Tabula Rasa T: Fit

During sewing I discovered it was a real mistake to adjust the armscye length (via shoulder slope) and ignoring the sleeve cap. I could not ease sleeve to garment. Couldn’t do it. Ripped out the sleeve twice. Finally thought “How would a soft pleat look?”  The pleats are about 3/8″ deep. One on each back but 2 on each front.

Otherwise, sewing was a breeze.  I taped necklines and back shoulders before stitching bust darts, center and shoulder seams. BTW, I’m using water-soluble thread through-out fitting. Makes ripping  easy when I need to fix issues.  Once shoulder seams are sewn, the sleeve is folded in half and the underarm sewn. The side panel is then stitched to the bottom of the sleeve. The whole long seam from hem, up across shoulder  and down to the hem is sewn in one fell swoop. Unless like me you goof the sleeve cap. I thought that sleeve would make sewing a challenge. But after following FFA’s instructions I said “That’s not so bad.”

I slipped it on to check fitting and immediately said “whoops”. The arms are too tight. They would be OK if this was a slinky  but not for this 30% stretch. I can let them out and gain 1/2″ ease which will make the sleeves at least wearable. Before I make the pattern again, though, I need to add width.

I was afraid this garment would be too long.  Comparing the pattern pieces with my knit sloper, I thought for sure it was tunic length. But the length looks right even at the first fitting.


The black and white print does camouflage drag lines really well. I lightened the pics 60% to find any issues at all.  Even then I don’t think there are many and they may not need fixing.

linesback_resize-copy linesfront_resize-copy linessideright_resize-copy

This is the best the right side view  ever of any top, while the left is absolutely toast.   The left is bad because I didn’t smooth that side before taking the pic. Right side and back view have 1 drag line each below the bust above the hip.  The front has a bubble at the CF neckline which I did not  see either in the mirror or when looking down. That would suggest that the upper chest  is too wide .  I also think that the neckline is a smidge deeper than  I’d ever want.  It’s hard to lean over without showing the goodies. I like my tissues to show my preferred lowest neckline. The neckline I would wear with a facing. I don’t want to wear this with a facing. I’ll be adding a band/ribbing of some type to raise it a little and modifying my tissue too.

I’m just so surprise that it looks this good. I could finish it, narrow sleeves and all, and wear it with pride.  I was hoping the pattern would be easy to fit. I think I got my wish.

At the second fit it was pretty obvious that  the drag line on the back right really was from asymmetrical shoulder — although we have had some discussion as to whether my hips might also have a little asymmetry.  Not only was the drag line, just above the hip and diagonal, but in this fitting there were 2 more small lines below the shoulder.  The left side photoed well this time and is not showing any issue. Or at least I think not. The Tabula Rasa T with flare side appears to be trapezoid top. I chose that option deliberately because the instructions recommended the flare side for those with larger hips especially pear-shaped individuals. Pear shaped? Like calling my name.  Point is, some of what may be drag lines flow like the trapezoidal hems do. So are they errors or not?  For now, I’m saying they are not — only the side-back right, drag lines. After this fitting, I took a small dart on the back across from the sleeve/side panel seam. So that it would look the same, I did the same on both sides.

I let the underarm seam out as far as possible.  It’s still close, but at lease wearable and the sleeve does not ruche. Wondering if I traced the wrong size, I checked the tissue against the pattern.  It’s a large. I had intended to trace a large.  Large from shoulder to waist; Xlarge from waist to hem. However, I think the sleeve should have been Xlarge.  I marked the old tissue “Slinky” in several places and traced a size XL for future use. I darted out 1.5″ length along the sleeve cap of the new “slinky” sleeve. Have not yet changed the XL sleeve.  Still mulling it over.  Did not like the pleated sleeve cap or side panel. I pulled out the clear elastic and applied it so I now have nice equal gathers in both places. Well four, if you count each sleeve and each side separately.

Figuring there’s nothing more to fix until next time, I finished and modeled for you:

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Despite the 1/4″ dart on the back, the right side is still hanging up. I did not add chain to the hem;   Think I need to make that a necessary step in hemming blouses.  The extra weight of a narrow chain really does help my tops slide over my rear and hang correctly.

The bubble in the front neckline bugs the heck out of me. I applied the band 3 times. Cut twice. Applying neckbands has always been a challenge to me. I finally conquered them by using water-soluble thread to baste, and then serge to finish.  The band laid flat when it was basted. Laid flat when I checked in the mirror before pics. Looked fine until I got these pics.

When I serged the CF seam, I caught some of the WST. Part of the lift and wrinkling along CF is due to the WST shrinking. But as you can see from the side views:


my old nemesis at the front has returned. I really had hoped because this was both a bigger cup with dart and a longer front, the hem would be level front to back. I do know that the front lift and flare is modified by the bra being worn. Nonetheless, I added 2″ length to the tissue.

All previous pics were lightened 60% which doesn’t show you how lovely the finished blouse is; so I’m sharing final, cropped, rotated but unretouched pics:

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It really is a nice knit top!


Afterthoughts:  I’m not sure how much love this pattern, but it is considerable. I mean, I don’t want my every top to be a trapezoid and I will never use the those dragy things on the side of the tunic.  But I expect to use this pattern a lot. Because  I love how easy this pattern was to fit. Yes, having my shoulder draped already was a great help; as well as knowing that I need greater slope on the back armscye.  I thought the sleeve would be difficult but other than tracing a size too small, it was a cinch. I just read and followed instructions. The whole garment came together easily.  Hardly any more effort than a regular T-shirt.  Before I even publish this post, I’m thinking of two more versions of the Tabula Rasa T and purchasing the Tabula Rasa Jacket which I believe is drafted for non-stretch fabrics.   Before the Tabula Rasa T,  I loved the Eureka pants. I’m feeling the same about the T. Fit For Art may become my favorite pattern company.


5 thoughts on “Tabula Rasa T: Fit

  1. Looks good. I like my jacket. I tried the T but used a too big size. Life got in the way and I’ve never revisited! Have you thought about a FTA – full tummy adjustment? Looks to me like that would give you the perfect fit.


    1. You made the Fit For Art jacket? I’m excited thinking the jacket could be used to make a blouse. So far, I’m loving this pattern. It has a little more fullness than I’d want every T to have. I think that’s something that can be worked on, but I’ll always need a certain amount of fabric to go around my bod.

      This is the second time someone has suggested a FTA. I should take the hint. My tummy is unlikely to get smaller anytime soon and the slimmers are no longer helping the look of my tummy although they still help my back feel better.




  2. My fitting issues were all solved when I bagan taking Kathleen Cheetam’s classes on Craftsy. They are excellent! The fixes are logical and attainable. She is a great teacher. After taking one class the “fitting” was simplified for me. Take a look. It made a world of difference for me.


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