Abby’s Top, V2

Version 2 began with a few tissue changes. I immediately added the 5/8″ RBA and 1/4″ center back seam I should have added before cutting fabric for the first version.  I trimmed excess added to the side seam allowances down to 1″.  That’s the 1/2″ seam allowances included with 1/2″ added ease I desire.  Keep in mind, I may still trim away some more especially if I use this pattern (and I will ) with sweater and slinky knits.  I trimmed the armscye SA to 1/4″, my fav for seams I plan to zip through the serger and probably won’t need for fitting adjustments. Left the neckline at 3/8″.  Then I walked the seams. I was stunned at how off the side panel to front/back seams had become.I pinned the side seams together at the notches and then smoothed to either end.

I don’t get excited about 1/8″ or less differences. That’s a matter of a slightly astray pen or cutting blade. The biggest difference was from the bottom notches to hem on all body pieces; and while more significant in my added 1″ it was also plainly different along the traced pattern lines.

OK, there’s still the possibility that the tissue shifted during tracing. I usually catch any shifting.  To be off 1/4″ and more due to shifting is just beyond my belief. I never get that far off. But, I didn’t go back and walk the original pattern. So I can’t swear 100% it isn’t all me.

While I was working with tissue, I made a change to the sleeve which gives me 3 sleeve finish options.

I added 4.5″ at the sleeve hem. I can still fold it up and use at the drafted default along with the separate cuff; or I can cut 5″ longer and fold up for a cut-on hem. 3rd option, and the one I’m using today, is folding the extension along the 2-1/4″ line and finishing the sleeve with FOE.

I realized at the first fitting that the sleeve was too long for a foe finish.  I made a 1/2″ deep tuck on the inside (and changed the line on the tissue)

which on the public side looks like a seam for the cuff.

I also finished the neckline by leaving off the band and  applying  FOE.

I should mention that during construction I left the back seam open at the top about 3″.  After  I applied the FOE, I glued the very top edge together and then stitched the seam closed.  I glue because that’s the only way I can align and keep aligned both ends of the FOE or other elastic.  I don’t like particularly like the neckline application. It was  applied at a  1:1 ration and is not hugging the neck as well as I like.

I finished the hem with the separate band, also 1:1 instead of drawn in.  The hem band as drafted wants to creep upward during wear.  In only minutes I have a high low  with the back hem up over my butt.  Possibly in the future I will extend the front, back and side pieces 2.5″ so that the hem is cut on. For now, I like the possibility of experimenting to see which circumference looks good.

My fabric is another ITY knit. Chosen for the fact it has the same 2-way stretch and 75% stretch factor as the first. I think it is the same fiber as the previous, based on how well it pressed. It has a shinier finish, so I’m not too sure.  It too is a busy fabric. I think raglans emphasize my pear shape. Echo the narrowness of my shoulders. I avoided raglans for a long time before realizing there were things I could do to offset the visual effect of the raglan.  Busy print is one. A busy print has your eye going everywhere instead of going to the raglan and then straight up. It’s quite likely that had I not told you this is a raglan sleeve, you wouldn’t have noticed that fact until after looking at my top for a while – if ever.

As far as fit goes, I need to add a little length to the front. Otherwise this is pretty much what I was hoping for and rarely find.   The rouching has been removed by the tissue alteration I did after walking the seams.  In both V1 and V2, the side diagonals  completely disappear after I install my shoulder pads.  In the end analysis, I’ve added 7/8″ ease and 1/8″ seam allowance; lengthened the front by 1/2″ and that is it.  Everything else I’ve done or am thinking about are detail changes.  I’ve never had an easier pattern to fit. And I mean that. Even when I weighed 96 pounds I had more standard tissue alterations.

I’ve no doubt that the future of this pattern will include many variations. Not just in fabric but in details as well. I don’t hesitate to change the depth of a neckline or shape from the  ballerina it is to a V, scoop or square. My full length sleeve can easily be marked for a 3/4-length with various finishes like cuff, lace or notch.  It would take a little more effort to change the front to a cardigan style; and a lot to change to eliminate the center back seam. (Which I might do but really I prefer seams to darts when working with knits.)  I almost wish this pattern had a woven/non-stretch version.  It has me that excited.


