Summer sewing is so much more fun than winter sewing!
The latest project started with an inspiration from a Butterick pattern (5499) -- the turquoise tunic with V hemline. But I know I'd need a lot of alterations -- the necklines are always too big/low for me and the hips are always too tight.
So I decided to use my TCC software and started with the darted tunic that is drafted with an FBA. Using the tools, I changed the neckline to my comfort zone and created a V'd hemline.
The batik motif is a triangle and it clearly has a large plaid in the background. Here's a pic of it hung over the shower curtain rod. So I knew that 1) I wanted as few match points as possible -- eg no sleeves and 2) it was a directional print because the triangles would point either up or down. I chose to have them point down because as a "A" or pear-shaped body I want the eye to be fooled into thinking broader at the shoulders and narrower at the hips. (Ok, so the eye still knows I am a pear ...) I also wanted to mirror the V neckline and V hem and not oppose it. As it turned out -- there was not enough fabric to cut sleeves if I had wanted them. I had to creatively cut the facings on the crosswise grain and even had to seam the CB of the back facing.
Some other decisions I made -- I faced the hemline since I sure didn't want to try to miter that CF & CB point and I also wanted to give a bit of weight & stability to the bottom hemline by having a nice, straight seam. I cut all-in-one facings for the neck and armhole to make for a smoother fit inside the garment. If any of you have seen Louise Cutting's videos or guest appearances on America Sews with Sue Hausmann -- she says to press those seams open first and then together when you turn the facing. DO IT! She is so right -- it takes a little more time in construction but you'll be happier with the finished edge.
Almost finished -- it was too plain so I topstitched the facings with a teal thread to pick up the color in that stripe. Using all purpose thread, I topstitched with the triple stretch stitch on my Janome 6600 using the dual feed (walking) foot so that my layers wouldn't shift. I had created a 3" hem facing so topstitched at 2.5" and the neckline was topstitched at 1". I marked my stitching line with a soap sliver that I had commandeered from the shower and stowed in my sewing room for just this purpose. Done! Bonus: the tunic smelled Irish Spring fresh. I did rinse and dry the garment to get the soap out before I pressed again since I wasn't sure what the heat would do and didn't want any "oh no" surprises.
So why is the post entitled "Bling! Bling!" you ask? I happened to do some snoop shopping at a local Stein Mart (don't you just love their boutique items?) and saw some gorgeous tunics in a variety of fabrics/colors/prints ... with one commonality ... beads & sequins to jazz it up. I decided that was what I needed, too, so a stop on the way home at JoAnn's yielded some seed beads in an iridescent magenta but no sequins. Right next door is Michael's and I found a pack of sequins that was multicolored with several of what I needed -- tuquoise, teal, gold, pink, magenta, and purple. (Iridescent turquoise would have been perfect but alas, not to be found). Off to home to spice things up!
Then more decisions -- what to use, where -- and I decided to do the center dots in the triangle motif and to let the fabric choose the sequin to use, coordinating with that part of the print. As I began to work the neckline, I was inspired to bling a V section to mirror the neckline. Then I decided to embellish the hemline within the topstitched area but to put a bead/sequin pair at each corner of each triangle plus the center dot to have a higher concentration of sparkle at the hemline.
I can't believe how long it took to get all those stitched on -- but what better way to spend an evening? And I love the look. Hope to get some good pics in better lighting then that will really show off the sequins.
Next is to cut & sew a pair of capris out of some bright turquoise twill to make this outfit "pop!"