The “Four Strikes and You’re Out” Top (plus bonus)
Fabric: purple poly-cotton jersey / vaguely giraffe print poly-cotton sheet
Pattern: Butterick 3131 / Burda 6993
Year: 2001 / 1980s
Time to complete: 1 hour, plus 8 months in orbit / 2 hours
First worn: N/A
Wear again? Perhaps
Total price: $5 for both
I have so many UFOs orbiting around here that CSIS is parked in an unmarked van across the street (that’s what I’m looking at out my front window, apparently). When I did a draft for this post a few weeks ago, I listed all the UFOs that I could see from my vantage point:
1. Laotian brocade skirt: just needs lining
2. Pink roses sundress: needs to be fitted in bodice; add skirt; make capelet?
3. Blue floral shirtdress: needs collar and placket
4. Silk suit: needs skirt fitting and overblouse lining slip stitched
5. fix jersey dress: needs shortening?; finish hem and armscyes.
6. Various alterations / mending: evening gown needs invisible black zipper; brown polka dotted sundress needs fitting in bodice; etc.
And that was just what was within my field of view. Because I have very limited sewing time (when both kids are asleep, all the prep for the next day in complete, no evening commitments or meetings or work to do, and I still have energy), I never get the chance to work on a project from start to finish. So when I run up against a sewing glitch, I usually have to put it aside before I have the time to do some research. By the time I revisit it, I have usually been dreaming of something else and decide to just put it off “for now”. Well, we all know where that leads….
This purple top started out its life during the American Designers Challenge way back in July 2011 but it was just too weak to survive and was left to die; then it got resuscitated for the Album Cover Challenge but it didn’t quite make it; then it got recut for the Purple Challenge but life got in the way and it went into orbit.
So, when I had an evening free last week, I sat down at my serger with great determination to finish this top or put it out of its misery. I had cruelly let it suffer in my pile of UFOs for far too long. Serge up the sides: check. Serge the shoulder seams: check. Get the twin needle set up for finishing the neck, armscyes and hem: Oh S***. What is up with this twin needle?!? The bobbin thread was pulling so tightly that it made pintucks rather than twin seams. I adjusted the tensions and retested the seam for about an hour, by which time my evening and my patience had reached their limit. I whipped out the twin needle and thought, “To hell with it, I’ll just use a straight stretch stitch”. But look at the results: Home Ec. sewing at its finest.
The weekend dawned, and after one sick kid was nursed back to health with medicine and cartoons + ice skating with friends + sliding down an icy hill on a plastic carpet, I decided to take another look. And I just. could. not. do it. I had no enthusiasm left for this top, and to be perfectly frank, I don’t really need another poly-cotton knit top.
So what do I do? I make another poly-cotton WOVEN top. I have been looking high and low for a giraffe print, but the only thing vaguely close I have been able to find is this poly-cotton double sheet from the Village des Valeurs. It was only $2 and had that indescribable thrift store smell (mothballs and must? B.O. and fumigant? Poverty and despair?), so it would make the perfect fabric to play with sans guilt. I got this radical New Wave ’80s Burda pattern from the same store for 69 cents, and I thought it would be a quick pick-me-up to bring back the sewing mojo.
Hmmmmm….not too bad from the front…….
HOLY UNFLATTERING SIDE VIEW BATMAN!!
Hey ’80s: Fit much?
I need a drink. Here’s to better results next week.