I’m looking for seams other than the typical shoulder and side seams. I know I cannot get the fit I want when only using those seams. I’ve been wondering if a raglan style would be an easy fitting choice for me. Could I somehow pinch along the raglan line to create the fit I desire?
With that in mind, I bought Jalie 3245. Jalie is famous for their RTW fit. Well RTW doesn’t fit me, but Jalie pants are dang good.I hoped for the same luck with a Jalie top pattern.
I made not 1 but 2 muslins. I used knit fabrics with about 30% stretch, just as the pattern specified. My bust size is between y and z but much larger at hip and waist. I opted to use size Z for the first muslin and add 1.5″ to the side seams. During the 5 fittings, I kept taking in and taking in and taking in. Side seams, sleeve seams even the CB seam that I added when making my 5/8″ RBA. Finally I said “Peggy is right. When the muslin is just too big it’s easier to start over”.
So I traced size X. Added 1/2″ at the underarm 1.5″ for waist and hips. I keep forgetting that draping does not mean ignoring my known figure variations. I absolutely am still short-waisted; still narrow shouldered. This time I made the 5/8″ RBA, added the center back seam with an SA of 1/4″ and also did a 1″ BWL. I was not sure how to apply an NSA and planned to create a dart at the shoulder during fitting
Size X fits across the shoulder and upper chest. No dart needed for my narrow shoulders. However it’s too tight at the bust, the back and hip and like a tourniquet across the biceps. I was really surprised. I went back and rechecked the two fabrics for stretch. Nope both are about 30% – more like 32, 33%.There is maybe 1/8″ difference between sizes of the raglan; about 1/4″ in the body of the garment.
Muslin 2 should not have been this tight. The fabrics are similar. The sizing is not that greatly different. So what’s causing the huge change in ease? I let out the side seams of Muslin 2 which added 1″ ease. Felt it mostly in the stomach and hip; I cut the sleeve along the midline and added a strip of fabric adding about 5/8″ ease to both sleeves. They felt more comfortable but would have require more.
So I said to myself, what does need to be done? I think I need each body and sleeve piece to be 2 pieces when cutting. I would have a total of 8 pieces to sew together and that more seams to tweak during fitting. I would need to add at least an inch ease to each piece. Then I could pinch all seams making closer fit as needed. OK that would give me all the circumference that I need. Then I would need to work on the armscye:
There is lots of fabric pooling along the sleeve side of the raglan. I wasn’t sure what to do on Muslin 1, where I had way too much ease. A fisheye dart in the direction of the fold had no effect. Darting from raglan seam 3″ into the interior helped some but how do I put that dart into the sleeve pattern? And do I want to? Do I want to sew a dart every time? Could it be moved? Yuk I couldn’t imagine making the neckline even more angled than it is. How do you move the dart to the bottom of the armscye? Can you?
Muslin 1 had too much ease. Was that the problem? No because the ease I added to Muslin 2 so the bicep would better also formed those folds:
Whoa! Wait! The point of this exercise was to see if a raglan style would be easy to fit. I’ve now spent 2 days and still have no idea how to introduce the roundness I need right where I need it. Time to say: Goal Achieved. I know this will not be easy. I can tackle this again when I feel like taking on a big challenge. Or, I can axe raglans from my sewing repertoire.
So this was a waste of time from the standpoint that I don’t have a wearable garment nor a usable pattern. But it was important that I take this journey so that I know raglans will NOT be an easy fit.
The one catch? I have a raglan sweater I bought from Walmart that looks like it was custom knit for me. It fits beautifully. I’ll always wonder if I could achieve the same fit at home.