Spotty Tiramisu of Jersey Trials

Ooh – the Tiramisu from Cake Patterns!

This is the latest episode of the ongoing saga of Laura v. Jersey.  Or, more accurately, Laura v. Jersey Necklines.tiramisu-front

This was my first successful attempt at a jersey neckline.

Yeah.  I’ve attempted a few more, but haven’t finished the tops, as I just couldn’t get the neckline right.  Agh!  (Also, I sewed this long before the Kirsten Kimono Tees…)

Thinking back, I’m not actually sure why I ever thought it would be a good idea to sew an entire dress in jersey.  But heck, I liked the look of the Tiramisu dress (especially the ones that kept popping up around blogland).

tiramisu-side

I added 2.5m of bamboo rayon jersey to a fabric.com order and I was in business!

Well, after about three months psyching myself up, that is.

I found this quite a challenging make actually.  Even though I nailed the neck binding first try.  I think it was mainly due to poor fabric choice.  I’m not very up with the adjectives for stretch fabric, but I’ll try to describe it!  My rayon jersey was very drapey and looked like it would make a lovely dress.  But it was also really heavy.  It felt light to hold, but when left to hang it would droop way, way down under its own weight.  This lead to a couple of problems.

Check out that neckline!

Check out that neckline!

The bust, faux wrap pieces have a little gathering down the bottom for shaping, then join onto the waistband.  My bust pieces hung down to my bellybutton.  No, I’m not kidding.  I ended up lopping off about 4-5″, plus taking the waist in a heap to make it fit properly and not hang like a sack.

And then I messed up.  I’d restitched the side seams an inch or two further in than they had been and had a perfect fit.  I was trimming the excess when I snipped through the waistband.  Yep.  On the front, about an inch and a half in from my (now perfect) seam.  (DON’T SEW TIRED!!!)  It became apparent pretty quickly that I couldn’t just patch it, or sew it shut.

Instead, I took the waist in even more.  I played around a bit with the other side, to get it looking more even and less…warped.  It worked fairly well though.  It fit.  Nothing exploded when I put it on.  The waistband and polkadots were a bit more stretched out than they ought to be, but otherwise it was okay.

I actually made this dress about six months ago.  It’s held up fairly well until now, but little holes are starting to appear on the side of the waist that was so excessively taken in.  I’ve sewn them shut a few times, but they keep popping back up.

tiramisu-side-seams

Despite the fiasco that was this dress, I’ve actually worn it quite a lot.  It’s deteriorating into a home-only dress, but I’m really keen to make another one.  It feels like wearing pyjamas while retaining some element of class (well, before it started falling apart anyway).  I’m always up for that!  I’m yet to find somewhere locally that sells decent jersey, so it may not eventuate for a while.  I’m trying to curb my online fabric habit!  I have so many more things I’m planning to make, I don’t think I can handle anything else competing for space in my brain!

Knickers!

I’m not quite sure why, but I decided I wanted to make some undies.

The first pattern I tried was Madalynne’s Amerson undies.  They’re so cute.

These clearly have the potential to be fantastically awesome.

It wasn’t quite as successful as I’d hoped.  I couldn’t figure out which were the centre front/back seams, so I did it wrong the first time.  In french seams, no less.

floral-amerson-fail-back

It also turned out my elastic was complete rubbish.  Oh, and I folded in the crotch area too far, so they’re completely unwearable.  I feel uncomfortable just looking at them.

This pains me to see.

Ouch.  Really.

Not to say the rubbish-ness of my attempt extends to the pattern.  I still think it’s great and I’m still definitely going to make another pair at least, but I’ll get decent elastic and go easy on the folding into the crotch.  They’re so cute, and I have heaps of woven fabric scraps that would be perfect.

So then I tried So Zo’s undies pattern.

I chopped up my work Christmas t-shirt.

Surprisingly, less awful than most of the other Christmas shirts I've had to wear at work.

 

I found it super easy to put together.  The instructions were only for an overlocker (well, there’s a link to regular machine instructions, but I didn’t bother), so I just made up the construction process as I went a lot.  The Amerson pants had pretty much been my practice run, so it was easy to put them together.  Also, they’re only knickers.  It’s pretty easy to figure out.

 

Ooh!

Anyway, I’d never sewn with stretch fabric before, so I did a few test runs on a scrap.  The triple stitch and three-step zigzag both worked perfectly (are these actually stretch stitches?  I have no idea), so I used the triple stitch for the seams and the three-step zigzag for attaching the elastic.

I’ve heard rumours that this sort of fabric doesn’t fray, so I didn’t finish my seams.  I’m curious to see how it goes after a few washes and if it frays and self-destructs, well, lesson learned.

And they fit great too!  I was somewhere between an 8 and 10 on the sizing chart, but went up to a 12, as recommended for t-shirt fabric.

I bought some better elastic for this pair and they’re really wearable!  Win!

If they hold up okay in the wash, I’m going to production line a whole stack of them.

Okay, the insides aren't as neat as they could have been.  But I don't care.  :)

Okay, the insides aren’t as neat as they could have been. But I don’t care. 🙂

 

Now to have another crack at the Amerson’s, because, let’s be honest, they’re more fun than the regular kind!