No Fabric Wadders

How do you make a wadder without using fabric?


Well it’s like this.  I’ve been intrigued by many of the twist/knot type patterns.  I’ve actually purchased 2.  The first I successfully made and will wear as soon as the weather warms.  The other was Butterick 5185

Looking at this pattern I thought it had the very interesting knot placed at the waistline.  The surplice, adding to the charm, seemed high enough on the chest to provide some much needed coverage.  I liked the asymmetrical hem, but was concerned that they showed it opening to what I assumed was the waist.  Well, as long as actual flesh is not exposed, I’m tolerant of the split.  I often leave the sides of tunics split just in case there isn’t quite enough ease for movement. .  Plus I think the appearance of a side vent is a nice touch.  Also, I’m quite conscious of how a diagonal line across the abdomen can be very slimming. So like I said, if no actual flesh is exposed, I think the hem and vent is a plus.


I decided on View B, that’s the lower right as we’re looking at it, and is hip length with 3/4 sleeves. I checked the measurements on the back of the envelope, decided upon the size 14 and trimmed the tissue.  I always need to shorten the back-waist length BWL (both back and front) because patterns are designed for the 5’6″ and I’m 3″ shorter.  That extra length has to be addressed or at least considered.  In this case, the back was obviously shaped. I mean there was a clear indentation for the waist and widening for the bust and hips.  Waist was also clearly indicated.  I marked and applied my 1″ alteration.


Satisfied that the waist and hip shaping would now correspond to my own frame, I turned my attention to the 2 front pattern pieces.  I knew the pattern had 2 front pieces.  Saw it on the instruction sheet, trimmed them out individually.  I knew I needed to add the alteration twice on front because the garment front is asymmetrical. I’m OK with that, my problem is these are very weird pattern pieces.  They have to be since they are both asymmetrical, drafted for a knot, a surplice and a little draping.  I’m OK with that too.  What I’m not OK with, is that there is no indication of where the waist should be. Nope none.  Not even a shorten or lengthen line mars either of the front pieces.  I’m assuming that darts have been rotated within the pattern piece, but where is the ease going to fall on me.  I’ve got no clue.  I’m not a pattern drafter.  I’ve a little knowledge of how these things work and am content to allow the experts to translate the designers vision into something I can cut and sew together at home.  But I want it to fit.  I want the waist shaping at the waist and the room intended to accommodate my hips, needs to be at my hips not an inch lower.  I’m perplexed.  What do I do?


Well before Pattern Review, I would have immediately thrown the whole business in the trash. Instead I set the pattern aside and visited my computer.  To my delight there were several reviews of this very pattern at Pattern Review. Know what they said? They said:

  • the knot falls not a the waist but just under the bust
  • the surplice needs to raised a minimum of 5/8″ to avoid revealing the lower curve of your br east
  • raise much higher if actually cleavage is not to be exposed
  • the vent created by asymmetrical hem travels to about belly-button height exposing much flesh unless tacked in several places which then creates additional drag lines.


OMG that was the combined experience.  One person did relate that they had the same need to shorten the BWL and finally settled upon altering level with the side notch.  Well, that isn’t going to work for me.  The side notch usually falls right around or just above my bust point.  For some unknown reason, my shortness is under the bust and above the waist.  That area right there is shorter than most people.  Raising at the notch, is going to move the ease added for by bust up above my actual bust.  Ever had a garment like that?  It’s kind of weird.


With all that going against this pattern, I removed all the pins and weights, crushed the tissue into little balls and put them in the trash. So I have a wadder before ever having cut the fabric i.e. a No Fabric Wadder


But my title was wadder s, plural as in two wadders. This one, however did involve fabric.  I chose a nice linen/cotton blend to use for top in Louise Cuttings Relax A Little pattern (#62905).  I have to confess that I love Cutting Line Designs but I must be careful.  I do not share the same physique as the designer.  Many times, that is not a problem. CLD patterns are classics modernized for current lifestyles, fabrics and sewing procedures.   When a CLD pattern is good for me, it is FABULOUS.  On those rare occasions when the design doesn’t work for me, well it’s bad.  This is one that went in the trash.  I was working on the top and fine up to the point of adding the facing.  I had problems matching up the notches, clips and alignment hashes at the sleeve facing. I’m telling you, I checked them several times, reread the pattern pieces and still don’t know why I was off.  I’m assuming it was me, because no one else has mentioned this as a problem.  I finally located the shoulder points on both the facing and the yoke and made sure the facing was an even distance from both bottom hems.  Then I folded the front facings in, pinned and tried it on. Well, it was dreadful.  Just in the mirror, it looked bad on me.  I’m not particularly misshapen or deformed but even my DH refers to “my weird figure”.  I’m sure there are others out there with my figure peculiarities, but I’ve never seen another complaint or disappointed post in regards to this pattern. I am assuming that it’s just me.  This design is just not good on me or maybe it conflicts with what I want to see in the mirror.  Whatever, this too was tossed into the trash. I’m only posting it here because I use my Blog to help me keep track of my sewing ERRORS as well as successes.  I want this information here for me personally.  I urge you to give serious consideration to adding this pattern to your own collection. Really. CLD patterns are easy to sew and flattering for the vast majority.  I need to know not to do this one again, choose a CLD design known to be flattering. (There are many which are flattering see 2X4,   or 81508, or  any other pattern in my cloud begining with LC. In fact there is only one other CLD pattern which didn’t flatter me).


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