Sewing basics, yea or nay?

I know a lot of sewers have some strong opinions on the subject of sewing basic wardrobe staples like t-shirts and camisoles etc. that could be easily purchased.  I for one would love to be able to buy a few plain knit white camisoles to protect me from sweaters and to put under my v-neck dresses.  Sadly, though I’ve lost all my baby weight (yay!), my weight is distributed differently and it’s pretty hard to find a plain camisole that fits me.  No doubt that I’m sure I could find one if I were diligent enough, but shopping is usually a blow to the self-esteem, and it’s faster for me to fit a pattern and sew it than to spend a day feeling bad about my shape.

So, though there’s more exciting sewing that I’d rather be doing, I’ve been pretty excited this week to make something that I wear so much that fits me perfectly. 

New Look 6564

What I learned:

Incognito FBA:  I needed to do an FBA as usual with this one and this was a good pattern to practice a different way of doing an FBA that I’ve been puzzling over for the past few tops–is it possible to do one without having to put in a bust dart?  I mean, who wants a bust dart that you constantly have to readjust because you, in total innocence sewed it up in knits that tend to migrate down as you wear them?  It’s so terribly conspicuous to have a bust dart in knits–or worse yet, to pretend like you don’t need one and then have all that nasty fabric bunching at the sides that sounds the alarm that you really really need one (which is what happens in 98% of the knit tops that I purchase)

The answer is yes, you totally can do an FBA w/o a bust dart.  Whew!  What a relief.  I turned to help on the forum at pattern review, and the wonderfully helpful people there sent me to Debbie Cook’s tutorial for a FBA in a raglan sleeve top.  It looks a little weird when you finish, but, hey, so did that first FBA you did many months ago.  All that matters is that it fits, right?  I need to fuss around with the side seams a bit more to fit me really well, but for my first go at this, it looks pretty darn good.  And for the first time since before I was pregnant I have a cami that fits!

Plain, shmain!:  At first I was a little put off by the added lace on this pattern.  I’ve ONLY ever worn plain, white camisoles.  But, if I can start wearing lipstick (okay, organic lip tint, but that’s another story) at age 28, why not try a little lace on the camisole?  Plus I had some stretch lace leftover from another project that matched perfectly with more of the pink fabric I used on my asymmetric collared top.  I cut out the motifs I liked and sewed it on with a narrow zigzag and my trusty 75/11 stretch needle.  Super easy, and I love the little ladylike touch that it adds.  So, while I will definitely make a couple plain versions of this top, I might totally be a lace convert.

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5 responses to “Sewing basics, yea or nay?

  1. Sometimes you can’t find what you really really want or need and you have to make it. Perhaps it is a size issue. Perhaps it is a technical issue (such as fabric type) Perhaps it is a price issue. Sometimes it is an issue of the fact that you just can’t find what you want – I have a dream of someday finding light weight wool bike shorts sorts of things that go down to my knees so that I can wear skirts to work in the winter time. Those are items that I’m just going to have to suck it up and make.

  2. What a blessing that you can make your own. It turned out very pretty.

  3. Strong opinions…really? I am just too afraid to try making something like this!! But I did take your advice and bought a stretch needle!! I have some knits I am going to try things with this Spring!! Wish me luck!! :D

  4. If I can buy it at a reasonable price and it fits well I will because I do find it harder to work with stretch fabrics. But . . . it is so hard to find things that fit in the right color/fabric content/etc. So yes, sometimes it is certainly worth making your own. Especially if you already have the fabric!

  5. Hi!
    I have tried this pattern twice at this point and when I sew the back binding thing on (even with a zig-zag stitch) the edge of the fabric stops being stretchy (making the tank top look kind of like a funnel when I’m wearing it…) I can’t find anything else remotely close to instructions on the internet. (I am completely self taught and just starting with the stretch fabrics.) It looks like you succeeded with your binding/ straps- How did you do it/ what am I missing?

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