Wednesday, 6 August 2014

One word: Pleather

Pleather. Not leather, but faux leather. We're talking some kind of chemically treated, PVC coated fabric. I never thought I would want to wear (or sew) this stuff, but I convinced myself a little accent of pleather was a good thing. A damn good thing. Don't get me wrong, I'll never channel Sandy and dress head to toe in the stuff, but I'm all for a little pleather edging, a contrasting piece, or the odd elbow patch. There's something pleasing about pleather.

My experiment in pleather? I decided to stuck with a pattern I knew inside out: the Papercut ensis tee. I originally modified the pattern to have two wedge shaped shoulder sections of pleather, but decided I didn't really know how this stuff would sew up and it could prove to be tricky to ease over the shoulder ..... so I took the easy way. I opted for an as-per-the-instructions back yoke (although I shortened the height of the yoke by a couple of inches). I omitted both the contrasting front yoke and the top part of the sleeves as I didn't want to overdo the pleather: a little accent, not an exclamation.

I was about to say that other than the latter the pattern was by the book, but then I remembered that I added uber cool pleather elbow patches! These were self drafted (ha – I actually traced around an oval I found at our sewing sess and then proceeded to make my sewing friends help me with resizing and pinning said patches onto my already sewed up sleeves). Yep, I added these patches to the sleeves POST sewing it all up. A bright spark of an idea after finishing the top – could I have thought about it when the sleeves were still flat? Nope. Stupid really, as I had to bunch up the sleeve and top-stitch the patch on through the neck opening. I'm not going to lie – this part sucked balls. But I love the finished result. And the resulting patches align perfectly with my elbows!

Oh, I also omitted the cuffs that ALL my other ensis tops have. There is an option in the pattern for a curved variation, but I struggle like all hell to hem curved edges (especially on knits) so I lengthened the top to where I thought I wanted it and cut it straight. Foresight! See I knew that if I attempted a curved hem and made a dog's breakfast of it, I'd be forever looking down at my hem and I'd be embarrassed. I'd either tuck the top in, or it would be hidden at the back of my wardrobe never to be worn.... or, I'd chop it off and it'd become slightly midriffed and a little bit awkward. Comprendre? Much easier to just admit defeat and chop it straight to start with. Maybe next time I'll brave the curve.

Ah the flash is reflecting light in all directions on this - sorry.

Just a few finer details to mention: I was initially concerned with how my over locker would cope with the pleather, but it tackled it like a boss and had no issues at all. I sewed the patch on using a straight stitch instead of appliquing it as the edges of pleather don't fray. I changed to a size 90/14 universal needle when top stitching the pleather, compared to my 80/12 jersey ball point for top-stitching the knit. I also lengthened my stitch length to 4mm for all my top-stitching as I find this a little neater.

I don't think I have anything else to say about this make. I like the fact that I have some pleather interest from my posterior (ha – I'm studying anatomy at the mo – that's the back view for everyone else), while from the anterior (aka front view) it just looks like a plain ol' boring cream top. Pleather experiment – big tick.
(One final note: big apologies for the over exposed pics - it was a cold but very sunny Canberra day)