Category Archives: LoesHinse

Inspired by Loes Hinse 1012 Madagascar Tank

I was introduced to Loes Hinse patterns 12-13 years ago by members of Stitchers Guild.  Spendy, but so worth it. I think my Loes patterns started me on my Indy pattern adventures.  The Madagascar Tee is one of Loes later patterns . It still relies upon the correct fabric for fit and good looks (Loes must be the Master Of Knits) but Madagascar is much more shapely than her other patterns I’ve used.

Sadly, I’ve been unable to fit many of my Indies or the Big 4 in the last 2 years.  My first break through was with Silhouette Patterns (and that after several failures).  Actually my break through was the result of suggestions by another member of SG, who shared her short cut of choosing size by the shoulder which fitted her and adding sufficient ease at the sides.  After multiple successes with SP,  I have the courage to work with LH patterns again and especially  because I have a fitted basic. A reliable, TNT to help me check size and  fit.

I pulled out my block (or basis) which happens to be Silhouette Patterns 195 and traced a copy of the front and back onto aisle runner fabric. (I used the version in which I rotated the dart to the armscye). Then I folded out LH1012, smoothed it lightly with a warm iron and slipped the heavy paper underneath my aisle runner.  I lined up the grainlines and  CB or CF.  After carefully comparing, I traced the XL above the bust and the XXL below.  Folding away the 1012 paper pattern, I stared at the lines before me, Brown for SP195 and Green for LH1012.  No pics, because they were a mess but let me tell you why I was surprised.  I recalled a  much more shapely CF. One that really dipped in at the waist. It dipped but only by the width of the felt tip pen. Neither was the side front as curvy as I recalled. The back seemed to contain all the shaping but the two patterns were not that different.  When choosing which line to use as my pattern perimeter, I opted to use the 1012 lines when there was little to no difference.  There were small difference in the waist shaping which I smoothed out just a bit. Biggest difference was the back neck. LH1012 extended another 1/2″ beyond my block (SP195) For the back neck, I chose my 195 line because I know it works. Absolutely the biggest difference was the length of the bodice from shoulder to underarm. I chose the length shoulder and armscye  of 195 but I traced the neckline of  1012 which made it much deeper and maybe not like Loes originals.


I cut my fabric, an ITY with a spectacular print but not my colors.  I pulled this one from the muslin pile where it was placed upon arrival. “Muslin” is my solution for fabrics I’m not sure why I bought. I could not have been seeing the correct colors in the pic. Entirely possible as you will also notice that the FOE finishes are in a matching pink.  That pink was not a in a group but rather “selected” for purchase (from Ebay) after looking over multiple colors.  Again, I believe color was off on the picture because I avoid that pink. I need a peachier pink.  Blue pinks tend to make me look like I’ve had one too many. At 6AM in the morning and all day long.  Anyway, cut the fabric serge finish all edges; serge CF and CB seams. All the rest are basted together with water-soluble thread.

First try on was not a success (only finished garment pics are shared in this post). The first try on had some good things. Sufficient ease and length; neckline depth acceptable and desired. I really didn’t like Loes higher, choking neckline. But the back and sides displayed wrinkles as if I had not made either round back or asymmetrical shoulder alteration.  Which were included in the block. That’s what a block is for. It contains all the little and big tweaks a person needs to ensure their garments fit. I

I knew it was too late for the RBA, so prepared to add the asymmetrical shoulder adjustment when I realized I had applied the ASA to the wrong shoulder. I had made the left shoulder shorter instead of the right. I removed the previous stitching and nailed everything down correctly.

Well almost. I measured both neckline and armscyes for FOE length. All had become stretched somehow during the serge finishing That’s rather unusual for an ITY. I’m not sure if this is a wonky fabric or if my placing the pattern pieces on the bias created the issue. I was hoping for a more dramatic meeting of the directional brush strokes. Didn’t happen. The stretch out openings did. I overdid trying to snug the neckline and armscyes. Knew it as soon as I finished each. I should have finished with 1/2″ extra. I add extra length to give me handles and smooth starts/endings. I finished with double and triple the amount I should have.  I don’t like this top. Oh I like the pattern and, having fixed the ASA, I like the fit. But I don’t like the colors and I’m disappointed that I could not manipulate the brush strokes into something more interesting. Point being, I saw no point in ripping out the FOE. I plan to wear it once to fully check the fit; launder and donate. In the near future, someone who likes those colors is getting a practically new tank top!

