Sunday, July 24, 2016

6000 Yards

I tend to either sew a lot or knit a lot. These days it's skewed to the sewing with a sock or knit project completion on the side. I do find that socks are a perfect knit in the summer because they are light, easy to transport and enjoyable. So I don't know how (given that socks are largely all I've sewn since the beginning of May) that my stash has grown exponentially.

You may recall that by mid-April of this year, I'd used up about 6000 yards of my stash yarn (of all different weights). And then I started yearning for something new to pet...

It started out with 1100 yards of this:

Classic Elite Chalet - Bamboo and Alpaca in Stone, Slate and Charcoal
My parents bought this lovely chainette-yarn for me for my birthday when I visited in mid-May. It feels great, it looks great - it's got an ombre gray thing going on. I bought it having seen a knitted sample of the Color Block Bias Wrap. That is what I intend to make with it. I've just today started it. All good.

But then I felt like making a few things that required at least a bit of new yarn. That's how this, this, this and this (new photo pending) came about... Still good - buy yarn / use yarn. That's how it should work.

Then I got a bit sock-frisky and this, this and this were made - from newly purchased yarn natch. Note: I'm going to combine all of the remnants to make a 4th pair of socks. Again, not using stash - but all stash has been assigned to something I can make later. And 2 of these 3 pairs have already been gifted to Sandra and Nicole, to thank them for looking after M while she was sick and I was away. The third pair is technically only half finished.

I also allowed myself, in this grey-phase, to purchase a sweater's-worth of Chickadee in Kittywake (a version of grey). That's 1500 yards I haven't had a chance to use yet:

Quince and Co. Chickadee in Kittywake
I'm pretty sure I'm going to make the Sweet Jane with it. Just haven't closed the loop.

But somewhere along the line, I got a bit sidetracked. 

My goal is to a) be able to fit all of my gorgeous stash into one deep banker's box and b) to ensure that I can use up all of my yarn when I buy it (perhaps by buying more than needed for one project, but by having 2 projects clearly in mind).

The following purchases did not exactly come with that pre-awareness: 

Charlevoix Pure Laine in Grey and Cream
There was no way I was passing up some "real" Quebec yarn while I was in the land of sheep and cheese. I mean, I've never seen it before and I'm likely to have rare access to it. This is a fingering-weight that's purported to be great for socks. It's loosely-twisted 2-ply and it's very airy and it actually has some nylon in it, making it wash-and-dryable, I suspect.  While it's not a merino-bomb, it is rather squishy and soft. I bought 1100 yards. I figure it will make great 2-tone socks - like in a grey theme. You get? If I change my mind, I've got enough of it to make something substantial like a wrap or even a small sweater.

Then I found out that Americo is closing its bricks-and-mortar store (but not online store) and I felt compelled to buy some more tonal-taupe/grey fingering yarn in a chainette construction with lots of air. This is the 3rd time I've purchased airy/chainette yarns in 3 months:

Briza in Stone colourway
I got 4 skeins at 25% off. That's 1600 yards. I truly have no idea what to make with this. Any thoughts?? I'm listening.

And then Nicole went to Iceland a couple of weeks ago and bought me back some gorgeous blue yarn - the only colour I seem to like to knit with other than gray these days:

Istex Kambgarn in Indigo (942)
This is an unusual find - merino in Iceland. It's actually not from Icelandic sheep but from imported merino sheep. It is milled and otherwise processed in Iceland. The colour is gorgeous - not an indigo but not too light. It's quite soft but not excessively drapey. Of course, this is a super generous gift and I LOVE it. But no idea as yet what to make with my 1300 yards of worsted-spun, sport-weight Kambgarn.  It's  a good amount and great weight for a sweater. In truth, I much prefer its sturdy but delicate hand and drape over that produced by the woolen-spun Icelandic fiber. That stuff is interesting but its not my natural preference. Of course, learning more all the time, I have begun to realize my penchant neither for very soft/squishy merino/cashmeres nor the hairy, stiff woolen-spuns. I fall somewhere on the middle of the continuum. I suspect that most of us do.

