I’ve nearly finished the top for my next outfit. It’s just waiting for a hem which I’m planning on sewing once I’ve sewn my skirt so that it’s just the right length.
It really didn’t need much work to get this top to the “nearly finished except for the hem” stage. I can’t believe that it has sat around for so long waiting. I’d dyed the cotton for the bias binding around the armholes a long time ago – all it needed was to be cut into bias binding and attached!
I’ve mostly stuck to the Washi dress pattern as it comes, other than taking some of the width out of the body fabric from under the bodice down to the seam. The end result is slimmer and less roomy over my middle and hips.
I’m rather keen on my contrasting yellow bias around the armholes. Because I dyed it myself the fabric isn’t a perfect solid but slightly tonal and I like that. I’m imagining it gives it a more “bespoke” vibe (even if no one sees it!).
I actually could’ve taken a little more fabric out from under the arms to get an even better fit. I think I’ve changed shape slightly since first cutting the top out last year. But, it’s ok as is, perfectly wearable.
I’m also not entirely sure that I like the stiffness in the neck facing. The fabric is a slightly weighty woven quilting cotton and the extra facing seems a bit of overkill around the neck. It just feels a bit formal for a tank top. It crossed my mind that I could take it off and re-face the neck but I couldn’t bring myself to make the extra effort – this top might never get finished if I start doing things like that!
You can see in the pictures how I attached my binding. I first pinned the right sides of my fabric together and then sewed, flipped, ironed, folded and ironed (again) the binding inside the armholes, pinned it again and then hand-sewed it down. While I was pinning it occurred to me that you might enjoy a quick chat about pins.
Once upon a time, I learnt to sew by copying my mum. That meant, I pinned my sewing just like she did and she probably pinned hers just like her mum and so on. Roll on a couple of decades and the internet and I started to notice that other people pinned their sewing a little differently. They placed their pins into fabric perpendicular to their seams whereas I had always pinned my parallel to my seams. Of course this made me curious and so I set out to find out if whether there was a difference.
Well, it turns out, there just might be.
There is apparently an adage that goes something like: “use your pins like a stitch”. That is, use them to hold your fabric firmly in exactly the right spot just like a stitch would. Some people would argue that the best way to achieve this is to pin your fabric perpendicularly to your seam – not the parallel pinning that I’d always done. So, I did some experimenting while machine sewing and hand-sewing my most recent armhole binding and I placed some pins parallel to my seams and some perpendicular to my seams …
What did I find out?
- it’s a little easier to manipulate your machine sewing when you’re pinning perpendicular to your seam but easier to hold the fabric and pins when you’re hand-sewing if your pins are parallel to your seam;
- the perpendicular pins can stay in for longer when you’re machine sewing;
- if you run over a perpendicular pin with your machine by accident it’s unlikely to be a big problem that breaks your needle;
- you can use heaps more pins to keep things in place if you pin them perpendicularly;
- there seems less chance of being pricked with pins placed perpendicular to your seam when you’re machine sewing but more chance when you’re hand-sewing;
- you can accidentally pin your pins into your fabric upside down if you place pins parallel to your seam and that means you either have to turn them all around or stop your sewing machine well before your pin so you can take it out and that defeats that point of your pin!
- old habits die hard and new things feel strange for a while.
So, overall? I liked the perpendicular pinning for machine sewing and my old method of placing my pins parallel to my seams when I’m hand-sewing.
What about you?
Are you particular about your pinning? Parallel or perpendicular? (confused by all the P’s?!)
P.S. I was interviewed by Joanna on The Knitographer today! I’m over there chatting about Truly Myrtle, new designs and my creative process, if you fancy a read.
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