At the beginning of the week, casting about for new projects to tackle, I decided to use a small piece of cotton lawn with a white background festooned with red and blue flowers. The colors are very reminiscent of the colors of the flag and with the long weekend before me, what better quick sewing?
New Look 6892 declares itself to be a 2 hour (*sewing time only) pattern. I think from start to finish including cutting, fishing straight pins out of the carpet, and swearing at the prepackaged bias tape, it took me 3.5 to 4, so yeah, I guess we can call it a 2 hour pattern. My fabric turned out to be even smaller than I initially realized so fitting the pattern pieces was an interesting challenge. I had 46 inches of a 41 inch wide fabric, sizes 10-14 call for 1.5 yards of 45″ fabric. The front and back pieces could only fit on the fabric one way and it left just enough excess fabric to squeeze the sleeves on the cross-grain. I didn’t think I would make it fit and was wondering what possessed me to buy such a short cut in the first place. Assuming that I found the correct notation in my old fabric inventory, it was supposed to be a full yard and a half, so either this shrunk in the wash quite a bit or the employee at Jo-Ann was less than diligent with the measuring. Oh well. I made the shirt happen and that’s all I can ask for.
The pattern goes together nicely and while I’m not entirely sold on how the sleeve hem and the side seam come together, it does work. The neckline uses a bias tape finish sewn on a 3/8″ seam allowance, and as I wanted to preserve the height of the neckline for this shirt, I followed the directions and used the white bias tape that’s been hanging around my sewing room for too long now. Ugh, that stuff is gross feeling. It’s a much stiffer polyester compared to the cotton of the top. Next time I need plain white bias tape, I’m going to have to make my own out of cotton because I just didn’t love working with the pre-packaged one. The neckline elastic in the size 10 is a whopping 34″ long, which when inserted gave me two sleeves falling off, or once I got the front and sleeves right, a drooping back neck. I ended up taking six inches out by reopening the casing and taking out excess elastic until I was happy with the fit all the way around the neck. The bottom is hemmed with the 4mm rolled hem foot, and the top was completed in time for a cookout with friends on Saturday. Yeah, totally blew my original plan for Friday, but then again all of the municipal fireworks had been moved to last night anyway, so close enough in my world.
My final takeaway is that fabrics are not all created equal. This is a cotton lawn bought at Jo-Ann circa 2012, which is the same timeframe when I got the Lisette lawn used several weeks ago in that McCall’s top and for about the same price. The Lisette fabric was miles better in feel and drape. About the only thing it has going for it is it wrinkles less readily. This fabric is okay enough, but rough feeling enough that I would not buy it again if given the opportunity.