So now I appear to have a) no room in the box cuz I've acquired b) 6600 additional yards of sport or fingering-weight yarn. Wow - that seems really out of line with "smart stashing".

Or does it? I've got 4 great batches of yarn in adequate yardages to actually think big(ish). I've been using most of what I purchase immediately, because it's set out for something specific. Even in instances where stash has preceeded pattern,  one batch I got on sale for a really good price, 2 others were actually FREE! One I bought to commemorate a vacation. Seriously, this could be worse. In fact, it was worse when I'd buy without knowing anything much about the properties of yarn I wanted or the needs of my projects or how much yarn one requires to do something specific. Also, keep in mind that I've bought and immediately used @2500 yards of yarn since I finished with the Stash Bust in April. That means I'm using the stash at a reasonable rate. 

NO doubt, I'm not buying anymore yarn until I've used up another 6000 yards of my current stash. That could happen by next spring, conceivably. I'm  a pretty organized knitter and I do love an outcome. But till it does happen, I will not buy. I have more than enough yarn of the weights and yardages I often use to get me through the winter. Maybe this is my way: 6000 yards in, 6000 yards out. Seems odd but I'm willing to consider it.

But how about you? Do you serially stash? Do you organize and resist even on vacation? What do you think of my new yarns and my, um, rationalization sound argument for more sheep hair ? Let's talk.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Finished Object: Appleton Dress (The Top Version)

Another day, another batch of stuff to say about the Appleton Dress. This time it's the Appleton top hack. I thought this would be a useful opportunity for me to a) use lots o' spatial skills, as I went through every last freakin' inch of my 3 yards of fabric and b) reflect additional alterations to the pattern, after my muslin 1, dress version. And, on these accounts, my new Appleton top is a success. Not that it was outrageously exciting to create, in exactly the same fabric, after just making the original dress. But I'm getting there with the fit...

The Alterations that produced Version 2:
  • I removed a 0.5" wedge just above the waist, tapering to nothing at the side seams (swayback alteration, which works for me because it offsets length required in front bodice to cover boobs). While I was able to do this without adding in a centre back seam, my cutting options were so few that I had to cut the back in two halves or I wouldn't have had enough fabric. That's why there's a seam in this version
  • Instead of incorporating a fisheye dart (my after-the-fact fix of muslin 1, dress version, given that the back bodice was too wide, not photographed), I removed 0.75" from each side of the back bodice only.  
These seem to have improved the back fit rather a lot:

New Version!
Contrast that with the back bodice from muslin 1 (dress version). I eventually fisheye darted the dress version, below is the undarted original. The darting helped but there was still to much fabric over my derriere, as the darting centralized it all.

  • I also  added about 0.25" of extra diagonal height along the V neck bodice. I did NOT narrow the ties - I'm working with the originally-drafted width right now. An extra smidge of height does provide the perfect amount of extra coverage so that the tip of my balconette-bra centre-gores does not peek out.
  • Furthermore, I finished the right-hand side seam (the one with the tie-opening) in a different way this time: serged edges, straight-stitched the side seam, tacked down the tie opening seam allowance with a top stitch. I think it would have been smarter to zig zag the side seam, rather than straight-stitch it, but I don't love the zig zag look so I'm starting with a straight stitch. If it breaks, I'll redo it.
This is much neater than a regular serge (which leaves no seam allowance) and you can stabilize the opening by top stitching down the seam allowance.
I'm not quite done with the alterations. Next time, I'll add a bit more fabric (maybe 0.5" on either side) at the front side-seams.

