Cursed Fabric Makes Good

The "Palette" Ensemble

The Facts | Pantone Color Palette Challenge
Fabric | Black Stretch Cotton Twill $3.98 a yard and Silk Blend Cotton Lawn $9.98 a yard, from
Patterns | Butterick 3530 (Sorry, Vicki!!! She gave it up at the Sew Weekly NYC meet-up.) and Grainline’s Tiny Pocket Tank
Year | 1960s and 2011
Notions | Thread and a zipper.
Time to complete | About 4 or so. I spent much more time than that fretting over fabric choices and starting projects (a skirt, the bra top from B3530 and this dress that I cut out last week) that didn’t work out. I only took pics today (Monday) because it has been FREEZING in Brooklyn and inside my apartment!
Wear again? | Yes! I really want to make more pants, so these shorts were my wearable muslin to see if they would fit, and they do! I like the top, but it’s very delicate, so I’m not sure how well its exposed serged seams will hold up.
Total price | About $25 if you take into account the fact that I wasted the additional yardage of both fabrics on previous projects.

More Pics Here

OY! Last week’s sewing was a bitch!! I eagerly began working on the dress I cut out in a beautiful blue cotton sateen the previous week. After making one zillion darts (or 10, 6 of them in the front bodice alone) I realized that the width I added to the pattern was unecessary. In fact, I could have made the pattern smaller and had much better luck with the fit. Apparently, my back is much narrower than I thought. I’m beginning to think that I am cursed to never make a good project in navy blue cotton sateen!! This has to be the third time I’ve bought a ton on sale and ended up with nothing wearable to show for it.

I had also cut out a skirt in the only orange fabric I had on hand. This was before (you can see it in the background of my pre Frida pics) the Pantone challenge was rescheduled to make way for the St. Pat’s challenge. That worked out in my favor as I LOVE the dress I ended up with. The skirt probably would have fit, but I am not a huge fan of orange and the fabric was sort of thin-ish, so I knew that I might work on the skirt and never wear it. That seemed like a fairly pointless project. So, I used the pieces to cut out the lining for the bra top from Butterick 3530. I used the absolute last of that black twill for the outer. It is simple enough to construct, but unless I wanted pointy dart nipples, it was not going to work.


The "Palette" Ensemble

For all of my effort I eventually ended up with the two pieces you see here. There were problems with that silk/lawn fabric, too. I failed to make a Sorbetto with it before. Making darts, hems, applying bias tape. ALL of it was a nightmare in this fabric. I cut out this Tiny Pocket Tank months ago and it has sat in the closet since. This time, I didn’t bother trying to add the darts, or make french seams, or hems. I finished all the edges, serged that sucker together and called it a day.

The "Palette" Ensemble

The cotton twill was very nice to work with, it has just enough stretch to make fitting a bit easier but it’s also a substantial feeling fabric. I made another pair of shorts with the rest of the yardage. They were also a test fit for a pants pattern. But they did not work out. The fit was weird (I added width then, too) and then I lost weight so now they look really weird.

The "Palette" Ensemble

This pattern is some kind of miracle! (Sorry, again, Vicki!) The pant legs are cut in one flat piece, with side (my thumb is at the bottom), front and back darts of varying widths. I tried to judge the fit by laying store-bought skinnies over the pattern. I added a tiny bit of width to the upper part,

used a stretch fabric and held my breath. What a pay off! They could use some tweaking (the back gaps a teeny bit, there is some whiskering at the front) but it’s not too bad, I think. I always use another layer of stretchy fabric, rather than interfacing, when I sew with stretch fabric. Interfacing kills all of the give. Look! It’s the failed skirt’s orange, fabric. lol!

Anyway, all of the challenges can’t be a breeze. They would cease to be challenges, wouldn’t they? I managed to get my school work done, despite the time suck that was sewing, this week. I finally completed something with that silk/lawn. I feel confident about making pants from this pattern. I like the shorts. AND, they look great with the top I made for the button challenge!

The "Palette" Ensemble

I still feel like a success ;D

PS- I am barefoot in all of these pictures. I like these shoes.
The "Palette" Ensemble
But I’m not sure about them. My conscience wouldn’t let me wear them for the pics when I might take them back. My dusty, fabric scarp and thread covered sewing room floor had nothing at all to do with that decision….


13 thoughts on “Cursed Fabric Makes Good

    • Thanks, Dee!

      Don’t be afraid of patterns! I think if you start with something loose fitting to get the hang of following along with the pattern it will be easier to make something fitted later.


  1. I just recently discovered your blog and have now made it one of my “must visit” sites. I am very impressed and inspired by your skill and creativity. I hope you keep blogging and sharing your design ideas — I hope to someday be as talented as you!


  2. Total double-take when I hopped over here! I like the new look, Nettie 🙂 Those shorts are so rad. Mind blown re: the darts vs. side seams. And I would totally steal that tank from you given a chance. The shoes, too. I’m impressed by your serged edges, as my machine only wants to work with multiple layers. I’ve had a couple decent serged rolled hems come off it, but otherwise it’s possessed.

  3. I’m way late here, but just wanted to say how much I am in love with this whole outfit. The top is awesome (great colors) and the shorts, too! And I think you should keep the shoes. 😉

    Hope you’re having fun on vacation!

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