5208 Bianca Sweater

I’m proceeding on my goal of refitting my Loes Hinse patterns for my present size.  To my delight I’ve discovered that 5104 Venetian Vest does not need to be refit.  Also  5213 the V neck Tunic was fit Nov 2014 and is good to go.  I decided to work on 5208 Bianca’s Sweater

mostly because I wanted to compare it with 5203 the Cowl Top just finished Nov 29th.  As expected the big difference is that the sides are perfectly straight on Bianca’s Sweater and View B of the Cowl Top.   I traced the same size X-large.  While I don’t like being an X-Large, I do like the fact that Loes sizing has been consistent between patterns.  I measured across the hip of the pattern and realized it would be a close fit with only 1.5″ ease.  Being as the recommended fabrics are knits, I think I’m OK.  I did my usual NSA.  No matter how much padding I add or how it spreads, my shoulder are still narrow and the 1″ NSA  is still needed.  I didn’t feel the need to move shaping up or down because with straight sides there is no shaping and I skipped the 1″ BWL I normally do.

My fabric is again a Walmart purchase from EONs ago i.e. 20 years plus or minus.  I didn’t do a burn test either.  This is likely cotton.  It is a faded purple color that’s not quite purple, not quite blue, not quite periwinkle.  Just an odd color. Possibly one-time trendy color that was out of fashion quicker that it was in.   It does have an interesting texture up close. Take a step back and the fabric is just plain.

I think LH5208 must be Loes attempt at delivering a T-shirt like pattern to customers. I say like because it  fits much better  across the shoulders but like a commercial T lacks any flattering body fitting. I’m unlikely to use this pattern often because I prefer the enhanced fitting of PP104. Having gone to the trouble of tracing the pattern I want to use it even if I’m only going to use once.

I also wanted to do more than make just a plain T-shirt, even if that was Loes intention for the pattern.   I decided upon scooping the neck about 2″ deeper and adding an embellishment to the front which would consist of horizontal strips of self-fabric appliqued with an interesting elastic I picked up from Walmart last fall.

This elastic is brightly colored with a metallic like surface.  It was in the crafts aisle for making bracelets and head bands.  I never let  a ‘suggested use’ stop me.  I determined it was elastic and washable.  I bought two cards with 8 different color ways. The only downer is the limited quantity of each color. Maybe 3 yards per.  I pulled out my cards and compared with fabric; choosing a turquoise and purple I thought looked nice.  Next I chalked a vertical line down the center of the front. I played with horizontal lines of various lengths and decided upon an arrangement of 4.  I also played with the width of the base strips. I tried 2″, 1.5″ and finally settled upon 1.25″.  I attached the multiple cording foot to my Ruby and using a decorative stitch, attached cording and strip at the same time to the front.  This was easier said than done.  I had used 1/4″ wide strips of SAS to secure the strips in place.  My 3″ test went swimmingly, but my long strips tended to force the strips (even fused) forward and to one side.  I was constantly stopping, lifting the presser foot and adjusting the fabric.  I got all 4 done, but the stitching is not perfectly straight.

I swear that I brush my hair diligently every day. It was just cut about 3 weeks ago. Why does it look like this?

I also decided I needed to use the Cover Stitch.  All the top stitching of the Inspired by 71114 had been done just at Ruby with a straight stitch in knit mode. I didn’t like the final appearance of the that top stitching.  Usually telling Ruby we’re using knits (by highlighting the knit icon) is enough to produce perfect stitches.  That did not happen. Since I am again working with an elderly fabric, I decided to help it out with cover stitching.  I cover stitched the sleeve hems flat.  The neck facing had to be done 2 times. After the 2nd try, I pulled it out from the CS and was tying off threads when I realized somehow I had made several angular turns. I pulled it out again, started over and immediately became frustrated.  This fabric wants to cling to the bottom of the CS foot.  The fabric bunches and twists.  I’m holding onto the fabric pulling in front and behind the foot.  Mid way the 3rd time and I shut off the CS.  I finished the neckband at the SM.  You know what. It’s perfect. I did the bottom hem at the CS.  Which may have been a mistake.  I wanted to see if I could eliminate the cling factor.  I spray starched lightly and then interfaced the hem.  For good measure, I used 1/4″ SAS to secure the interfaced hem into position.  I still needed to pull the fabric stretching it tight to get the CS to stitch.  There was about 3 inches I had to do 3 times. First it pleated. Rip. Then I misaligned the needles and not by a little. They clearly started below where they should have.  Moral of the story is don’t let your helpful tools sit to long without use.  (My CS has been unused since September 2014).  Because they get mad at you and won’t work. Or maybe you just forget how to use them.

