Sewing Vloggers

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Sewing those ?#!!?*## Poly Silkies


 I just love the info on this selvage---"ditsy floral stretch charmeuse". It's loud and clear that the current rage for what is being called "ditsy florals" is right on the selvage and you are buying the latest trend! As a matter of fact, this entire project is alllll trend, alllll over. I watched a sewing video on youtube from Sew Essential and Lucy, the presenter, had a ditsy print with a ruffle added on to the pattern as well as some contrasting edge stitching. The design also sported statement sleeves that billowed below the elbow and ended up in elasticated hems.  

This top had every trend out there going for it. 

* Full, billowy statement sleeves.
* Frill, or rather, small type ruffles
* "Ditsy" or small floral prints.  My print is a bit of a stylized version of such.

The bottom line is I wasn't chasing trends. You know me. I just don't do that and rather pick and choose as the styles flatter. This top , however, really snookered me and two days later I was off to Joanns to make a minor investment in the fabric as everything else I needed was right at home.  Lisa wore here creation with jeans and it looked great. My mojo was up and running. 

Next, I needed to find a pattern. Vogue 1387 , view B, was a near match to the youtube wonder and in my stash. I would need to add the "frill" to the mandarin collar, back yoke and front yokes as well. I made sure I purchased extra fabric as I wasn't sure what the foofy sleeves and ruffle would require. As you will see further along in this project it was a good thing I had that extra fabric insurance. 

So now I have the inspo, the fabric and the pattern. This post will just be about how I handled that difficult poly "stuff", aka, mock silk charmeuse and how I went about the frill. Once the top is done I will model and go into the crazy, CRAZY business I had with the front yokes and all the pattern details in the next post.  

What really caught my eye about Lisa's top was this slight ruffle. It was in a lighter ditsy print but she did a BLACK rolled hem edge on it, very contrary to the fabric, and yet it made that wimpy little fabric pop like crazy.  The garment didn't scream "prairie" but rather looked on trend and fresh. I did all sorts of samples on the serger and the machine. She used her serger. I eschewed that and went for the machine. I will spare you the bunch that didn't win and just tell you that the winning strip had a perfect line of black sharpie and over it was stitched a loose narrow satin stitch on my Pfaff. This was ironed and then I went back and stitched another line of satin stitch, thicker and wider over the first row. It looks thick and lovely and was easy too. Best of all, I wasn't up to changing my thread colors on the serger as I was mid project on something for my granddaughter and I got a beautiful rolled hem look without the serger this way.  Next, I washed the strips in hot water and dried on hot. IRL, they will be washed on cool and a lighter dry.  The winning sample was second from the left, above. The ruffle will only be about 5/8ths of an inch wide. Tiny ruffle, tiny rolled hem effect. This ruffle, with a 1 and 1/2  ratio will go on the front yokes, back yoke and collar. The Sharpie washed beautifully, no running at all. 

Next it was on to just dealing with the POLY of it all.  Here are a couple of things I have learned over the years about this fabric. 

* The quality available today is better than it  was years back. 

* It often comes with some stretch which this does. Make sure your stretch is on the crossgrain and FOLLOW YOUR GRAINLINE RELIGIOUSLY with this fabric. 

*Cut this fabric in one layer with a rotary cutter. Cutting on paper helps but I didn't. Use lots of big weights. 

* For this particular pattern pay extremely close attention to the cutting, layout and marking of all the yoke and yoke facing pieces. You may be temtped to chuck it all as I actually did at one point! Mark clearly and carefully. Have no fear. I will show you how I got around the yoke issues. 

* Big one here:  Spray starch your seams and all the yoke pieces, very important. I sprayed mine lightly, ironed dry, no steam, sprayed again, ironed dry, no steam. Two light layers of starch really helps this fabric behave. 

* Make samples of your seams before committing to the garment.  I decided on French seams and am now zig zaging my second pass on the first seam after cutting it to 1/8th inch, encouraged by my sewing friend extraordinaire, Kathy Dykstra. She makes the most incredible French seams. 

* Read all the directions on this pattern. It is complicated. The yokes could really flummox a very inexperienced sewist. 

* Very important and for me the most important, feel free to sew this poly charmeuse fabric on the wrong side. I did and have before as well. I do not care for the shine. I think it cheapens the fabric.I am sewing it so that my "right" side is the flat, matte, "wrong" side of the fabric. It will make the garment look a bit richer.  

I'll be back soon with the completed blouse. The project I mentioned for my granddaughter---it is her prom gown. It needs some hemming and booty adjustment, just a teeny bit of both. What a Prom-a Drama that's been, fault of the retailer and long story but all is well now!!! 


I have been sewing a fair amount. Gardening has been beckoning as well but most of all I have been spending time just enjoying my family and being out with them and about again. Being out of this covid cage and living life again is wonderful and top priority right now. Lots of company, which I love, and my husband has been a wonderful partner there as well as in the garden. I also have had several rather serious health issues show up in the past 3 months or so and chasing down specialists, appointments and doing what I need to do to deal has taken time and resting, etc. Sometimes I am just so freakin' exhausted. Hopefully we will see these issues under control or gone in the next few months. I am not good when I feel bad. So that is what is happening now, happy to be out and about, with family and alive. Hope you all are enjoying a covid free Spring. 

Happy Sewing!


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