Pattern or style, and how it fits the criteria: I used Simplicity 3956 View A, an empire-waist cross-over top with sleeves and skirt cut on the bias.
Fabric used - material and yardage: Polyester Georgette - 2 yards. Lining (not sure what it's made of) - 1 yard
What other components did you use in your garment (closures, pockets, trim, etc): Instead of using ties cut from the same fabric as the pattern instructs to do, I used crocheted lace. I wrapped it completely around and sewed it at the back (by the zipper), top, and bottom of the lace. I used another piece of lace about 12" long and gathered it on the bottom to make a flower. I cut another piece about 14" long for the "ties" and sewed it on the front where the skirt pieces meet, sewed the flower on top of it, and then sewed a pearl button in the middle. I also made a matching hairclip the same way.
Describe how the bias grain was used in your entry, and why: The pieces cut on the bias were the sleeves, skirt front and back. By cutting on the bias, it made the pieces very "flowy" and graceful. When I wore the shirt outside, there was a slight breeze that really made the shirt sway.
Describe the fitting technique(s) you used to achieve shaping: The directions say to place darts for the breasts and back, and to stitch the pieces together in certain places. I had read through others' reviews and many people had trouble with the shirt gaping and showing too much cleavage. I omitted the darts altogether. I also ignored the places they say to stitch together and instead, basted the back pieces together, slipped it on like a vest, wrapped it around me to fit perfectly, then marked where the pieces meet. Then I stitched them together. It worked like a charm and the top fit me perfectly. For the zipper, with the back basted together, I layed the zipper where it's supposed to go, and basted it on. Then I took out the basting stitches for the back (not the zipper) and stitched the zipper again. This hides the zipper and makes it look very nice. I used an 18" zipper.
Have you included at least 3 pictures, including minimum one on a live model and one photo showing the bias grain?
Cut on the Bias
Describe what you like most about your entry: Where do I begin? I LOVE this shirt!!!! I have had this pattern in my stash for years and have been meaning to make it. I also have had this fabric in my stash for years. I finally got to use it, and I love it. I love how it fits. I love how it looks. I wore it to church and got many compliments. When I had my husband take photos of me wearing it, I liked how they turned out so well that I used the main picture as my profile picture and have received many compliments.
I am mostly happy about this entry because it is one that I will actually be adding to my wardrobe. I have made shirts similar to this and didn't really like how they turned out, or they didn't fit right. But I love this one.
Describe your biggest challenge in sewing this bias garment: The biggest challenge was hemming the edges. I tried many, many times and ripped out many seams. I used a 1/4" rolled hem foot for the sleeves, and it worked well, but when I tried to use the same technique on the skirt, it didn't work well. I re-did it about 5 times before trying something different. I also tried stitching the lining directly to the main fabric and it looked fine except the lining was a tad heavier than the Georgette, so it caused a lot of bunching up. It also didn't flow nicely. I looked up how to sew hems with Georgette, and finally ended up stitching 1/4" all around the hem, then folded it over and stitched again. It worked out. I was able to use the 1/4" rolled hem foot for the lining.
What other information would you like to share about this project and your process? I will definitely be making more of these shirts! If I work with Georgette fabric again, I will see if there are other techniques for sewing the hem. I may use embroidery stabilizer next time.
The pattern suggested using 100% silk thread, so I went to the store and bought some. I had never sewn with silk thread before and this worked great. I also used 10 and 11 size needles. The small needles in combination with the silk thread made sewing the Georgette very smooth. It didn't bunch up like I have experienced with sewing with sheers before.
The pattern didn't call for lining the skirt, but when I held up the skirt up to my abdomen, it was pretty sheer. I'm glad I made lining for it. I just stitched it to the skirt at the top then stitched them both to the bodice, as directed.
All in all, I love this pattern and this project. I'm so glad I did it. I just can't wait to find out what's next!