Some things about the Appleton Top version (vs. the Dress):
  • The instructions for the hack direct you to cut 2 of the left-hand bodice (this is the slightly wider side / front bodice) for more coverage. I actually like this idea for making the dress verision too. It really works. The Appleton surplice is LOW. That's sexy - but it's a bit much (bust line depending) to wear when attending fancy meetings. Next time I make the dress, I'm going to do use the left-hand side pattern pieces only. Note: In addition to adding that extra bit of height on the neck-edge of the bodice (see above), this instruction took the dress from edgy to work-appropriate.
  • While I admire just about everything Cashmerette, I'm not fond of the ties-version provided with the Appleton Expansion Pack - Top Hack. I suspect they are designed to be a) distinct from those provided with the dress and b) an opp to weigh down the top (in lieu of the weight that a dress skirt would provide). Here's the thing: If you want more weight, I suggest you sew some pennies into the hem. The ties are SO heavy and so over-long that, if you make them as instructed - and sit them just under the bust, they are apt to drag down the fabric under the bust and pull at the tie opening. Let me clarify: I am using a robust jersey. A lighter one might be less problematic. But seriously, these ties use SO much fabric. I recommend you stick with the original / dress-version ties and move the opening lower than your underbust, like, to your mid-waist. As you know, I'm calling my version of this top/dress an altered "size 10". Even still, I removed 7 inches of length on each tie, from the original size 12 measurements, and the structure is too long and too heavy. That's six inches over and above my altered "size 10" tie measurement on each side.  
This pattern is an enjoyable keeper - though not a fast sew. It took me 10 hours to sew this top - almost as long as it did to sew the dress (not surprising, as the dress is simply longer, not otherwise different, than the top). The amount of time I made up in the stitching of this version, I more than lost in making the latest round of alterations. Of course, next time I'll realize the benefit (I hope).

One more thing. I'll say it again: Do not underestimate the amount of fabric you'll need to make this dress or top. I usually get away with 0.75 less fabric than recommended within the pattern instructions (because I'm short, narrow, I tend to use wide fabric, and because many patterns seem to overestimate the yardage requirement). Not this one. There are a number of pieces and this dress overlaps itself.

I guess it's clear, at this point, that I cannot turn down competition. Gillian dared me to sew this, even though I wasn't in a playful mood, and now I've got a great new dress and top! So I guess I owe her, yet again! She was, after all, my impetus for sock sewing (which I've now embraced with the power of a thousand suns).

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pain in the Ass (Amongst other Places)

I don't know whether to be grateful or grudging that pain returned at the onset of a much needed vacation. It's still here - though shifting (and becoming more malleable with awareness. While the time away brought some awesome moments, it culminated in yet another awful stress. My mother-in-law was in a pretty serious car accident. Miraculously, she's alright (physically, anyway). The car, not so much. It's totaled. But it means more things to worry about. My husband is most definitely having the chance to see aging in action - like, writ large - with all of the responsibility that being one's adult child entails. Really, this fucking age-and-stage shit is not our jam. (Note: Scott really is handling things admirably.)

I realize that I spend a lot of time on this blog complaining or, as I like to call it, being honest. (I like to think that I also spend a lot of time on this blog being positive or an occasional resource for others or a momentary good read.) The fact is that I can only write about where I'm at, and who I am, at any given moment.

Sometimes, I'm the crazy yarn stash-buster. Other times, such as today, I'm the lady who has - in the last 2 weeks - somehow managed to accumulate more stash than she actually busted on her recent, serious stash-busting mission (which was a success). Don't worry - I have a very exciting post about that coming up. If you like to watch rationalization in action, that is.

I'm also that half-mathy / half-half-assed intuitive sewist, who's having a super time refining the Appleton dress - and top - over these past few days. I'm going very slowly because, well, I feel like I'm a hundred and like I've been hit by a bus. Moreover, I don't know what the rush is. I have enough dresses to wear on Monday.

FYI, the osteopath, like the massage therapist, believes I have dislocated my tailbone. If this is the case, it should be a fairly easy (but unpleasant) fix. And while I'm pleased to know that the immediacy of my butt pain will likely be temporary, the metaphor is both hilarious and seemingly eternal (at least these days).