314 Abby’s Top

I haven’t been able to fit a raglan pattern in a couple of years. Yes with my last body change, raglans devloped strange drag lines I couldn’t pinch away. I set them aside for a while thinking once I had fit basic bodices I could return and successfully conquer. Well it took 2 years to figure out all that I need to do for basic bodices and the answer was use princess seams– armscye princess seams. But after a few successful armscye princess seams I once again decided to tackle the Raglan with Jalie 3245. Couldnt. I made a muslin. Pinched. Slashed. In places that shouldnt be pinched or slashed. I decided that I just didn’t know how to translate my needed changes from princess to raglan style. Set the raglan idea aside for awhile. Then I was going through all of Silhouette Patterns blouses looking for styles with seams bisecting the armscyes and I saw 314 Abby’s Top

and when I looked at the schematic I shreiked “EUREKA !!!”

Because it was not only the raglan I haven’t been able to fit, but it had panels which bisected the armscye on both front and back.  It had fitting opportunities.

I’ve had the pattern for several weeks. It just sort of bubbled up to the top of the todo list yesterday.  I’ve had a couple of successful or interesting fitting experiences with Silhouette patterns now. I decided to repeat the successes.  I traced the size 4 then added 1.5″ to the side seams only.  I didn’t check the layout, I did my own which used only 1.25 yards of a 60″ wide ITY fabric even with those humogous seams. I laid out the pattern pieces and snapped off the lights. Yep. Wanted to think this over.

The next day I started without hestitation. Well after doing the needed chores aka a load of wash, cleaning the downstairs toilet and mopping the downstairs floors.  The plumber visits us once a year.  We have tress and bushes galore.  They create a beautiful private garden just yards from the busy school street we live along. They also create blockages in the plumbing. The options are about $20,000 to replace the pipes (guaranteed for 10 years) or $100 a year (plumber) plus mop all the floors. I do the later and it takes precedence over sewing.  I cut the front and back pieces; stay stitched the necklines.  Started to to follow my regular procedure of stitching the raglan  sleeve to front and said “Holy smokes. The front is too short!  Better read the destructions.”  Peggy uses a different sewing order. Front is sewn to the sides  then to back. BTW there is a front a back, two sleeves and 2 sides pieces– not a side front and side back.  Which makes for fewer pieces to cut and sew.

I stitched as directed except I stitched the seams all at 1″. Yes I added 1.5″ but I need more ease than the size 4 provides.  As I recalled, I needed 1/2″ at the underarm, 1″ on the front tummy and 1.5″ over the rear. I added an even 1.5″ so I would start with enough to let out. To my surprise, the first try-on felt perfect.   I looked in the mirror.  Abby’s Top (SP314) looked and felt  darn near perfect at the first fitting. That never happens to me.

Pics tell a slightly different story. The pics say: You forgot to do the RBA

I know I need an RBA.  I know I need an RBA on Silhouette Patterns. There isn’t a pattern I’ve made in recent memory the covered my half and did not need an RBA.  I left this alone over night so I could remember the things I forgot to do. Why didn’t I remember I needed an RBA???

I think sides and front

repeat the RBA admonisment. There seems to be some rouching of the sides. I need to rewalk the seams for length. Adding that much circumference (1.5″ each  side)  could have skewed the draft.

But I want to point out some plusses +++++

The lengths are right. Shoulder to bust, bust to hem. Good and enough. I like the style. I thought surely I would need to address ease at the hip and tummy. Nope. Good and enough at the first basting. Well,  maybe a bit more ease could be removed especially for slinky fabric.  Sleeve is both a good length and good circumference. I will alter the pattern for the RBA and trim the tissue to reflect the needed additional ease (1/2″),  plus my preferred seam allowance of 1/2″.  This goes together really fast. I will have an extra seam at the center back because of my RBA. Suppose I could rotate that but then I’d need to sew 2 darts.  IMO 1 seam is faster to sew than it is to mark and sew 2 darts.  All the edges are subtlly curved. Even the shoulder darts. This is good. I knew as  was tracing that I would start with a better garment, but it still amazes me that a slight curve can make such a difference.

I finished this version quickly because an RBA has to be done at the tissue level. It isn’t possible to do after the fact without changing the style (For example I could add a yoke, but then it is a different styled garment.) Before taking final pics, I slipped in a pair of 3/8″ raglan shoulder pads.

In retrospect, I think the shoulder pads are too deep. I need to check for 1/4″ p ads on WAWAK, ’cause I face-it a long time ago; without shoulder pads, I have no shoulders. I think the hip band is a tad too short.  It does more than just snug to the body. It emphasizes the roundness of my tummy and doesn’t want to stay on the hip.  It want to slid upward to narrower ground.

Even at that; even without the RBA; even with the side panel being longer than the front and back side seams; with all that, this is a really, really good fit for out of the envelope. Essentially I added 7/8″ ease,  plus 1/2″ seam allowances. That’s nothing. Almost like I didn’t do anything.  I’m very pleased.  Kudos to Peggy for a well through-out, well drafted raglan designed.



Pattern specified 2-way stretch which is what RTW calls 4-way stretch. (This is definitely a time I agree 100% with Peggy. RTW’s verbiage is a mind-f. You can’t have 1 way stretch. If the fabric stretches right it will stretch left. If it stretches north it will stretch south. Can’t be any oher way. ) I thought this was a ITY fabric but I tell you it presses. I stitched the shoulder darts and pressed them open and flat.  Polyester does not do that. My fabric must have a rayon content. It’s also not slick like poly and stretches 75%.  Which means I won’t make the pattern any narrower just in case I want to use a fabric with 25% stretch. Although I stitched the side seams another 1/8″ deeper than I basted.




TRT with Lace Hem

I had one goal in making this TRT: checking the fit after the Pink Lace Tee disappointed me with its drag lines. But I  may as well have a little fun too, eh?

My fabric is an ITY purchased I think about a year ago.  I like the blue color but was undecided about the print both when I purchased it and when it arrived. It just didn’t say me.  While I wasn’t thrilled about the fabric, I knew it would be an excellent test, being of the same fabric previously good TRT’s were constructed with, or if something is wrong with the pattern I won’t be upset if this doesn’t turn out well.

The fun bit is adding a 6″ lace to the bottom of the sleeves and hem.


Oh and adding a keyhole neckline.  There must be hundreds of ways to make and finish a keyhole, I have a whole Pinterest board of them. I chose to create the keyhole with a facing

and bind the edge of the neck, slip stitching across the open keyhole space.

I’m happy to say this fabric cut from the same exact pattern version as the Pink Lace fits as nicely as ever.

I’m also happy that the print looks nicer in garment form then it did as flat fabric.  I’m not entirely sure my blouse is finished, even though it needs no further stitching.  I’m looking at the visible proportion of lace to bodice.

I like the swish and fell but I think there is just too much visible lace.

or maybe not enough?

I’m also thinking, I might like a bit more shaping. Maybe some elastic at the waist?  Not sure and of course, if I don’t fix it soon, it will be like this until it goes into the trash.



PS I have the TRT down pat.  Even with the extra steps required for keyhole-neckline and lace hems, I had this done in 4 hours from start to finish. Yeah!  Love TNT’s!  Yeah!!!!


PPS Re Fitting:  I see hints of the issues which plagued me on the Pink Lace TRT.  Partly I think I have a posture issue in addition to one shoulder being lower than the other. It’s been noted that I may have one leg shorter than the other.  I never seem to be straight in the pics; always leaning slightly to one side.   I also tend to stand with my weight on one leg or the other.  When I purposely stand with the weight evenly on both hips/legs and feet about shoulder-width apart, the drag lines just don’t appear.  But, I do have unnecessary ease through the body of the garment.  I  want a little more ease. I want the garment to skim my tummy and hips doing no more than indicate I have such assets.  Also, this is a basic T-shirt design. It’s even named Tee which is derived from men’s Tee shirts which are unfitted (and men often wear one size too small in order to show off their own assets.) IOW it’s supposed to have excess ease. So far, I’ve worked on variations to the basic pattern. Now  I may work on introducing a little more shape. Just for fun. KWIM?

