Earlier this summer, I was trying to refit KS2599 for summer dresses. It bombed (scroll down the link if you want to see the pics). I had thoughts of extensive alterations which I allowed to marinate as I continued my quest for fitting not only 2599 but also an attached cap sleeve. Now closing in on September, I’ve decided to take this failed dress and make a HAF pattern that will fit me.
I’ve loved this pattern since it was first issued. It is so me. Fits beautifully in the upper bodice. Slim fitting but still loose through the torso. I taped the bottom flange to the upper piece and cut it as one. Also only sometimes did I want to make vents, so I added a bit more ease to the hips and eliminated the vents. (It was still quite ease to make vents when wanted). However as much as I’ve loved this pattern, I can no longer make it fit. In addition to my long known fitting issues, my shoulders have changed drastically. Oddly, copying my shoulder to a new pattern doesn’t work.
What does, is starting by tracing my woven, sleeveless sloper. To approximate the style and fit of the HAF, I rotated the back shoulder dart to the hem.
For previous versions I’ve only rotated a portion of the dart, 1/8 or 1/4″. This time I rotated the full 1/2″.
Then I rotated the front bust dart to the armscye.
I was really surprised that my rotated dart was exactly the same width as Louise’s dart for my chosen size. I compared my adjusted sloper to HAF’s tissue by aligning center fronts with the sloper on top and sliding the sloper upward until the shoulders met — shoulders won’t match for me. I discovered that my hips fall in between XL and XL+. I used the XL+ to copy necklines and side seams. I didn’t trace the vents. I’ve worked with the HAF so much since it was first published that I finally understand mitered vents and can create my own. (Thank you Louise.) I planned to eliminate the vertical darts of my sloper — just sort of ignore them. I added a 1/4″ SA to the center back. Sometimes I like a back seam. Sometimes I don’t have enough fabric and the extra seam really helps. I finished my pattern by walking seams, transferring notches and finally trimming the excess tissue from my sloper.
Looking at the pattern, I’m most concerned that I’ve added too much flare especially to the back piece. I decided to proceed as is. This is a test garment. If I get a wearable , I will have a double win 1) wearable garment 2) salvaged UFO.
The fabric is a rayon challis, one of my favorites. The previously attempted garment had a back seam so I aligned my back piece with the CB seam stitching. Aligned the front on the fold of the previous failed front garment.
One of the things I love about the HAF is how quickly it sews especially if I don’t use the vents. I tape the front neckline and back shoulders; stitch the darts and then serge the shoulder seams. Because my right shoulder is lower, I take the garment from serger to SM and straight stitch at 3/8″, 1/8″ deeper than the 1/4″ serger seams.
I add the neckline facing next. One of the things I absolutely love about CLD is her wide facings. I hate, absolutely hate those narrow facings that are designed to finish at 5/8″. Somehow, I can never finish them neatly and evenly. Then, even though carefully understitched, they always want to pop out or wad up inside the garment during wear. I end up nailing them in place. Which can destroy the look. But big facings, like Louise designs, are easy to handle and they stay in place. I didn’t use her pattern because I’ve got too many changes. I cut my facings by laying my front and back pattern pieces on scraps and cutting around the neckline and armscyes. Then I freehand cut from the center fold towards the armscye. I interface my facings with fusible tricot.
Oh and I did nail these in place, even though it wasn’t necessary
I created a vent opening in the back using a small, like 1″ diameter hair elastic. In the button box , I found the perfect yellow button — a left over from projects forgotten long ago!
I finished the armscyes with single-fold, black, bias tape turned to the inside and top stitched.
Then I stitched the side seams and turned up the hem. Yeah, no fitting and I have concerns but I’m short on time.
Totally pleased with the results.
Yes, I have too much flare at the hem. It’s OK but I really wanted to closely, as close as possible, copy the styling of the HAF. Originally I thought the HAF’s side seams were 100% vertical. At one point I carefully examined the pattern and found that the side seam is straight slightly anglee. I won’t be able to exactly duplicate the side seam angle because I need hip room while at the same time I need to remove excess at the underarm
Fortunately, I only notice this ease during the pics. During wear, the underarms feel good. I also note that I have excess width across the front. You’ll have to look closely at the front in the first pic. There are little waves, a mini-cowl if you please-which I don’t want. So before the next version I plan to trim 1/8 all along the center front and another 1/8″ from the side seams. I’m not really sure about changing the angle of the side seams which would reduce the flare at the hem. Think I’ll leave that for yet another version. I mean, this is a style I love to death. I have no problems filling my closet with HAF’s.