Peeps, I live in this body. I know it very well (even as it evades me with its complexity). My lower back/hip/sacral/coccyx pain may be fixable at the extreme (and thank God for that!), but this is related to my other intermittent chronic pain. I can feel it. And I've spent the last four weeks (often standing for an hour at a time) going through the highs and lows. The low: it's horrid. The high: it's fucking experiential. I feel my structural interrelatedness with increased clarity. Before the pain was a cement block, now it's a series of calibrated layers. My awareness increases with every phase. I'm getting better at this, even if the pain isn't falling away. To feel one's body is a great privilege, even if the sensation is the product of a faulty feedback loop. This sensation is a gift, even as it's a curse. It shows me, viscerally, how everything is just the product of perception.

Here's the thing, I don't know if I'm going to have this issue (on and off as it is) for another year or another 5 years or for the rest of my freakin' life. (Note: I truly do not believe it will last for the rest of my life because I believe I can resolve it with awareness and change. My money's on me. For whatever reason, I really do believe in myself. Moreover, hormones will change.) Alas, I don't appear to be the fastest learner.

I have come up with an interesting practice - approximately 20 minutes of work with the MELT roller (I do my own "poses" which target the trigger points), followed by another 25-30 minutes of gravity-based yoga. What is this? Well, I don't know if it exists, as such, or if it's a technique I've devised from my experience of other schools of yoga. I do a series of poses. They can change but include those wherein I can use a either part of my body or a prop (sometimes elaborate, self-devised) to stabilize and ground another part of my body. I hold these poses for 10-15 minutes, increasing the intensity, very slowly, through various isometric micro-actions. These actions are not taken to extremes - the goal is to activate the pain source SO gently that it tricks the source, which then yields and the pain response diminishes. It's bizarrely subtle work. One mobilizes this action with slow, even breathing and conscious muscular breath control (pranayama).  It think it would be very hard to teach this.

Scott is increasingly of the opinion that I should do some weight-lifting (something that fills me with dread at the best of times and seems insane right now). He feels the issue might be exacerbated by muscle atrophy and that, at very least, the endorphins produced might reroute my pain response. I'm not on this page but, hey, desperate times. And he's lived through the entirety of my experience, if one step removed. We both spend a lot of time hatching plans that might improve crazy Kristin-pain.

Of course, life doesn't go into stasis just because one feels like shit. It's an interesting time in my career right now and I'd be unwise not to leverage it. So I'm using all of my tenacity - which is formidible, thankfully - to plow on.

At any rate, just wanted to check in on this topic. I sincerely hope that, if there are other readers out there who manage pain, that my updates may serve as community newsletter of sorts. We are not alone and we are capable of affecting change. We're also the poster children for goddamn fortitude. Here's to self-awareness. (Def toast with a good wine.)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Almost Finished Object: Cashmerette Appleton Dress

I have so much to say about the Cashmerette Appleton Dress that I doubt I'll be able to fit it all into one post. No mind, let's get started... Here's what my first - not quite finished - muslin looks like:

The seams on this are a bit crunchy (due to Steam and Seam). Once I finish altering this, I'll throw it in the washer/dryer, pre-wear.

This fabric cost a fortune ($60). In the end, even without sleeves I used @2 yards of 70" wide fabric. This is not a cheap sew if you use pricey material. But use a good textile. It makes the process so much more pleasant!

The Good

OK, peeps, this pattern is terrific. It's enjoyable to sew (save a few itchy moments i.e. when attaching the neck/binding to the bodice). The instructions are clear, the drafting is excellent (amongst the best I've ever come across in indie pattern companies), the design is timeless. What can I say? Buy it.

