So I’m sure in being absent from this nutty world of (near) daily posting blogs I have surely lost readers, but sometimes you need to take a break. I didn’t anticipate this one being so long, but that’s another matter entirely.
I’ve started to feel better in the past couple of weeks, which is an enormous relief after spending many weeks on the couch playing catch with Noah and reading piles of books and not really feeling well enough to do much else. I won’t sugar coat things for those of you who have never experienced the joys of “morning” sickness…it bites. Things are looking up though, now, and feeling the baby starting to move makes me feel much happier about being pregnant again.
I’ve been cooking lots, but have just started to dust off Gnomey. Noah’s taking more of my time, and since he and Gnomey share a room, I haven’t been able to go all sewing bonanza during his naps (did I mention that I, who NEVER nap have been forced to take my own naps? Argh). So, what with some negotiation and the return of my energy, I’ve found some found time that I can set aside every week to work on things. Yay!
I’ve made a maternity top that I’ll post about sometime this week. I’m on the fence about it, so I’d thought I’d return to my blog space with a much more successful project.
This is BWOF (the former, better Burda)08-2008-118. It’s a simple little turtleneck tunic with front and back yokes and pleats on the front. I thought this would be a super brainless maternity dress. I was right. I just made this a little more A-line, lengthened it, and added 1.5″ at CF tapering back to the side seam on the front to leave more room for baby. Since I made it in a super stretchy rayon, I should easily be able to wear this for the last 5 months of my pregnancy here. Here’s my review.
What I learned:
1. Notions that work: I’ve finally gotten up the nerve and the skill with knits to tackle some more unwieldly slippery stretchy rayon knits. They’re awesome. They feel like butter and skim everything…including baby bumps.
I’m a little OCD about it, but I really have found that I like interfacing the hems with SewKeysE knit interfacing (I know I link to this like every other knits project, but it’s great stuff, and Emma Seabrooke is a swell lady). It has a soft hand which matches the feel of the rayon well. As much as I love Steam-A-SeamII, I think it’s better suited to more synthetic (I would say crunchy feeling) knits like ITY or acrylic. I also have discovered that this interfacing is a perfect base for twin-needling. In a perfect world, I would have a coverstitch machine, but for now, I will bust out my twin needle.
2. Stretchy in the bobbin: Using polyester thread in the bobbin when you are stitching knit hems is fishy at best. Even with a low tension and a narrow zigzag (.5 width, 2.5-3.0 length), you can feel some tightness on a finished hem that will either pop or on a slippery knit you may be able to pull clean out. It’s my opinion that if you’re spending the time to make a garment for yourself in the first place, you might as well use something that will give you a result that will last longer than it takes you to make the thing in the first place. For a while now, I’ve messed around with various stretch threads in the bobbin. I wind them by hand (something to do while being forced to watch sports or something like that) and don’t particularly care if I get the perfect color match. Here are the ones I’ve tried:
- Gutermann Bulky Nylon: Gutermann makes lovely all-purpose thread, but this stuff that they sell at JoAnn is not terribly useful. It’s not stretchy, but you can still use it in your serger for seaming or a decorative stitch, and it will give you a *slightly* more stretchy hem in the bobbin than a polyester all-purpose would. You can cheat and wind the bobbin by machine on the lowest speed without it stretching.
- Maxi-Lock Stretch Thread: This is more stretchy than the bulky nylon and it feels pretty good in my dress hem. It still feels like there’s a teensy bit of tightness in the hem, but I don’t think this one is going to pop on me.
- Wooly Nylon: This stuff is just what it says it is–it’s all poofy like wool when you unwind it from the spool. But it’s super stretchy too. Stretch in the bobbin means stretch in your hem. I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s on my list once thread is on sale next week at Hancocks’ (and JoAnn no longer carries it).
So there you are, kids. Things have settled down at the ranch, and I’m finding my way back to Gnomey. It was bound to happen. 😉