This is 100% better than the original. Just as a reminder, here's how this top looked before I got all crazy on it with my seam ripper:
Ouch. I deconstructed this entire top (collar, sleeves, bust darts, and side seams removed). I already had an extra left sleeve in the blue-gray rib (it's not a right-side/wrong side fabric - I accidentally sewed both sleeves as left sleeves while working on the newer 8670 top), so I just cut and sewed a right sleeve and a new collar from the same rib knit. I re-sewed the entire thing using the original front and back from the gray/teal hot mess, and it looks so much better. I also embroidered my name in the back of the collar using my new sewing machine (more on that in a future post):
This is a photo of the collar mid-construction. The letters are hard to read on the knit but it will be a fun thing to do going forward. I did it on a single thickness before sewing the collar edges together so it is only visible on the inside of the garment.
Completing this re-work also fulfills one of my 12 sewing goals for 2012: to make a pattern twice, applying what I learned the first time around. I really learned alot from making this pattern again (I've actually made it three times total, counting last week's version, the original, and the reworked original):
- Fabric choice. In the utterly disastrous gray/teal version, I chose 2 completely diffrerent drapes of knit fabric. While I chose to use 2 different fabrics this time (rib knit and the same front/back gray pieces from the original top), they are more similar in weight and drape than the gray/teal.
- Appropriate stitching. As I mentioned in last week's post, I did a straight stitch on the gray/teal top - such a cardinal no-no when working with knits. I used my machine's stretch stitch this time around and I'm so pleased with the results.
- Stretching a neckband. It's quite evident that I had no clue what I was doing the first time I put a neckband on this thing. I'm still not perfect at it, but I'm doing much better and will continue to improve as I gain experience.
- Perseverance leads to reward. You know that prayer, "Lord, give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to face the things I can change"? That rings so true for sewing. Sometimes you make a mistake that is irreversable and un-fixable. But sometimes, there is a path back to a good garment after mistakes have been made. It takes courage to start down that path, to rip at the seams of something you've made, spent time on, but that just didn't turn out right. It's easy to get discouraged as a new sewist when you make mistakes, but you can do it, you can fix it, you can make it better next time. I did, and I'm so glad. I'm very happy with the reconstructed version of this once sad, unwearable top.