I love this shell, My Hearts A Flutter. I really do. But I also want a fitted shell. A shell with bust darts. A shell with fish eye darts. Shells with lots of different necklines. I wanted the fitted shell so much that I began fitting Otto 5/2009 #11. Began is the operative word. I moved the bust dart into position and then was totally stunned by all the fitting alterations I would need to make. After staring at the issues of 5/2009#11 for a while, I decided it might be easier to start by refitting the HAF to my current figure and then work on the other design details (like darts and necklines). I’ve fit the HAF to me twice before. Both times it has been a matter of tracing the recommended size and making my standard BWL and NSA alterations. Easy peasy. That’s why I thought starting with the HAF would be best.
So I check the sizing recommendations. My rear has expended to the point that a L+ is recommended. But wait! LC often provides more detailed fitting information within the instructions. So I read the instructions. According to the inside instructions an XL would better fit my dimensions. So I trace the XL and find a fabric I’m willing to test with.
My fabric is a 100% cotton purchased from Fabricmart last fall when they put all their cotton fabrics on sale. I loved all the other fabrics I received. This one had me asking “what was I thinking?” It’s a bright BRIGHT yellow almost orange with a dull green ( maybe dull by comparison) leaf design. I checked the website to be sure it was the fabric I ordered. I know the sites guarantee 100% satisfaction and I could have returned it. But I feel like as long as they gave me the fabric I ordered and as long as it meets the description, then any error is my responsibility. That’s the way I felt about this one. I should have realized how bright it was. I didn’t. I kept this fabric for just this occasion; the time when I need to test the fit of a blouse.
My first try on was shocking.
I felt like I was wearing a sack or a huge sack was wearing me. I took it off. Turned it inside out and started pinching out ease. eventually I pinched out 1″ ease front and back.
Not only excess ease but the unfinished armscyes were so low they were revealing my br@. With that much too-much-fabric, I decided I had chosen the wrong size. I rechecked my measurements. I rechecked the pattern envelope and instructions and then a la TerriK, I pulled out the measuring tape. I measured the original pattern and decided that a Med+ provided about 2″ ease across my bust and hip. The Med+ should be my size. Well, I already had a Med+ traced, altered and fit previously. I took out the side seams of my muslin and placed the Med+ on top. As I know that my rear has increased in size, I recut the fabric but allowed 1/2 extra along the side seams.I serged the shoulders and stitched the bust dart in its new position (the bust dart changes slightly between sizes) and then basted the sides before taking new pics.
Looking at the front, I honestly can’t see any changes that need to be made. The armscye and neckline are still unfinished. This should not look like the Otto pattern at all. The Otto pattern is fitted. The HAF is a Skims-Everything-Reveals-Nothing type blouse. It’s excellent for the summer. But back to the fit critique. I see something minor happening at the armscye and a few light diagonal folds across the tummy. But from the full-on-front view, I don’t think these need to be fixed.
Unfortunately the side view disagrees.
The side view would suggest I have a hollow above the chest and high on the back. There are more drag lines pulling towards the side and also towards the bust and tummy. From the side, the hem is rising. This would suggest insufficient ease across the bust and tummy. Although you can’t see it there is too much ease on the side beneath the armscye. If we were playing cards here, Id say I’ve got one trick left to play. When I recut the fabric, I had to angle the front, which added ease between waist and neckline. I darted this out because it isn’t in the pattern draft. Now I think I should go ahead and keep that extra ease, just for this version.
The back clearly reveals I have an issue, the question is: what is the issue? From the side I can see that the back hem is higher than the sides, but about even with the front. This back view shows that the back is bunching up. I don’t have a sway back. Let’s just get that out-of-the-way. The issue is either velcro-bu!t or insufficient ease across the hips. It may be both. I can pinch a thumb’s width on each side seam across the hips. However when I slipped the blouse overhead, it felt tight. This would be fine for knit or stretch fabrics but may actually be insufficient ease in this 100% cotton. In the pictures the hem is turned up and pressed. When I finish the hem, I will add interfacing and another row of stitching. That add’s a little more heft and will help pull the hem down into place. I’m not sure that alone will eliminate the mass of wrinkles between waist and bu!t.
But all is not bad. The shoulders are falling where they should. It is the right length. From the front it looks great. Overall it looks as nice as anything else in the bank line. What I will do with this version is let out that front dart, take the side in just 1/8″ at the armscye. I’ll add the vents which are drafted in the pattern but I will make them more than 1″ and finish everything off. I think I have a wearable here, but perhaps not something that I want to use as a sloper.