I continued my sleeve work for Project Breyna towards the end of this week and into the weekend. I had already done the heat and bond applique ironing and attaching, so it was all about adding the decorations.
I decided to do this applique and trim sewing prior to attaching the front and back of the sleeves together along the shoulder seam. First things first, I had to measure the designs out, and mark the bends of the trim with pins. Then I attached the trim the same way that I did for the robe – only since the applique was between the trim and the jersey knit, I did not need stay tape this time. After I did the front side of each sleeve, I did a quick check with the back to mark where the trim should begin so that it lined up nicely when I stitched everything together afterwards.
Despite my line up process, I did better on one sleeve than the other. Good enough though. Here was the better line up attempt, after I attached the front and back pieces of the sleeves together.
At this point, I realized that I was low on the ivory bias tape, which I would need to finish the edges of the applique on the sleeves. I made a quick trip to Hancock on Friday afternoon to pick myself up some more bias tape supplies. Scored 2 more packages of wide single fold for use on the sleeves, and two packages of double fold for use later when I get to the head pieces and shoulders. I have a feeling I may still need to go back for more. At least this time I had better luck than last trip – they had been nearly out of bias tape in the ivory coloring. Four packages seemed like a decent stock for a Friday afternoon.
I tried to even out some of the applique lines when I added the bias tape edging, as the appliques were cut a little crooked. I did have one little snafu where the bias tape fell off the applique, and I had to call in Fred to help back me up. But other than that, this part of the process went well. Certainly better than last time …
I took a quick break from sleeves to sew two darts into the front of the robe, to better shape the bodice for fit over the bust. Here are the darts from the inside.
And here is what it looks like on after they are sewn in. I am pretty happy with this, but still need a lot of fitting work on this robe once the sleeves are attached. Conveniently, I was wearing a yellow t-shirt underneath the robe for the below picture. It almost simulates the sleeve look, hah!
Back to sleeves … the final piece of design work to be done had to wait until after the front and back of the sleeves were attached. I had some issues with wavy seams again when I attached these pieces together, even though I did some test stitching first.
Sigh. The iron fixed enough of this, but I really needed to find a better solution. Back to that in a minute. The final design step was attaching some more of the braided trim directly over the shoulder seam. I measured lengths again, and opted for stay tape this time since I had no applique underneath, and the seam was already pretty wavy. When the trim was done, I hemmed the cuff of the sleeves. It just seems easier to me to do it prior to closing the sleeve off along the bottom seam.
I was paranoid about the hem because of all this wavy seam mess. So I tested some things on a piece of scrap first. I change my machine to stitch #3, a lightning bolt looking stitch that is meant for stretch fabrics. I tried a narrow hem going one direction on the fabric and it worked great. Then I realized that the direction I chose was not the stretchy direction. The knits I am using have one direction that stretches a lot and the perpendicular direction stretches minimally. So I turned the scrap and tested in the stretchy direction. Aha! Wavy seams. See the picture below. In the same direction, I tried out this tissue paper trick I read about. Underneath my narrow hem, I placed a piece of tissue paper. I actually folded a single sheet of tissue paper in half. I stitched using that Stitch #3 again in the stretchy direction, with the tissue paper in tow. Here is the difference.
The top line of stitching is without the tissue paper. The bottom line is with the tissue paper. Seems like a valid trick to me! I will certainly use this again. In the meantime, I did not need to use the trick to hem my sleeves as the direction I was hemming was the non-stretchy one. Small victories.
Here is a finished sleeve, in all its glory.
I am hoping to have a connected robe next time I post … wish me luck!