Saturday, November 22, 2014

Introducing "Can This Garment Be Saved?" Vol.1 Simplicity 1609

Simplicity 1609
Me in my office, on Friday, wearing S1609 with a gray shirt underneath.

What's going on here?
"Can This Garment Be Saved?" is just a blatent ripoff of the old "Can This Marriage Be Saved" column from Redbook (or was it Ladies Home Journal?) that I would read while waiting for my mother in the dentist office waiting room as a kid.

Why am I doing this?
I have quite a few garments that I have sewn and "completed" but never wear for whatever reason.  Since I put in all that time and effort, I thought it might be fun to start a periodic series (not committing to any specific time frame) featuring those garments and how they were joyously saved, or tragically not saved.

So what garment is up first?  When was it sewn?
Vol. 1 is for Simplicity 1609, which I sewed up in Sept of 2013.  I spent a boatload of time fitting it, and it looked great when I was done.

Where is the original post?
It's right here.

What is the problem?  
Well, this:
Can This Garment Be Saved? #1
*This* started happening soon after I sewed it.  I bought this knit fabric pre-fused and I'm not sure if it was poorly fused to begin with, or if it was because I made a mistake by prewashing and drying the fabric, or a combination of the two, but it was happening and spreading.  I tried to re-fuse it but without success--pressing again and again (last fall, with my regular iron, pre-Elna Press days) did not make a difference.
Can This Garment Be Saved? #1
This is another view...

So there it hung in my closet, forelorn and unworn.

So how did I fix it?
Recently I contemplated making it again, which I suppose is the "drastic" solution to fixing it, when the idea struck--why not just peel the fusing off of the entire garment and then cut the fused part out?    I mean, I wasn't wearing it anyway, so if it made it worse it wouldn't matter and if it made it meant I could wear it!!!

first, gently pull away the fusing
Gently pulling away the interfacing
carefully cutting out the fusing
Carefully cut out the interfacing with my bent-handle embroidery scissors

 I then pressed it with my Elna Press. BINGO! It worked.

All flat and smooth!

Bonus was the way I constructed this one....I had serged all the cut pieces and then sewn it together with my sewing machine instead of the other way around.   This means that the cut-out parts are totally hidden by the pressed-open seams, so it still looks neat on the inside, core!

Have I worn it since the fix?
Yes!  I removed the interfacing from the front of the dress right before the ASE and wore it at the ASE.  Then this week I removed the interfacing from the back skirt portion of the dress and Elna Pressed it again.

In my office on Friday
Isn't that better?  (LOL about that huge string hanging off my left hand--that's a RTW shirt underneath).

So what is the final verdict?  Has This Garment Been Saved?
This Garment Has Been Saved...until the interfacing starts peeling away from the collar, but let's hope that's a long time in the future.

Has this got you thinking about garments you can save???

Be well!!!


  1. I am so happy that you were able to save your beautiful dress. I have had to reverse interface (remove) fusible interfacing that I inserted myself and it was not as successful as your endeavor. Well done!

    1. "Reverse interface": I love that terminology Faye!

  2. I love this series! It has me thinking about several of my own projects. I made a pair of pants in high school of trigger poplin, wore them once, and when I washed them, the seams unravelled all the way to the stitching. Ugh -- couldn't be saved. Your dress is adorable with the scalloped collar.

    1. "unraveled all the way to the stitching"....that's some pretty powerful unraveling! I'm impressed that you were making pants in high school! I was still making elastic waist skirts and pajamas.

  3. How timely! I just posted about blouse that is possessed by a wrinkle demon. Part of the problem stems from the fabric, but the other part is definitely the interfacing. Unfortunately, the interfacing is part of the facing and can't be reversed since the buttonholes are already set and opened. I don't think the shirt can be saved, but I have ideas on what to do going forward.

    I like your new series and will definitely follow along and think about saving some of my wadders-to-be. LOL

    Good save on the dress! I remember when you made this.

  4. Your persistence is legendary :-) I'm impressed Kyle!

    1. Thanks Mary! If another hour or two will save it, then why not? On the other hand, sometimes I'm beating a dead horse that I need to let go of. :)

  5. Great save. Sometimes interfacing is NOT our friend. I've had my own challenges with the stuff. This series will be a fun and educational read. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Linda! Lately I have been using the interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply with my Elna Press and having great results, but this pre-fused fabric was definitely not my friend!

      I'm really excited to start this series!

  6. I love this series! I think we all have these types of garments in our wardrobes. What an amazing save -- you have a lot of patience to work that interfacing off!

  7. Yes. That's a great save Kyle.

  8. What a great save! It is definitely much improved and it looks great on you! I once block fused fabric for a swing coat I was working on. Once I finished sewing the main pieces, I tried it on and egads! I looked like a lampshade! No swing going on there. I too tore off the interfacing and it was much improved. So kudos to you for not giving up!

  9. I love that you managed to save this dress because the collar and the wee buttons down the front are so gorgeous! It looks great on you! Does it feel "new" after having forgotten all the work of sewing it?


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