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Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Break:Disneyland Plain Sewing

Me in my my Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Shirt)
on a quick spring break at Disneyland
As regular followers of this blog may have noticed, I spent a lot of time focusing on improving my sewing techniques over the last couple of months. The green and golden jungle print shirt (previously blogged about as my Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Shirt) in this photo, was the product of that work. 

After so much effort when it came to crisp edges, pattern fitting and alteration I had fun making a couple of simple tank tops with no pattern at all and the simple joy of scissoring wherever I wanted. The results were perfect as layers under a travel wardrobe for a recent quick-hop Disneyland trip with my grownup daughter. With my new green shirt as a top layer, I managed to pack light - using just a very small rolling suitcase for the trip. My simple shirt and tees wardrobe,  made a second floor motel room and return-by-Amtrak trip really easy - no problem hefting that bag up steps, onto the top shelf of the luggage area, or pulling it up the gap between train and track.

I loved this opportunity to use machine embroidery
I almost forget to use a top layer of stabalizer between
the needle and knit fabric! You know what happens if you
forget, right? The fabric is sucked down and gummed up
 under the throat plate and it's awful.
I enjoyed using machine embroidery to create this lovely zebra, the only motif on the green shirt for which I had a match on my (now) old-fashioned embroidery machine, which uses cards instead of the more modern downloadable designs. I also made use of an inexpensive white tee - which I totally cutup and simply used as fabric. The binding (and headband - which you see simply tossed over the hanger here) was the remains of a tee that didn't work out. I loved the 100% cotton knit fabric when I found it - at Stone Mountain and Daughter in Berkley-, but it had an awful lot more stretch than I realized and the long sleeved tee I made  out of it is too broad and too short. It just didn't work out. But the remnants make great trim for this zebra shirt. Now that I've experimented with this tee, and another, I'm hoping to make a similar one out of better quality white cotton knit. I think I've still got enough of the black and white remainder for binding and enough black thread for another zebra too!

If you have machine embroidery capabilities and haven't done so on knits, make sure you use a top layer of stabalizer as well as a bottom layer. I use the kind that looks like saran wrap. You tear it away and any remainder washes away.
This is my kind of uniform
Something I can put on any day
and pretty too
As I've said before, I like making pretty clothes that I'll get a lot of wear from. Whether I'm in the land of Princesses and castles or back home on my bike, I'll get a lot of use out of this zebra tee. And I'll always enjoy pulling it out of my drawer.

Machine embroidered tees like this, keep me enchanted by sewing.

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