Friday, 12 September 2014

Papercut Meissa in seafoam green hemp

I loved this pattern when I saw it.  I have been holding off making button up shirts.  I don't wear them much.  Fitted ones always bulge at the bust and don't fit on the shoulders.  Loose ones don't interest me as much.  But I knew I would eventually give it a try.  I was not too interested in the Archer to start because it seems so shapeless, but I was considering the Named Tyler because of the raglan sleeves.  Sunni's version was very interesting, and Scruffy badger has since also made a nice one.  But anyway this trumped all that, I really liked the gathered details.

I found a lovely hemp blend fabric at Nancy's Sewing Basket back in February.  I forget what else is in the blend though - cotton or silk.  It is matte and rough on the inside with a smooth shiny outside face, in a pale seafoam green.  I have been really nervous about things like collarstands and I didn't want to rush the project so I put it away.  Then of course it was Me-Made-May, and this would have been a great addition to my wardrobe.  I cut it in May, hoping to have it done before I left for Arizona.

I cut the XS without any changes.  I'm 34.5-27-37 and this size in Papercut has consistently fit me perfectly in wovens.  I was very surprised how difficult it was to cut.  Initially I thought it was the paper (which yes I know I shouldn't be cutting through) or my scissors, but no.  It was the hemp fabric, which is so rough that it didn't slide along as I cut it, and sheared away from the scissors when I cut across the grain of the fibers.  It's got a nice drape, and irons well and I expected it to sew nicely though.  Because I wasn't sure what was in the blend I ironed it cautiously at first but ended up at the cotton-linen setting.  (hot!)  I was wrong about it being easy - the gathers were stubborn and ended up difficult to place evenly, due to the weight and thickness of the fabric.  It ironed great, but sometimes was hard to pin because the layers slipped against each other (especially around the collar.)  This pattern would work better with something drapey, in order to get smooth gathers and take advantage of the way it hangs.

Although I like this pattern, and I found the collarstand completely straightforward, I dislike how she has you finish the cuffs and the collar.  You are instructed to fold a 1cm allowance on the outside, sew everything together, and then flip the collar or cuff over and tuck all seam allowances into that folded side and topstitch.  The problem that I find with this is that you are tucking a huge number of small seam allowance pieces into a corner that does not overlap enough to do this smoothly.  It's a favourite Papercut technique and one that always leaves me with ragged edges.  I will eventually try the Archer and maybe come up with an opinion on how to best finish these edges when I have seen how other shirts are put together.

I was nervous about this project and after I got back from Arizona it sat for quite awhile as I gathered my confidence.  Finally I got irritated about having things sitting around!  I got very frustrated mid-July with these difficult seeming projects waiting for things outside of my control, like zippers...this summer I've been trying out a sewing system that I think is unwise.  I cut out multiple projects when I was sort of busy and distracted.  I knew I didn't have the attention to sew, but I could cut!  However then I start these projects a bit haphazardly and get frustrated not to see quick results.  I had to really slow back down and back away when I worked on my Belladone as I wanted it to really be amazing, and when I finished it I started to feel back on track.  It can be tempting to cut out a lot but I think I get stressed and feel like I'm not getting things done if I can't sew the projects right away.  A bit of deja vu - I'm moving in a week and have so much to finish before then.

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