Seems cathartic that I’m gravitating towards stitching and sewing at the moment.
I’ve been sorting through my collection of clothing blocks that I’ve drafted though the years. To me they are like photos of my family. Blocks which capture the changing shape and size of bodies important to me. There are blocks from size 000 all through my daughters’ childhoods -2- 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,11,12 year olds. We are having a very challenging time at the moment in our family and I’m glad that I had these to remind me of the passage and value of time and the lovely humans I shared it with. Each block signifies an event in our lives where clothing was needed. There was Teresa’s year 6 farewell in silk taffeta to my own design and Michelle’s purple fluffy pants in year 10, which she had to have. These blocks mean more to me than photos. They’re unposed and real preparations for a labour of love which surely making clothes is. Even before my first daughter arrived in 1982 I had quilts, crochet rugs, jackets and many other things sewn up ready. Although this seems normal for most people expecting a child over the 9 months gestation, it was much harder for us in adoption which is basically a phone call today and baby daughter tomorrow. (this doesn’t include the many, many interviews, investigations etc etc)
In the spirit of stitching things together, this week I’ve taken some woven silk cloth and tried out the possibilities of this pattern from Fuku no Katachi ni Suru It’s pattern 25 on page 72. I liked the neckline and flow of the garment and it’s pretty easy to stitch up. But as with all of the patterns in Saori inspired books much depends on the fabric you use and the fit you are comfortable with.
Well it ends up that I wasn’t so happy with the flow after all and it required substantial adjustment.
The neckline needed a bit of refinement to sit right although I probably didn’t cut it as low as the instruction. After finishing, I just folded it over and stitched a narrower look. I added a ‘princess’ line darting from shoulder to hip on the front, to contour the shape and also re-shaped the side seams. In re-cutting I bound the raw seams for a nice and secure look on the inside of the garment. The woven fabric is a beautiful 100% silk and it was amenable to such re-stitching. I’ve found that Saori woven cloth is far more un-ravelly than it looks. The uneven hemline is very nice and easy to cut. It also swings well with the style. But still I wasn’t 100% happy. So I thought about other solutions, then added ties for the back above the waistline and now I am very happy. This tie ‘hack’ is a good option is you want the flexibility of some extra shaping.
I read somewhere that “if you don’t know what to do, do what you know” Weaving and sewing is what I know and it doesn’t solve any problems in itself. But I can use it to restore a kind of faith that stitching and modifying might have a value in other life issues. I really don’t know but it’s the best I’ve got.
In working with the neckline in this pattern I found that tear away vilene is very helpful. As a total convert now, […loud voice] I believe it is a must when cutting out armholes and necklines in our Saori woven fabrics. It’s best to actually trace the neckline directly onto the vilene then sew around. This will prepare for cutting shapes out of the cloth and stabilise it. The vilene can then be torn away once the collar or cutting is underway. Keeps everything in order.
I’ve placed the pattern on the tear away vilene. But you can directly trace the pattern onto it.
Stitch on the stitching line so you can cut out the neckline safely and easily
This is the completed top with the mods. It’s a keeper.