Do You Jig Too?

I just finished sewing Vogue 8710, a Katherine Tilton t-shirt design. It was fun to put together with its princess seams and pleated sleeves. However, I may have underestimated just how puffy those puffy sleeves are.

It reminds me of an 80's prom dress.

Partly because of how bulky it makes me feel across my shoulders and partly because of the color, it also puts me in mind of the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.

Ok, the sleeves aren't quite that puffy.


It may not be all that bad, though. I think I'll just need to try wearing it with a few different bottoms to find a combination where the volume up top is balanced out by the volume on the bottom. A full skirt might be better than a pencil skirt.

The top is supposed to have a trapeze shape, but my pear shape negates that effect. I could have altered it to maintain the shape on me, but I was curious to see how it fit without any changes.  The answer: pretty darned good, except it was far too long on me. I chopped off 3-3/4" from the bottom. Perhaps if it were looser farther down, that extra length would have made it a nice tunic, but the snug fit on my lower half made me feel uncomfortable.

I was a little bit skeptical about the raw-edge neckline treatment when reading the instructions, but thought I'd give it a try.


I actually like it quite a bit. It helps ameliorate the fussiness of the top.

Sadly, I wasn't able to take a good photo of my top-stitching. All that white on white was blinding. I used my serger's coverstitch function instead of a twin needle on my conventional machine. I generally get much better results with the serger. I don't have to fuss with tension, cry and swear a lot just to get rid of the tunneling between the parallel line of stitches (the fabric forms a ridge between the lines of stitching). With the serger, the fabric stays nice and flat.

The hard part, is getting the serger to travel over the bulky side seams without getting hung up. After many frustrating attempts on other garments, I realized that the solution was simple: use a jig. What is that you might ask?  A jig is a tool that helps guide the motion of another tool. A lot of sewing jigs look like this:

But a jig can be as simple as a piece of folded up cloth or a piece of cardboard, etc. What you do is sew up to the area where the foot would ordinarily have trouble moving over. Often times, this is a thick seam. Then, you put the needles down, raise the presser foot, put the jig under the presser foot behind the needle(s), lower the foot and sew over the tricky spot. I do this whenever I use the coverstitch and rely on it for topstitching jeans. I love jigs!

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