Fitting is not something that can be done in one session. You try on a garment. Examine for the flaws and correct one at a time. Sometimes, you make the right correction and many issues just disappear. Such as when I make my narrow shoulder adjustment which takes care of the sleeve length and the bodice front collapsing. Sometimes you make the right correction and suddenly, you have new issues. For this version of my tank-from-the-HAF pattern, I deepened the armscye. I also deepened both the front and back neckline but also removed about 1/2″ along the sides of the neckline. I shaped the back by trimming out a 1/2″ curve right at the waist. I did this by pinning my tissue to Mimie (dress form) and chalking the waistline on the tissue. I didn’t change the front side shaping. In the previous version I felt that the front followed my own form but the back had the issues.
Physically, my issues haven’t changed at all. I’m still a senior citizen just recently dropped to a size 14P from plus sizes. I live in a conservative community, even if they do vote the liberal tickets. We have very hot weather for 1-2 weeks every year. Before and after it is warm but not horribly so; or it’s warm for a day and then the rains cool us back down. I don’t need or wear a lot of camisole and tank tops, but when I need them I’m glad to have them and I want them to look nice. Not sexy, not trashy, just nicely skim the curves, lumps and bulges and keep me cool during the hottest heat of the day.
For this version I chose a 100% cotton jersey. Cotton is wonderful for absorbing sweat which helps to keep you cool. Jersey nicely expands so that your clothes are not binding especially when you are also overheated. I love the color. I love the fiber. I like the construct (knit), but have horrible things to say about the fabric itself. I was amazed at how it would scoot around. I wanted to add lace around the neckline band. I basted a guide line 1/4″ from the edge. Lined up the lace head with the just basted guideline and then basted the lace to the garment neckline. Next I basted the neckband in place. I checked quickly, even gave it a puff of steam to be sure that the neckline would hug my neckline and not stand up as a collar. Then I serged all neckline layers in place. Next, I ripped out all neckline layers. The fabric wiggled and wormed it’s way around so that the lace was not caught evenly in the seam. Also the band itself was not caught evenly in the seam. I discarded the lace, basted the neckband and then serged the neckband. Next I pressed the neckline and neckband carefully and top stitched at the sewing machine. Which was immediately followed by ripping out the top stitching, Carefully, I steamed the neckline and neckband into shape. I used Steam-A-Seam to glue baste all the layers together before top stitching a second time. I stopped several times to pull apart the blue binding and rearrange the layers so all was even. I will be picking out threads from the neckline until this garment is worn out.
I deliberately chose to use the same binding finishes as on the first version. I know everything you change, changes the garment just a little. So the neckband was cut the same width and also cross grain. I had to use a slightly longer piece. This fabric just would not stretch as much as the previous fabric. I’ll say that the front really isn’t that bad. I deepened the neckline as low as I would possibly want it, and then filled it in 1″ with the neckband. I’m satisfied with the depth of the neckline. I can use it either this way with a little fill in or with a 1/4″ seam allowance and turn-and-stitch finish. After all the effort with the neckband, It gaps just a little. Possibly after the first launder and another press it will be OK. All that ripping and handling most certainly stretched it a bit.
The armscyes were deepened. In the front view they look OK. I would not deepen these anymore. They cover my bra in the front and under the arms sufficiently plus a little. The plus a little keeps my bra from flashing when I move. It’s a good depth for me and about as close as I’m going to get to a true tank top. Should I want a 1″ ribbing, I would need to trim out the armscye a little more. Obviously, that’s not going to be a whole lot across the shoulder that can be trimmed. I had to finish the armscye with FOE (fold over elastic). I attempted to finish it using the same single layer band as used in the first version. I elected to cut the band 3/4″ instead of 1″ because it seemed too wide and clumsy to turn and press flat. Unfortunately, this fabric when the first edge was serged finished curled. I had to cut and stitch 5 different strips to end up with 2 armbands that weren’t badly curled. When serged to the garment, the fabric curled, shifted and scooted about. My band became wildly different widths. I stopped to consider how to handle the band. Obviously serging in place wasn’t working. I was afraid that SAS would make the armscye too stiff. I was wondering about clear elastic when I spotted the FOE purchased months ago and never used. This is my first use of FOE and I’m a believer. Mine is only about 3/4″ wide. I’ll buy wider in the future because it finished 1/4″ wide. I trimmed off the band and 1/4″ of the garment, leaving the armscye the size and shape it would have finished at with the previous finishing method. I finished the edge with FOE. I know I stretched gently but I used 18″ of FOE to finish a 24″ armscye. I probably should have used more. I cut 20″, but then trimmed 2″ off when the armscye was completed. The armscye, as you can see above, instead of smoothly hugging my frame, is a little gathered. I think that accounts for most of the wrinkles seen in the front view. It does however, hug my body. There is no gaposis at the armbands. I’m hopeful that the first laundry and press will make everything alright. (A girl should have dreams.)
In the side view, my bra peaks out at the shoulder. I’m really thinking this is a result of the neck binding and the armscye fighting for control. The hem appears to be higher in the front than the sides. It is. Yes, it is higher in front than on the sides. Partly that’s my posture, I’m once again arching my back. But it’s also because I prefer for strips to be even across the hem. I find uneven hems to be visually confusing. To my relief, several well known personalities voiced the same opinion. (It’s always a relief when the experts think the same as yourself). They recommend cutting across a stripe and accepting the slight unevenness in the hem. Once again, look at how my hem is not flaring. And once again, that’s a subject for a future post. However, we begin to see something that looks like a sway-back issue.
I do not have a sway back. I do have a slight curvature of my spine. But I’ve positively been examined and told to mind my posture. We’re probably seeing the arching of my back, but we’re also seeing the evidence of too much ease across the back at the waistline. Look again at the first version:
Blogger refuses to let me place the pictures side by side. The back is the same with the exception that the neckline is deeper in the turquoise/white strip and a little of the ease is removed at the waistline. There is still plenty of ease across the hip. I could remove 1/4″ from about 2″ under the arm all the way to the hip on the backside., which I may try on the next version. I’m more concerned about the diagonal wrinkles at the shoulder, the bra peaking also at the shoulder and the roll of fat now really evident in the turquoise/white stripe at the lower edge of the armscye. The roll of fat was only hinted at in the peach version. Again, I’m thinking it’s an issue with the way the neckline and armscye was finished; but I’m also wondering if I need to adjust the back waist length somehow. Usually I make the adjustment above the waist, but I think I could take about 1/2″ out between the shoulders. I’m not ready to try that alteration.
Because of the fabric issues, I’m not getting a real clear idea of how my alterations are effecting the fit of this garment. I think I need to make another copy of this version.