Tabula Rasa in Pink Lace

After struggling to fit (and not entirely succeeding) two pairs of jeans, I wanted an easy sew. Something in the cut, serge, wear genre. I pulled out my Tabula Rasa Tee pattern then looked at fabric. I talk about refolding the fabric stash as if it is some sort of chore. Truth is I like handling my fabrics and I find it helpful.  During that September Sewing Room Gussy I separated out the sheers. Mostly because they contain a lot of so-called sweater fabrics that are absolutely useless in the winter unless they are underline. In that stack was a beautiful pink, knit lace. 100% polyester and Yes I did know when I bought the lace would need consideration if it was to be any type of garment. My solution was pairing with another sheer, a pink cotton knit.

I cut the two fabrics separately i.e. I cut the all the pieces out of the pink knit first; repeat for the pink lace.  Then I placed the two layers together and serge finished all the edges. Because this is a pattern I’ve made many times before I don’t have much to say about the tissue changes.  I opted to use the back with the neck darts which I left unsewn. Wonder how that worked out? I modified a technique often used to snug up knit necklines using ribbing. For my lace, I used my Curve Runner to measure the back pattern piece

I multiplied that by 2 (full neck length) and then subtract the dart (3/8*2*2 dart leg width *2 legs * 2 darts).  Then end result was 8″.  So I laid out my  straight ruler and measured 8 inches. I don’t like to work with short fiddly lengths, so I didn’t cut the elastic right away. But I did mark it at the 8″ length and again at 4″ , the middle.

I pinned one end to the back neck and began stitching with a triple zig zag set at 3.5 wide After a few stitches, I stretched the elastic so the first mark matched the center back

I stitched up to the center mark, then stretched the elastic again all the way to the other end of the neck; finished stitching; and cut the excess elastic.  The neck gathers slightly when the elastic is relaxed

I stitched shoulders together and bound the neckline edge. Totally finished:

So the back neck is not totally smooth as it would be had I stitched the darts. But it isn’t gaping  and I don’t have  a bulky dart back there, which is what I feared the two layers of fabric would create. Especially since I planned to bind the neckline. Yuck, I would have had darts of 4 layers covered by binding of two which wraps down, up and over. Another 6 layers. 10 total over each dart. Nope didn’t want that. I prefer the not perfectly smooth.

The 2nd fabric was way to wimpy for the cuffs or the neckline binding. I had to make the binding two layers using a 3rd fabric to underline the binding. Confusing? It’s nice to have a stash to find such solutions.  I didn’t really want to leave the lace at any of the edges which receive hard wear. Although I did for the hem. At the hem, I simply turned up my usual 1-1/4″ and machine blind stitched.

I’m not entirely happy with the fit this time.  Since I’ve loved every version of the Tabula Rasa T up to this lace, I’m blaming either the fabric or the duo layering.

It’s possible I just don’t have the garment sitting on my shoulders properly. I’ve never had the TRT lifting in the front or the drag lines visible in all 4 pics.

I’m not getting too worked up about fit because I don’t think this sweater will be wearable more than once or twice. In fact now finished, I asked myself why did I buy this fabric at all. I know without a doubt it will snag. It will get caught on things.  I’m just going to enjoy its beauty while I can and toss it the first time it gets badly snagged.


Fitting with a PSA

 reminder PSA= Princess Seam Alteration

Fitting went surprisingly well. First off, I expected to rip a few seams. So I cut fabric, ran to the serger and serge finished because, this is fabric that ravels like the devil.  I serged the center back seam. Swapped out the bobbin for water-soluble thread, joined the upper bodice and skirt. Put the regular bobbin back in and joined the shoulders. I stitched the right shoulder 1/4″ deeper than the left. Then remembering the issues with the Mashup, I stitched the left shoulder at 3/8″ and the right at 5/8″. I attached the facing also using permanent stitching; then swapped out for WST before basting the side seams. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the mirrors reflection. Made no changes, just took pics and trotted up stairs.

Keep this in mind when looking at the pics 1) I don’t think I have the shoulders square on my body; and (2) I already have 1/4″ shoulder pads pinned into place.

I’m seeing a little bit of drooping but not big V’s. Oddly, I’m seeing more on the left than the right. The blouse feels comfortable so I’m reluctant to take in the side seams. It will be difficult to work on the shoulders a bit more, but I will try before the final.

