Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Problem (s) solved!

Sometimes, completing a garment, or project, doesn't mean your are done working on it. (Sewing is kind of like husbands that way.) Such was the case with these two items.

The knit top is made of a cuddly, albeit bulky-ish bamboo. I love the colour, and the feel, but the pattern I chose had a little idiosyncrasy: the front facing would NOT stay put. I graded the seam, and understitched it, of course, but it persisted in rolling out at inopportune moments. I considered many possible solutions, but the best seemed to be the easiest -- stitch alongside the tucks through all layers of fabric.
I'm not sure I should have liked this solution had it been made of a print, or a woven-in design -- I might have felt that the extra stitching was too busy -- but perfectly matched silk thread atop a solid-coloured fabric is just the thing. I actually like the looks better, now. Win, win!!

Fixing this skirt was a little trickier, and far more frustrating.
When I finished this skirt I was very happy with it. I wore it frequently with several different tops, blouses and jackets. For an atypical design, and busy print, it is surprisingly versatile. Yes, I was very happy with it -- until the zipper burst as I was putting it on last week. For this fix, a replacement zipper should have been all that was needed; and would have been, if a simple replacement is what I had done. Oh, no. I had to get creative!
Originally, I had installed the zipper, then assembled the lining, and attached it at the waist, hand-stitching the opening at the zipper to the zipper tape. Pretty standard stuff.
However, that hand-stitching was pretty labour-intensive, as the zipper tape is quite stiff. So, this time around, I decided to overcast the skirt opening and the lining fabric as one. That part worked great. But it left me with an inch at the waist on either side of the zipper that was, well -- ugly. Really, really ugly.
I tried all sorts of folding, trimming, turning under and stitching, and each maneuver made the problem uglier. I finally gave up and went to bed, deciding that I should either re-do the whole thing [horrible thought!!!], or resign myself to only wearing it with blouses untucked to cover it.
Laying in bed, fighting Fergus and Max for space (The cats won't sleep with each other, but they both want to sleep with me. Just my luck -- two guys fighting to sleep with me, and they are both neutered.), the solution came to me:
I could sew buttons on either side of the zipper top, and connect them with a little piece of elastic. All sewn by machine, the fix took less than 5 minutes to execute. Yippee!!!
Now I can wear this skirt with any kind of top I please! Although, I kind of like the looks of my fix, and will probably wear it only with blouses I can tuck in.
Which means I shan't be wearing it with the coral bamboo top I made to wear with it, as it isn't quite long enough to stay tucked.

s * i * g * h

Good thing I like a challenge!


  1. Looks really good. I have done that sleep on method a few times. Seems no answer comes to you until you go to bed. Sometimes even in your sleep.

  2. Is that the Butterick top that matches Myra's? I like the additional line of stitching. Pretty and functional. Fixing zippers has to be my least favorite thing to do. Logan broke the zipper on a jacket I made him (fortunately broke it after the cold was done). Hopefully I'll get around to fixing it before Duncan outgrows it...

  3. yep -- this is the twin of Myra's top. I like the topstitching, too.
    I don't normally mind replacing zippers - I just messed myself up on this one!