PP104 Large

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.


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