Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Treadled Top

First thing this morning I had to do a bit of unplanned gardening. I noticed a clump of potting mix on my path, and didn't have to look far to see where it had come from. The planter by my front steps, which had one of its plants inexplicably stolen in December, had lost another one!
This time one of the begonia plants has been removed. Who is doing this, and what possible reason could they have? I suppose I am glad that they are only taking the cheap plants out of the planter, and not the more valuable ones planted in the front garden. But why steal plants that only cost a couple of dollars in the first place? This time I've replaced the missing plant with a piece which had broken off my Cyanotus somaliensis, so another free one if it grows.

On to the real business of the day! I made the Tesutti Zoe top:
and I did all the sewing on the treadle machine! I did neaten the underarm/side seam allowances with my overlocker, after stitching them with the treadle, rather than do a french seam as per the instructions. The seam has a tight curve under the arm, so I didn't think a french seam would sit properly. The shoulder/arms seams are treadled french seams. My neck binding (all treadled) is "wrong", as I didn't have a printout of the instructions handy so just did what I thought they said. It is actually wrong because I meant to have it end up on the inside but sewed it to the incorrect side and didn't notice until it was too late. No-one will know.

This was a trial run to see if I liked the look of the top before I potentially wasted nice fabric. I had been going to use an op-shop find, but this was even cheaper - it was in the cabinet I saved from landfill on Saturday. I think it is a rayon.

Sewing it on the treadle was good practice! I felt like a beginner sewer again though, and in places my stitching looks like it was done by a beginner. At times I was tempted to swap to my regular machine where I knew I could get a better, neater finish. But I stuck to it, realising that I won't develop my skills if I don't challenge myself. And concentrating on mastering the treadle took my mind off the weather!

So, did I like the top once it was made? I don't know, I was too hot and sweaty to want to be bothered with trying it on. That will have to wait until I've had a cooling shower.


  1. Well done. From here it looks good, but if it's rayon it won't help you keep cool, and I understand that's what you need at the moment. Good luck with your treadle machine: practice makes perfect!

  2. Looks good, Vireya. Do you have "Singer Instructions for Art Embroidery and Lace Work first published in 1922 but my edition is 1987. I could bring it when next we meet. Did you see the exhibition at the Immigration Museum - some years ago of Kebaya _the Malay embroidered tops worn with a sarong. The embroidery done on treadle machines was incredible.

  3. It looks lovely! Not the kind of 'top' I was expecting to see but a great way to learn who to stitch on your new machine. Stitching up longer seams and then going back frenching them have to be easier to get a rhythm going than doing many, many 2 inch ones. Treadle On!!!

  4. I'm glad to hear that the treadle is working. You will develop an easy rhythm quickly.

  5. Vireya, I am so sorry you have been through this again! I must say you are far more gracious about it than I would be. I do hope this is the end of it.