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Jul 16, 2013

Sewing with Cotton Eyelet: Fact & Fiction



Readers, now that Michael's cotton eyelet shirt is behind me, I am ready to tackle rayon knit, one of the other fabrics Michael chose for his summer ensemble last month (see below).



I've noticed this rayon tends to clump like cooked spinach.  I'm trying not to let that discourage me.

I thought I'd spend one more day addressing my cotton eyelet project.  The truth about this unusual fabric is that while it is lacy in appearance, the cotton itself is a bit coarse and the embroidery is thick.  I was very concerned about bulk and tried my best to reduce it by carefully trimming seam allowances, keeping interfacing to a minimum, and avoiding enclosed seams.

I took this photo before retracting my rotary cutter blade: DO NOT DO THIS.

I toyed with the idea of making my front facings from a somewhat lighter fabric, but since the eyelet has holes, anything underneath it would show through to some extent.  So I ended up using the eyelet for the facings; it's a little thick but OK.  I interfaced the front left facing with transparent silk organza to give the buttonholes extra strength.  (I may hand stitch the facings down too, though they're not troublesome as-is.)





Yesterday someone asked about my vintage plastic buttons.  I had two different reds in my stash; Michael chose the deeper one.





I used the wide selvage for my cuffs.  (You can see how wide it is in the pic below; it was that way on both sides.)  I didn't want lacy cuffs on this shirt, and the fabric was too thick to make attractive sleeve plackets out of.

Notice thick selvage...







I gathered the sleeve rather than make pleats.  Not a fan of pleated sleeves.



My armscye and side seams are stitched and serged.  I stitched down the armsyce seam allowance for a flat-felled seam look.







All told, I think cotton eyelet is great for a summer shirt.  It's not as light as, say, cotton voile, but the holes do provide ventilation.   The most frustrating thing about THIS cotton eyelet is how difficult it is to photograph accurately.  It's actually deep coral...or ripe papaya; definitely more orange than salmon and more pink than passion fruit.  Oy.

Actually, I believe it's the color of Natalie Wood's vest in this musical number from "Inside Daisy Clover."  (I need to pair it with mango and moss green!)  WARNING: You WILL have this dreadful song stuck in your head all day.



Have a great day, everybody!

14 comments:

  1. Has Michael worn rayon knit before? I have some shirts of it and while they seem like they would be cool and comfortable -they seem to hold in the heat. Maybe you don't have the humidity we do here and it will be okay. But trust me, you don't want to wear it in a high humidity summer in Alabama!

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  2. It looks so expensive!

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    1. It was $18/yd but 2 yards were plenty.

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  3. I liked that you used the salvages to cut the cuffs they really compliment the shirt.

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  4. Turned out beautifully! That's a really nice color on Michael.

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  5. Boy, that got done fast! Cool project! You guys must have an enormous closet.

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  6. BEAUTIFULLY DONE, Peter!
    You made very creative and clever decisions in the construction.

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  7. Sounds like you need need some of this-- http://shop.afashionablestitch.com/product/extremely-fine-fusible-knit-stay-tape for your knit project. It's excellent for those shifty, slidey, clingy knit projects. Probably, though, you can source some of this stuff locally because of where you live instead of ordering it from Sunni!

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  8. Michael's eyelet shirt turned out great! The color suits him well. As for sewing the rayon knit fabric you have on hand, I would use a size 8 or 9 ball point needle, reduce the tension on the top thread and the tension on the pressure regulator.

    I like to sew knitwear on a serger with 1/4" clear elastic on the armscye, the shoulder seams, and any horizontal seams for added durability using a serger elastic foot. A serger elastic foot is not necessary though.

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  9. This shirt turned out so well that I bought some eyelet yesterday to make a summer blouse. I love cotton eyelet, but I had never sewn it. Your post helped me jump in. Thanks, Peter! Now if I could just get all your skill from reading your posts. This turned out to be a beautiful shirt, and Michael looks terrific in it.

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    1. I would just say, if it's an easy color to match (i.e., white) you might consider doing the under collar and facings in a lighter weight fabric. But eyelet comes in different weights too -- I think mine was on the heavy side.

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  10. Looks great, Peter. I have some ivory eyelet in my stash I was just eyeing for possibilities. You have totally inspired me!

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  11. Just curious: which sewing machine did you use on the eyelet shirt? The stitching looks so smooth.

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  12. I really like this shirt, and it looks lovely on Michael. Beautiful make Peter.

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