Tuesday, 29 April 2014

SEWN: RECALCITRANT ROXANNE


Are you a persister or desister?

Do you delightedly rise to the occasion with challenging projects or do you throw down said project in a fit of "how dare you mock me?" rage like a petulant three year old and avoid it for weeks days on end?

No? Just me?

Meet Roxanne.

This project certainly revealed the desister (I think I made up that word) in me. In fact it's probably never been in doubt. Have you ever noticed that pretty much all my me-made clothes are cotton? Generally poplin or lawn? That's because cotton behaves people, it behaves! It's the nerdy, glasses wearing, teacher's pet, always eager to please and do exactly as it's asked. I quite like that.

But chiffon? Oh, chiffon you nearly broke me. You are truly gorgeous and I fell madly, deeply and totally in love with you from the moment you peeped out at me behind all those other bolts of fabric, screaming me, me, you have to have a Roxanne made out of me!

And let's face it, you are just as pretty made up.

Look at your flowy gorgeousness. Your perfect floral print.


You and Roxanne were made for each other... but that didn't stop me giving you the stink-eye time after time muttering don't mess with me bee-atch as I steamed the hell out of you. People chiffon does not like to take a crease. But don't let those fabric recommendations fool you. 100% polyester? No problem. Feel free to turn up the heat to at least "silk" and show it some steam. Didn't melt, didn't burn and let me tell you it started to behave just a tiny bit more like that teacher's pet.

Except when it was repeatedly slithering off my sewing table as I tried valiantly to complete my gorgeous french seams. Every last one of them. There are no non-frenched seams in this garment. Oh yeah, chiffon frays. A mental amount. Yet to be touched pieces frayed on my table as they awaited their turn. I kid you not.

But isn't she pretty? Oh thank god she's so pretty. Beautifully flowy pleated back.

Roxanne is seen here in a straight size 4. This is sized for a 34 inch bust and a finished shoulder width of 14.25 inches. It's really hard to measure this on yourself. P was put in charge and seemed to get a slightly different number every time (I made him do it more than once).  But on average I sat right at 14.25 inches. You can see above that the rear sleeve seams are sitting at a fairly nice width, but I wonder if the shoulder seams couldn't be a bit wider? What do you think?

I guess I should mention that the front feels a little tight across the high bust as well. The front sleeve seams pull a little, especially when the neck ties are used. This means the front slit gapes a bit to allow extra room. I'm not a fan of that and I'll probably wear it open as a result.

I'd definitely recommend being a little generous with your shoulder width measurement when choosing your size.

I bought this pattern originally intending to make Version 2 out of this amazing silk twill. And that is still definitely the plan, probably next Spring. But version 2 does not have a front neck slit and I fear the result in this size would be too tight across the front. So just size up? Yeah I would if I hadn't been a prize idiot and actually *GASP* cut the original pattern (I bought the paper pattern not PDF).

There wouldn't happen to be a lovely Sydney-sider who possesses this pattern and has a kind enough heart to let me trace it, would there?

Recalcitrant she may have been, but all in all, I really do love Roxanne. I even bought some more fabric to make another of this version in a crepe de chine. But chiffon? Never again, my friends, never again...


So are you a persister or desister?

16 comments:

  1. Oh my word, that is just STUNNINGLY gorgeous! I'm sorry it gave you such a hard time, but really: SO worth it!

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  2. lucky you persisted - beautiful

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  3. Thank you Gail. She is rather gorgeous! Being the shirt fitting expert extraordinaire any advice on the fit? I'm not sure if the shoulder and sleeve seams are sitting where ideally they should. Your take??

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  4. Thank you! Yes, I may be a persister deep down after all as I can't stand UFO's (unfinished objects) lying around.

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  5. wowwowwow this is just stunning! All of your trials & tribulations have not been in vain!

    These days with sewing I'm definitely a desisiter which is quite the opposite to the rest of my life. Maybe that's my way of accepting that for me, sewing is first & foremost my fun & relaxation- to let go & enjoy the process & realise that there will always be times when things don't work out. It's just fabric after all!

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  6. Oh thank you Jenny! And I totally agree. Between work, study and family my life is constantly about persistence. Sewing is certainly my outlet and being able to say "you know what, I just can't do this right now" is liberating. I've never been driven to try difficult techniques, but I so admire others who do. It would just feel like more work and study to me!

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  7. Blogless Anna29 April 2014 18:17

    This is georgeous & well worth all the trials & tribulations.

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  8. Aaa agh discus keeps crashing on me! This is the third time I've tried to say its fabulous and you've definitely won the battle of Fabric vs Seamstress here!

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  9. Well, I'm hardly an expert! The sleeve seams do look to me like they're sitting a bit wide. It's interesting though that you feel the top is tight across the bust. For my next one, I'm going to do a broad back adjustment on the yoke (my back measured in at a size 12, whereas my bust puts me in a 2!). Maybe you could do a similar adjustment but just across the front? Since it's such a loose style, an extra 1/4" each side might give you the comfort you need without changing the look.

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  10. I think I'm a desister but so glad you stuck with this one. It is just beautiful! The fabric so devine. Oh and love that last shot with you and those heels!!!

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  11. Grrrr Disqus does that to me too sometimes! And thank you, yes battle won this time :)

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  12. Another desister, yay! And those heels? Good lord they haven't seen the light of day in years and now I know why. They are literally towering and I couldn't even walk in them! Pretty, but not very functional ;)

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  13. Thanks Alex. I am still puzzling out the fit - from the front the shoulder seams look about right, but from the back they look too narrow to me... might try the size up.

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  14. Danielle Krivan1 May 2014 23:00

    Oh, I hear your chiffon pain! But that is an absolutely beautiful top, so definitely worth the anguish...

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  15. you're a brave lady to sew with chiffon, but the payoff is huge!! looks amazing and hopefully with the re-sewn sleeve the fit is perfect!!

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