“Whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work. Without learning and preparation, you won’t know how to harness the power of that kiss.”

Twyla Tharp

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stripe Help

I finished my second Liberty Shirt today and, while I like it well enough, it did have its challenges. It was the first time I had worked with stripes and I really wanted to match it well. The stripe is an uneven one and I knew that I had to, or wanted to, have the dominant stripe at center front and have my buttonholes/buttons there. Knowing that, I cut a duplicate front and laid out both pieces with the desired stripe on center front. Although the back was supposed to be cut on the fold, I also made a duplicate back and laid it out with the fabric open and tried to line up the front and back shoulders to match. Again, I wanted that dominant stripe at center back.

No matter what I did, I could not get the shoulders to match and finally decided that, with an uneven stripe, perhaps one needed to sacrifice something in order to get the center fronts to match and that something would have to be the shoulder seams. But, interestingly, one shoulder ended up matching perfectly, while the second was off by about a 1/2 inch or more. When I saw it I almost wished neither matched since it now looks as if I didn't quite try hard enough. If anyone out there has advice, feel free! I'd be happy for the opportunity to figure out if I could have done something differently. The collar I cut horizontally just to make it a bit different and I did like the way the stripes angle at the collar front.

The fabric was a remnant and I've long since lost the information on it. It's shiny, almost like taffeta and all of the stripes are slightly raised, which made construction a bit challenging. I may try a burn test to see what it is. I suspect it's a synthetic of some sort. It wasn't wonderful to work on. For some reason I had trouble with the mitered corners on this as well, even though they were a breeze on my previous Liberty Shirt. I wonder if my eye was trying to follow the stripe rather than the construction of the miter. Bad day?! Oh well, it's finished and I do like it on.

My next project is for my daughter, Sarah. I first saw this fabric when someone reviewed a shirt on Pattern Review. The reviewer was kind enough to give details on where she purchased the cloth since everyone was intrigued and thought perhaps she had made it. It's from Sew It Up under novelty cottons.. If you click on the pictures, you'll get a much better feel for the the fabric which is strips of different cloth serged together, some with ruffles, others with embroidery. I knew Sarah would love it so I ordered it on Monday and had it on Wednesday with a handwritten thank you for purchasing it! Great service! I would definitely order from them again.

The shirt is slightly fitted and since the fabric is so unique and a bit pricey, a muslin is definitely in order. I really hope this one goes well. It should be a really fun, funky shirt if it does.

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