YED Vest Fitting for 2015

The “luster” has worn off my Conni Crawford patterns which allows me to turn my attention in other directions.  The last attempted C C had me seriously thinking about the vest in CLD’s Your Every Day Drifter pattern.  Every seamstress  has goto patterns. For summer, mine are all CLD patterns

  1. the PAS Shell
  2. the HAF tank top
  3. the RAL top
  4. this vest the YED which I make into a top

I did acquire two new fitting gems when working with Conni Crawford’s patterns

  • adapt the shoulder slope
  • add ease to the back hip

That’s in addition to my long-time standards

  • narrow shoulder adjustment NSA
  • back waist length adjustment BWL

However, I’m not diving into fitting the YED Vest  with scissors and tape. I’m doing this logically and carefully.

I checked the pattern back for recommended size and traced the front and back of the vest pattern. I did not trace the facings.  I know the facings will need to be modified after I’ve made fitting alterations to the major pattern pieces. It’s just easier to create the facings from the altered pieces instead of altering the pattern pieces and then altering the facings.  I looked at the traced pieces and thought “Did I really get that much bigger all over?”  It’s a fair question. I’ve gained weight all over but mostly I store my energy reserves in my rear.  I’ve been noticing tightness across the rear, bunching in the middle back, and diagonals/U’s just below bust and shoulder to the side seam. While I realize that I must have put some padding elsewhere than my butt, I don’t think I added as much everywhere as the new size would suggest.  I pulled out the previous fitted YED and found that it was a small… er .. based on the small size.  I measured the Large sized tissues, subtracted for 5/8″ seam allowances and asked myself “do I really want the resulting 12 inches ease?” Since the answer was no, I compromised and traced a Medium. Which really didn’t take a lot of additional effort.  Tracing consisted of adding the medium shoulder and side seams onto the already traced large. Then trimming along the Medium lines.

I made my 1″ back waist length adjustment and then pulled out CC1201 for a quick comparison.  I added 1.25″ length at the hem. This may not be enough because I think 1201 is shirt tail hem length and I prefer a wider hem because I think It adds weight to the hem. (I like weight at the hem because it helps gravity slide my garments downward instead of hanging up on my curves.)  While the patterns are vastly different, it did tell me I should have enough ease and length.  I hate  it when I baste together a new/or newly fitted pattern and find that it is too small.

I cut my fabric, a  light weight, 100% cotton broadcloth.  A slightly lighter fabric than used for 5620 . It’s a sister fabric i.e. purchased at the same time same place with same description on the end of the bolt.  It too has the linen like weave that I like so much. The pink and white stripes say summer to me and thus I bought 1.5 yards, just enough for a quarter or cap-sleeve top. Unlike 5620,  I had enough fabric to cut the facings! Which I did and set aside immediately.

I marked the center fronts and basted the pieces together using water-soluble thread. (No permanent stitching whatsoever.)

I wasn’t expecting this to look great, but I always hope.  I knew I needed to make some sort of shoulder slope adjustment. A concern  which developed was despite 4″ of ease in the pattern, this felt tight across the bum but loose in front.  My old nemeses raised its head: the hem is not level (center front hem is rising).  Too late to fix, sigh.  I copied the shoulder slope from CC1201 and I restitched the side seams at 1/4″ before taking the next fitting photos.

Creating the shoulder slope greatly improved the side view. Also made the sleeve too tight on my upper arm which hemming might fix .  I was concerned about where the sleeve was hitting on my arm. I don’t remember the sleeve  being that extended or that far down my arm. I kept thinking this would be a cap sleeve. Clearly that’s a quarter sleeve or longer length.  I stopped to check reviews at PR, my own posts and what is trending in the world of RTW.  I may make a deeper sleeve hem than the pattern calls for.    Decreasing the side seam allowance added the ease I need across the rear but suddenly the front looks too large.  Umm, I don’t think I can just hem the sleeves  to fix the upper bodice problems. In the side view there are big U’s running from front to back. They tell me that the underarm is wrong for my body.  Also, I’m still concerned about the masses of of fabric mid-back and I’m not sway backed.

