Story of the LAST UFO: Princess HAF

My fabric is a silk jacquard that I thought would be perfect in a YED. Unfortunately that project bombed.  I was left with large pieces of an expensive fabric.  I attempted to recut using my woven sleeveless sloper, my tank top and finally the HAF I was so pleased with.   Unfortunately, none of the pattern pieces could be shuffled to fit on the available fabric. Then I remembered, I had converted one of my woven slopers to a princess seam.  I could do this.

I set off immediately and copied the last version of the HAF.  I rotated the armscye dart to shoulder

returned only 1/2 of the hem flare to the back shoulder

I find I like a little of the back shoulder dart rotated to the hem because it gives me a touch more ease across my shoulders and hip.  However rotating the full dart to the hem makes the back hem flare a bit.

Split both into princess seams and added 1/4″ seam allowances.


Because I’ve done this before, it was a pretty quick pattern drafting experience!

Rarely do I copy or make facings.  I did this time because I like big facings but didn’t want a princess seam in them.

Then came the fun of arranging the pattern pieces on the fabric.  I was able to fit the  side front and side back onto the previously cut front and back pieces.  I did try to align the grainlines.

Center front and center back needed to be placed on the big ‘ol left over piece. I did it but by placing these pieces cross grain and I admit, I’m not real sure how close the grain lined up.

I quickly sewed this together. Princess seams, shoulders, neckline facing, armscye finish, side seams and hem.  I was trying for minimal fabric  handling because the fabric has already been handled several times.   Good plan but…

First I mangled the appearance of the shoulder seam by trying to stitch in the ditch to secure the facing.  Usually that goes pretty well because I have a special foot with a little blade that will ride in the well of the seam. Didn’t do so good this time.  I gave it a thought and covered the mess with a very nice trim:

I finished the armscyes with bias tape, my favorite, turned in side so only top stitching is visible.

I attempted an heirloom, machine-stitched, blind hem which almost worked.  That never worked on my Ruby but this is ‘good enough’ . I need to work with this hem a bit more and perfect it because it looks like it is hand stitched – when well done.

Unfortunately the final analysis is not good. I did make sure I was using the same right side. Difference in color has to be the result of grain.  I did not stay stitch or tape the neckline. Consequently it sticks up oddly and attractively.

The front is equally unattractive…

… and the sides have an unattractive droop not seen in any of my previous HAF’s.

I suspect a couple of issues. Maybe silk Jacquard is not a good choice for this design (too soft and drapey?) but there’s also the question of whether the grainlines were aligned.  (This is one subject I just do not agree with Peggy Sagers.  I think aligning the grain is important and I’ve had more than the garment above to prove my point.)  I think too, that the fabric had been repeatedly pressed with the first attempted garment and then the repeated attempts to use other patterns.  That could have stretched the fabric in unknown ways.

Finally, my princess seams did not align at the shoulder.  I don’t understand that. The front and back shoulders are the same length.  If I divide them in half, the resulting seam should align when sewn.  It didn’t.  Same thing that happened to me the first time I drafted princess seams.  Like that time, I will adjust the pattern so the princess seams line up.  I’m not sure that the proportions i.e. the width of the centers to the sides are my best either.

Sadly, this garment will be going in the trash.  I don’t like it even well enough for a donation. But I did get a nice muslin and have direction for perfecting the Princess Seamed HAF.  AND I FINISHED MY LAST UFO.



2 thoughts on “Story of the LAST UFO: Princess HAF

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