Continuing to address the issue of summer tops to fit me, I decide I need to make the effort to fit Pamela’s Patterns PP104, the Perfect T. I was able to use PP104 for my ruffled top
by pivoting the pattern to add 1/2″ to the back and front at the hip. It’s an expedient fix, but leaves too many questions. I look at the drag lines (previously non-existent) and wonder where they came from. I look at the back with the same question. I’m not wearing this top until the weather cools a bit but still I ask, what should I be doing so that the fit is the same excellent fit I’m accustomed to achieving with my favorite T-shirt pattern?
Last weekend I watched an It’s Sew Easy re-run(I provide link but you can’t see without registering. Sorry) in which Eileen Roche did the most wonderful and apparently easy embellishment on a RTW T-shirt. She embroidered a flower center onto a few squares of transparent fabric which were stacked upon the T-shirt over a flower design. (Whew. Hope you can visually follow that.) If you are registered, see episode #109. I’m thinking I can concentrate on fitting my favorite T-shirt in the next size larger, which should be a breeze, and add an easy embellishment. Of course, that’s when things started going wrong.
It took me hours to decide upon the embroidery. At first I thought I would find an easy design from one of my many art books and digitize. 4 hours later, I thought, In 80,000 plus embroideries surely there would be something simple already digitized or something complex that I could choose basic parts. 2 hours later, I’ve selected numerous possibilities and narrowed the field to:
Only another 4 hours later and I was ready to stitch. The design had to be separated, the parts joined and stitching sequenced so that the back ground would stitch first; and a basting stitch inserted (to keep the layers of organza in place during the final stitching). My plan was to add a crystal to the center of the flower after all else was done.
A day later, PP104 had been traced in size large, and embellishment stitched so that I could begin trimming and raveling the organza. Every time I work with fringe, I swear it will be my last. I’ve purchased a special brush and a special set of scissors. Nothing makes the process easy. Adding to that, my organza didn’t want to look as lovely as the organza shown on It’s Sew Easy. I trimmed and brushed. Brushed and trimmed. Swore. Trimmed, Swore and Brushed. By the time I was finished, instead of the 3″ flowery fringe Ms Roche demonstrated I had 3/8″ bristles:
But even not completely finished (no crystal), the embellishment didn’t look bad on my garment:
A trip to the laundry (and add the crystal) and this will be OK, at least.
I stabilized the shoulders with fusible bias tape and serged them together. I knew I needed to make some fitting adjustments, so I pinned the sides together, slipped the unfinished T over my head and trotted into the bathroom to take a look in the full-length mirror. Shock and AWE. OK, no awe, just shock. The difference between the medium and the small patterns is at most 1/2″ anywhere. But I swear I could have fit 3 pre-schoolers and a puppy dog underneath the tummy of this T-shirt. What possibly could have happened?
I think I can explain. It’s about 1.25 yards of rib knit in a lovely watermelon color. I checked the stretch but only so far as to determine that it stretched the amount the envelope indicated it had to stretch. I should have stretched to see how far it would stretch and then how quickly it recovered. Because this thing hung off my shoulders about 3 inches on both sides. I trimmed about 1.5″ on both sides from bottom to shoulder and slipped it on for a 2nd try. With that, I serged the sleeves into place and finished the garment before the final tryon.
Guys, I think it’s really pretty and looks nicer on me than it does on Mimie. Trouble is, it is still just a smidge too large. I threw it into the laundry immediately. I’m hoping both that the fringe will fluff a little and the fabric shrink a little. I did not succeed in fitting my pattern. I can’t possibly transfer the changes back to the tissue. I will repeat there is only about 1/2″ between the pattern which produced the knit top at the beginning of this post and the tissue which produced this T-shirt. The extreme amount of ease I removed can only be attributed to the fabric and not blamed on pattern. So, I still need to fit PP104 size large.