The Rochelle Muslins

Yes that’s plural. Two muslins.

After the Madagascar, I wasn’t sure I wanted to trust Loes’ recommendation that the patterns work equally well with woven and knit fabrics.  It’s on the envelope “drapey woven, knit…” one right after the other.  The Madagascar would not fit me in a woven fabric even though I traced 2 sizes larger than recommended.  That’s me, YMMV. Firstly, I resemble Grandma not any of the Playboy bunnies. Secondly, I prefer the semi- to loose fitting.  I rarely use negative ease.  After yesterday’s  comparison of the Rochelle and Madagascar patterns, I made my typical 1″ BWL shortening the pattern 1″ above the waist.   My second typical alteration is a 1″ narrow shoulder adjustment. Recently, I’ve found that I need to increase the shoulder slope and that means I need to lower the armscye by the same amount. I didn’t do any of that.   I didn’t do the NSA because the shoulder is only 3-3/8″ wide. A 1″ NSA would have changed my boat neck top into a boat neck tank.  I knew I’d need to do something about the upper torso width and planned to pinch it out on the CB and CF seams. I demurred on the shoulder slope because as drafted the shoulder was about 1/4″ shorter but seemed to have the same slope as my personal block.  The Rochelle definitely didn’t have the same amount of ease across the hip as my sloper.  It’s about 3/4″ narrower which translates to 3″ less ease than my personal block.  My personal block was fit for a woven, non-stretch fabric.  I don’t make a block for woven fabrics and a second block for knit fabrics. I compared my sloper with the Rochelle which I traced two sizes larger than recommended and said “that looks like a knit pattern’.  I choose a knit fabric to make my first Rochelle.

My  knit fabric is a  $1 Walmart  purchase made so many years ago I can’t remember.  I loved the color and made a top right away. Unfortunately, that top didn’t make it through the wash more than twice. The fabric just wasn’t sturdy enough to survive the modern washer and dryer.  The fabric has sat on my shelf since then. I hated to throw it away. It really is lovely. Not just the color but it has a shiny thread, soft drape and 50% crosswise stretch.  But I didn’t want to spend the time sewing a throw away garment.  I did feel it was perfect for now. I would be testing a new pattern and removing an old fabric from the stash. If I didn’t wear it but once or twice, well that would be OK this time.

So I cut fabric, taped the shoulders and neckline and basted together with water-soluble thread. BTW, I love how well Loes patterns are drafted. They go together so quickly. It seem like in no time at all I had this hot mess:

… and that’s the best it looked after 3 fitting sessions.  I’d taken in 3/4″ on every seam.  This looked even worse in the mirror. The photo makes you think there is hope.

Having none, I chose a different fabric. My second fabric is also a knit. It’s a pique with a very soft almost downy reverse side. I put that as the wrong side to be worn next to my body. The second fabric has only 25% stretch and just feels beefier but not like a sweater knit.

I pinched out a 3/4″ wedge CF and CB.  So unlike the blue, I didn’t stitch the entire seam at 3/4″. The wedges are about 3″ long. I also increased the shoulder slope pinching it 1/2″ at the shoulder’s edge and then scooping 1/2″ from the underarm to keep the armscye the same depth.  I shortened the sleeve 1″.  It needs to be shorter still. Also, I’m glad this is a knit. I would not have been able to put the sleeve on if I was working with a woven. It’s tight at the forearm.

I increased the curve at the CB waist  1/2″.  Still there is fabric puddling in the middle of my back.  I think the back is too wide overall but the front looks like it needs ease across my anemic bust. Despite the 3/4″ CB wedge the shoulders seem  too wide.  While the hip seems to be pulling and there is flare just below. Sigh, is the back too wide or not?

I always think the side tells the most about fit.  Despite scooping the underarm 1/2″, I’m getting those U’s that tell me the armscye is too shallow. I’m guessing scooping 1/2″ wasn’t enough. The whole armscye needed to be adjusted.  It’s almost begging for a dart in front.  That dart was never affected by adjusting the shoulder slope. I was hoping the sleeve would smooth it out. Now  I’m wondering if the whole armscye is just wrong for me.  Despite having traced 2 sizes larger than recommended, I don’t think I have enough bust ease. Not only is my shape pretty apparent, but the CF is rising.

It’s such a nasty surprise when one pattern fits beautifully and the next is way off.  I start tallying the changes I need to make and wonder if it is worth it. I’ve not been doing really well with Loes patterns since my shaped changed this last year. It could be time to say good-bye to this favorite designer.


2 thoughts on “The Rochelle Muslins

  1. I ordered the Rochelle. It arrived on Saturday but I have not made it up. I *did* some across this video by L. Cutting on adding bust ease in knits. Maybe it would help you?I am going to try some of the LC ideas. It looks like you at least need to lengthen the Rochelle front center as LC shows.


    1. I agree. Definitely need to add CF length or FBA. Thanks for liks to LC. I have several of her DVD’s. Love watching them but it’s hard to locate info in a hurry. Thanks again


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