So, my ‘buttons instead of ties’ hack of the Coppelia did not exactly go well.
It all started swimmingly, and was sewing up very nicely. I extended the waistband pieces by one inch each to give more room for the burrito. This definitely helped although was still a bit tricky and fiddly.
But the problems started where the neckline meets the waistband.
Problem 1. In my measuring for adjusting the waistband length for the button hack, I forgot to account for the fact that the neckband edges go inside the waistband. So the waistband measurement needs to include the neckband short edge width. Which I hadn’t done.
The ends therefore didn’t get sewn up in the waistband. I had to bodge them (again) which left them very bulky and a bit rubbish looking.
Never mind, I thought, at least one of them is hidden when it is done up. And the other will be a bit masked by the outer button.
But it really did look terrible.
Long story short, I cut off my beautifully applied burrito waistband, cut new waistband pieces and start again.
And then resewed the waistband using the instructions from the pattern rather than a burrito. My machine isn’t so keen on top stitching this sort of fabric but I did a better job than on my first Coppelia.
So, smooth sailing now you think? Sadly, no.
Problem 2. Because of the way you pull the neck band tightly to sew it on, which creates the hugging / snug fit to the body hence no gaping, it ends up distorting and pulling the material at the waist band connection point. I have FINALLY worked out how this is best to handle and where to trim the ends off. But unfortunately the lightbulb moment happened AFTER I had already trimmed the neckband too short.
So yet more bodging of the corners was required. I was losing my sense of humour a little at this point.
And then I discovered that the botched, bulky corners wouldn’t fit under the machine to be able to add the button holes. Sigh. With jersey not fraying, I just cut out some of the inside layers. It really wasn’t going well! This make became a testament to my sheer bloody mindedness – and determination to have a navy top!
And so onto the next problem. Yes, there is yet another one. (I have lost count of what number we are up to at this point)
I had interfaced the waistband in anticipation of needing the extra structure to be able to add button holes to jersey. But with my cutting and replacing the waistband I lost that bit. I’m not sure what difference it would have made anyway, but certainly as the top stood, my machine just wouldn’t sew a buttonhole. The buttonhole foot just jammed on the material and sewed madly in the same place or if I pulled it taut to help move it along the fabric stretched out so the buttonhole was crazy long and not the right size. Nor would it turn at the top to complete the second side of the button hole either.
Here is the practice run I did on some scraps. Oh yes, I tried stabilizing with silk organza squares. Didn’t work.
Double sigh. So I just cut a button hole straight through the fabric at the corner, then hand sewed round the edges and sewed on the buttons.
Finished, you think? Technically yes. But between cutting off the neckband, the corner bodging, the buttonhole dramas, and possibly just that the top needs the ties to pull it tight, the top was just too big around the waist. It hung and flapped, not at all how I wanted it. You can kind of see it in these photos but trust me, it was far more obvious in real life.
I finally had to accept that this top just wasn’t going to happen. Pretty disappointing. But all a good learning curve I suppose! And as a silver lining at least I didn’t do this on my beautiful merino fabric!
I worked out a way to sort of salvage it, by tying the two side pieces together in the middle, trimming and stitching them and effectively turning it into a very cropped, pull on, bolero type top to go over a dress or vest top. Not sure how much use it will get, but at least I ended up with something after all that struggle!
Hmmm, do you know, I think I actually quite like it…