"Blue Cheetah" sounds cheesy, but the fabric is actually really pretty. But, it is really slippery!!! First I straightened the grain, using this Threads tutorial. This fabric ripped pretty easily, but straightening it was a bear. I used my Wiggle Weights, which I bought at the SewExpo in Puyallup a couple of weekends ago (if you're not from the Northwest, say "Peeyou-ollop" - if you are from the Northwest, you know how to "Do the Puyallup!").
Cutting was equally tricky. The two layers move against each other, so I used lots of pins and the weights. I cleaned up some of the straight edges with a rotary cutter.
Here's my sewing machine, which I hauled out of storage a while ago and used the manual to open it up and clean it out. When I get around to it, I'll have it serviced to make sure it's oiled up right and running properly. after my experience with this fabric, I think that may be sooner rather than later.
Okay - here's the scoop on sewing this pattern. What I ended up with was a very nice shell.
The ruffle never worked - or I couldn't get a nice enough final product to want to sew it onto the neckline. The first version was a single layer with baby hems. Either my technique or my machine created wads of bobbin thread on the underside. If I can figure this out, I will do a new ruffle. It may be the tension, or may be that I need a stabilizer. If anyone has suggestions, I would welcome them. I liked the overall look, but the end product was so unsightly that I just threw it away. I don't know if you'll be able to see it in this photo:
Also, because the ruffle is sewn to the neckline with a seam through the gathering line, the thread shows. It may have been better to use a brown thread to match the cheetah, but that would have shown against the ligh blue! In the second version, I doubled up the ruffle, so it was sewn with a 3/8 in. seam all around and then turned and pressed. It seemed like a good idea, but I couldn't get it to gather.
So, I've decided to wear it as a plain shell and attempt the pattern again with a lightweight cotton woven. I think I need to get better at working with slippery fabrics! And, learn a little more about adjusting tension, thread weight and needle size.
What worked: Learned how to do French Seams (on side, shoulder and back seams). Learned how to do Baby Hem (on bottom hem). Did a good job on straightening the grain. Bias self-binding on armholes looks wonderful.
What didn't work: Ruffle! Ironing (there was a small disaster on the first ruffle, when I reached the melting point on the fabric).
Next project - pleated skirt for Spring/Summer, using a mid-weight woven! No slipping! Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments!