Saturday, June 6, 2009

Empire Crinkle Rayon

Perhaps I should have titled this post, "The Incredible Shrinking Woman!"

But that is not really the case...it is more like 'the incredible growing blouse'!

I wanted to make another Empire surplice top, to verify that the measurement changes I made after making this one are exactly as desired. I had this crinkle rayon in my stash...it was found on the bargain table at my local Hancock Fabrics* last summer and purchased for $1 per yard or some outrageous $um like that.

*BTW, that local Hancock store, where I have been shopping all my life...even picking out the patterns and fabric for mother to sew my school clothes when I was a kid...BURNED to the ground early yesterday morning!

I just HATE that...it was convenient and close to both my mother's and sister's homes, and I could often find things there that were bargains...not crummy stuff, but decent fabric that had been marked down. Now the store is gone (suspected that garbage truck emptying their dumpster hit a gas line...slow leak caused fire in the night.) and I highly doubt it will be rebuilt. Bummer. Really. Bummer.



Crinkle rayon grows if you iron it. Plus, it grows during wear. So I was aware that this might not be the BEST fabric for evaluating fit. (duh) But I wanted to use it, so I did.




To stabilize the neck and armholes, I ironed on some stay tape. I used a bias tape for these areas...to go around the curves.
Not giving it much thought, I pulled on the tape slightly to barely shrink the neck edge, as I usually do (You can see how the neckline is slightly shorter than the pattern's neck area). HOWEVER, I had already taken a 'dart' from the pattern's neck edge and transfered it to the bust dart (contouring) to make the wrap-style bodice fit closer between the breasts, and I probably didn't need to do BOTH.

I also put stay tape across both FRONT shoulders, to stabilize. For this area, I used the straight tape. I did not put tape on the back shoulder, which is sewn to this stabilized front.

I use 3/8" seam allowances, which is the width of the tape.









As you can see, the Empire seam pulls UP just a bit as it approaches the center. Bummer! Oh well...next time.

When I finished sewing this top, it was huge, due to ironing and pressing!

So I grabbed my water bottle and sprayed the whole thing until saturated. Then I hung it to dry. When dry it had 'crinkled' right back into shape!

The image here shows the difference between the top with the crinkles in place (left) and in the 'relaxed' state after ironing.



Again, the left is how the topfits with the crinkles "fresh" and the right side is what it looks like if ironed.
The REAL fit is somewhere in between...the crinkles DO relax a bit during wear and give a little more ease, but nothing like when ironed.
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I used PMB's PETAL sleeve for the first time. The outer edge is probably a bit more rippled than it would be in other fabric, due to stretching out the crinkles with the narrow hem, but overall, I think I kinda like this sleeve.
However, when I was wearing it, BOTH my mother and my sister asked if I had made this top...they were not together. Both said it was because they had patterns with this petal sleeve. It made me wonder...is this sleeve rarely found in RTW? Is this a dead giveaway that the garment is 'homemade'? What do you think?
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I have been gradually reducing my shoulder widths, and I am wondering if I can reduce the BACK SHOULDER WIDTH a little more (?). This would narrow the back slightly, but put a bit more into the back of the sleeve, and perhaps make it hang better. Hmmm.

I'll give the pattern details next time!

4 comments:

Sew4Fun said...

Lovely top! I like the colour. I have some crinkled RTW tops (that I love) so I understand about them growing when ironed. Good reason not to iron I say, which is what I do. :)

Marilyn said...

The petal sleeve is lovely and I think attractive on lots of arms. But alas has fallen out of favor by the fashion industry. I guess it uses too much fabric and therefore is not cost effective. I agree with Sew4Fun about reasons NOT to iron!

pamelac858 said...

I LOVE that top on you, Patricia, I think it fits great! Love the color, too. You have inspired me to try the petal sleeve; it's been in the back of my mind for a while and I haven't 'braved' it yet. It's always nice to see other people's ideas. Thanks for sharing.

Trish said...

Thanks, y'all! I like this color, too...and the fabric washes and wears so well!

 
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