I’m a big fan of Louise Cutting and her CLD designs. I purchased 81508
as soon as it was available and can’t understand why I waited so long to test this pattern. I made the Ebb version. .
I feel like I’ve developed a fitting routine that works really well for tops excepting coats I read the pattern envelope back and note the designers recommendations. I locate the major pieces, rough trim them from the tissue and press. Then I compare a few measurements, but really I pay attention to the differences when I pull out a TNT/sloper. These are patterns I’ve made dozens of times before and know how they are going to fit when sewn up. I usually slap the TNT on top the new pattern before choosing the size to trim. Yes I trim most patterns. Kwik Sew and other patterns that are printed on heavy paper are too stiff for me during use and I trace them (as well as Burda and other overlapping patterns), but tissue patterns I trim. If I lose enough weight and still want to make the pattern again, I’ll have the pleasure or shopping and purchasing. I used a size Small for this pattern .
Mimie (dressform) is now a little bigger than me. The really important points, shoulder postion and length, bust postion and size, waist position and all those necklines I inked in are still correct. So I pin the tissue together and gently place on Mimie. I secure center front and center back to Mimie. Then I can continue to gently smooth the tissue into place and check fitting and design gotcha’s. Like
- plunging necklines
- shoulder length and position
- waistline location
- bust point
- hip ease
- et cetera
The size small Ebb seemed to fit perfectly everywhere. Even the shoulder length was correct. My shoulder is narrow. At least 1.5″ narrower than average. I always make a narrow shoulder adjustment. Not this time. I proceeded, but with just a little trepidition. I can never make a garment straight out of the envelope. N-e-v-e-r. This could be a first.
I think I’m still in Spring 6PAC Yellow and Purple mode. Consciously, I was choosing fabrics from the 1.5 length stacks in my stash; and patterns that could be made with 1.5 yards of fabric. But unconsciously, the fabric I chose was shades and tints of yellow printed on a high quality polyester. The print has an interesting watercolor effect with lost and found edges, softly shading into delicate wild-rose shapes. When I first pulled it from the stack, I thought it was Rayon. It took me a few days to remember purchasing this and it’s sister fabric. I was in Fort Collins Colorado about 2006, shopping in a high quality dressmaking fabric shop such as those that have virtually disappeared from America. At the time the shop was right off the main street downtown. Fort Collins is sort of a college town and keeps a charming downtown with neat places to eat, shop and just spend the day. The shop has since relocated and changed names. But I remember standing in the shop and wanting to buy this fabric, but concerned over the 100% polyester content. The shop owner agreed that I was correct in being concerned becasue polyester quality was “all over the place”. The manufactures can skip steps, substitute chemicals or process, change temperatures, oh just a variety of things which makes the difference between a fabulous fabric and a cheap piece of cr@p. She guaranteed her product would please. Knowing I was in a high end specialty shop persuaded me to try. I purchased two 1.5 yard cuts that day and have let them languish in my stash while I looked for the perfect project to use up $20/yard fabric.
I may have been right in my suspicions. I normally start the actual sewing by changing needles, threading up the machines and making 4 test seams. I test the straight stitch on both single and double layers of fabric at both my serger and sewing machine. I’ve got a pretty good rapport with my machines and usually only need 2 test seams at each machine. This time I made seam after seam after seam. At the Ruby the seam looked fine but the edges fluted. I changed needles down 1 size and changed from a universal to a sharp I lessened the top tension which helped and then I could press the fluting flat. But it bothered me that the seam did not stitch flat; it had to be pressed into that condition. Then I turned my attention to the serger. I loosened needle tensions until the seam fell apart. My Janome 634D serger which has always been reliable (OK excepting 12 thickness of denim — don’t ask) kept scalloping the edge. Dinner interrupted my frustration. A movie and a night’s worth of sleep gave me time to think of other solutions. I went up a needle size, well 2 sizes from what was in the machines. But I’d already tried the middle size and knew it didn’t work. Neither did the bigger needle. Oh it punched holes, a size 14 tends to do that. But the edges still fluted at the SM and scalloped at the serger. In desperation, I added 1/2″ strips of fusible interfacing. That did work, but I had a hard time thinking I would actually add those strips to every seam. I started sewing.
As usual Louise has some wonderful construction techniques. I had read the directions all the way through the night before. Instead of referring to the directions as I went along, I did everything from memory. My memory is no better now than it was 20 years ago and so I goofed at the hem. I knew it was wrong when I tried to fold the miters into place. The hem was to be 1″. Mine would have been 3. My goof gave me an interesting spade shaped hem that finished nicely. Not what Louise had in mind or designed, but it looked nice and so I went with it and promised Louise next time I’d read the hem directions just prior to doing anything in the vent/hem area.
Somewhere early in the stitching, I wondered what Ruby’s Sewing Advisor would recommend. She recommended a 2.0 stitch length and foot A. OH MY! I hate to rip those stitches. But I tried it and guess what? Fluting went away. I did need the combination of stitch length and foot to control the fluting. I tried, just because I’m analytical. My A foot is the one that has a narrow channel beneath the foot. It’s really intended for straight stitching while the B foot (the one usually on the machine) was designed for decorative stitching. The A foot does have a wider throat so that I can occasionally use a zig zag stitch or the tack stitch that I used to reinforce the vents. Usually I would think to change to my quilting foot, which has a single hole and really supports the fabric around the needle. Why I didn’t think of this myself, I don’t know. I’m just glad Ruby reminded me. I then changed the serger to stitch length 2.5 and although the scalloping didn’t completely disappear it was noticeably less. More of a hiccup than a regular scallop. At 2 the stitches would pile up on top of each other. I think that’s an oddity related to the fabric. I’ve often used less than 2 for rolled edges or flat decorative finishes without stitches piling up. Fabric weave, weight, fiber all make a difference.
Oh and the results are in.
This is a fabulous blouse. It is easy to sew, just follow Louise’s instructions. It did feel a little snug across the hips but changed instantly. I can see from the back view, that I need to add just a smidgen of ease to the hips. I usually like to add shoulder pads, but I’d need to alter the armscye to accommodate a pad. It is high, but not tight. I was concerned during the prefit that the armscye would be too tight. I’ve made several CLD tops before and decided to trust the pattern. Louise has earned my trust.
I love this blouse. I can see making it dozens of times with different minute changes. Maybe a little machine embroidery. Definitely figure out the hem. It’s not only a TNT but will be used as a sloper to compare with other new patterns for woven fabric
Thank you Louise for another wonderful pattern.