Friday, April 8, 2011

Outfit of the Week, Q&A, and Stashoholism Confessional

With Jacket A while back I mentioned that I was wearing my Burda 02-2008-108 ruffle shoulder top with jeans for a Friday. I had a meeting that day with some higher ups so I put a jacket over it for the meeting. A couple of people asked how the jacket looked with the shoulder ruffles, so here you go!

In the case of this top (non-jacket view on the right), the fabric is a drapey, flowy, lightweight poly knit and so the ruffles squish down just fine under a jacket. I looked reasonably professional for the meeting but I secretly knew that I was wearing something fabulous!

When I put on the jeans I confirmed what I learned with my hot pink corset-waist pencil skirt: I definitely have an athletic front thigh. The side seam swings noticeably forward at the quadricep. If I ever attempt to make pants (and the extremely cold winter convinced me I should probably own at least one pair of pants) I will have to remember to correct for that.


Kathy asked, after I mentioned how much I hate them on my ballerina wrap sweater post, why I dislike facings so much.

My issue is twofold. First, facings are notorious for flopping around. When I put on a garment with a neck facing the odds that the facing has flipped to the outside are good. It's not that big a deal to tuck a facing inside when you first put it on, but some facings refuse to stay on the inside. Ugh! I always tack them down by stitching in the ditch at the shoulder seams, but for a wide neckline this is often not enough. Also, the edge of a facing can sometimes create a noticeable ridge from the outside of the garment in lightweight fabrics.

The second issue is not functionality, but pure aesthetics. Facings are just uglier than lining. They have no hanger appeal and if the interfacing loses its glue after a garment has been in use for a couple years then you have floppy intefacing on a floppy facing; so ugly.

A lot of the time, lining is not much more trouble than facing and you end up with a garment that is finished beautifully inside and out. Although I know they are used in commercial garments, facings seem very "homemade-y" to me. I do use them occasionally (such as in a vintage pattern I hope to show soon), but I vastly prefer lining or other solutions (bias tape finish, turn under and twin-needle topstitch) whenever possible.


Fashion Fabrics Club 3-2011

And finally, a fabric purchase. Sadly, it is another boring one. My strategy of looking at my flickr album of my fabric every single day to stay excited about the projects in there and keeping a list of projects waiting for me in stash* has helped me to curb my fabric buying in line with my goal of "mindfulness." I am excited about seeing some space appear on my fabric shelves and want to continue to work toward that goal.

*I think I may have put too many items on the list and feel a little paralyzed in choosing a project...though I won't be doing any non-bike sewing until I get back in mid-May, so I'm trying to decide a month in advance what I want to sew, which doesn't work for me.

Anyway, I would like to have 6 tops for my trip so I don't have to re-wear a sweaty top, or wash in the sink and try to line dry in The Netherlands' drizzly weather. So I needed a few more wicking fabrics. Fashion Fabrics Club had them for $3.95/yd, a bargain I couldn't pass up although I had sworn never to use FFC again after the non-stretch "stretch" lining debacle. They were as slow as ever in shipping, but the fabrics were as described. They have a waffle texture, so they won't look like real clothes, but I can still make them into cute tops! If you're thinking of ordering, note that the fuschia (far left) and the coral (middle) are sheer. The other three colors are nice and solid.

QUESTION: If any of you have used this textured fabric before or have RTW of it, which side is the inside? I assumed the more waffley texture would go outside, but when I pre-washed and hung them to dry, the waffley side seemed to feel less damp than the smoother side. Does the waffle side go toward the body and the smooth side toward the outside?

I am determined to finish my rain pullover, helmet cover, and spats this weekend so I can go back to the fun sewing of tops and skirts. Wish me luck!

What is your strategy for mindful fabric buying?


Julia said...

I have some RTW work-out tops with that wicking fabric and the waffley side is toward the body to keep you comfy and dry. I love your biking wardrobe that you're putting together-- so cute!

Rachel said...

I love FFC but I totally agree about them being SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW in shipping. THey just shipped something out I ordered a week ago. I love your outfit.

Anonymous said...

i've been watching your bike-related-sewing with great interest! i have an rtw top for biking with the waffley texture on the inside and smooth side out

p.s i love that you had those wonderful shoulders under your jacket just for you!

Kate said...

