Category Archives: 5620 Princess Dress w/Yed type vest

5620 After Thoughts (and a comparison with YED)

I really like this style.  I fit Louise Cuttings YED Vest, a similar pattern, several years back and made version after version. So many versions that  I wouldn’t even be working with 5620 except that all my TNT’s need re-fitting. Oh, and I was enamored with Conni Crawford’s basic draft.

This style hangs from my shoulders and floats over my body. I love that quality. It’s very cool and comfortable during the summer. I’m pear shaped and find the cap sleeve is excellent for camouflaging the fact. (I’ve often had people say “You look apple shaped.”)  I also like the cap sleeve from a health stand point. My shoulders are the first to sun-burn. A cap sleeve helps avoid pain. Even with tucks, bust dart and buttonholes, this is a quick garment to sew.

But I consider the 5620 Vest a failure. After a dozen fittings , I still could not eliminate some diagonal lines for which I though I knew the answer. I want this to drop from the shoulders, float around the body without any diagonal lines, horizontal or vertical lines. It should fit smoothly; hinting at shape without revealing all my curves. Before cutting and when I realized I wasn’t fixing the issues, I consider the fabric carefully.  The pattern specifies “tweed, linen, light wight broadcloth and crepe”.  My fabric was the weight of a lightweight broadcloth and the weave of  linen. I think tweed and actual linen would have had more body than my fabric. Also, I’ve successfully used the same type fabric with the YED vest.

I’ve thought so much about the YED and 5620 vests which produce very similar garments.  I decided to compare the pattern pieces and share the back on this blog:

Pink=YED Greed=5620

Despite the similar end effect, they are remarkably different.  The YED (pink lines) has a curved back which adds more width across the back.  I don’t really understand why this would be needed/effective. It isn’t merely curved in a the neck to control gaping. It is outwardly curved usually to add back width. Without a sleeve, the back should not need extra fabric–there’s nothing to create tension. A sleeveless or tank top is not outwardly curved and they lay flat. However I do know that my own back is rounding due to age and a little curve back there is more comfortable.

The YED neck is also higher. So maybe the 5620 doesn’t need the curve because it doesn’t need to hug that part of the neck? No, I’ve had sleeveless tops that have the same high neckline as the YED but not the rounded back and guess what? They lie smoothly.

In the Pic, the YED shoulder slope appears to be straight and much longer than the 5620. It is in fact slightly curved outward, while the 5620 is straight. BTW these are both before any alterations other than my 1″ BWL.

The YED armscye curves inward and smoothly joins with the underarm.  I’ve not misdrawn the 5620 armscye (although difficult to draw at all because I was using a very rudimentary drawing program).  The 5620 armscye angles slightly out from the shoulder, then arcs outward for about half the armscye length; then curves the opposite direction out to meet the underarm. To finish that curve, it should be faced using Buttericks standard skinny facings. I hate skinny facings. Instead I serged that biased edge; basted along the proposed 5/8 stitching line and turned the edge towards the private side. I carefully pressed and stretched the edge to the same size and shape as the armscye before top stitching. It’s possible that I affected the shape and fit of the final garment. Having successfully used the same finish at other times, I don’t think so. What I really note is that the YED has much more cap sleeve than the 5620. It would seem to me that the smaller cap sleeve (5620) would have fewer fitting issues.   I thought perhaps it was the straight up and down nature of the 5620 armscye (rather than the traditional underarm curve) that caused the diagonals. (As in maybe the armscye needed width as well as length?)  But the YED creates a similar looking slit armscye with far fewer drag lines.

I do like the idea of the waistline tucks. I executed them as multiple 1/8″ tucks which vastly improved the back of my 5620.  When I’m lazy or don’t want to affect the fabric pattern, I placed the YED back along the fold aligned with the widest part of the back. I always had minor neckline issues and of course lots of excess ease at the waist. Most times the excess ease was OK. But since I’ve realized how effective multiple small tucks can be, I think I will be using them with the YED.

Final observation: the hip wings of 5620.  I mention before that they remind me of my early pants alterations. I was trying to get more ease over my rear. I stick out behind not to the side. Adding to the side added mouse ears to the side withoug relieving the tightness across my rear. Gale Greig Hazen (spelling?) used to say “You have to put the ease where the ease is needed…”.  The smooth curve of the YED has always been slimming. When I tried on the 5620, the first thing I did was pinch out the wings and create a curve very similar to the YED.

Still, I would have made the needed alterations and used the 5620 pattern (as long as I fit it) had the final garment fit more smoothly.  I keep thinking, I should know what’s wrong. I should know how to fix. Yet I was never able to correct any fit issues beyond the initial shoulder slope and hip wing-ectomy.

With Conni Crawford pattern, I’ve had 2 success, 2 failures and one pattern I wouldn’t even start. I have purchased several more of her patterns. I look at them with suspicion instead of  hope and excitement. I almost feel like my early successes were misleading.   I’m wondering how many largish people like me (not plus but not size 2’s) had similar experiences.  There are few reviews on PR, most are by one person who seems to be the fit-model for Conni’s draft; and I didn’t find any on the  net beyond my own.  I’m not enamored anymore. I’m not sure I want to keep working with her draft.

OTOH I think this was a valuable fitting experience.  I found I need to pay closer attention to how the shoulder and armscye fit on my body.  Shoulder slope alone eliminated several drag lines I’d not been able to affect.  Fixing the armscye depth and shape was another important experience which fixed a few other issues. The experience has not been a total loss, but at this point I can’t rely on Conni’s Crawfords draft to fit. Wasn’t that supposed to be the appeal of Indy patterns?  Once fit, you could make the same changes to new styles and they would fit?  Or was that some kind of pipe dream?