I also see the right side swinging forward at the front hemline.  That usually indicates additional ease is needed in front. I’m surprised but yes I can offset the seams a little now and add more tissue to the pattern later.  The empire does seem to be rising in front. I tend to think that’s because I don’t have the shoulders sitting properly. Honestly, I’m hoping that goes away because I can’t fix it now. Adding length had to be done way back at the tissue stage.  (I took all length away in the skirt. The upper bodice length was untouched.)

I’m seeing the same divot (don’t know what to call it really) on the left back as I did before. I note that I’ve pinned my shoulder pads into place and the pin is placed exactly where the divot starts on my shoulder.  I realize I have several things going on here. The pins restricting the fabric, the shoulder of the blouse not square on my own; the question of were the PSA’s deep enough; and has this oddity been showing up before without my noting? Is this the aging body that I’m ignoring?

When I take pics, due to my limitations, I always end up rotating the pics. Which I never do perfectly. I only come close. For starters I don’t think I rotated this pic at all. I’m still aware that the shoulder are not sitting squarely but can’t help but notice that the front left seems to have at least an echo of back left divot. Apparently I need to do more with the left. Which is surprising to me because it is my right shoulder which is obviously lower and always requires the extra consideration.

BUT did you notice, I’m nit-picking? Little things. Not numerous V’s on the side. Not necklines nor armscyes that expose my underwear.  Not a single big complaint. By golly, I’m going to wear this!

Now was the time to consider the sleeves.  I knew I needed to shorten the sleeve cap. Also that the medium sleeve was comfortable and did not need extra ease. So I cut the sleeve at a size medium and serged  to the armscye (just after I deepened both shoulder seams 1/4″).  With some hesitance, I did not stitch the sleeve at 5/8″, only the 1/4″ of the serged seam. Firstly, I had a lot of sleeve cap to gather to the armscye and while the serger did this  easily, I’m not sure I can repeat the pleat-free stitching at the sewing machine. As for all the cap length, simply removing the size-large, side, seam-allowance was not enough and will still need to be adjusted.

When I stitched the side seams, I offset the front (beginning at the empire seam down to the hem) so that the seam would be 1/4″ deep for front but 1/2″ deep for back.  I again added my quick vents to the side seams.  Louise’s mitered vents are lovely and not very time-consuming when you have all the seam allowances the right width. Today, I’ve got wonky seam allowances and don’t really want to invest the additional time needed to miter each corner (which can be done even with differing seam allowances).  I did a number of other finishing touches, such as securing the back facing with SAS and then top stitching.  I did not cut the vent in the sleeve. Mostly because I used that on the two previous blouses just finished. This time I made a narrow hem.

I pinned the front lapels in place and steamed them to create a permanent crease. Unfortunately, I forgot to remove the pins before photos.  Full disclosure here:  In the past, I’ve done the same thing when ironing freshly laundered blouses and then wondered why my blouse kept pricking me during wear. Onto Final Pics:

Right side view looks perfect (not even the front hem is swinging forward). Left still showing drag lines below bust. I may  need to adjust the shoulder slope more than the 1/8″ I thought I was seeing when I compared patterns.

I’m not sure about the empire line rising center front.  I still don’t have the shoulders resting comfortably on my own  and they slop about a bit. So is the issue due to needing more length or needing a more secure shoulder?

Increasing the shoulder seam to 5/8″ helped greatly with the divot I was seeing before. It’s more of a suggestion which I might ignore. Do note though, how the shoulders are not sitting evenly. It seems to be sliding to the left and the right neckline is closer to my neck than the left neckline. It is sloping about.  My first corrective effort will be increasing the shoulder slope. Oddly, I don’t think I want to trim the armscye or sleeve cap down to 1/4″ my preferred seam allowance.  I’m liking where this slightly dropped shoulder is sitting.  I want to keep it that way. No idea why the hem is bending in. It just is.

I offset the front side seams because I thought I needed more ease. Now, I just don’t think so. But I’ve already added tissue to front pattern piece (thereby more ease to future versions) and besides while I’d like to blame the shoulder situation, insufficient ease really might be the issue of the front swinging forward in the first set of pics.