Over all, I made a lot of small changes. Enough I think that Loes would disavow the resulting pattern pieces.  I therefore titled this post “Inspired by…” and would now note to anyone reading that LH1012 may  fit you differently although I think you can look forward to the same easy sewing.   I would recommend that you buy the pattern; make a mock-up; and decide for yourself.  Loes drafting is beyond criticism. For years and years I made beautiful LH garments by shortening the pattern to my diminutive figure. I am pleased to be able to incorporate some of her styling and sewing techniques into my wardrobe again. With a little care, I am sure you can do the same with the Madagascar Tank.


5203 in ITY

My second top in my Spring 6PAC is made in an ITY print using the (yeah!) TNT  Loes Hines 5203 Cowl Neck Top. Without the cowl. I don’t think the cowl looks that good on me. I look neckless. Plus I dislike collars that hug my ears.

I did however decide to tweak the shoulder pads.  I was ecstatic with the fit of LH 5202 Fuchsia Flowers blouse.   It falls smoothly from the shoulders without any drag lines. Exactly the fit I want. Funnily enough, my right shoulder is lower than my left but the shoulder pads and fitting  choices I made for that blouse created just the opposite i.e. the left was lower than the right. Not so funny, it strongly reminded me of the 80’s. I like a little shoulder pad. I think a little help straightening my shoulder line is youthful. But I don’t like foot-ball pads.  So I purchased a different set of shoulder pads from Wawak. Instead of 3/4 right, 1/2 left; I’m using 1/2″ right, 3/8 left. I was hoping that the 1/8″ difference (vice 1/4″) would make my shoulder line level. However shown clearly above, I’ve not achieved that goal. My left shoulder is higher than the right.

Even worse, at least a hint of the swag lines have returned. Now, the ITY knit has an effect upon the  fit. ITY does not have as much stretch as the rayon jersey used previously. I thought I compensated by sewing the side and underarm seams at 1/4″ instead of 1/2″. But that’s not quite the right solution.

Fortunately the dizzying swirl of color tends to hide the excess ease between waist and hip. So odd to me that the same change (reducing the side seam allowance) not only didn’t solve the too tight chest issue but created a too loose waist/hip issue.  But like I said, fortunately my fabric choice makes all that practically invisible.

Despite the interesting effect of the shoulder pads, I won’t make any changes to this pattern. I’m not sure this is the right combination for me.  I have 6 sets so 6 chances to makes it right.  I will continue to tweak the shoulder pad situation all the time wearing this is  really great addition to my Spring 6PAC.

LH5104: Boucle Vest

Almost a year ago, had a boucle blow-out sell.  I admired greatly the fabrics offered but didn’t buy until the last day.  Wool is not a fabric I use much. It requires care. Care I’m unwilling to give. I’m also old school or maybe ‘halted mental growth’. My mother taught her little girls to change their clothes everyday; and to wash said clothes before they were worn again.  Possibly this policy isn’t necessary for most adults but it’s a habit of mine. By the last day of the sale, I had convinced myself that bought in vest lengths and stitched in vest type garments, I could include these in my wardrobe without needing to launder after each wearing. Then they became ‘too dear’; ‘too beautiful’.  I had a hard time deciding how to use these boucle fabrics even though I loved and petted them frequently.

I decided to use OOP Loes Hines Venetian Vest for this the first of my boucle vests.  I had a good idea how this pattern would look and fit because I’ve used it previously.  But I followed my new fit procedure and compared the measurements given on the envelope with my own and then measuring the pattern pieces.  I opted to add .75″ to the hip on the back pattern piece and .5″ to the hip on the front pattern piece; just as I’d previously done with LH5203 and 5202. However I made no adjustment for my narrow, sloping, asymmetrical shoulders.  I added 3″ to the length as I cut out the front and back pieces.  I did not want to match stripes and reasoned that adding the length while not exactly the same look as that shaped hem piece, would be close enough.

I cut my lining pieces first. Serged together at shoulder and side seam and then serge finished all around.  I sat the lining aside.

I cut my front and back. Marked the public sides by putting a large pin in place and then serged all the edges.  Boucle’s have a tendency to ravel as you breathe. I didn’t want that experience.

I’ve become totally enamoured with this Red Heart yarn. Not as a yarn but as a trim. I opted to use a white, taupe, gold combination to bind the edges of the shoulder before butting the shoulders next to each other and using one of my Dream’s  joining stitch to create the shoulder ‘seam’.

I totally love the final effect but realized I had inadvertently changed the length of the armscyes! I did not trim off the seam allowances.  Hoping not to repeat that mistake,  I bound the front side edge, overlapped to the back and then stitched on top with the same joining stitch.

