HAF Again

I will never tire of this pattern, Cutting Line Designs My Hearts A Flutter #59269. Never. I have considered converting some of my other patterns to use the armscye dart. That dart placement solves multiple problems for me.  With the completion of  Haf #2, another  thought about this pattern occurred to me. My thought was in combination with recent fitting problems  and the reason I fell in love with Ottobre Design patterns.  I love Otto for 2 reasons

1) Otto publishes patterns for garments I actually wear. My Otto garments are my go-to clothing. These are the garments  barely out of the laundry before being yet again upon my frame.  My Otto garments are the garments I wear out.

2) Ottobre Design patterns are the easiest patterns I’ve ever fit. OK it helped that I already knew I have a narrow shoulder and am short-waisted. But I also  recall carefully reading Otto’s sizing instructions the first time. To me, the instructions said trace the pattern size which corresponds to measurements of the body part. So I traced a 38 shoulder, 40 bust, 42 waist and 44 hip. I made a 1″ back-waist length adjustment and the pattern fit. I wondered if I could do something similar with other patterns.  I wondered what difference in fit I would see, if instead of tracing the Med+ (and making NSA and BWL alterations), I would trace a small shoulder, Medium bust/waist and large hip?

I started by adding fusible non-woven interfacing to the pattern.  I’ve never cut the original tissue. I’ve always traced. I’ve referred back to the original several times as my size changed or I wanted to create different styling details.  The original tissue has become soft; fragile.  I could buy another. Instead, I took 10 minutes and fused it with non-woven interfacing.  In addition to preserving the original tissue,  interfacing adds weight  and cuts down on some of the shifting/blowing around which occurs with tissue alone.  After fusing the original tissue, I traced the sizes mentioned above. As you can imagine, there were lines which didn’t merge nicely.  I used my french curve to join those lines. This slightly changes the pattern draft.  Where LC designed a straight side-seam, mine curves.

I don’t think this change will be  noticeable to the casual viewer. For me personally , there is now needed  hip ease without creating a Judi-Jetson flare.

But this is still a test. I’m not really, absolutely, 100% positive the altered pattern will result in a garment I love or even will adequately fit. So I hunted though the remnant part of my stash for a length of fabric suitable for testing. Guess what?  I have used the remnant from Otto’s Vintage Blouse.  I decided with this version, to coordinate the finish of neckline, armscyes and hem.  I trimmed each of these edges to the stitching line and then wrapped with  purchased, white bias-tape.   My sewing order was shoulder seams, finish all edges and then baste side seams. The result IMHO  is beautiful:

The shoulder line is wider. I mean in all the other versions I’ve made of the HAF, the outside edge of the armscye has fallen about an inch from the shoulder point as a result of my 1″ narrow shoulder adjustment.  IMO, the front is near-perfect. The side view might indicate that a little more room for my bust would be helpful.  I’m more concerned about the slight, hardly noticeable rising of the front hemline.  Note sure if I want to attempt an FBA (with my B cup that’s usually not needed) or if I want to add 1/4″ in length along the center front fold.  I also see the folds mid-back.  Thing is, once I start moving about there will be drag lines someplace.  I have other photos of the back in which those folds are barely noticeable.  I did not create the side vents.  I’m really wanting to use this as a sloper for comparison with other sleeveless patterns.  Not really sure what I’ll do, but I’m leaning towards adding another 1/8″ to the side seam between hip and hem.  A second choice….  a really good second choice is creating a center back seam and adding the 1/8″ ease along the CB seam.  I love how much faster it is to sew tops when the front and back pattern pieces are placed on a fold. But, as I age, I really appreciate the how much better fit I can achieve when the center back is a seam. I can really see myself creating that center back seam for woven, non-stretch fabrics; AND fitting a second version of the HAF with stretch fabrics which would not require the CB seam.

