I was really disappointed in my previous version. The Pure and Simple Shell has been a favorite of mine ever since it first arrived hot off the press. I had thought to quickly make a larger size fitting my own larger size. Initially I was severely disappointed at the difference between my vision and the reality of the final garment. I’m not wearing that garment. It’s in the Goodwill box, even as I write. But I did take a second look. In that second look I was impressed at how the garment looked to small over all. The PAS is meant to be figure skimming with a hint a shape. It’s the shape most mature women prefer. My pics look more body conscious. Much more than I desired. I reviewed the back of the envelope. I’m pretty sure that I must have traced the wrong size. It’s hard to tell, because once all alterations were complete, the tissue was vastly changed. So I traced a 3rd copy, being careful to follow the right lines, and once again applied the 1″ NSA, 1″ BWL and 1″ Full-TummyAdjustments (FTA)
For the 2nd version, I selected a cotton voile. I was concerned the voile would be see-through. In fact, I had placed this fabric in with my other sheers. I decided to use the sheer test Sara Alm suggests in her *Craftsy Course (Essential Guide to Sewing with Sheers). My fabric passed. So with a bit of hesitation, I cut the fabric but not a lining. Then I decided to hedge my bet a little and converted my facings into a huge collar. Here’s the thing, I don’t mind suggesting a little skin. I’m not appalled at the hint of a bra strap, as long as it’s not clearly visible. I feel the same about my back and sides. I’m a little more sensitive about my tummy and definitely don’t want to suggest two dark circles slightly above my navel. I thought a big collar would surely solve the problem.
With the correct size, the fit needed only tweaking. I offset the side seams 1/4″ so that the back was smaller than the front. Otherwise, I spent most of my time on the collar.
Originally the facing-collar was cut 3″ larger and looked like it was wearing me instead of the other way around:
I think the first picture and final version of the collar is much better proportioned for me. I trimmed the collar with white, flat, 1/2 inch lace. I aligned the two edges (lace and collar hem). Stitched once. Then folded up raw edge of the collar and stitched a second time. Theoretically you can just trim away the raw edge and excess at that point, but I’ve had a bad experience and prefer to Frey-Check first. The collar itself is very easy to construct. I overlapped the front and back pattern pieces at the shoulder SA. I then traced the Center front, neckline curve and center back onto tracing paper. I freely sketched in the outer edge. It can be whatever you want as long as the neckline of the collar will match the neckline of the garment. I placed the center front and back lines on a fold and cut a once piece collar. In the past, I’ve placed the only the center front on the fold which allowed me to spread the collar a bit and add more ease in the collar. Sewing requires a little forethought. I did not cut a separate facing piece, interfacing or underlining. I placed the right side of the collar toward the wrong side of the garment. Serged the neckline and understitched to the garment. Usually you understitch to the facing. I didn’t want the understitching to show. When I inverted the collar to the outside, the understitching doesn’t show, the neckline is completely finished. While this fabric turned out not to be sheer, I did meet the sheer requirement of a neat, narrow seam.
At the first fitting, I decided the collar was too wide. That meant I had to trim the collar down and reapply the lace. You can bet, even though I’m not showing it, I took pics twice before deciding the collar was properly proportioned for me and finishing the collar a second time.
I really think there is a little velcro b utt syndrome going on here. The fold doesn’t go all the way across my back; and earlier pictures in the fitting process didn’t have any bunches in mid back.
What I noted in the side view, is that the front is longer than the back. WTF? I took the time to add both width and length to the front because the previous version was shorter in front.
Oh well, I think this is pretty and feminine. Definitely appropriate for summer activities.
*Course review yet to come, because I haven’t finished it. But so far, I’m liking it and have picked up several tests including the Wedding Ring test for sheerness.