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:
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?