if you are subscribed to my blog. Re-tweeting this giveaway on twitter will get you one more entry and so will blogging about it. The winner will be chosen randomly by the higher power at random.org . Giveaway ends Monday, 19 August 2013. This giveaway is international, I’ll ship the fabrics to the winners anywhere around the world!
P/S: My new post on my sewing journey and upcoming plans is up on The Sew Weekly Reunion blog. Do drop by if you can:) I’m going to relax and enjoy my long weekend here in Singapore before starting on my Reunion project next Monday.
Happy Birthday Singapore!