Stripes

I’m back with two more knit tops. Can you tell I recently placed a Girl Charlee order? This is my second half, but unlike the two mitigated successes of my last post, these two makes are mitigated flops. The first because I forgot to reckon vertical stretch. And the second because I forgot again!

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I first sewed another Jarrah sweatshirt. It’s mostly fine, ‘flop’ is a strong word. I’ve made a Jarrah before and it’s a great project for beginners – relaxed fit, mostly straight lines, and no hemming if you choose the view with a banded finish, which I did. My first Jarrah was also striped, and I wished I had switched stretch direction more, so my bands here are all cut parallel to the selvage.   

I like to sew one shoulder seam and stretch the neckband to fit as I sew, then trim any extra. This time I had no extra. I was short! Vertical streeetch! *shaking fist at the sky* I could have unpicked, but I simply didn’t wanna. I pieced on a few extra inches, while most of the neckband was already attached to the shirt body, to cover the gap (it’s in front, of course).   

Which, oops, I did upside down!

The lack of vertical stretch kind of bit me on the sleeve cuffs, too. My sewing was a little crooked because I had to really pull to match the length of the cuff and sleeve end, so I serged off a little extra and then a leetle more, until the cuffs were pretty narrow, but hey, mostly straight! The shirt is a smidge pucker-y where it meets the waistband, too, but not fatally.

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Overall my simple sew took more time and effort than I anticipated. It’s not obvious in the finished shirt, but I’ll still be taking a minute off from the Jarrah. Two is enough for now!

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I mean, it’s not a smash hit, but I’ll wear it.

Plus, I had plenty of leftover fabric for a Nettie bodysuit. Plenty of fabric – but no forethought! This French terry had less horizontal stretch than my usual Robert Kaufman jersey and no vertical stretch at all. Did this factor into my planning or sewing? Did I learn a lesson from sewing the sweatshirt? It did not, and I did not. This isn’t the pattern’s fault – it calls for four-way stretch and has one of those “must stretch to here” guides that I cheerfully ignored. Girl!   

Even while cutting this Nettie I thought “These pieces look tiny!”, but I blamed that on negative ease. Also, I have several Netties that I wear regularly and they’re comfortable, and if anything a little long in the body. And I was enjoying the process of sewing it; after my unexpected problems with the Jarrah, I felt like I was really in the zone, everything was going smoothly, and my brain felt really calm. And the finished Nettie (I toot my own horn) is well-made! It looks nice!

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And it feels…WELL. Wearing this is like trying to make a queen bed with a twin fitted sheet. It’s 5 pounds of sugar in a 2 pound bag. It’s shapewear for a not-me shape. It’s NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

I can wiggle into it, actually. “It’s got a firm hold,” I thought. “But cute! Firm but cute.” And then, oh, the snapping. Again: I can get the front and back crotch straps to meet and snap, much in the same way Hannibal crossed the Alps – with effort – but unlike Hannibal, instead of waging war directly on the Roman Republic, I just feel nervous about sitting down.

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I considered my options. A) cut off the crotch straps, and hem this like a tee-shirt. Pro: easy; con: it’s tight enough that I thought, as a shirt, it might just crawl up my torso and start a new life as an infinity scarf. B) add some sort of crotch extenders that snap to both sides, like on a postpartum girdle. Pro: adds length; con: so many snaps in my back forty, practically a whole percussion section. C) wear it as-is with the crotch straps all loose and willy-nilly inside my jeans. Pro: don’t have to do anything; con: willy-nilly crotch straps.

I decided to wear this on a weekend day before making any tough calls. And I discovered that all roads lead to C), because the bodysuit unsnaps itself if I have the temerity to bend more than 15°. But it’s also irrelevant, because after running a brief errand while vacuum sealed into a striped leotard I could not peel it off fast enough! I have no intention of ever losing weight. It was my birthday a few days ago and for breakfast I had an éclair the size of a tube sock. This Nettie is a giveaway.

This flop counts as mitigated because I’m pleased with my handiwork. I wish a smaller-bodied person much joy of it! And now this post is over because I want to go home and put on something that fits. And write “check the stretch” fifty times on the blackboard.

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OOF!

Pattern: MN Jarrah

Pattern cost: NA

Size: 10

Supplies: 1 yard Yellow Coral Stripes on Dusty Aqua French Terry Blend Knit Fabric, $8.64, Girl Charlee; thread from stash

Total time: 2.25 hours

Total cost: $8.64

Pattern: Closet Case Nettie

Pattern cost: N/A

Size: 10 at bust, graded to 12 at hip; shortened about 1.5” at waist

Supplies: 1 yard Yellow Coral Stripes on Dusty Aqua French Terry Blend Knit Fabric, $8.64, Girl Charlee; thread, snaps from stash

Total time: 2.5 hours

Total cost: $8.64

12 thoughts on “Stripes

  1. Well, your sewing in this case may have been a ‘mitigated’ success, but your blog post is over the top successful: absolutely fabulous and fun 😂😂😂
    Keep on sewing, and writing. I wish you lived next door. I could use the laughs and share a few of my own.

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  2. Oh no! They looks really lovely (love the colours), but oh my goodness this made me chuckle. I was laughing out loud by the time you said about it becoming an infinity scarf 😂
    Excellent writing, such a pity and hopefully someone will get a lot of joy out of their bodysuit!

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    1. Thank you so much! 😀 I’m going to a clothing swap in less than a month, so I’ll try to rehome it there. I probably won’t show them this though. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I laughed so hard at your metaphors (technically similes?)! Thanks for that. 🙂 Also, I’m glad to know other sewers have mitigated disasters and don’t learn just like me!

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😀 I’m definitely going to try not to make that mistake again…new mistakes, please! ^^

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  4. I know it’s only March but this is a contender for ‘blog post of the year’ for sure! I may or may not of laughed so hard that I was forced to regurgitate my mouthful of tea into its cup, lest it end up coming out of my nose!

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    1. Aww thank you! XD Spit tea is the greatest honor! I don’t know why, but blog posts are always easy to write when the sewing doesn’t go well…

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  5. Well ain’t this a breath of fresh (Corona free) air! After my escape from Florida and two weeks of aimless self-quarantine I’m finally catching up on the ole blogs. And I’m so happy I did. What carefree lives we had less than a month ago. Remember that? And thanks past you. I needed this!

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    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 😀 I’m hope you’re self-quarantining somewhere safe! I can’t promise I’ll make any more tiny leotards but I’ll make sure to share here if I do. 😉 Thanks for your kind words!

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  6. I only found your blog recently and you’re becoming my girl crush! The nettie actually looks great painted on, great stripe matching!
    I can relate to making things either too big (“I’ll add a 3 cm seam allowance just in case and take the seams in later” or “I love wide pants” – daily commuter by bicycle) or too small because the recommended amount of fabric always seems so much to me and I’m frugal. My Mr. Serger sporadically not cooperating (armscye seams are the devil) and my special ability to always cut things too small with the rotary cutter (the opposite of cutting everything too big with shears) only aid in me creating garments in a hot mess of various random sizes.You’d think I’d learn, but the trousers I had made in my teenage years probably fit better than those I create now (they are very “comfy”).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!! ^^ My special mistake is to change the seam allowances on the fly and not write it down, despite the fact that I record every other dang thing in a spreadsheet. I honestly don’t understand how anyone cuts anything with a rotary knife, all I can picture is talking a hard turn into the middle of a pattern piece! I can’t cut a pizza without making mistakes, I’m sure not practicing on fabric (hooray for frugality, by the way! :D).

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