Friday, April 28, 2023

New Look 6513

Whatever possessed me to make a first version of a pattern in an expensive, difficult to obtain, long coveted fabric? Thank goodness this is not a tale of woe. Either the fabric is quite easy to sew or my skills are improving.

The fabric was 1 1/2 yards of Nani Iro double gauze in New Morning print, bark brown. It's 100% cotton, 43" wide, $26.00, again from Stonemountain and Daughter, purchased to go with the bright blue denim blogged in my previous post. This fabric has been on my purchase list for a while. It is hard to miss the enthusiastic reviews it has been getting, but equally hard to buy fabric on a review alone. After all, there's a lot of double gauze out there, mostly for half the price. Could Nani Iro be so different? Of course my answer to that question is now yes, it is worth it. So why not break out the cute, complicated pattern that resembles ready-to-wear?

The only problem with using a good fabric for a first toile is that it is best to start with a larger size. Since my heart was set on a nice top in this lovely fabric, cutting it out too large was not an option. The cut lines used were at size 14, grading to size 16 at the hips. They worked well, but the larger cut on the hips might not be necessary.

Regarding the pattern, it is complicated, but here are some helpful hints: First, don't bother to mark the pleats on the fabric. The pleats follow the line of the princess seamed dart that is cut into the fabric. Just mark the end of the pleats and the sewing line on the dart. Sew the dart and pin the pleats so that the stitching line is 1" away from the previous seam. The pleats are 3/16" deep when folded (they take up 3/8" of fabric). In fact, the cut line in the neck makes it obvious where the dart starts, so once that is cut accurately and the bottom of the pleat under the seam is marked, you are good to sew. The facing for the front slit goes on easily. (Ignore those confusing on line reviews that complain about the instructions--unless they are complaining about the neckband.) The neck band is not easy, but the instructions are clear. The end result is quite neat, and worth the extra effort on the tightly curved seams.

There was really only one problem with this fabric, one that I saw as soon as I prepared to sew the back and side seams with a French seam. The copyright for this fabric sits well away from the selvedge, so far that I cut the back pieces including the copyright name. The letter ended up outside the seam allowance, so now it sits in the middle of my back. If I had looked at the print carefully before I cut, I would have tried to avoid using the fabric with the copyright on it. Additionally, I would have reversed the direction of the print. Most of the flowers seem to point downwards, as though they are falling to the ground. In addition to the possibly upside down flowers, the copyright is on both the back and the waist tie. As it was, however, there was just barely enough to manage the neckband without placing a bunch of mismatched flowers on it. A Nani Iro print like this one needs extra yardage to allow for "fussy" cutting.

The sleeves were difficult to set in because the gauze fabric is sticky and hard to smooth down. Since the pleat might make the sleeve too tight, the pleat depth was sewn at 7/8" instead of 1". The hem was turned down 1/4" and sewn at 3/4". It's been worn with the new denim skirt from the last post. It has been washed and still fits, just barely. It probably wouldn't look as tight without the back tie pulling it in.

It remains to be seen if I will sew this pattern again. It is cute, but so cute it should be reserved for dressier occasions.

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