Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Re-imagineering" Butterick 5327

I have been swamped with work this week, but when I am on conference calls and doing mindless downloading, I am all the while "re-imagineering" the construction of this top. The crazed maniacs at Butterick want us to first sew the top front to the back at the shoulders (kudos though for mentioning stabilization at shoulder seams), finish the neckline edges of front and back with a doubled narrow hem (on a KNIT! are they mad? ) and then hand sew all of the little teeny tucks the neckline edge. Knowing from personal experience that those instructions are just not going to give me the results I want, I have been plotting a better method. The recommended fabrics are jersey and cotton knit. Those fabrics can be heavy, and here we are pleating lots of extra into the neckine and there is nothing to stabilize those pleats, and knits are, as we all know, very stretchy, so a heavy pleated neckline will eventually droop. It's a puzzle, and I think most sewistas are problem solvers. How can we make this a better way? I have some ideas that I'm testing. One, to do the pleats on the front while that piece is flat, before it is sewn to the back, and to make the ornamental pleats first by machine and then do the shoulder seams and bind the top edge folding the binding to the inside. A very narrow binding. And I think a very lightweight stabilizer would help the top edge not droop. I don't think that the pleats necessarily have to be done by hand. What is it with these pattern instruction people? They seem to be in the dark ages about sewing machines. They are always saying, "sew this by hand" as if that is the best way. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. I don't mind hand sewing and I do a good job when I do it, but I resent unnecessary hand sewing. And I think it puts new sewists off.
If you have a better idea than Butterick's on how to do these pleats and finish the top edges, feel free to share. I think this could be a very cute top if made a better way.
Is it Spring yet? I want it to be Spring by the time I finish this. Mother Nature, are you listening?


Lindsay T said...

I'm eager to see how this turns out. A little nervous, because I think the Big 4 are weak on their knits design and construction, but I'm hopeful for you!

kbenco said...

I love the pleated neckline. I have a RTW top with a pleated neckline that I think has a pretty finish - I wrote a post about how I think it was made with a photo

Debbie Cook said...

By hand? Are you freakin' kidding me? Not in this lifetime. ;-) I love the top, though, so please keep imagineering and then get it made. LOL!