Friday, September 03, 2004


This morning, I got up early to continue sewing a top I'd like to wear tonight. I started this one a while ago, before the Pirates dress (no, I still haven't seen any photos...) and packed it away to concentrate on other things. Well, it's Badger's birthday bash, so I thought it'd be cool to try and finish it.

It's a cute Chinese-esque top from a Simplicity pattern - pattern ref to follow when I find it. It has a mandarin collar, a fitted body, asymmetric neck opening and, significantly, cute little short sleeves. I bought the pattern in honour of some lovely Hong Kong silk I was bought years ago and have been too scared of cutting ever since. I thought I'd try the pattern out on some pretty cool polyester Chinese-silk-alike in a faded gold colour with the obligatory dragons all over it. It's a different kind of top to anything I've sewn before, and not 100% simple.

Anyway, the original plan was to pick it up again on Wednesday night, but that just didn't happen. So I launched back in last night (I find re-starting projects very hard, as there's always so much I've forgotten). All that's left are the collar, the sleeves, the hem and the buttons. The collar went on last night (at the second attempt; I was too lazy to tack it the first time round, with predictable results). I tried it on, kinda, to check we were on track. Not bad. I got up this morning, made up and hemmed the sleeves, and set them into the armholes. Now I try it on again. It's surprisingly hard to get into, doesn't fit at all any more, and I can't get it off again. What??? OK, sleeves occasionally affect the fit of a garment, but this is ridiculous. They are too small for me (thereby proving I really do have enormous, flabby upper arms, as I've always suspected), and effectively stop the top sitting on my shoulders as it should. So it twists, rides up, you name it. Ugh. And I still can't get it off. It's 7:40 by this time, and I actually have no choice but to wake poor J and ask him to get me out of it. We manage, just, I thank him, he goes back to sleep, and I stomp off to work in a huff. It's actually starting to seem amusing now, so I might try it again, with camera, to show the hideous effects of non-fitting sleeves.

So what now?? Well, I won't be wearing it this evening, that's for sure. And the diet will definitely continue. And I will be talking to the gym this lunchtime about flabby upper arms (I had an assessment booked anyway).

As far as the top goes, assuming I'm not just going to wait till I shrink into it, I have a few options. I could just finish it and sell it, which means I still have to work out the 'issues' if I'm to use the same pattern for my silk. And it would be a huge shame, because I really rather like fabric (despite its synthetickyness). I could take the sleeves off entirely and just bind the armholes (which is an option in the pattern), but I think the sleeves lift it into 'eveningwear' category and I rather like them. Or I can try and make the sleeves fit me. One way would be to cut out new, larger sleeves; another would be to attempt putting a gusset in under the arm of the existing sleeves. Hmmm. New sleeves are probably the best idea, assuming I have enough fabric left. I was very careful with the original ones to get the same motif centred on each sleeve - I don't suppose I'll be able to do that again. And I'm slightly scared of altering the 'cuff' circumference without making the sleeve head much larger - this shouldn't be a flared sleeve as such...

Bah humbug. And I still need to decide what to wear tonight.


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