I will absolutely make this dress again - next time with sleeves and with a few alterations:
  • This time, I debated, and then declined to do a swayback adjustment (to account for the length I generally required in the front bodice, that I do not require in the back).  I should have done it. 
  • While I find the construction really lovely, I feel that the the neck and bodice bands are too thick for me. Maybe it's because I left off sleeves. Maybe it's just a proportion thing. I find that the bands look a bit sturdy. Perhaps this is just my initial perspective, but I feel it calls attention to my bust in a strange way. There's enough ease in the (beautifully drafted) front bodice so that I can trim 0.5" of band next time. I suspsect that's what I'll do.
  • The front fits well - even roomily (which I can rarely say). The back bodice, however, is too roomy. I've been thinking about how I might address this - I mean, for 60 bucks, I'm going to find a fix! - and I've come up with a plan: 1 fisheye dart on either side of the centre back (there's no CB seam since it's cut on the fold. The side seams sit nicely but there's too much fabric on the back (you can sort of see it with the vertical drag lines). I've never darted a back bodice without a centre seam so I hope this works. Please let me know if it's not possible!
  • I lowered the ties by 1 inch. I'm really short in the waist but, if I weren't , I'd have lowered it by more like 2". I'm not into an empire bodice - and that's what this wrap dress produces.
  • My bamboo fabric is beautiful. It drapes well. It's adequately robust. I even like the colour, in the end. But it's a bit princess-y - it does love to snag. Next time, I'm going to use a less fancy fabric (till I confirm my alterations). I mean, I'll ensure that it's a good fabric. But I don't think I need to spend another 60 bucks on this until I've got the fit sorted. It did take me a good 10 hours to put together, over 3 days, from start to finish.  I worked consistently and carefully. It's not perfect workmanship, of course, but it's alright. I imagine, next time out, I might shave a couple of hours off the process.
The Rest
  • Somehow I manage to vertically hem the wrong side of the skirt (don't ask me which, at this point, it's a blur). To make it right, in the end, I hemmed them both. If this was the original instruction, I didn't pay attention, but next time I'll def hem both sides. It looks better.
  • I found the tie-opening instructions strange and suboptimal. I used a serger (though I did reinforce the stitches with a zig zag on either side of the opening, in addition to stay stitching) and there's really no way to cleanly topstitch, after the fact. I've got to consider how I'll seam when I make it the next time...
  • It doesn't matter what pattern you purchase, chances are it's not going to fit awesomely without alterations. There are a lot of great looking Appletons on the 'net but, don't be fooled, those sewists pre-altered things to suit their shapes (or they took great photos). If you have a sloper, utilize it. I sense that a you-altered Concord T is an excellent starting-off point for this pattern. By using my Concord "sloper", and knowing what I do of fit - with the exception of the back bodice width, my fit is pretty good. FWIW, I didn't even have to cut more than 1 inch from the length of the skirt and I'm only 5'3". But if I'd cut a 12 C/D, out of the box, it would have been a bad fit. Effectively, I cut a smaller than 12 (like a self-devised 10) with the size 12-14 bust. I'd call that a @10 E/F (Note: that size isn't part of the pattern draft. I altered it).
  • I have a feeling that the underside of the wrap may hang a bit long - it's unclear whether I can fix this by tying things or if I'm going to have to alter to get an even hem. Others have had this issue but, apparently, it was fixed between the test-phase and when the pattern was released. I'm not so sure.
What I'm going to do next
  • As soon as I have a moment (and I do hope this happens in the next week, though who can say), I'm going to dart the back bodice and I'll let you know how it lands. 
So, that's where I'm at. Thoughts about the Appleton? I'm particularly interested if you've made major alterations... Let's talk!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Update on that Stretch Linen Top: It is Totally See-Through

Um, ok. I'm glad I got Scott to photograph me in the linen before I went out because the top is freakin' see-through. Like, not posting it online for eternity, see-through. (Gillian - I see what you mean?!) So here's my revised word on stretch linen (ignorantly extrapolating from this one sort, what all would be like):
  • I'll wear this top to my local, or in my back yard, or as a beach cover up, but the fabric is only nominally fabric, as it happens.
  • Furthermore, the boxiness of the drape (that's how it goes with linen) is not particularly flattering on my body. In truth, I could easily modify the fit of the finished garment (not that I can generally get it up to alter something after sewing it), but people - it's transparent. 
  • Were I to use this fabric again, I'd underline it in the same fabric to improve its opacity. Of course, that might wreck the finished garment in other ways.
This project has still been a success. I've learned more about the Concord pattern, something about a new-to-me fiber, my stitch work is not embarrassing and this experience will provide me with new ways of thinking about linen, stretch or no, and what patterns it might work with in the future.

