Over the past week, I’ve shown you many made-by-me samples for the Hummingbird Peplum Top & Skirt. I have the idea that simple but thoughtful cuts like Hummingbird lend themselves well to dressing up or down according to fabric choices. Styling comes into play, too, but I can’t go past fabric choice as the most vital aspect of re-make-ability to create a versatile wardrobe.
Today we’ll go uber-casual around the farm with my tulip printed Hummingbird Green top. This is my in-laws piece of paradise in the New South Wales coastal countryside, a welcome retreat from the city for my country-reared husband and me.
This obnoxious print has been my go-to jersey muslin fabric for the past year or so. I picked up a large roll at one of those Spotlight sales- $1/m. I worked with this range in the past for Lila clothes, so I knew it would wash well without pilling.
Jerseys stretch. That’s what they do and why we love them. But all jerseys are not created equal. This one doesn’t mind stretching, but since it’s 100% cotton it doesn’t bounce back after until I wash it. You know the fabric type I’m talking about. The curve of the neckline on the Hummingbird Top is steep at the CF and I found no matter what I tried, I could not make the binding lie flat for this fabric.
Nevermind, I thought, let’s just make this top wearable. You can see here I turned the offensive binding to the inside of the neck edge and top-stitched it in place. After much washing and wear, I can see this produces a clean and tidy neck edge that stays in place.
Hummingbird on a Hike
What’s more casual than a tramp through cow pastures to a hidden waterfall? (ok-maybe lying around the house, but this is more interesting for all of us!)
I paired this Hummingbird Green top with a pair of manky old shorts and rubber “gum boots” for our walk. Not pictured: thick black work socks.
This is a prime example of what I mean when I say this fabric stretches but doesn’t recover. It was a hot day, steamy, and the fabric expanded as I moved. That’s perfectly normal. It also means when I stand still, the excess fabric falls in wrinkles. That’s ok. That’s life.
This waterfall is near the top of a mountain, fed by both a spring and rainwater. After the rains, the water rushes strong and fast down the rock face- this is a light-medium gush.
It’s quite clean enough to drink, pure and delicious. The air was soft and cool and smelled of rain on an otherwise hot and wretched day.
It’s tall! Can you spot my husband? He climbed right up the rock face and sat in the stream, one day I’ll make it up there.
Working with fabrics with low recovery
When working with a jersey that doesn’t like to bounce right back after stretching, you have two options. Here, I’m showing you the first- wear a shirt that bags a little bit. The other option for those who prefer fewer wrinkles is to cut the shirt a size smaller than usual through the torso (I’d keep the arm openings the same). The fabric will expand and hug the body with little enough extra fabric it won’t look like an elephant’s ankles.
I find a good wash will cinch up the fabric every time. To avoid the issue entirely, keep an eye out for jerseys made with natural fibers (breathability, comfort) with a tiny whiff of Lycra- I’d suggest 5% or less. That smidgen of Lycra is enough to allow the cotton, bamboo, or etc to stay with you while you move.
What do you think? How do you adapt your sewing to use jerseys with little recovery? Have you ever made a pattern in both a fancy and a casual fabric? What are your tips?
The Hummingbird Peplum Top & Skirt pre-sale continues through April 7. Thanks so much for your support, this is how we pay Cake bills!
For a preview of the Hummingbird Top linework, a printable “proof” for you to check out, and the Top sizing guide, visit Sewingcake.com. This is the next generation of the “customize your size” schematic that was so popular on the Tiramisu Dress. It’s easy to cut a peplum top with a waistline seam right where you want it, and a fit that’s “just so” around the waist. Check it out.