04 Jun A Lizard, Newspaper, Craftsy and Silk
Maybe you read Pamela Druckerman’s New York Times Op Ed on Sunday. It’s a synopsis of the commencement speech she gave to students graduating from the Paris College of Art, an American art and design school in France. By the time I reached the end of the column I felt it was written just for sewists and sewing bloggers – especially the paragraph that states it’s ok to be obsessive.
Druckerman quotes comedian Louis C.K. who says “Anything you do should be better than anything you did before.” That statement might have been a joke, but …… um……. when it comes to sewing I’m always expecting a better result that the previous project.
My last project blogged here left room for improvement. Vogue 9109 is a wonderfully easy pattern, but sewing with silk is a different story. I was long overdue to watch my Craftsy class Sewing with Silks: The Liberty Shirt purchased earlier in the year. Taught by Linda Lee, the instructions revolve primarily around sewing the pattern provided with the purchase of the class.
I decided to apply her instructions to the Very Easy Vogue 9109 pattern. I wanted to remake the pattern and I wanted it to be better than the one before 😉 . Because the Liberty Shirt is far more involved than my pattern I did not watch the entire class, however Linda provides many practical tips for sewing with silk.
For starters, she suggests washing your silk before sewing, primarily because it makes it much easier to spot clean. Had I only known that helpful fact when I made the pink silk top which I ruined before wearing while trying to spot clean!
She teaches how to straighten the grain by pulling a cross thread. The pics below show the process and the result.
Linda teaches how to cut with a rotary, mark with tailor tacs, the best stitch length for different silks, hem finishes, pressing methods, plus much more…… and my new garment is better indeed.
It’s true – another blue garment, but I took the little porch lizard’s bright blue tail as a signal to go ahead and sew the Italian ‘Surf the Web’ Blue Crepe de Chine from Mood Fabrics.
This time I sewed the pattern as it was originally designed and made a top.
I do not have my serger at the beach, and sewed the top using French Seams which is also covered in the Craftsy class. I chose to hem the top with a narrow machine hem which I find works very well on silk. Since this was my second time to sew the pattern, fitting was not an issue allowing me to concentrate on technique.
As someone who is partial to patterned fabric, I find sewing with solids tricky and rather unforgiving! I basted every seam and sewed s l o w l y. I love the result of this well-cut pattern! It’s full enough to catch a breeze as seen below, but otherwise drapes into a flattering fit. The cut of the shoulders is just right 🙂
I never imagined the New York Times, Linda Lee, Mood Fabrics and a lizard appearing in one post, but as Pamela Druckerman mentions, everything is potential inspiration……….. “One of the great joys of a creative life is that your observations and loose moments aren’t lost forever; they live in your work.”