Category Archives: 0456 Sleeveless Empire

Embroidered 0456

I gave serious thought as to what I could use as a top with my straight inseam PP113’s

It’s muted tone threw me off and had me wondering if this comfy pair of pants would be winter pj’s.  In my stash I found a peach cotton poly fabric that was previously a table cloth.  It’s color just seemed to glow up next to the pants.  I had made the decision to use embroidery in hand sized amounts. Any large embellishments would be done with paint, ink, felting, couching or some other method. So, I was surprised to find myself upstairs planning an extensive embroidery.  But I couldn’t help myself. When I had seen the fabric next to the pants, I had a flash of inspiration (with a dash of compulsion?).   Of course, I couldn’t find the embroidery design I imagined.  It’s the curse of having such an embarrassingly large collection of designs.  You know you have something but you can’t find it.  I finally started copying designs that were close to what I “saw” into a working directory.  Many of my designs were free.  A large number were digitized by enthusiastic, talented but non-embroiderers. So I never just use a design.  I never just hoop up and go for it.  I always test first in Embird.  I look for density and watch the way a design stitches out. I discarded some possibilities because I didn’t want to do the work that would reduce the number of colors. (I’m envisioning a tone-on-tone garment.)  I discarded a few more because of the large number of jumps.  I tested two. Printed templates and made an arrangement.  Until I settled on my arrangement, I was planning to use my PE700.  10 hoopings. TEN.

Or TWO.  Two if I used my Ruby.   I don’t use my Ruby often for embroidery.  It makes beautiful embroideries.  But I like to be sewing while my machine is embroidering.  To use Ruby, I had to keep myself busy doing something else.    It became a question of Ruby or PE700.  I decided upon Ruby because I needed to do laundry.  Laundry for me includes washing folding and ironing clothes.  To my surprise and delight, Ruby was able to complete both hoopings, 84,000+ stitches  during the time it took me to do my laundry.

The next day, I cut and stitched together 0456. I’m really pleased with the final blouse and how it looks with pants:

This is something I’m proud to wear.


OMG I need 50 of these

I’m talking about Connie Crawford’s B0456.

OK, fabric helps and mine is a rayon challis I think purchased from Fabric Mart late last year.  I always grab the rayon challis when it’s on sale.  I love sewing and wearing this fabric all year round. But it doesn’t last long in my wardrobe.  It looked kind of bright on the Net page. So I bought only 1.25 yards which is enough for sleeveless or short-sleeved tops-usually.  When it arrived I almost donated immediately. This is so not me. I’m the pastel’s lady. Soft, muted colors in conservative styles. Small, dainty jewelry. Same with shoes and purse: small, dainty, conservative colors and styles. This is bright enough to put your eyes out. I kept it because I realized it would do well as muslin.  I’m not sorry at all for having used it to test the pattern.

My changes are miniscule.  I increased the side seam between armscye and empire seam 1/4″. It’s a dart like adjustment that takes 1/4″ away at the armscye but leaves all the ease at the empire seam. The back armscye was slightly gaping, so I increased the princess SA by 1/8″ on both back and fronts. That’s it. That’s all. My total adjustments to this pattern are:

  • BWL, done on the original tissue
  • +1.25″ hem length
  • Creating facings.
  • Increase Side seam 1/4″ at armscye
  • Increase princess seam 1/8″ at armscye

That’s nothing.  I’ve never fit a pattern with so little effort. I want to make 50 of these.

I added length evenly to the hem. For the first time, the hem looks even without having to add at CF or CB

The armscye was drafted for a vest type garment. In my mind that means the armscye is 1/2-1″ lower to accommodate under layers (blouse, camisole, etc).  I thought that I would be increasing the shoulder slope and that would raise the armscye. When I didn’t increase the shoulder slope, the armscye becomes almost too low.  I bound the armscye without reducing the height of it at all.  works fine, but I must remember to add a seam allowance if I want to use any other finish.

I love it. Just love this garment.


I couldn’t resist this pattern.

I think it is so cute but I didn’t want to work with it right now.  I don’t think of it as a “basic pattern” which is what I’m really needing at the moment.  I use my fitted basic patterns to help me with fitting new patterns. A unique garment like this will be of little help for fitting new patterns. Plus, it’s not a pattern I’m likely to make many times because it is unique.  It’s the type of garment that with the second copy, instead of “lovely blouse” comments, I get “Oh. You used that pattern again”.  I’m ego-challenged enough to prefer the former.

I began by making gross cuts around the pieces need for the top. Pressed and then folded out my 1″ BWL. I can do that, because it is clearly marked on the pattern. I always do the BWL because no matter how big my hips get, my spine doesn’t grow any longer. I need patterns to be shorter between under-bust and waist.  I love the way Connie stacks her pieces on the tissue.  It was possible for me to cut a few pieces entirely and only parts of others were traced along with notches, direction arrows and the like on all.

Already, however, I’m making changes to her directions. she plans for this to be a completely lined vest. I intend to have a summer top. I set aside the right, lower-front piece.  My fronts will be pointed but at the same length so that I can check the hem’s levelness.  I  matched top center front piece with bottom front piece to create a front facing. I also slipped the center back under a piece of tissue and carefully cut the neckline and shoulders but then free-handly cut the curve for a back facings. (Note: I often don’t use back facings.  I prefer to bind the neckline.)

Neither the princess lines that terminates in the armscye nor the very sloping armscye which terminates at a very narrow, neck-hugging shoulder are my best looks. Another reason for contemplating that I won’t be making many copies of this top.  I know the princess seam  will need to be adjusted at fitting. I’m also opting to wait until fitting to adjust  the shoulder slope. I considered copying the slope with CS1201 but this is an “it depends” situation. If that shoulder is narrow enough, a slope adjustment won’t be needed or could be swept into the armscye princess seam.

However there is no doubt that I will need extra hip room.  Too bad this pattern doesn’t have a CB seam. OTOH since it has an Empire seam, the easy fix was adding 3/4″ at the CB fold and easing the resulting piece to the Upper back.

I added 1.25″ to the lower front and back. So far (all 2 garments), Conni has drafted a higher hem then I prefer. I’m not sure about adding the CF length I usually need. (I still consider the wedge added to the back of  5215 a fluke. Probably a result of my alterations.)  There’s also the possibility that the princess seam styling has already been adapted for the extra length big girls need.

So all these words, but I’m really starting with very few alterations:

  • BWL, done on the original tissue
  • +1.25″ hem length
  • Creating facings.

I feel like I’m taking a real chance with this pattern.