Pure And Simple Shell

I didn’t post my last experience with the PAS. I was horrified by the way it slopped about my shoulders and gapped in front. I was reviewing the pics of that wadder when I realized the whole issue could once again be hip ease.    I’ve discovered that the diagonals to the side seam, such as these:

Are nearly always indicative of insufficient ease at my back hip for me. This probably isn’t true for you. Most people  find that these V/U’s indicate two other issues (sway back and full bust). But for me it demonstrates  Shirley Adams theory that ‘diagonal’ wrinkles result from  a mismatch of ease to body.  I.E. there is enough ease but not at the right place. But I still had the issue the shoulders slopping around and the neckline gaping. So I started back at Square 1.  I measured my bust and high bust before checking the pattern for size recommendations. I chose to trace the Large because my high bust said Medium but my bust said XLarge.  After tracing I compared with my sleeveless sloper.  Louise Cutting says the PAS (and several of her other patterns)  are developed from the Kimono sloper and dont’ relate closely.  I have to agree. I didn’t really understand how the shoulder line and armscyes related but the comparison did tell me that I should have enough ease across the bust, the dart would be too low and I  needed even more ease at the hip.  I traced the bust dart and side seams of my sloper and adding 5/8″ to the side seams for good measure. I prefer working with a full 1″ SA during tests. Typically I need to add length the front. Otherwise I have the preggers hi-lo look (you know high in front but not by intention).

For my test, I chose a rayon challis mostly because it was in my muslin stash because I thought it was the ugliest fabric I’ve ever ordered on-line. Using it ensure I would make a test.  The test surprised me.

I look better when my extended shoulder is not so extended. Also, I find that particular level to be irritating during wear.  Not necessarily restricting movement of my arm but rubbing every time I move my arm.   The U/V’s are not  defined although I do see a little drooping around and just below the bust.  Overall, had this been a pretty fabric, I might have finished it and that’s what surprised me. Last year I was so disappointed by the fit that I couldn’t imagine I would be easily successful this time.

So I trimmed 1″ from the length of the shoulder.  I used my curve the way Peggy demonstrates. I tried my slash-and-smash NSA method but that developed angles along center front and back. When I trimmed CF and CB to make them straight I lost about an inch from the pieces; 2 inches total ease.  So I traced a new copy; copied bust dart and side seams. Added length and trimmed 1″ length from the shoulders.  I chose another rayon challis.  I wanted to ensure that I would be seeing pattern changes more than fabric issues.  I’m really pleased:

My garment has just a little more skirt ease than I had in mind but I’m not unhappy.  These free-floating tops are really comfortable during hot weather.

I think here my posture is pushing the fabric up. I love the fluidity and drape of rayon challis but, as here it can be confusing. For starters, I didn’t see a hint of the side wrinkles during fitting. Only when I added finishing (neckline, armscyes hem) did there appear  hints of these drag lines.  The right side view shows them at their worst.  It could be just my posture but it could be that I need to tweak something. I’m just not sure about curving the shoulder.  This instruction:

shows that you lift the shoulder point 2cm and after determining how wide you want it, extend a line from neck edge straight out to your terminus.   I don’t know a lot when it comes to drafting patterns. But I look at this and ask if I should be curving downward (dropping) the shoulder line  after just having raised that point?

I finished the armscyes and neckline with bias binding

and top stitched the hem with navy thread.

I turned the hem up 1″ which was a PITA . It’s like hemming a circular skirt.  But I like the weight which this develops in the hem.  It helps my garments slid over my rear and hang like they should.  I’ve been known to put light weight chain and other weights in my blouses for that purpose.  My garments need a little help covering my high protruding rear.

Does anyone besides me do this:

A little top stitched rectangle beneath the underarm which secures the side seams in place on the inside:

It takes an extra minute each side but then I don’t have to worry about those edges peeking out or forming lumps under my arm.

It’s one of those little things that are quick and easy to do and makes the garment more comfortable throughout it’s life.

I’m really happy with the PAS.  I will trim the 1″ length I added to the front at the hem. On any future garment,  I’ll be watching the side seams carefully to see if those V’s develop and I’ll probably be testing the shoulder slope/curve albeit in small increments. I may try to remove a little ease.  I do like the full floaty effect but I also like a top that just skims all the curves.




2 thoughts on “Pure And Simple Shell

  1. Really liked the fit of the print brown one, but agree about the shoulder extension into sleeves. I like you in a sleeveless version better. What I liked about the tan print top was how the front hem didn’t elevate and stick out. I always get so much from your posts. Thanks so much.


    1. What I dont get, is the difference between the two versions is that the orange has a shorter shoulder line and it is finished. How does that make the orange version stick out in front and develop drag lines? A mystery I’d love to solve.

      thanks for stopping by.


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