The Love Affair May Be Over

Fitting didn’t go well.


Straight from the envelope

After basting together I looked in the mirror for obvious issues. I took a picture of the back at this stage. Remember the hip wings/bumps that I mentioned  seeing on the side seams of the pattern? They  were the first things I removed, followed by increasing the shoulder slope. I was unsure how to handle the shoulder slope because of the extended sleeve. I aligned 1201 and traced the slope from it as far as possible. Then extended the line to 5620’s armscye.

I had stitched the full 1/2″ back tucks but made the front tucks a scant 1/8″. I could immediately see that the deep tucks did not work well with the chosen fabric.  It has just a bit too much body for the pattern. IMO, this shape requires a soft drape.   I added additional 1/8″ tucks with every alteration because they did improve the appearance of the back at the waist.  Unfortunately the upper  back never really improved:

The final is not a “hot mess” but not something I’m proud to wear either:

It’s partly this style. I never fit Louise Cutting’s YED vest without at least some drag lines from the shoulder.  I’ve always assumed it’s a combination of pattern shape and fabric because I see the same drag lines on most people.

I was always pleased with the side views, because the hem is level

I’m not going to say I need to add the exact same wedge to the front but  I probably always need length and should compare with 1201. Although I want to lengthen 1201. I used a shirt tail hem and the final is shorter than I prefer.

I thought I made a major fitting discovery when I  deepened the armscye on 1204. At the time, all the diagonals disappeared. It seemed logical that I increased the shoulder slope which decreased the armscye depth. So increasing the armscye depth returned the armscye to it’s drafted depth and   fixed the diagonals. Now I’m seeing that’s not the total story.  This armscye is just above my bra band….and that’s only if I raise my arm up to the rafters (thereby raising the shoulder and garment and armscye’s position.) Point is the armscye has enough length/depth.  Does it need width? But this style creates the armscye shape. If I change the armscye shape, I’ll no longer have this style.

The front didn’t change much after correcting the armscye slope:

It’s always good. Not perfect, but good.  The pictures show more diagonals than the mirror. It’s an odd thing about camera’s, they show details that your wouldn’t notice IRL.


It’s fine for wearing around the house. Even making a dash to the supermarket. But I’m not proud of it.  Unless I figure out how to fix the back, I won’t be using this pattern again.

5620 Jacket

Despite the failure of 7142, I’m still enamored with  Conni Crawford’s patterns.  I’m chalking up 7142 as an early pattern and not representative of her current draft and start on the jacket in B5620. This jacket reminds me of the CLD  Vest included in Your Everyday Drifter (22547). I loved and have made that vest many times. I’m choosing 5620 over YED vest because 5620 has a horizontal bust dart and  tucks for shaping at the waist. Not to say, I won’t also make the YED vest at some time.

I don’t want a jacket, I want to wear it as a top, same as I did with the YED vest.   Since 5620 is described as a jacket, I’m expecting a little more ease has been added; the armscye will be a little deeper and I think a jacket back is a little wider. All because a jacket is expected to go over something (like a dress or blouse).  My biggest concern is that the armscye could be too low. However, I’m not immediately raising the armscye.  Conni’s patterns have shown me a I need a more ease across my rear and I need a greater slope at the shoulder. When I apply my shoulder slope, the armscye will be effectively raised.

I isolated the jacket pieces from the dress. Then tucked the bindings and facings back into the envelope. I hate the standard narrow facings the Big 4 draft.  If I’m adding a facing, it’s going to be big enough to help.  As for the bindings, I learned long ago to adapt the length of the binding according to the fabric. Besides, I know I will be adjusting the armscye. It seems foolish to cut a binding to a length I know will be changed.

Once again the L/S was marked just above the waistline so I was able to tuck a 1″ BWL into the original tissue.  I noted that the “sleeve” edge is unusual. It is sort of wavy. I don’t know if that is a style decision or fit.  CC has promised to adapt her drafting for the larger figure and for the larger woman’s styling choices. For now, I simply traced the sleeve but made a mental note that I might need to change it.  I was also surprised at the side seam. I’m expecting a side seam that is straight down or straight at a outward-angle  from the armscye.  This side seam travels downward to just above the waist and then hooks outward over waist and hip. It reminds me of some of the early alterations I made to pants attempting to add additional ease over the rear.  My sides are pretty rectangular, a flat plane.  Adding a bump on the side did not add ease over my rear. It added a bump over my side.  I used to call them “Mickey Mouse Ears” because these bumps just stuck out.  Nonetheless, I traced the pattern as drafted. Maybe CC knows something I do/did not.

After tracing, I pulled out the pieces to 1201 because that is almost perfect. (Even needing tweaks to underarm and sleeve width 1201 looks nice.)   Interesting that the underarm is about the same; with obvious excess ease where the “bump” sticks out on the side seam.  Not surprising, the pieces of 5620 look too short.  I add 1.25″ in length to the back. To the front I add 1.25″ at the side seam and 2.5″ at the center front.  I use the french curve to connect the two.

I’ve chosen a light blue I think of as spa (blue aqua not green aqua), 100% cotton with a linen like weave.  Umm dupioni also looks like this weave. It is thick and thin threads in a plain weave.  Light weight, but still opaque for summer use.  I had only a yard. I cut the front and back from my cotton. Then retrieved a cotton/poly white batiste from the stash and cut facings. I taped neck and shoulder edges then basted shoulder and side seams for the first try-on.