The ABO is kind of an elderly pattern. Not for the elderly, but not a vintage pattern nor a recent release. Because of the prominent drop shoulder sleeve and flowing ease, its styling is reminiscent of the late 80’s and early 90’s i.e. slightly dated. I didn’t purchase when first I became acquainted with Cutting Line Designs both because of the dated style lines and also the really dropped shoulder irritates me. However, late 2013, the designer, Louise Cutting, was asked “What is your goto pattern? What is that pattern that LC pulls out when she wants a new top and wants it now?” Her answer was surprising. She starts with the little top in this pattern 21406 Anything But Ordinary, and then makes easy alterations to update the styling. Essentially, she folds the pattern parallel to the grain line in the shoulder area and removes the excess ease; dramatically changing the drop shoulder. Once those simple alterations are completed, this is an easy to sew, updated pattern. Intrigued, I purchased the pattern immediately. But being me, it took this long to work on it.
I was tempted to trace the Small. Measuring across the pattern hip line indicated that the Small would fit. However, I knew from experience with CLD designs that this wasn’t quite true. I pulled out the 2X4 which I last used in October 2013 and compared ease. I decided upon the size Medium. Once traced however, I was puzzled. The Medium contained just sufficient ease for my hips but excess shoulder length. Sigh, my shoulder is 1″ narrower than the standard. I puzzled over how to remove the extra 3″ in the shoulder without removing it from the hip area. This 3-piece pattern, the ABO top, is pretty boxy. Although the shoulder is sloped and the neck shallowly scooped, the side’s have no shaping. Also, there are no darts anywhere. This shape works well for the rectangular and apple-shaped individual but for pear-shaped me, it needs some adjustment. Which is born out by the first fitting:
I look sloppy. Even in this lovely rayon purchased from Fabricmart, I look sloppy and unkempt. The hip is almost too tight. You can see in the back it develops a fold at the center back and the raw edge wants to cup under. The sleeves are hanging to my very finger tips and the shoulder is extended beyond cap sleeve territory into nearly 1/4 sleeve length. I’ll barely mention all the folds and drag lines everywhere. So many I’m not sure where to start.
I decided darting the shoulder might help by removing fabric at the shoulder but leaving it for the hip. I pinched out the excess in the left shoulder and then basted in a big whopping dart. Wasn’t much help:
There are still folds and drag lines everywhere. You can see though that one sleeve (my left shoulder) is now much shorter. Overall, not much of an improvement and not a look I wanted to “settle for”.
I had run out of time for the day. I placed the blouse upon Mimie and shut down the sewing room.
…. to be continued of course