Back to fitting a non-stretch top and one of my favorite patterns, Loes Hines 5202 the Tunic Blouse. I started fitting this late last year then got side tracked by Spring 6PAC sewing and fitting pants patterns that should already fit. Then a new pattern from Louise Cutting caught my fancy and I was off again. The bitterness of that failure tells me I really need to step back and find out what changes to patterns are required for my aging body. (I believe this is year I out live both my grandparents. I should feel older than I do instead, I wonder how they got old so young.) The previous version included in my Spring 6PAC was sewn with only my 2 standard alterations. The same alterations I’ve used for years and years and …. I could easily see that I had issues. Fabric puddled in the middle of my back while from the side I could see wide V’s replicating all the way to the hem. Also from the side it was obvious that my hem rose drastically at the center front. The diagonal lines dropping off my bust were rather shocking. I don’t think of myself as being well endowed. Yet the blouse was saying “add more room across the bust”. These same 3 issues have been evident for quite some time. I have been ignoring them. Well no more.
I started with tackling room over the bust. I tried Loes suggested FBA which consists of a bump on the side and adding length at the neck. (It is detail in one of The Look issues. Sorry again, not sure which one.) It might be more successful with knits but definitely didn’t help me with woven garments. I did not want to turn Loes pattern into a darted garment by using the standard FBA instructions. I just felt that would adversely affect the simplicity and elegance of her design. So when someone recommended Louise Cuttings Dartless FBA I altered the pattern using her demo on the Threads site. (I’m so sorry, I can’t find the exact URL.) I used the maximum Louise says can be used (3/4″). I want to see a change even if it is too much change. I still applied my NSA and BWL. I’m thinking I need more alterations to fit the curves of my body not that a single alteration will cure-all ills past and present. I found myself hesitating a few times and filled in rather trimmed off when truing lines. In particular, I know I added 1/2″ along the front armscye which may not have been the right decision.
My fabric is a Linen lycra blend. Yes it does have stretch. Honestly I prefer to wear blouses with a little stretch. Makes it so much more comfortable to reach and move. But it does have the downside of being able to conceal fitting issues. My fabric is also “not me”. It is a bright dramatic print. If these alterations aren’t bad, I probably won’t miss the blouse. In fact, if they work, I may find the blouse sitting in the closet unworn because it is so not me.
One of the things I love about Loes patterns is their simplicity. I spent 40 minutes one evening tracing and making alterations. 3 hours the next day cutting and sewing. This linen is not stiff. It has more drape than body. I taped the shoulder seams and front neckline before stitching shoulders and finishing the neckline and facings. I think of linen as being easy to press. This was not difficult but it seemed to get unpressed or wrinkled quite easily. For the first time I removed the little shovel end from my Mini Iron and used the ball end. Really needed it along the curved front neckline but this is the first time I’ve felt that was necessary. Usually my little wooden iron is more than enough to turn that seam and press into place.
Before I share fitting photos, let me tell you that the print made it difficult to see wrinkles or folds. I applied a sepia filter to my photos, but I’m sharing full color with you.
I’m just not seeing issues in the back. There is a slight dip and pull just above the hip. Makes me think that I should have at least tried to smooth it out before pics.
The front is not much more illuminating. Sure there is some kind of diagonal between 3 and 4 button traveling towards the right. But is it an issue? I also see sort of a vertical fold just below the shoulder down to about bust level. Is the 1/2″ I added when truing the armscye? Should it be removed? Ignored? BTW those are not contrast cuffs. I was checking length before finishing them. But if you can do note that the front sleeve drag line I’ve previously complained about — is not visible. Is the print hiding it? Did the FBA fix it?
For me it is the side view that says the most. Can see any back wrinkles (possibly angle of the pic has something to do with that). I see a diagonal from over the bust traveling towards the side but not reaching the side. It reverse and travels downward towards the hem but again not reaching the hem. Is it a problem? Or just draping fabric? The hems look even front and back but maybe a bit long at the side.
Lastly, I do find this a bit long but it’s good when wearing skinny jeans. This is a new pair of jeans from the DG2 brand. Like my previous pairs it has horizontal wrinkles right at the back of the knee. Those are wrinkles which I do not mind at all. If I have to have wrinkles someplace (and I do because I move), back of the knee is the best place for wrinkles to congregate.
I think the dartless FBA has had a positive effect on fitting this pattern. I still have questions because the print is so vibrant and the little bit of fabric stretch can hide fitting issues. But, I like it!