Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Marissa's Lace Scout Tee

One of my goals for this birthday year (ends in July) was finally catching up on all of the presents I owe people. I felt pretty accomplished when I was able to mail Marissa her last year's birthday gift, last month. Even though I finally got that present to her, I still hadn't gotten to this year's gift. Well, it's safe to say that I'm finally all caught up on her birthday gifts!

Since I felt so bad about all of the belatedness, I wanted to put a lot of effort into her presents to make them hopefully worth the wait. A few years ago I made myself a lace Scout Tee and it's become one of my nicer casual staples. Marissa told me she liked it (hopefully she just wasn't being nice) and asked me where I bought it. I told her that I made it, and she seemed really impressed and wanted one. I thought this was the perfect opportunity.

Pretty soon after moving to Philadelphia, Lauren and I visited Fabric Row. One of the fabrics I picked up was this lace, especially for this project. I knew I wanted a neutral color, preferably in the white/cream colored range since that's what I made mine out of. There wasn't much to choose from, but I did like this fabric because of the selvage end. I knew the lacy scalloped edge would serve as the perfect hem for the garment.

I sewed up a size larger than Marissa's true size because I was picturing a pretty loose fitted, drape-y top. This was my first time ever sewing French seams and I'm pretty much in love with them now. I'll be sewing up all other garments like this. While I don't really have a problem with a "normal" simple seam, French seams just make clothes look much more refined, if you don't have a serger.
I made a very silly mistake sewing on the first sleeve; I sewed it on completely upside down. The shoulder seam was all the way down at the underarm, and the underarm seam up at the shoulder. That just didn't work, believe me. I even tried it on to see if there was any way I could make it work. Nope. So I started unpicking the sleeve seam, and it was nearly impossible since I was working with lace. I knew that if I continued this way, the only thing I would accomplish would be ruining the fabric. My only other option that I could come up with was completely cutting the sleeve off. Luckily, because I was using the French seam method, I only had to cut off 1/4 inch from both the sleeve and the shirt, rather than 1/2 inch. To keep it consistent, I also cut 1/4 inch off from the other sleeve and the other side of the shirt. I resewed the sleeves on correctly, hoping that this "adjustment" wouldn't cause the arm holes to be too tight and restricting. As soon as I completely finished sewing the sleeves on, I quickly tried the top on, praying that it wasn't too tight. It was a little snug on me, but thankfully Marissa is a lot smaller than I am, so I'm pretty confident that it will still fit her. In retrospect, I probably should've made her a size smaller; it still would've been loose on her.

I like using muslin for the neck binding when using lace for several reasons. One, it makes sewing the binding on correctly easier because the needle catches the fabric fibers better. Also, I think it makes the finished product look nicer and more "professional".

Because Marissa lives on the opposite side of the country from me now, I had to bribe Lauren to model Marissa's presents for me (the muffins worked well). Lauren had me promise to take pictures from the neck down, and being the polite person I am, I obliged.

Marissa just received her present the other day and she informed me that it fits perfectly! Awesome!