I have a couple of RTW work-out tops and the waffley side is on the inside. Loving your biking wardrobe - really cute!

a little sewing said...

Trena, your comment about an athletic front thigh grabbed my attention because we are thigh-twins. Gaining an "athletic thigh" was not at all what I anticipated from all those classes at the gym. (I was expecting more of Barbie body - did not happen).

I should probably just sew more skirts and dresses, which is a very reasonable thing to do as spring arrives. But, like you, I am going to need a decent pattern for pants, too.

Looking forward to the vicarious thrill of following your bicycling adventures.

KID, MD said...

Love the pearls with that outfit - so cute! I'm hoping to see a few comments on mindful fabric buying. I can't seem to figure that one out. I just bought a length of pink jersey, only to discover 3 others (all in slightly different shades, but still) when I put it away. !!

McVal said...

I feel the same way about facings...
How do you allow for athletic front thighs when making pants?

Eugenia said...

I have no strategy at all for mindful fabric buying - mostly I see fabric and lose my mind! I have far too much fabric - but I do like having it and looking at it!

ELMO said...

Fabulous, those ruffles are too cute!
For a challenge - the FM bundle.
or I buy specifically for a project or if I fall in love with a fabric, or the really good stuff goes on sale and I have some space (or not).

Summer said...

I store my knits where I can see them, so I realize how much fabric I have and inspire me to sew.
Being sick really helps with mindfulness--when you can't sew it's hard to rationalize fabric purchases.

badmomgoodmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
badmomgoodmom said...

It sounds like this is your first bicycle tour. Do you know if your bike comes with a front basket or rear rack?

I toured with a pair of rear panniers. I wore the bike jersey in the shower and lathered up while it was on me. I then took it off for the rest of the shower. The jersey needs only a final rinse after the shower. After I toweled off and wrung out the jersey, I rolled the jersey in the towel to dry it further.

If the jersey is still not dry in the morning, bungy cord it to the outside of your basket or pannier. The wind flow when you bike will dry the jersey in a jiffy.

badmomgoodmom said...

BTW, I haven't sewn with wicking fabric but you can test the wicking directions thusly.

Lay two pieces of the wicking fabric on a paper towel, flipped with opposite sides up.

Use a dropper to put 1 drop on each scrap. Does the water wick through to the paper towel? Add more drops if you have to until you can see the water wick to the paper towel. You should be able to determine the wicking direction.

FWIW, my store-bought jersey's have the smooth side out and the fuzzy side in.

Marie-Christine said...

Waffles toward the skin help transport water molecules in sweat to the outer layers faster. And as you noticed, smooth synthetics right against the skin is just icky. I totally go for waffly inside.
Good colors :-). You're going to be matching the tulips as you bike..

Anonymous said...

I really try to buy fabric with projects in mind. This works really well for me with knits, but I often orphan my wovens without meaning to. Most of this is because knits are so darn fast, but also because they fit my lifestyle much better. But I see my floaty cottons and they remind me that they are lonely. When I have a truly dedicated sewing room in a few weeks, I think things will get a little better.

Clio said...

Yikes - it would be really bad to be in a rainy climate with the wicking going the wrong way!

I'm actually a very mindful fabric buyer. I generally buy with pattern or project in mind. When I see the right fabric, I buy it even if I know I won't get to that pattern or project for some time. Occasionally, I allow myself to buy out of pure love of a fabric. I view this as the fabric-shopping equivalent of allowing myself a really gooey brownie or dessert every so often - good for the soul.

Clio said...

OH, and about the athletic quad - I spent a LOT of time working on that fitting issue last spring. One of the most helpful tutorials was by Els at the Sewing Divas:

MushyWear said...

When I saw the picture of your purple knit top under the jacket, I thought, "Perfect, the ruffles will act as shoulder pads if they don't lay flat." It's a win-win situation either way. It seems as though the waffle side to the skin is the winner, and before I read the comments, that is what I thought. Nice to see so many have already thought it through and/or tested it. To answer your last question, even though I was thinking of trying to match fabrics to patterns I already have this year, falling in love with a particular fabric, continues to be my MO (main objective). Unless, it is a basic. There are certain basics I am planning to make, and they don't require a "wow" fabric. On these plans I'm more focused on quality! I love seeing all the clothes you are coming up with for your bicycle tour!