I pinned the lining inside the boucle and then  completely bound the front and hem edges using the same yarn.

However I worried this would not be substantial enough for the armscyes.  Catching the lining at the armscye, I finished them with commercial 1″ bias tape which is folded completely to the inside; understitched and then top stitched 1/2″ from the edge.

The lining hem was serged finished but left to hang free. I wanted a little play in there. The lining was cut exactly from the original pattern. The boucle has been altered by my seaming method. A little free play seemed like a good idea.

I mentioned that I didn’t adapt for my shoulder shape. Not the worst idea because the shoulder is already very short and the armscye very deep but I did experience some drag lines:

They aren’t deep folds which is why I drew orange arc’s to kind of highlight the swags about which  I repeatedly complain.  I’m still in the dark about needed shoulder adaption because the shoulder is already narrow, sits closely to the neck and deeply under the arm. Making it narrower seems pointless. As does deepening the already very deep armscye. So I think next time I will  increase the slope 1/4″.  I also did not think about my front hem issue. This is a continuing issue due to (I think) posture, bust and bra.  I’m routinely adding 2″ in length to the center front. Why I did not due this here is anybody’s guess. I think sometimes I’m just stupid. This is one of those because I made a second unbelievable oversight:  I didn’t add the front band!

I was deliberately cutting and then finishing individual pieces as quickly as possible to avoid raveling. I finished the garment and discovered my pattern still laid out ready to cut the front band! I also neglected to add interfacing. I like big interfacing on vests. I like it to cover from neck down to 2″ under the armscye and be added again at the hem. Didn’t even think of it until I was done. Another overlooked standard:  my pockets.  I add pockets to vests because it makes carrying things like cell phones very convenient. Don’t know where my brain was today. Certainly not on a perfect copy of this vest.

Which is how I realized what a versatile pattern this really is.  Absolutely too bad it is OOP. Simple changes (leaving off the front band and adding 3″ length) made it a completely different pattern.

Anyone asking, YES absolutely will use this pattern again and again. It has an entire separate view and pattern pieces ( more traditional waist coat) which I haven’t used ever.  I think I prefer a slightly shorter version (than above) which it might have been had made my normal 1.25″ hem instead of binding the bottom edge.

The boucle itself is fantastic.  I did not plan to wear it with the garments I had on at the time.  Looking at this pics, I think it looks great.

In case you didn’t notice, Loes is a hero of mine.  I love her classic simplistic patterns.  They are quick to sew and a joy to wear.  They flatter a wide range of shapes, ages and sizes. This pattern absolutely deserves its TNT status in my wardrobe.


LH5203 Fit?


Then came the fun of finding a suitable fabric.  I wanted to use a rayon knit because that’s first in the list of fabrics given by Loes Hinse.  It’s my understand that the first fabric listed is the fabric the designer used and tested. They may have tested the next few on the list and after that they are assuming the remainder will work or at least work well enough. To really see how the pattern is supposed to fit, the first fabric on the list is the best choice. It was while hunting through fabrics I realized that I’m able to resist most of the sales. I’m sucked in for  Rayon Challis,  ITY and slinky.  I know I purchase rayon jersey but I must use it as soon as it arrives because I hunted and hunted before finally finding a floral purple. I laid out and cut my pattern pieces.   Taped  neckline shoulders  of the back and the front neckline before serging the center back seam I added and the shoulders.  Despite my change I followed the same procedure as for the Fucia Flowers at the shoulders.  I stitched the Left shoulder with a 1/2″ seam allowance. The right got a 3/8″ SA.  (Loes uses a standard 3/8″ SA).  Switched to water-soluble thread and adding the sleeves before closing the long side and underarm seam. I spent about 8 hours creating the tissue. But when that’s ready, cutting and stitching a Loes Hinse pattern is quick.  I was ready for my first fitting about 45 minutes after making the 7-Step Custom Shoulder.

What a fitting it was!

In full color, I was tempted to finish and move on. Except the sleeve felt tight. I remeasured my bicep and came up with an inch difference. Not really sure why  other than I have wings instead of biceps.  It’s an age joke.  You’ll get it eventually.

To check the fit, I lightened the pictures 70%

Really pleased. I’ve got a little velcro butt going on and might have to agree with somebody who keeps telling me I need an FBA. Especially when looking at the side views:

The pattern has a boob bump on the side seam. Which I lost when I moved the armscye.  When I make templates, I may need to copy shoulder, armscye and bump.