What is most important about this blouse is the fact MY PRINCESS SEAM ALTERATIONS WORKED!!.  They need increasing i.e. the 3/8 and 1/2″ PSA were not deep enough, I’m thinking 1/2 and 5/8 next time. But honestly,  I’m jumping around and dancing. This means I know what to do to fit my patterns which don’t have princess seams. I couldn’t be happier.

******* Alterations next version

  • Shoulders
    • Increase slope to 5/8
    • Trim seam allowance to  3/8″
  • Increase the back and front PSA to 1/2″ and 5/8″ respectively
  • Sleeve cap need sto be shortened at least another 1″ divided front/back

PS on the Ebb

I really love the way the MashUP turned out. As  I finished, I was thinking, I needed a few tweaks; more attention to the left shoulder/side which was developing a divot. But basically, I could pull out these pattern pieces and add a few dozen Ebb-like blouses any time I so desired.

Then the left brain kicked in.

The left brain said, “I wonder how the princess seam alteration we’ve been doing on the back, would work for the front?”  Left brain also suggested now was a great time to experiment because really, not much more had been done to the Ebb than what I was doing 2 years ago. Adding the alteration to both now would provide an excellent comparison to its workability.

Well, left brain isn’t entirely correct. I am making major fitting alterations that I was not making previously. But I took the point well. Mostly because I realized immediately if a princess seam alteration was the solution for both front and back, that opened up a lot of patterns I could use or use again. See, I’ve been shunning any pattern without a sewn armscye princess. I won’t even tackle a shoulder princess. (Although I will work with yokes that terminate in the armscye.) So I think, well what the heck. Do I have anything in the muslin stack that I wouldn’t mind wearing if this happens to work?  (I did. A cotton/poly lawn that I’d rescued from the home dec section of Mill ends when they were still in business. I’ve used this piece previously and had left an odd-shaped remnant. Perfect!)

So you’re probably scratching your head and wondering what is a princess-seam alteration.  Well don’t ask a real expert.  They will shake their heads and tell you  there isn’t any; that I’m crazy.  Here’s what I do:

Starting with back. I’m pretty well-trained in the LCD philosophy of fitting which I find the more I use, the more I understand and the easier it is to fit. (For me. I don’t doubt that there are bodies are there for whom this doesn’t work.) So the first thing I did was

Trace the size large. You have to start with enough but not too much circumference. The medium size that I started with in the Mashup was not large enough. I traced the Large.  So now I can start fitting alterations with L, length.  I already know from the Medium,  my usual 1″ BWL was not enough. I need 2. So I made a 2″ BWL by folding in half horizontally and about the waist; then stitching a 1″ tuck. Back and the skirt portion of the front. Length fixed.

I didn’t do any checks on circumference. I knew from looking at the pattern that more than 1/2″ was added between medium and large sizes. 1/2″ is what I added to the medium to make it fit. So I’m pretty sure C, circumference is also fixed.

Depth. I like to start high and work low. The highest point is the shoulder. Now with the Mashup, I didn’t change the shoulder slope. After changing the neckline, I felt the shoulders were right. Which surprised me. I’ve always needed a shoulder slope alteration. I’m pretty sure some of the Ebb’s I’d sewn over 2 years ago had shoulder slope alterations.  So this time I compared the back of the Ebb with the back of 6299.

Admittedly, that’s hard to see (even when you click to enlarge) because it is the same white tissue on top of white tissue. I lined up carefully the grain lines and shoulders. It looks to me like the 6299 is just 1/8″ more sloped than the Ebb. That’s what I marked on the Ebb (1/8″) back and front.

Moving a little lower brings me to the level of the round back alteration. I slash straight across the back leaving a hinge at the armscye; slip a tissue beneath and then spread 5/8″ at the center back.

I pin that in place, smooth out the curve and then add 1/4″ center back seam.  It is possible to rotate the dart to the neckline or shoulders but I’m in a hurry and not doing that today.

Next up is what I’m calling the Princess Seam Alteration.  I place my curve on the back starting at the armscye notch.  I try to make a nice curve but I’ve found out that’s mostly a personal preference, so I’m not really particular about the exact curve.