I stitched  a new CB seam.  It is 1/8″ deeper from neck to waist and then curves out to 1/4″ before the hip.  I offset the side seams  stitching  the back at 1/4″ but the front  at the full 5/8″.  Did nothing more to the shoulder slope or armscye. With this style I’m just not sure if it fits or not. Surprisingly, I found no back views of similar garments.  It could be  my pictures accurately show how the upper back should look because that’s what the design creates.

I’m pleased to note that my major complaints, except the rising front hem, have all improved.  So much so that I”m not sure if I should continue to make fit adjustments or simply transfer these to the pattern and start Version 2.  I’ve learned that some issues have to be fixed at the tissue stage.  I’ve  experienced a situation in which  I made  correction 1 which created correction 2. When fixed correction 3 was needed. Made that fix and by golly gee whiz,  correction 1 was once again raising its head. So I make correction 1, again. Holy cow, correction 2 and then 3  all needed to be made again and when I’m done repeating those corrections, correction 1  reappeared.  Just as some things are fabric related and can’t be fixed unless the fabric is changed,  some fit issues begin at the tissue and must be fixed in the tissue.

I modified my back seam.  Deepening the SA 1/4″ along the waist and curving out to 1/4″ about an inch above the hip.  I serged the CB seam to 1/4″ and transferred the change to my tissue. Next I serged the shoulder seam, but did not adjust my tissue. I finished the front neck line, carefully serging a neat 1/4″ seam. I adapted my neckline/front facings. Stitched to the garment. Understitched after carefully pressing.  Added my buttonholes and buttons.  Then I remembered the neck/front seam allowance was 5/8″ not 1/4″.  Sigh, I changed the tissue but this blouse is what it is.  I trimmed the front seam allowance so it would be 1/4″ like the back.

Then I returned my attention to the “cap sleeve”.  Until this latest fitting round, I would make a 1″ BWL and 1″ NSA (narrow shoulder allowance) as soon as I traced the tissue.  I made the BWL but not the NSA.  I’ve learned that the shoulder slope needs to be adjusted to fit me.  I’m uncertain of how the slope adjustment and NSA work together. Conni Crawford made the NSA for me.  Now I’m having to handle it on my own.  I used the slope determined when I fit CS1201.  Now I was looking at the bodice and sleeve wondering how to apply an NSA after the fact.  I decided to mark 1″ up from the armscye along the shoulder seam. Then marked 3/8″ above that for the seam allowance that I normally trim away.  I used my curve to connect to the new back and front side seam allowances and trimmed away the excess tissue. Did it work?

I’d say, over all yes.  I have less bulk mid back. The upper bodice is smoother both front and back. In fact, the entire garment looks much better.  I still have issues. I think the front looks too big and will need further adjusting.  My plan is adding a 1″ NSA to Version 2 and subsequently map the shoulder slope from CS1201.    I won’t trim away fabric or tissue until I’m sure the shoulder slope and the NSA play well with each other.  Then I’ll work on the excess ease in front and chip away at all the fabric in mid-back.

It’s nice to have a plan for going forward.


2 thoughts on “YED Vest Fitting for 2015

  1. Just my 2 cents. I suggest you pin a dart at the back where the extra fabric is collecting. Maybe just 1/4 to 1/2 inch tapering to nothing at the side seam. I have recently done this on a top I’ve muslined after watching Peggy Sager’s latest video released on youtube. It’s from her most recent Fit to stitch season 4. She is fitting a sheath but it doesn’t matter as the same will hold true of a top. I like the results I got from this adjustment (and I’m not sway back by any means). If this works for you, you will have to change, of course at the pattern stage as it won’t help after the fact.


    1. Thanks LindaT. I know that increasing a back fish-eye dart (when there is one) does wonders for the puddle of the fabric. It could be time for me to start using a center back seam so I can take care of neck gaposis and mid-back fabric!


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