My fabric has 40% stretch but I didn’t like it stretch 40%. I liked the 20% stretch. I think had this been slinky, or rib knit, it would have been fine.

One error I’m pleased to see, is that the front hem is lower than the back.  I added 2.5″ to the CF length because usually I need it.  I added it to LH5202. Here it doesn’t look necessary.

I contemplated adding a gusset but decided to baste the seams at 1/4″.  The 1/4″ is clearly marked on my machine. As is the 1/2″ and many metric small measures.  The 3/8 is not. My Ruby’s foot was exactly 3/8″ and so Loes 3/8″ SA was never an issue. But on my Dream the foot is not exactly 3/8″. It is almost 1/2″. I felt it possible that my seam wandered closer to 1/2″ and could have made the seams too wide. Since the 1/4″ is clearly marked and easy to follow, I pulled out the old basting, lined up the raw edges carefully and stitched the side seams again. Wasn’t sure this would work. At best I would be adding 1/2″ to the bust circumference and 1/4″ to bicep. It was worth trying.

… and the result close enough that I didn’t mess with a gusset before finishing:

On the tissue, I added 1/2″ to the side seams and the sleeve.  With a note to use 5/8″ SA with slinky. Also brought the hem up 1/2″ at CF. It’s now only 2″ longer than the side seam and looks very level.

I wanted you to see the final fit up close and lightened:

I’m going to agree, I need a little more bust room. I’ve decided I need to create another page in my Excel Workbook.  This is going to be about the ease that I prefer.  This top feels comfortable. If I were looking in the mirror, I wouldn’t have changed the 3/8″ SA.  But the pictures show I don’t have enough ease. That is, enough ease for rayon knit. This might indeed be enough for slinky or even interlock. I think I would want even more for ITY. The way to be sure, is note each fabric and the ease which made the best fitting and feeling garment.

I finished the neckline and hem using multiple rows of stitching spaced unevenly:

That’s was fun (oh what a boring person I must be). Although I do have reservations about the lightening stitch.  I’m afraid most people will think that my machine doesn’t sew a nice straight stitch. The Dream absolutely does.  Equal to or better than my Bernina 1630 or Viking Ruby.  I chose the lightening stitch for knit fabrics. It has just enough give so the stitches don’t pop.  My Ruby was able to adjust the straight stitch for knits when the ‘knit’ fabric selection was made. My 1630 was adjusted by moving the width selector just one nubbin–which I think was .1mm.  So far the least I can adjust the lightening stitch is .5mm width.  Interesting Nancy Zieman who sews on the Babylock equivalent says not to use the lightening stitch. But I tested. a straight stitch will pop. The lightening stitch does not.  I may get smarter and figure out how to set the width less than .5 or I may program my own knit top-stitch.  Love having that feature.


Combined Narrow and Sloping Shoulder Alterations

I zipped through the tissues changes , except for the shoulder alterations.  I wasn’t satisfied with Cheethams L shaped NSA followed by adding 5/8″ at the neck point to adjust the slope. The L shape, cuts out a block following the lines of the armscye down to the notch and up to about the halfway point of the shoulder. The block is then shifted towards the neck which reduces the shoulder length. That part is successful but it leaves an incomplete armscye which must be redrawn. I was nervous doing that.  I think I’ve ruined my Knit Block based on Connie Crawford’s knit pattern through a combination of re-drawing the armscye and then tweaking; and tweaking; and tweaking some more. So I’m nervous. Plus, I want an elegant solution. Something where the solves the shoulder issues without creating other problems.  First I tried making the L bigger. I cut the block to include 1/2″ below the armscye.  I was moving half the shoulder with the whole armscye.  Good thought, except I couldn’t line up the L-block with the remaining pattern lines. I needed to keep the width.  I’m narrower across the upper chest.  I have a normal depth from shoulder to bust point and average width.  I’m standard issue in those areas and need to keep the ease. As I rotated the block, trying to combine NSA and SS in one move I ended up with wonky shoulder, wonky underarm or adding length to the side seam.  The latter I knew unequivocally didn’t need to happen.   I taped it all back in place and ran off to think.

I also watched movies. At Craftsy. On DVD. On YouTube…. where I came across a lady I had subscribed to long ago and forgotten: Katrina Kay.   Now, Katrina works with a computerized pattern drafting program.  She’s really an expert and makes the whole thing look very easy.  She prefers the precision of working with the stitching line rather than the cutting line as I do.  As I watched these movies again, I realized it might be possible for me  to use her 7-Steps to Custom Shoulder procedure. It’s my experience that everything we do with computers today, were once done with pencil and paper. So I stopped the video. Rewound and started making careful notes.

