A Bit of This, A Bit of That

Nothing really specific to today’s post really, I just need to talk out loud as it were to get some thoughts straight in my head – the sewing ones anyway!  I won’t bore you with the others!

Annabelle's Silk

First up is pre-washing fabric and fabric care.  I mentioned this before in my musings about whether or not to sew Pastille in wool.  With your encouragement I’m going to!  I still need to pick Annabelle’s brains on the best way to pre-wash and care for wool as she seems to have it sorted.  Speaking of which she’s done a really interesting post on pre-washing and caring for silk.  Silk is one of those fabrics I’d love to sew something from, but am a little intimidated by.  Not so much the actual sewing as I have yet to get over the hurdle of 1. buying any and 2. pre-washing it and working out how to care for the finished garment!  Annabelle’s post has at least solved point 2!

Seamless' Wearable Muslin - How Cute is She?!

The other is the age old question of to toile or not.  Seamless mused on this (with regards to Colette’s Meringue) and made a wearable muslin of a self drafted pencil skirt.  The reason why I’m thinking about this is that I’m about to launch into the lovely Colette Jasmine.

Colette Pattern's Jasmine

I have a wonderful fabric with a random star pattern that is destined for the final version, but as I’ve gone down two sizes on the Colette chart since I started sewing (Huzzah! Slowly but surely…) I feel I ought to do a test run of at least the bodice and sleeves.  I’ve checked the flat pattern measurements post FBA and it should be OK.  So do I use some cheap blue textured drapey poly-cotton I’ve got in the stash, use up some more old caravan curtains which are uber crisp (i.e. completely the wrong hand for this top), or launch straight into my stars?  I think I’m going to go for the wearable muslin option…  What would you do?

The other consideration is time!  OK, I can hear most of you saying ‘well, duh!  When isn’t time (or the lack of it!) a consideration?!’  This is wear my in progress Minoru comes in to the equation.  Do I trundle on and carry on with the sew along posts or do I just crack on?  There are pros and cons in my mind…

The pros of staying with the sew along are:
1.  It’s a SEW ALONG!  It’s the whole point.  If I was just going to get on with it why did I hoard my materials for at least a month?!
2.  I think I’ll get a better finished item by staying with the sew along and picking up little tips from Tasia and other sew along-ers.
3.  There’s no rush

The cons are:
1.  It’s going to take longer
2.  I’m going to have to keep re-threading my sewing machine as I move between my garments (not really a biggie, but a slight annoyance!)

Ha!  The Pros list is longer and the cons really aren’t that great.  I’ll just have to re-thread my machine between projects and get over myself!

And last, but by no means least, is the subject of interfacing.  I’m starting to dislike fusible interfacing in garments and am erring towards sew-in.  The question is this:  do I go for a synthetic sew in, or do I use some silk organza in my Jasmine?  Or do I go synthetic for the muslin and silk for the stars?!

Right, I promise I’ll shut up now and let you get on with far more important stuff!  If you’ve got any advice on any of my ramblings though – or can provide some clarity I’d love to read your comments!


8 thoughts on “A Bit of This, A Bit of That

  1. Hmm, no feedback on interfacing as I’ve only used fusible. I’d like to hear about your experience with synthetic vs. organza as I’m becoming more displeased with fusible myself.

    Re: sewalongs. I can’t tell you what you should do, since you’re the best judge of what you’ll be happiest doing, but I know that I’ve had the greatest success with a completed garment when I’ve followed a sewalong through to the end. That said, there’s no reason why you couldn’t hold off on your Minoru and finish it after your Jasmine when the posts are already up. I just know that I’ve been more likely to take the time to do things right when I have the outside deadlines imposed by sewalongs. Good luck!

    1. I think I’ll sew along and Jasmine in between as the Minoru pace does seem to be pretty relaxed at the moment!

      I’ll experiment with the interfacing, the fusible just seems to bubble after a few washes 😦 which is why I’m after an alternative! Organza is highly recommended from what I can work out but also about 3 times the price of a synthetic sew-in (but it is wider…)!

  2. Hi There! So nice to see others working on the Colette patterns as well 🙂 I have the exact same problem (albeit a happy one!) as yourself, as I too am changing sizes while I’m sewing, so each new project has to be muslin-ed. I found that because the purpose of making a muslin is to get a good fit, omitting facings and closures is perfectly ok, and actually makes the process so fast – and you can use any colour thread because well, it’s a muslin. On the other hand, of course, if you plan on wearing the muslin, you obviously would have to include those little piddly things 😛

    I think personally, when I do the Jasmine, I’ll probably do a wearable muslin, out of a fabric with a similar drape to my final fabric. It’s such a lovely shaped blouse, I thought it couldn’t hurt to have another copy right? 🙂

    Since the wearable muslin Jasmine is technically a ‘practice’ and for fitting, i think it depends on whether you’re comfortable or not with a sew-in interfacing. If it’s a technique you’d like to practice before your final, I’d do it for the muslin as well 🙂

    You could do the Jasmine muslin, making notes for reference, then finish the Minoru on schedule, then do the final Jasmine afterwards? 🙂 In the end, I would opt for whatever will bring you the best possible final pieces. There’s nothing worse than spending all that time on a project, just to skip corners somewhere and end up with a garment you aren’t proud of wearing 🙂

    1. Wise words! Thank you. I think I’ll go for the wearable trial run and practice the sew-in interfacing with it too see what gives! It’ll be the synthetic though, as I’m loathe to use silk on a trial!

  3. Hi Vicki, thanks for linking to my post! I was excited to see that there are others out there interested in sewing with silk. I promise to get a wool post up sometime soon as well – but in the meantime, feel free to email me with any specific questions that you may have.

    For your Jasmine, I recommend a muslin. There is no worse feeling than ruining a fabric that you love because the garment doesn’t fit just as you wanted it to. I like the idea of a wearable muslin. If you don’t love it, you can still wear it camping or for housework.

    I have often thought about interfacing as well. I like the idea of using grosgrain ribbon (or petersham) for the waistband like with our circle skirts. This obviously would not work for a blouse. I do have some silk organza that I’ve used on my welt pockets and bound button holes – it does turn out quite nicely.

    1. Thanks Annabelle! After some pondering I’ve cut all the pieces for Jasmine from the cheap polycotton and I’ll make a start on the wearable muslin in between the Minoru see along!

      Grosgrain is beautiful – I’m tempted to try it one day in converting a jumper to a cardi as support for the buttons and buttonholes!

  4. Hi Vicki! I think going with the wearable muslin is a good idea – especially if you ultimately want to make it up in a fabric that’s special to you! I have a lot of not-that-expensive fabric in my stash, and I’m very likely to make up patterns at least twice, so I try to use the less expensive fabric (or the one that’s less special to me) for my first version. I’ve also started to sew up the side seams of dresses or blouses last (well, obviously before hemming), so if there are any remaining fit issues, I can fiddle with them by sewing with a bit of a larger or smaller seam allowance.

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