Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Which side of the fabric to use?

I wanted to make Kwik Sew 3462 into a reversible vest that would do double duty for work/party.  My stash contained some floppy lightweight nylon and Lycra in a dark grey that would do for the work side.  For the party?  All I had that was soft and wide enough (the pattern needs at least 115 cm of 45 inch width fabric) was a black and white synthetic lace full of roses.  One of those fabrics that shrieks you fool why did you buy me?  You aren't planning to make any curtains!   The answer to that question of course is you were cheap.  

I was about to donate the lace curtain fabric to charity, and put away the pattern. But then I saw that the reverse of the lace resembled those skeleton leaves that you sometimes find in the garden- a bit moody and mysterious.  

So I made my vest after all. KS 34622 is pretty easy to make.  The only tricky thing is that the collar is part of the vest front and you have to get your head around a slightly strange pattern shape and wrangle the shoulder seams and the back neck together. 

Making it in a single fabric you would sew the centre back seam of the collar as a French seam.  I didn’t do that.  I cut two garments and  sewed them separately.  I basted a line round the armholes of each garment at 1.6 cm (5/8 inch).     Then I placed them right sides together and sewed the collar edge, centre fronts and hem.  I turned the garment to the right side through an armhole.  I then folded a hem in the armholes using the basted line as a guide.  I top stitched all edges including the armholes at 6mm (1/4 inch).   

Because I was in effect lining the vest edge to edge, I cut nearly 20cm (8 inches) off the length.  The pattern calls for a very deep hem to give enough weight to the waterfall front.  Making a reversible garment you get the weight from the two layers.

 The result isn't perfect and could  certainly use another press. The floppy collar hides a bit of puckering in the shoulder seam of the work vest, and the lacy pattern hides a few small imperfections in the party side fabric.  (Now I know why the fabric was so cheap).But I like the idea and may use it again.You'll find my review on PR.

a year or so later I found some reversible two faced  fabric in  Cleggs Melbourne that  seemed ideal for  the jacket from this pattern. .  It was a knit with one side striped the other spotted.
double layered knit

Jacket and T shirt from double faced knit
The jacket went together as easily as the vest.  I used the spot side, and the stripe shows on the collar. I rolled hemmed the fronts and sleeves, and used the deep hem allowance on the pattern at the bottom.  I made a long sleeved T to go under it using the stripe with the spot as trim at the neck and cuffs.   As winter draws nearer I''m finding it a comfortable smart casual pairing.

I think there are lots of possibilities with this pattern. The vest is easily reversible.  You  might find a fabric that had two distinct patterns as my lace did but, unlike my lace, patterns that appeal to you on either side, as  the double faced knit did.  Then you could make the vest in a single layer, using an appropriate seam finish and  perhaps rolled hemming.If you had two beautiful  thin silks (maybe sari pieces) you could rolled-hem them together with multiple toning thread  to make   a  small work of art. Making the jacket out of two thin fabrics would be harder but not impossible.   I imagine that lining  edge to edge would be a real pain, but you could rolled hem or bind the edges
Hope this idea is useful.

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