It has to be extended all the way to the hem or next seam. If not you have a dart. I’d like to get away from darts and additional seams.  I cut on the curve, leaving a hinge at the hem, and then overlap 3/8″ at the armscye notch.

This creates a jog in the armscye that needs to be corrected. So far I’ve been filling in the jog instead of trimming away armscye. I took a second to look down the PSA and found that I was losing ease nearly all the way. About 1/2″ at the hip level. Well, I can’t do with less ease. Know it. So on the side seam I added 1/2″ at the hip level down; and blended up to the armscye.

Once all my alterations are done, I trim the excess tissue.

Back is done.

Front.  I have been mirroring alterations as needed, i.e. the BWL and Shoulder Slope. On the Front, I need to make the princess seam alteration. I start the same way, using my curve to draw a line from the armscye notch to the next seam which happens to be the empire line.

I slice that apart, leaving a hinge at the empire, then stop to think a sec.  With the armscye -princess pattern-pieces I’ve found that I need to pinch the front at the armscye more than the back. It is logical.  As I’m aging my back continues to round.Typical for the elderly that means  the back stretches becoming a little wider while the front becomes more concave and a little narrower. So when I slashed the front, I overlapped 1/2″ instead of the 3/8″ used for the back. 

Filled in the notch as I did with the back. I know it’s working so why not repeat the success?

And the front is finished

In its entirety as I had completed the front BWL at the same time as the back

I don’t want to work on the sleeve until I know how these alterations are working. I think I will need to remove 3/8″ length on the back sleeve cap and 1/2″ on the front but then again, I may not have made the correct changes.  Also I’m still leery of the shoulder. Although it is at the right angle, it still seems to be 1″ too long. I consider this carefully. First, my pattern 6299 pattern piece contains only a 1/4″ seam allowance. (I find 1/4″ is the easiest to work with when joining to the armscye. Under the serger foot, the 2 fabrics (bodice and sleeve) practically meld together with no effort on my part.) Point is, I think the shoulder contains an extra (from my point of view) 3/8″ length. Minus the 3/8″, the shoulder is only 5/8″ too long.  2nd point: This is a drop shoulder. The sleeve cap is flatter/lower than a regular shoulder would need.  I’ve noticed that Louise exaggerates the shoulder drop in her illustrations.  I think she wants you to know this cap is not supposed to sit at the shoulder’s edge. But she also knows that the easiest to sew,  most flattering, most comfortable drop shoulder is only a slight drop and that is what she generally drafts. Or, at least that is my impression. (I should confess I’ve not bought either her very earliest patterns, her Shapes, nor the latest patterns. I have several reasons, the #1 being my lack of fitting finesse, but also I’m looking for blouses and vests. Louise drafts every possible pattern a woman might want to use. She’s very versatile. Me, not so much).

Bottom line, I’ve leaving the sleeve alone until I get a little further along.


I thought the Mashup post would be shorter than it was and from the beginning of the project planned on the single post I made. This post on the PSA (my abbreviation and name ’cause I’ve never seen anyone else do this which doesn’t make it wrong) anyway, I expected this post to need more pics because I wanted to document exactly my changes; selfishly for myself. I’m at an age when if you don’t write down changes like you know you won’t remember a thing tomorrow, well you’ll have to repeat the whole bloomin’ process.  See you tomorrow for the fitting…


Mashup: 5967 & Ebb

ETA: Fixing a lot of little errors that neither I nor the spelling checker caught.

You all know Louise Cuttings Ebb has been my fav forever?

Like as soon as it was issued, I had to have it. Stopped my other sewing and made my first Ebb immediately. But since my shape changed 2 years ago, I’ve not been able to fit the pattern. Oh, I get enough circumference, but I also get deep V drag lines on the side and the empire rises sharply towards center front. Something is off and I don’t know what. Other than, I didn’t have the problem before. I made a number of beautiful Ebb’s before 2 years ago.  Well let’s move along.

