Monday, February 16, 2009

Racerback Tank, Inspirations, and Other Works in Progress

It is cold here and is still snowing now and then. DD doesn’t seem to mind, unless it is really windy. I mind! So, in protest, I am working on my SS’09 plan and bravely shiver when trying stuff on.

The pattern for the top I worked on this Sunday is modeled after the “T Alexander Wang” and Haute Hippie lines, i.e. loose and fluid (photos courtesy of Nordstrom and Shopbop).

I have always had technical issues when binding knits and try to avoid having to bind whenever possible. Additionally, it is even harder for me to bind when the fabric is slippery or almost tissue weight. The fabric I used (butter jersey from is not slippery; it is, however, very lightweight. So, I came up with finishing the edges using bias strips of lining fabric. It is rather simple, actually. 1st: Cut 1.25” wide bias strips. I used lining fabric, but any lightweight woven would work. 2nd: Steam the strips after the curve they are going to be applied to. 3rd. Baste the strips under the main fabric leaving anywhere from 0.25” to 0.5” to be seen. 4th: Using a narrow coverstitch, permanently stitch the strips to the fabric. 5th: Take off the basting and trim the strips from the wrong side close to the coverstitch. 6th: This is an optional step – using your fingernails, fray the outer edge of the bias strips. I used a trick to stabilize the lightweight jersey during construction: sprayed it with starch and let it dry. Later, I washed away the starch, of course, but the starching was very helpful. Here are some details:
What else have I been doing: Well, I finalized the muslin for my loose fitting pants (see the photos below). I have been working on this pant for awhile now (went through 3+ muslins). I used Burda WOF 2008-02-121, s. 36 and will review the pattern separately. I am pleased with the way the way the muslin turned out. I’m making them from dark gray silk, so it is definitely a summer pant. I want to find some tropical wool and make them for spring too.

Lastly, following Lindsay T’s (from post, I spent *too* much time browsing new to me blogs. One of the blogs I arrived at was The Glamorai ( OMG, what an inspiration this blog is. The young lady who writes it had such an eclectic, maximalist style, such a keen eye for textures, prints, and mixing them, I was exasperated. BTW, she also sews (one of the items she features is a vintage coat which she overhauled by changing the lining, among other things) and designs jewelry. The second blog I absolutely fell in love with is Atlantis Home ( It is a fashion blog about a mom with 2 daughters, and this is the most stylish mom you've ever seen! She also sews and creates clothing herself. this link: is to her DIY projects. I am so inspired by her!


Dei said...

Who knew it was cold outside with that spectacular top. Love the neckline treatment. Thx for the blogs. Great stuff.

Tany said...

The top turned out great and I love the binding detail! The pant muslin look wonderful too!

Anonymous said...

I love the racerback tank! do you know where I can find a similar pattern?? any advice is much appreciated! thanks!!!

Sarah said...

Looooove the racerback tank. Is that a self-drafted pattern? I need to make a few for myself..