Saturday, February 4, 2012

Triple Test: French darts, Burda 7287 and Modal Knit

Today was an exciting day in the sewing room, as I was in test mode. I'm coming to understand that I prefer exploration to straight production (which would certainly explain why I wasn't quite content during my recent drapery workroom venture). Continually seeking out new questions and their answers is not the path to perfect technical skill or speed, but it does seem to be a pretty good formula for making me feel happy.

Long have I read about the mysterious properties of french darts. Here is a pithy definition from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing: "French darts, as you may know, are diagonal darts side seam darts that start a couple inches above the waist and end near the apex of the bust."  I've always thought of french darts as also being curved, though I'm not sure whether that's part of the technical definition or not. 

So I've wondered: can French darts improve the fit of my t-shirts? And, perhaps more to the, cough, point, can I mark and sew them properly in a knit?

Burda 7287 has been in my consciousness since it came out in the fall. One thing I've noticed recently, and to my dismay, is that I have been sewing wool knit dresses and then NEVER WEARING THEM. In summer I live in dresses, but this winter it is just not happening. When I stand in front of the closet and try to figure out how to pile on enough layers to stay warm, plus tights and boots or flat shoes...well, it just seems too complicated. How can this be, as I've always felt the advantage of dresses is their simplicity? It probably boils down to footwear: I am not willing to accept any tiny degree of discomfort any longer. So pants it is for now.

Back to Burda 7287: I realized I can shorten it to a top length! How revolutionary yet totally obvious! Then I can try out the french darts and also the lovely high round neck (warm).

The third testing factor: a modal knit from FabricMart. I can share this with you because they have lots! 

If this garment is successful I will be buying more of this knit in the brown, the sand, the white and the navy. It is wonderfully, delightfully soft. Like those bamboo knits. Which I hate because they are also limp and droopy and saggy. So I decided to buy one yard of the modal to test. I have prewashed it once and it did great. Now I plan to sew it up and then wear it hard for a week, ideally with multiple washings. That seems to be the only way to know whether a knit will give good service. I just can't pamper a t-shirt.

From my one yard I got the t-shirt (which I hope to show you tomorrow) and also a pair of underwear. The undies are heavenly!! I do so hope that this fabric works out. It would be great to stock up on a hardwearing basic knit. Especially if FabricMart has a terrific sale (hint, hint).

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