I dearly love this style and keep trying to create a pattern at least close to its styling. After my success with Connie Crawford’s 5967, I wondered about a mash-up. I started by copying the Ebb pattern. I compared the Ebb tissue with my fitted 5967 pattern pieces and selected a Medium. At the time, I thought that was slightly off. Usually I’m a large or X-large. When I’m a medium it is because I’m trying to use a pattern for wovens with a knit fabric. But I proceeded ( and regretted it much later).

I immediately added a 5/8″ RBA and 1/4″ center back seam. I did consider rotating the dart to the shoulders but I have to think the process through every time. It is not something  I can whip through. Decided rotating could wait for another version. I also made a 1″BWL.  I have always needed to shorten the Ebb at least 1″ to bring the subtle waist and hip shaping in line with my own. I made one other change to the back, because it has been working for me:

I drew a line on the back which would correspond to the seam which would be created by an armscye princess. I cut all the way to the edge, but left a hinge. Then rotated the side seam edge inward 3/8″. I had to fill in the a little gap which occurs in the armscye and true the armscye curve.

I did not change the shoulder slope of either front or back because when I aligned the pattern pieces, the slopes were alike.

On the front, upper bodice, I laid out my pattern pieces from 5967

I really worked at lining up the grain and the match point/notches across the bust. This may be a little more understandable with the final pieces trimmed from the excess.

(click to enlarge any pic)

I noted that the shoulder had moved closer to my neck and was 1″ shorter than the Ebb’s shoulder. I reasoned that the 1″ difference in length didn’t matter because I always narrow the shoulders about 1″.  Since I wanted a princess seam, I needed to push the side front over and then add 1/2″ at the side to compensate for the now-needed, seam allowances.  I finished by folding the front along the fold line and trimming the facing to match the rest of the bodice.  I made the 1″ BWL to the skirt portion of the front. No pics of that.

This is one that I started by serge finishing all the edges. The pieces are visually different from both the Ebb which does not fit and 5967 which does. Enough difference that I feel uncomfortable with my changes. So I serge finished all pieces and then serged the side bodice to the bodice front. I stitched shoulder seams together before swapping out the bobbin for water-soluble thread and basting the empire seam and side seams. I ignored the sleeves for now. I have to tell you, the first fitting was close to being perfect.  My biggest complaint is the bust dart (forming in the front armscye) which is begging to be stitched

No I didn’t sew the dart, I trimmed about 1/2″ off the side seam.  My bodice tops often have interesting side seams as they tilt inwards at the underarm. I’m just narrow there.

2nd but not critical issue is that I think it is too long. The proportion seems a little off.   I trimmed 1″ from the bottom of at the hem of the fabric but on the pattern I increased the BWL to 2″ . Which takes care of a 3rd and maybe unimportant issue, I felt that the blouse was a little tight across the butt, even though it looks fine. Which suggests to me that the shaping is just a little low.

I also took a close look at the shoulders

The serge-finished edge is just barely reaching the edge of my shoulder. The Ebb shoulder illustration  clearly indicates a slightly dropped shoulder and the sleeve pattern has a flattened cap for a dropped shoulder. I hadn’t cut the sleeve from fabric, so I whipped out the 5967 sleeve, placed it on top of the Ebb and added a little height.

Then I cut the fabric. Thinking I needed to do nothing else, I serge the sleeve to the armscye and finished the blouse including hems, buttonholes and buttons.  I should mention that while I didn’t allow for vents during planning, I stopped the side seam stitched 8″ above the hem edge and finished with side vents.

I did have to ease the sleeve to the armscye. Ran a little basting line and pulled up the excess. That’s something I will think about fixing for the next version. The sleeve looks and feels good.

Oh forgot to mention that I had added 1/2″ to the side seams in the tissue stage.  Just couldn’t get over the feeling that a medium would be too small.  Turns out I was right. I stitched the side seams at 1/4″ which means I needed the large at least at the hip.  Um, that’s another tweak I’ll need to make to the pattern before the next version.

Love the right side view (above) and the front view

DH commented on how good it looked even in the pics from the fitting. I’m perplexed a little by the back which looked better at fitting

Finished (left) Fitting (right).  Also thought the left side looked fine during fitting but there are  extra front  drag lines in the finished blouse.

Finished (left) Fitting (right).

I love the final blouse. Can see more versions of this in the future.