OK, update on the update: I couldn't stop myself. I just serged off about 1" from each side-seam at the hip, tapering to 1/2" at the waist, up to the armscye, to see how this would affect the fit . The shirt fits me more attractively this way. There's so much to learn about the properties of linen! Not sure if it'll box out again but this is an interesting experiment. Of course, the top's still see-through, but vaguely less so, now that it doesn't hang away from my body as much as it did. I also think I should have cut the bindings (arm, neck) on the grain of stretch. The arms and neck are too high in this version, I suspect because I used the linen on the non-stretch. God help me, I think I may actually make this one again just to see. Don't worry - I'll try not to write 3 posts about it.

Does This Photo Make My Dress Form Look Fat?*

I can't believe I forgot to mention one more "extreme" quality of linen: It sheds like a bitch. Little bobbles fall out of it, mysteriously, the minute you cut into the fiber. This thing is still leaving behind a dusty trail. I'm sure this is temporary - till all of the short fibers dislodge - but it makes an order-driven sewist insane.

So here's a shot of the linen Concord tank - more to show the see-throughness than anything else. It does not look like this on me or I can assure you, I'd throw it out:

I've decided that I like the fluttery quality at the hemline. It doesn't fit like a T shirt would, but it's whimsical.
Here's a great opp to talk about Why Bra Fit Matters:

The very lovely Empreinte Emily - which does fit me, if slightly snugly at the centre gore, does NOT fit my dress form. Its boobs are wider and shallower than mine and it's already wearing a batten stuffed bra (under the cotton sleeve) to approximate my boob shape (which pushes the Emily underwires down still further). It's under bust measurement is larger than mine. So the reason this bra appears to be too long at the under bust and a bit pancakey is that the band is pulling the wires out of shape (again, dress form = wide with no give like an actual rib cage) and the actual upper and centre cup fullness, which the bra mandates, is not happening. I should have taken a shot of the upper cup without the tank. This is what we call size AND shape-mismatch peeps and it's not doing my dress form any favours. This is the basis of my tongue-in-cheek post title.*

You know I talk to a lot of women about bra fit. They email me. I meet them at parties. I work with them. And the most frequent thing I hear, once they transition into a bra of the correct volume and band size (generally about 2-3 cup sizes larger and 2 band sizes smaller than they imagined they'd require), is that they feel thinner. Sure, they also say they feel more gorgeous (and not because they feel thinner) and graceful. But I suspect the reason that these peeps feel thinner is because their breasts aren't floating, unsupported under a boob-hat. Especially if one has projected breasts that are not self-supporting, the lift provided by a well-fitted bra accentuates a distinction between the full bust and the underbust / waist area. That almost always lengthens the silhouette.

This is a great teachable moment about how shape is as important as size in ensuring that you're wearing the correct bra fit. It can take dozens of tries before you find a bra that suits your breast shape, but when you do, you will feel gorgeous. And, once you understand what sort of bra shape actually works on you, you'll save a lot of time because you'll be able to avoid those shapes that are never going to suit.

At any rate, there is no bra that I own that is ever going to fit the form so I went ahead with this one.

About the See-Through: I think this shot overestimates the translucency of the top because the dressform is cotton-white. I'm going to wear this today and, if I can bring myself to, I'll get my friend to take a photo. I think this top deserves a bit more reality than is in evidence here, even if I am a wuss about the selfies.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I Am Talking 'Bout the Linen*

Where to begin?