The first fit felt a little “close”.  Recommended fabrics were knits but maybe had I used an actual sweater knit, I mean the pattern is named “… Sweater” I would not have noticed. The first set of pictures reveal that my hunch was right, in this knit the top is slightly tight across the hips.  This could be a result of having interfaced the hem (trying to persuade the CS to work) and fused it prior to hemming. I didn’t want to take a chance on that and took the time to create 7″ hem vents on each side.  While I was at it, I also added 1/4″ shoulder pads. I know. Who puts shoulder pads in a sweater?  Well I do. I either need to add a greater angle to all the shoulder of my garments or add shoulder pads.   Since I *like* the look of the small shoulder pads, I add them.

I really don’t want to learn drafting. If I can tweak the fit of Loes patterns, I would use these as slopers and merely transfer design details from Burda or wherever. Examining the fit of the front:

I’m really not unhappy with my front view. Perhaps I should be?  I’ve place the green arrows to indicate that I need a bust dart.  That’s typical for me when a pattern does not include the horizontal bust dart.  Mostly I just ignore these drag lines because I see them on nearly everybody else who is wearing an undarted top. I’m terrifically pleased with the trim placement. I expect the strips to curl during the laundry which will add more texture to these trims. The sleeve is a little longer than I care for. I’ve noticed that the longer sleeve is back in style but I probably will shorten it slightly.  I pointed to the hem vents with red arrows.  I did not press the garment after adding the vents and shoulder pads. Once I did they lay a little nicer disguising the fact that this garment is too small across the hips. Also the sleeve feels a little close.  Possibly I could use the next larger size. But I keep thinking, “this would be perfect with slinky”.

Someone once commented that I needed a FBA. I’ve never thought of myself as a chesty person, probably because I compared myself with my more bovine sisters. However looking at the side view, I think the commenter had a good point.  I’m seeing both the drag lines and the rising front hem that indicates more room is needed for the bust. I’m also looking at the sleeve wondering if my shoulder has rotated forward or if I simply didn’t get the sleeve inserted correctly.

I was tired that day (reflux had me up in the middle of the night) and I think it shows. I look at this picture and wonder do I need more hip room or is it the rounding of my back causing these drag lines.   Possibly both.  One shoulder looks higher than the other. That is new. I’m not sure if that’s a new physical change or the result of editing the picture.  My camera stand doesn’t hold the camera perfectly vertical. So I always have to rotate the picture. Did I not rotate enough? Or am I seeing aging? Either way I think I need to quit being lazy and start adding the center back seam which I know I need.

What surprises me is that I didn’t see these issues with 5203 (Cowl Top) or  5213 (V neck top).  I know the pictures of 5213 were difficult to see (the top was constructed in a black sequined ITY). I did lighten the pictures 100% to check. I see only the need for a FBA. 5213, like 5203 has plenty of ease at the hip and fits smoothly across the shoulder. This is a really good pattern. It is fit through the shoulder  and is simple to sew. But as I said before I prefer the fit of PP104 and am unlikely to be using it again.

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8 thoughts on “5208 Bianca Sweater

  1. LH illustrated and explained her version of a FBA for this top and others in her Early Winter 2005 S Magazine that preceded her Look Newsletters. I have that one if you don’t and can e-mail it to you. The Bianca pattern had just come out. I also think that placing your elastic decorative strips vertically along the tuck lines (substituted for the narrow tucks) indicated on the pattern front would also give you a more flattering look and fit. VS horizontal placement.

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    1. Thanks Terri. I do not have issue and would love to have the directions. This issue is occuring just too often for me to ignore any longer.

      I’ve done the vertical stripes before using pintucks. They are flattering. I wanted to do something different this time and enjoyed playing with the strips of fabric, decorative stitches and metallic elastic trim. Because I used well marinated fabric from the stash, I didn’t mind that it turned out less than perfect.

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  2. Bev, I am sending you the S Magazine issue and any others you want. I like this top and think you did a great job planning and applying the artistic details of this top. You are too hard on yourself in terms of how things look in photos. Lighting, posture and even how one feels makes a big difference in photos. I’ve made the Bianca with the tucks too, and it gives the top a more fitted look that I thought you might enjoy doing in your next version. If we didn’t enjoy the journey of all this, we wouldn’t be doing it.

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  3. The colour looks great on you – particularly as you said you didn’t sleep well. I agree with the need for a FBA, and with the front falling more evenly maybe there will be less to do on the back.

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