More Boring Grey Sewing

Happily, more sewing has been happening around here! I knew if I cut out a bunch of things then I would have no excuse not to just dive into the sewing. I seem to work most efficiently with this Batch Method. Anyway, here’s the next three items hot off the machine.

Smiling woman standing in front of a large houseplant with a window to the right and a chair to the left and wearing a grey top and matching cropped pants.
Cattywampus Top and Croppies Pants

The first top (tunic? sweatshirt?) is one I’ve made before so no modifications were necessary. It’s B6101 from Katherine Tilton. I’ve nearly worn out my original Black Snakeskin version so this is a more subdued substitute. I’m calling it the Cattywampus Top because it’s asymmetrical and rather wonky which I love. This time I interfaced the collar so it doesn’t flop down so much. I also brought the neckline in slightly for a little more warmth. Now it just fits over my head! The fabric is the same cotton/lycra doubleknit as the Croppies and as you can see they go together quite nicely as an outfit.

Next I moved on to the darker charcoal grey cotton single-knit jersey. Not sure if there’s lycra content in this but not much if any. It stretched out some when I test-sewed a scrap so I used my walking foot for the first time.

Close-up of grey jersey fabric on a sewing machine under the needle and showing the walking foot attachment.
Janome walking foot

It helped keep the layers aligned and stopped them rippling up. The foot is a little more difficult to attach to the machine because you have to unscrew the clip-on part and screw this monster in place, making sure the arm (on the right there) is above the needle screw. As the needle goes up and down it moves the arm which engages the white teeth to help move the top layer forward. The whole beast is rather large and bulky but works fine and doesn’t seem to get in the way at all.

I also had trouble with the serger stretching the fabric when I was overcasting the single layer hems. To solve that issue I engaged the differential feed (set at 1.5) which worked well but switched back to normal for the other seams. So what did I make? A plain ordinary Hey June Lane Raglan t-shirt dress with 3/4 sleeves and a straight knee-length hem. No pockets because I ran out of fabric.

Dark grey dress with three-quarter sleeves hanging on an orange door.
Lane Raglan Dress

This pattern has been my raglan TNT but I’m still not happy with the neckline. I kept thinking I was stretching it out when applying the neckband but I don’t think that’s true. The neckband lies nice and flat which is how it should be. I did bring up the whole neckline about 1/2″ but I think it needs about 3/4″ more on the back and sleeve areas. It’s just a little too breezy on my neck and threatens to expose bra straps. We’ll see what happens the next time I make a Lane Raglan. Meanwhile this one is quite wearable. It’s meant to be a layering piece anyway.

Then there’s the other garment from this jersey fabric, a test sew for a self-drafted Big Pockets Tunic.

Grey tunic with big pockets hanging on an orange door.
Big Pockets Tunic

For this one I used my personal stretch blocks for a long-sleeved, shoulder-princess tunic with pockets integrated into the seams. I think it turned out the way I had envisioned. The neckline on this one is more comfortable than the dress because it’s somewhat higher on the back and shoulders but a similar height on the front neck. Lesson learned. Maybe.

In future I’d like to play with princess seams some more. I suspect armhole princess might be a better shape for me. The shoulder version’s back seams end up right on top of my bra straps for a rather lumpy look. I know you can get some nice closely-fitting garments with the extra seams to manipulate but I’m rather avoiding anything too tight from the bust down. Anyway, I seem to be gaining confidence in my drafting skills which is rather exciting and very freeing. As long as I have my blocks that fit properly then I can use them to hack whatever I want. Such power! Must be used for good, right? Heh.

So that’s four garments in boring grey. I spent some quality time cleaning up my sewing area and vacuuming out the sewing machine and serger ready for a new adventure. What’s next on the agenda? Some colour! I have 2 items cut out of snow-dyed cotton knit to sew. It’s rather wild stuff. Get out your sunglasses!

Dyer's chamomile, fine toothy green leaves and white flower buds.
Dyer’s Chamomile, ready to burst into flower

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