There is some wrinkling of the bias tape around the neckline and armscyes.  I’m not sure if this is my fault for not applying the tape correctly or if this is a result of too much ease across the upper chest created from this different method of tracing the pattern and applying corrections for my individual body.  There’s also something to be said and considered about the high neckline. It does have an effect.  Fact is, the wrinkling is not so bad that I’m going to do anything about it right now.  I will make note and watch for this issue in future versions.

My final thought is SUCCESS!  The premises was: Could tracing various sizes based on body dimensions  be as effective a fitting aide with other patterns as it is with Ottobre Design patterns? The answer for CLD is a resounding YES.  In fact, I think this version fit better the first time and  with less effort as compared to the tracing same pattern in a single larger size and applying various alterations to size it down. This is definitely a technique I want to use or at least experiment with on other patterns.



8 thoughts on “HAF Again

  1. I read your post on artisian about your purchase of a viking Ruby. I am seriuosly looking at buying the Ruby Deluxe or Bernina 580 or bernina 750QE. Please tell me about your experience with the Ruby. I will use it for quilt peicing and garment sewing. I want to start to embroider and possibly free motion.
    Thanks, Sue


    1. Sue
      There is too much good to tell you. I love my Ruby. Love her more with every project. The Ruby or Diamond are excellent for all the projects you have in mind. The very large harp area makes a huge difference not only for quilting but for all projects. I find it just as valuable with garment sewing. The run-way lighting is wonderful. The Bernina does have a few more bells and whistles. The Diamond has a few more stitches and can utilize that huge square hoop. I passed on both. I’m not impressed with the hoop because it embroiders half (and uses a field smaller than the Rubys Royal Hoop); then the hoop is turned around and the other half embroidered. The first question we seemed to be asked on the VikingDesignerGems (Yahoo group) is “why is my embroidery mismatched”. If the hoop was all that easy to use, why would so many people seek us out to ask that single question? The Bernina makes a good machine but I feel charges extra for their name. The 750 QE has been optimized for quilting. Personally I would not have been happy with it because I do more embroidery, garment and craft sewing. I’m not impressed by some of the “extra features” Bernina recently introduced like drawing placement lines for crystals or using specialized drawing pens to paint fabrics. Neither the Diamond nor the Bernina were worth an extra $2-5000 to me. You could feel differently. I’d urge you to buy the machine you love the most, regardless of my feelings.


  2. Thank You for your response. Most of my sewing will be quilting, sewing clothes , fun stuff, crafts for two 4 year olds and embroidery for them. So I need a machine that wil take me through the years as they grow. I did a test run on the Bernina 750QE with embroidery. The sales person was not very knowledgable so I felt I wasted my time today. I will have to try another store. I love how quiet the Bernina is , but not impressed with the decorative stitches. I know that Bernina machines can do better.The salesperson should have corrected them. I have tested the Ruby Deluxe over and over and I do love it, but I can’t help think should I go for the Bernina qualtity although I have not tested it enough, I worrry about the Ruby embroidery function like threads breaking and tension problems bothwith sewing features and embroidery. I read a few negative comments about the Ruby in regards to these issues. I wonder if you have had any problems with tension, threads breaking etc.
    Oh by the way I have seen some of your sewing projects and you are very talented. I trust you have a good sense for a good sewing machine, so I value your knowledge.
    Also I will have to look into those yahoo groups (although with my twins my time is limmited and computer time is the first to suffer…gotta save time for sewing)


