Sometimes a project is challenging because it’s a complex design. Sometimes the design is super easy, but the fabric is a pain to work with. This was one of those projects…
I bought this chiffon fabric five years ago at Joann’s. It was one of those moments where you’re browsing, something catches your eye, and you spontaneously buy it with absolutely no plan in mind. I bought about 2-1/2 yards of this 45″ wide yardage. Having no plan, I decided to make a simple tunic. I basically made a boat-necked, sleeveless tunic that hit mid calf, with two side slits. It was the most basic garment I could possibly have used this fabric for, and it looked great belted with sandals over a simple black slip. I knew when I made it that this garment was a placeholder for a better idea, I just didn’t have any other ideas at the time. This way, I got to wear the fabric, yet preserve the yardage for future projects.
I had some yardage left over, so I used it to make several scarves, an opportunity to practice using my narrow hem and differential feed settings on my Serger. Many scarves were made at that time. The differential setting on the overlock machine is magical and addicting. I ended up with a large square scarf and a fun ruffled version:
Amazing what a narrow hem and chain stitch can do!
Scarves are a great scrap buster.
I only wore the tunic twice. It was pretty but not very easy to wear. Apparently, stretch is key in a long, straight fitting dress. The first time I wore it was to a Catholic mass. Can you imagine doing all that standing/sitting/kneeling in a dress like that? It wasn’t easy to sit or move in, and I ended up wearing the scarves far more often. Lesson learned. What a disappointment, considering how much I loved the fabric! It deserved to become something better.
A few months ago, I bought Simplicity 8601 for use with another fabric I bought that fateful day five years ago (story for another day):
I was all set to use View A, when View D caught my eye:
Was it possible to squeeze a blouse out of the tunic and square scarf? Guess what! It was exactly the right amount of fabric for this blouse. Finally, my awesome fabric got to become something pretty. And I still get a pretty scarf out of it.
This is the before and after. It’s hard to tell, but the photo on the left is a LOT of yardage draped around my neck. I basically used the tunic as a scarf during the colder months by wrapping it around my neck several times and using the arm holes to loop the ends through, then I threw the gathered scarf over my shoulders to make it look like the whole thing was ruffled. Not a bad way to get off-season use out of a piece of clothing, but the fabric deserved better. The photo on the right? I get to wear the better-looking scarf AND get a blouse out of it! Can’t complain.
So, like I said, the pattern was simple, the type of design that you can whip out in a few hours. But considering that this is chiffon (all slippery and drapey) and that the main body of this blouse was cut on the bias, I struggled. It took an entire week. I worked in small sections, little by little, completely unmotivated by the process. I’m thrilled with the outcome, but in no way did I enjoy making it. That’s the way it goes sometimes. These sleeves were the bane of my existence to assemble, but they came out so pretty.
Here’s the result:
Moral of this story? It’s important to pull things out of your closet if you aren’t wearing them. It’s worth the effort to re-make a me-made item into something wearable. It sucks to take a seam ripper to something you already put time into, but if you aren’t wearing it, can you really consider the garment finished? I say not. That being said, I’m currently in the process of making more things over. Stay tuned…
Thing I Sew