I had such an exhausting week and weekend. Let me tell you, mini wars are hard on the soul. As you probably know, a cease fire was announced a few days ago, I still don't know what I think about the whole situation, it's confusing as I'm extremely happy it's quiet again and that all my soldier friends weren't sent into the Gaza Strip, but it feels like we didn't accomplish anything. Though I'm sure we accomplished much more than I know when it comes to a military point of view (quite a few Hamas activists were killed) it feels like in six months we'll be showered with rockets again. The only thing I can say confidently is that I'm so glad I don't have to lead a country! So many difficult decisions to make and people that rely on you. I much prefer sewing, mind you.
Speaking of which, since this is sewing blog, I'll proceed to the subject which I'm really supposed to talk about, which is not Israeli politics.
This is another installment of my Fall Look Book. In all honesty this is one of my favorite blouses I've EVER made. I've never seen anything like it (people don't wear much velvet in general, do they?) and I just love the cut out detail and the color and everything about it!
I used a stretchy hunter green velvet (or maybe it was velveteen? whats the difference anyway?) I got for like 4$ a yard. I was kind of afraid at first of sewing velvet (and at this point was kind of angry with myself for being stingy and not buying Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide - I've heard it's worth it weight in gold!) so I did some research, and all I could find was scary warning about ironing velvet the wrong way and not top stitching velvet and so on. In the end I decide to do a few test runs on fabric scraps and see how it goes.
I checked if I could:
1) iron the fabric with and without steam (check!)
2) top stitch without it looking ugly (semi- check, I decided that it was ok but better if I can avoid it)
3) be serged. (also semi check, I had to play around A LOT with the stitch width and length before finding the best outcome. (small stitch length and small stitch width + keeping the fabric very tout))
|sorry for everything being lopsided!|
This brings me to the next hurtle in this project - the cut out. I was set on having a heart cut out in this shirt, I loved the way it turned out for me last time I made a heart cut out and I thought that this dainty detail would clash nicely with the green velvet. Since I didn't much like the look of the top stitching (though it wasn't terrible - I did opt for machine hemming the sleeves and hem) before, I decided that topstitching around the heart isn't a great idea. I thought of hand sewing the facing but immediately decided that there must be a better idea to do this (I HATE HAND SEWING). After doing some reaserch on the internet I found this product: Warm Company Steam-A-Seam . This is basically a fusible strip that you can use for hems or any kind of fabric fold that you seek to attach seamlessly (huh! pun!). I decided to try this on my heart cut out. Before I explain the whole process let me give you a spoiler - it worked beautifully!
I cut out the heart from the bodice and used the same heart pattern to cut out a matching facing. I then sewed the facing to the bodice right sides together along the edge of the heart and pushed the facing inside the heart shaped hole. Next I gave the heart a little press and then inserted the Steam A Seam strip between the bodice (wrong side) and the facing (wrong side) little by little (as the strips don't curve) I permanently bonded the facing to the bodice. It was that easy! I love this thing! I can't wait to try and use it on lace and other light fabric because it promises to disappear - we'll see about that! Have you ever used Steam A Seam?
I wore this shirt to work a few weeks ago and I still can't decide if this was a good idea. Why, you ask? well it's kind of.... gapey. (evidence in the photo above, so much boob and armpit showing from very little movement) Also, the heart tends to ride down a little and my bra peeks out occasionally. Now, I know you're probably freaking out about this (as I'm sure you have very strong feelings about what I wear to work) but I have a very low key, casual and um.. revealing work environment. A lot of the people working at the company are my age and some wear tank tops to work and even shorts, so it's not like everyone was staring at me! Anyway, it still made me slightly uncomfortable so I may have to restrict this shirt to going out only.
Finally let's finish with the hem. I have come to the conclusion that this is my favorite style hem, it just gives my butt such a butt lift I'm surprised it's mine when I look in the mirror. Something about the way it hugs it in a curve does wonders! What do you think? Am I imagining the improvement in my rear area?
I wore this shirt to a dinner out with friends and a friend liked it so much I made her a dress (it was basically the same, only longer) with this cranberry velvet. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL! I know I was talking earlier about how I like that the cutout clashed with the green but this silhouette was made to be sewed in cranberry!
Has this ever happened to you? Visioning a project in one color and then realizing that it would have looked perfect with a different fabric? Do tell!
That is it my friends! Have a great rest of the week!