I am still nowhere with the Appleton dress because a) it's too hot to tape things (not complaining!) and b) I got derailed by that piece of linen after reading about Gillian's experience.

Brief Sidebar: It's fucking gorgeous outside, given that it's hotter than hell, and I'm enjoying it tremendously, with a glass of (unfortuntately) chilled Tatone. That red is way to heavy to chill - or to drink today. Note: I'm not the one who put it in the fridge so I will complain - but I don't have the discipline to wait till it warms up. I've been sewing for a long time...

OK, back to the stretch linen. I have so many feelings about it:
  • It's a weird little fiber. I think you have to view it like a plant, more than a textile. It's so natural and farm-y that it's hard to begrudge it.
  • It takes everything personally, but it sews up beautifully. What I mean is, Lord, don't stretch this shit because post-stitch "recovery" is not in its skill set. In an unheard of move, I washed it again after sewing, so that I can see how the fabric is actually going to hang. Note: I did not machine dry it as that's not how I pre-treated it. I believe that linen should be air-dried. In truth, it only takes 10 minutes to go from soaking to wearable. Having said all this about the memory issues, it loves a serger, a machine, a coverstich. It's just happy to be there.
  • It really is fucking see-through! I'm cool with that. When it's hot enough to wear, I'm not going to care. And my bras are so gorgeous, they deserve a bit of play. But I don't think I'll be wearing this to work...
  • The stuff I bought is arguably of very high quality. There's no slub. The stretch-factor is about 40% (4 inches to 7 inches) on the cross grain. It does not stretch along the length. It doesn't get shiny with ironing. Alas, it's unfortunate that I neglected to lift my coverstitch needles adequately before yanking the yarn back to disengage the looper. But even that didn't ruin this fabric. It persevered. (A jersey would have been scratched into oblivion.)
And then there's how it sews up:
  • I opted to make my 40 per cent stretch linen Concord in the same size as my others (which are 100 per cent stretch rayon jersey). My sense of linen is that it doesn't recover but it loves to stretch-stretch-stretch. Only wear will tell, but I think I made the right call. I did serge the side seams very close for a bit of extra roominess.
  • Having said this, the Concord is drafted very amply in the hips so I think it might have been wise for me to have serged off more seam in that area.
  • Furthermore, and I totally made this up on the fly, I opted to cut the binding (for neck and armscyes) on the length - so the only stretch achieved is from fabric ease (of which there is much). I didn't want these areas to bag out. I didn't know if this would work (so I pre-sewed and took quite a bit of time pinning etc.) but it was worth the effort. 
  • I'm glad I opted to forego the sleeves. Linen and sleeves are a really weird combo that I've never been into.
  • Peeps, my stitch work on this project is fine. I took 3 hours to sew a sleeveless T shirt which means I took my time and I love the end result. Of course, it's a fucking black fabric with black thread so no one will ever know!
I will post a photo of this Concord hack (prob on my dressform) once it dries, and I'm calling this project a success. Will I run out to buy 100 bucks worth of stretch linen any time soon? Um, no. Might I make up a Kielo maxi using it - next year, say? Perhaps. And I'm glad to learn more about a new fiber, even one that doesn't innately thrill me.  I actually think I'm more into linen yarn than linen fabric -and even that is something I've only forayed into once.

PS: I think I may actually have enough fabric to make one more of these...

*Unless you're Gen X or older, this will probably mean nothing to you, but there's a HIDEOUS song by England Dan & John Ford Coley (I actually had to look up who sings it), from the '70's, called I'd Really Love to See You Tonight. It's a scourge. At any rate, one of the lyrics in the chorus is: "I'm not talkin' 'bout movin' in" and it sounds EXACTLY like: "I'm not talkin' bout the linen". Once you've heard it, you'll never be able to unhear it. So proceed with caution. I guess I should try harder with my post title puns if they actually require a footnote explanation.