One garment I collect and know I will wear again and again is a summer shrug or cardigan to wear over sleeveless tops, tunics and dresses on hot days. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment in my life when I realized that my days of wearing sleeveless clothes was over, but that is when I started to seek alternatives to sleeveless garments. A sheer shrug or cardigan is a perfect solution. V8975 has simple flattering lines, is fluid and drapey, can be worn open or tied closed, and both the style and the fabric allow the air to move.
I sewed this garment, V8975 in Jacqueline Mesh, start to finish on a Sunday afternoon to bring on an upcoming NYC trip next month. The pattern is still current and well worth having for the cardigan/shrug as well as the dress. I plan to wear it over plain black sleeveless tunics and dresses.
Sewing tips for Vogue 8975
While there are few pattern pieces, it will make the construction easier if you mark everything carefully (I color coded mine using small dots right at the cut edge with colored pencils. Place the pattern pieces as they will be sewn together to get a visual idea of how the garment goes together, Leave the pattern pieces out so you can reference them as you sew Transfer markings using colored threads/tailor tacks or small dots of colored pencil.
- Sew using a fine #75 needle and walking foot.
- I sewed using a walking foot.
- The double layered front edge is left raw.
- The garment and sleeve hems are finished.
- I pressed under the hemmed edges before constructing the garment, using a cardboard template and clapper to hold the crease.
- TEST the heat and steam on your iron to see the heat/steam tolerance of your mesh or lace. Use a muslin press cloth if your fabric cannot take much heat.
- Once the hems are set in place, I finished the front edge which uses a
- This fabric does not roll, so I simply trimmed all seams to ¼” using a rotary cutter.
- Sew the sleeve first, then the side panels. The sleeve is stitched in 2 separate stitchings, breaking the stitching each time.
Tips for Sewing on Mesh Knits and Laces
Fabric Preparation True confessions....I don't do a thing to these fabrics before sewing. They don't seem to shrink, and I would never put them in the dryer. If I DID, I'd pre-treat by dipping in warm water and air dry. After sewing, hand launder or machine wash gentle and air dry.
Make practice tests on scraps so you are familiar with what works best and to develop a light hand with these airy sheers. Test for stitch length, edge finishes, seam finishes, iron temp (will your iron melt the fabric?). Figure out what is the hottest temperature you can use without harming the fabric, how long you can leave the iron on the fabric. Many of these fabrics are nylon or nylon/lycra blends which can melt with a high temperature and every iron is different. I use an industrial iron with a heavy duty teflon 'shoe' which I never remove, so I can easily press directly on almost any fabric with success.
Helpful Tools and Notions
- Teflon sole plate for your iron
- Oaktag pressing templates
- Totally Stable: this is a lightweight fusible stabilizer designed for machine embroidery but it works great with meshes and knits if they stretch, distort, bunch up or get sucked down into the throat plate when machine stitching. Matte on one side, satin sheen on the other (this is the fusible side). I don't use the fusible option, simply place it on top of the fabric when sewing. I cut 1/2" - 1" strips andkeep them at the sewing machine, then slip them in under the presser foot if I encounter any trouble when stitching. It tears out easily.
- Double needle: I LOVE double needles and they work well with mesh/lace for different edges
- Stick on labels