Readers, I am happy to announce that the top (I'm calling it a jacket) that goes with my Halston-inspired outfit, Simplicity 7295, is almost done. But oye, the headaches!
Like leather, when you stitch through plastic "sequins" or whatever you want to call them, and then you need to rip your seam out, the original stitching holes stay visible. I had to reattach both my sleeves with a slightly narrower seam allowance, so of course I'm left with something that looks like this at the shoulder seams.
It's not dreadful and you'd never notice it from more than six inches away, but still.
This is one of those wrap dress-type tops where you're supposed to leave a 1" wide gap in the right side seam and run the belt (that's attached to the left side of the jacket -- the side that wraps underneath) through this hole, and then bring the belt around the back, to the front. The belt half that's attached to the right side of the jacket (which wraps over) loops around the back as well, crossing the other belt, and tying in the front.
Does that make sense?
I tried this with the belt just pinned on and I didn't like the way it looked; the belt, made from a shiny lycra material, really spoiled the drape of the jacket, and the crisscrossing layers looked sloppy. Here's my lycra and my two belt sides.
I devised a different method of tying the jacket: I sewed one piece of grosgrain ribbon to the inside right seam at the waistline, and another to the left side of the jacket (the side that wraps under). Tied, it looks like this.
Here are the ties.
I then attached one side of the belt to the left side seam, and the other end to the right side edge (the side that wraps over). The belt simply ties on the left, without wrapping around the waist at all. I much prefer this to the original drafted style, don't you? Don't you?
You may be wondering why I didn't use my fashion fabric to make the belt. The sequined fabric can't knot in a soft way, and knotting it would certainly damage the sequins. To be honest, I think there's an even better closure for this jacket, perhaps a rhinestone clip or similar decorative doodad. Right now those ties look a little noodly to me.
Meanwhile, my original plan to use polished cotton bias tape along the neckline (where there was simply an exposed serger seam attaching the facings) didn't work. The combination of a stretch synthetic and stable cotton created problems: the bias tape wouldn't lie flat; it rippled. So instead I cut bias tape out of the same shiny lycra fabric I'd used for my belt/ties. This worked well as it "gives" along with the fabric.
From the inside it looks like this.
I still have to finish the hem and cuffs, probably with the same stretch lycra bias tape. And I'll think about some better closures. Maybe a large satin frog?
One thing I haven't had issues with is my machine, a vintage Singer 201, which handled all these weird stretchy fabrics without a hitch, thank heaven.
Friends, I hope your projects are proceeding more speedily than mine. Have you ever had similar challenges with glitzy fabrics -- or challenges even worse than these? I wonder if real sequins would have been harder, though at least you can remove them along a seam allowance. Thoughts?
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!