    1. Susan
      I’ve had only one problem with the embroidery. The machine automatically clips between jump stitches. Sometimes the clipped bobbin thread is too short to be picked up again where it restarts. Usually, that’s an issue caused by thread collecting around the knife which clips the bobbin thread. Agood cleaning solves the issue for me. I’ve had my Ruby for almost 2 years. I’ve taken her in every year for cleaning and software updates. The only other issue I’ve had happened when I cleaned the bobbin area and did not get the pieces back in the right place. Anytime I experience tension issues during sewing, I re-thread the machine. It’s always my fault. Embroidery is a different animal. The fabric has to be correctly hooped and stabilized. That said, I’ve not had a tension or stitch issue. Probably because I had 15 years machine embroidery experience before getting the Ruby. I think I made every embroidery error possible, but on my Bernette Deco or Janome 9500. By the time I got Ruby, I could spot a disaster waiting to happen. I do like to pull the bobbin thread up on the first embroidery stitch -just like you would do for FME. Just first color first stitch pull up the bobbin thread. Goes a long way to avoid bird nests. I can’t remember a time when my threads broke either sewing or embroidery. BTW the Ruby Deluxe is supposed to be more quiet than my Designer Ruby. The tech explained that the noise was the bobbin hitting it’s stop point. He said it needed to do that for correct formation of the stitch. I didn’t really object to the noise because my Bernina 1630 had been even more noisy. The Ruby Deluxe should also have the “thread portioning system” which controls the amount of thread both bobbin and top thread on every stitch. The Designer Ruby tests at the beginning and after a stitch change. The new system tests and adjusts with every stitch. I can’t see how my stitches could be any better, but the tech’s say it is and the Embroidery Specialist says that it’s impossible to tell right from wrong side on two sided embroidery with the new system.

      I read on-line reviews before deciding to purchase. I was struck by how the negative reviews all seem to have the same feel and how often the response was “go talk to your dealer”. I started paying attention even went back and reread of a few of them. I’m pretty sure all the negative reviews I read were from the same person who just seem to want the machine to miraculously start working the way she wanted it to work. There is some credence to the “user error” and “learning curve” excuses that you will hear from dealers. It is also a known fact that in any run of manufactured goods 1 in 5000 will be perfect and 1 in 5000 will be a piece of trash. I purchased my machine from a dealer I knew would take the machine out of the box, run standard diagnotics and sew samples before letting the machine go to the customer. It does two things, I, the customer, get a machine that definitely was working well after manufacture and then the dealer knows, even has a record, of the machine’s performance and knows anything wrong occurred while in the customer’s hands.

      That said, I think you’re leaning towards the Bernina. I’d say, go to another dealer. The machine is going to be a substantial cost. You need a dealer to support you. If they don’t know how the machine works, they can’t tell you what you are doing wrong. (Sorry but it probably is you doing something wrong.) I stopped at 4 different dealers before settling on one I use. I then attended the sewing club for 2 more years before making my first purchase. I trusted the dealer before even thinking about buying a machine.


  3. Well, I bought the HV Ruby Deluxe yesterday.It is sewing great! I have already started sewing a blouse. But I’m having trouble putting the yoke in. I thought it was an easy pattern. I have not tried the embroidery yet.
    Anyhow, thanks for all your great insight. I really liked the Bernina 750 QE with embroidery, but I really wanted the 780…but that was just too much money so the 750QE with embroidery would have to be my limit. So comparing that 750 with the Ruby Deluxe..I just seemed to enjoy using the Ruby… (I already owned an older HV called the Platinum 735). So I was familiar to the brand. It was a close decision. I liked the touch screen better on the Ruby. It was on sale for 5,499 and the Bernina was 6,499
    750QE with embroidery. Two features i did like on Bernina the BSR and the dual feed. So I hope I won’t be missing those and the quality they are known for.. I have been quilting more lately then sewing. But I do take my quilts to a long arm quilter. I thought the dual feed might help with silky fabrics or minky. Overall I just seemed to enjoy sewing on the Ruby and using the touch screen on it.
    Well, I guess I will be joining the Yahoo group! I hope to pick up some good tips there.
    Thanks again for all your insight. Good luck with all your beautiful sewing!


    1. Congratulations on your purchase! Price is one of the reasons I went for the Ruby. I didn’t see that the addtional features of the Bernina or the HV Diamond were worth the extra cost. At my time of purchase that was between $1500 and $3000. If you really miss the dual feed there is always the attachable walking foot. Do join us on Yahoo. I read the digest and don’t contribute very much but that’s because there are several very active members that really do know it all plus Viking has a representative reading our emails and taking note of what we want to see. At least one of the software upgrades was the result of end user requests. Looking forward to seeing your projects on SG.


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