Once again I have another of my 'Everything I do, I do it 2 times' post. After making 2 Nani Iro tunics, I made a second top with the Simplicity 2596. The first one is in View A which you can see here (the last photo). And this time, I made View B.
This fabric, a very thin and sheer cotton with fabric dots on it, is also from Shamshuipo ("SSP"). I guess this fabric might be known as the Swiss Dot. If not, I'm still going to refer to it as Swiss Dot at least for this post, I would appreciate if anyone would correct me if I'm wrong. And SSP is fast becoming my favourite haunt of late (more on this district below).
Since the fabric is very thin and I don't have a serger, I foresee the zigzag stitch of my machine would not provide a very nice finish and would probably make the garment look really homemade especially where the seams would be exposed due to the fold-up sleeves. So I decided to use French seams where the seams would be revealed, for the underarm and shoulder seams. I thought I was very smart until the curved underarms puckered like crazy and I realized I have to clip the curves. So in the end, I had to clip through the layers of French seam at the underarms, so much for being 'smart'.
Then came the neckline. The seam allowance is 1.5 cm and how wide that is on the thin Swiss Dot although I did use the lightest weight interfacing that I have this time. (Maybe the interfacing is still not thin enough, I'll have to ask Joy about this the next time we meet for knitting.) The neckline and facing stood to attention and there is no way I could live with that. I hung out the garment for a night, looking at it from time to time thinking of a solution and then thanks to the Internet, I found out that I have to trim the seam allowance of the facing and that's just what I did and how happy am I! I still couldn't figure out the understitching of the facing so I topstitched it this time round.
As for the elastic, I dithered a bit, not sure if I should use a store-bought bias tape (too heavy for the fabric) or sew a separate casing using the same fabric. In the end, I just made a double fold with the top around the waist which made a natural casing instead of sewing a separate piece. I think I like the result.
And yes, I made buttonholes for the fold-up sleeves. I did practise first on a spare piece of the Swiss Dot to make sure it's ok before making the holes on the tab. I should have taken a photo of the sleeve detail with the mother-of-pearl buttons from stash.
All in all, I'm happy with my sewing of this garment. The best part was, I wore it to work for casual Friday and nobody had any idea I made it myself (if yes, they were polite not to ask me about it)! Excuse the creases, it is afterall, after a day's wear (and I didn't re-iron it for the photo shot) :).
More about Shamshuipo: I found this video on Youtube where the lady in pink would lead you from the underground station to the fabric shops. It stops short of just where the fabric stalls in the streets are, where I buy most of the fabrics along Ki Lung Street. For those unfamiliar with Hong Kong, it is an interesting video with a slice of the HK street scenes. Check out also this older post of mine back in 2006 about the fabric stalls, they are pretty much the same to this day. I think the fabrics might be excesses from the nearby factories and there is usually only one roll of each which would be gone the next week or two. This makes it all the more fun as there would be 'new' fabrics to discover each week. At very affordable prices, it is difficult to resist not getting something that you like as it would very likely not be there the next time you go.