Sunday, December 5, 2010

It doesn't fit -- how can this be?????

Sewing has always fascinated me, from the artistic aspect -- which buttons with which fabric? --- to the mathematical -- manipulating a plane, a 2-dimensional object, to fit a body, a 3-dimensional object -- what's not to love?? Sometimes it frustrates me, but that can be fascinating, too. This is one of those times.

Whilst attaching the facing of this blouse to the front panels, I was horrified (NOT too strong a word, considering the price of the fabric, and its local unavailability) to discover that the pieces didn't fit by several inches. How can this be??? They were cut at the same time, using the same pattern pieces. They were certainly the same size when I cut them out 6 weeks ago!

Two explanations, which are both applicable: 1) the facing piece must have shrunk somewhat when I steam-fused the interfacing to it, and, 2) the front panel must have stretched somewhat when I ironed it flat, post-application. [remember my virgin post of "pressing vs. ironing"]

Okay. Now what? I see 2 options, here:
1) Cut off the longer piece to fit the shorter one. I immediately reject this one, as it requires that I cut the entire hem by 3 inches, causing the blouse to land at a very unflattering spot on my prodigious, now completely useless, child-bearing hips. This could be, however, a great option for other projects.
2) Stretch to fit. This worked for me. Since the edge had a decided curve to it (read: bias), it stretched nicely without any risk of tearing. The interfacing I used was a weft-knit, and had some stretch to it, as well. This did, however, leave me with another conundrum: puckers on the larger piece - the one that shows. S * I * G * H There really is only one solution to this:

Lie. Lie, until your pants actually burst into flames. If the puckers' location is symmetrical, and not-unflattering, you may pretend that they are a design element. (" I meant to do that.")
Said with enough bravado, this method could fool Chanel herself. Add a note of incredulity to your voice, and a look of disdain to your countenance, and the questioner will regret having raised the question. Practice with me now: "This? Why ---- it's a design element!"

Well, there is another option. One that I attempted with mixed results: press the little buggers out.
The trick here is to relax the fibers as much as possible, manipulate their shape to the one desired, and fix that shape permanently. Saturating the fabric with water will relax the fibers nicely, and your iron will seal the deal. I keep a mister bottle full of distilled water nearby for just this purpose. Why distilled water, instead of tap? I want no risk of mineral deposits marring the finish of a fine fabric.

Here are the results. Not bad, eh? I retain the option of lying, as I have that 'look of disdain' down pretty well.

Now --- on to the collar!


  1. Oh no!! Good save though - I can't see the puckers at all in that last shot.

  2. This happens often with fusibles, especially if the fusible is not pre-shrunk. As for your problem, what I would do is simply add on to the bottom of the facing. It wouldn't show. And, if it were going to show, I would embellish the seam with some type of ribbon or trim.