Back down stairs I started by measuring the armscye.  Marked a shoulder point 1/2″ in from the tissue shoulder and 1/2″ down.  I drew my new shoulder line from this point to the original neck point. Next I retrieved my ‘Fashion Curve‘ — these things have a tendency to migrate on my cutting board. (The curve I’m linking to has only one armscye. The one I own has a front and back armscye.)  I drew in a new curve using the measurements I had taken earlier.  I was astounded. My first time through should have been slow, very slow. Took maybe 5 minutes.:

Blue lines denote the new shoulder and armscye.

I walked seams. Tweaked the front neckline about 1/16″.  Trimmed all my excess tissue and prayed it would work. Yep prayed because if this works, it is the elegant solution for which I’m looking.

LH5303: I spent a lot of time measuring

One the home dressmakers I’d admire the most is TerriK at Stitcher’s Guild. She calls her style ‘lagenlook’ but I disagree.  Lagenlooks appear to me to be in love with adding more more more along with long longer and longest. TerriK’s ensembles are layered with an underlying tone of simplicity and sophistication that I don’t see most logenlooks approximate.  I’ve asked her about the success of her garments. In short: she knows what she likes; she knows her body; and she does lots of measuring.

I found a similar theme throughout my sojourne into Pivot and Slide. Lots of measuring, comparing contemplating ease; and I believe I experienced some success with this idea in my last go ’round with LH5202.  Enough success that I wanted to expand target my ‘problem areas’.

I reviewed a couple of my Craftsy classes. Printed out the worksheets and took personal measurements all over again. (Fitting Solo is excellent for tips on how to measure oneself. The others all encourage you to find a sewing partner. (If only I could.)) So I had 3 or 4 charts with my measurements. Charts of Burda and Otto measurements. Printouts of the minimal measurement information provided by the Big 4. I merged my personal measurements into one Excel Worksheet.  I was relieved to find I consistently measured the same with nearly all measured spots. I mean, it’s real easy to measure the waist 4 times in 10 minutes and get 4 different results. I didn’t. I got the same result each time.

I knew I wanted to repeat and refine the success of LH5202 and so chose LH5203. Same designer.  Assumably same basic block and similar drafting routine. I know from personal experience that using the front armscye curve or the back armscye curve can make a difference. A designers personal drafting procedures and philosophy can make a difference in the final fit and whether one will be chosen over the other.

For example, I love to watch Isaac Mizarhi but I buy Diane Gilman because the DG2 draft fits me better.

Although I’ve made this pattern a dozen times, I took the time to read the back of the envelope and note several facts.

  • this pattern was designed for knits only specifying rayon, silk, wool, microfiber, cotton, fleece and blends.
  • it has a slightly dropped shoulder
  • Body measurements given were limited to Bust and Hip
  • Ease amounts were given (1″ bust and waist; 4″ hip)

I copied the bust and hip measurements to my worksheet and headed to the Sewing Studio to measure the pattern.  I looked very carefully for any marking or measurements. This is an elderly, very-classic pattern. It’s easily updated with hems, necklines and even ease. Still it is old and doesn’t conform to the new standard of lots of pattern noise i.e finished garment measurements bust point, waist , hip lines lots of things we dressmakers think we need. The tissue just doesn’t have a lot of additional information.  I proceed to use this pattern, though, because I had great success in the past when all I needed were BWL and NSA alterations. I traced size Large, again. Actually, I was relieved to be tracing the same size.  It made me feel that my estimation of a common block and drafting procedure was possibly correct.   So I took a lot of measurements.  Measures I wouldn’t normally even think about.  Like shoulder-to-shoulder; back between crease. I took  a total of 22 measures.

I inserted a new collum in my worksheet titled “Tissue LARGE”. Then started asking questions. How do my measurements compare with the tissue?  What’s the effect of seam allowances?  Is the ease as given on the envelope?  I did search for Loes’ standard measurement charts, again; and found nothing, again.  I’m hoping I’m just not doing the right search and someday will turn up a chart that contains all the standards. The shoulder is the area I’m having the most problems with and I see no hint of what Loes uses for the shoulder.  So what is a ‘slightly dropped shoulder’? is that 1/2″ wider; 1″? More? Less?  I compared both my shoulder to the pattern shoulder (always less seam allowances of 3/8″); the shoulder-point to shoulder-point and across the back. I gave the tissue measure a lot of thought before deciding upon my tissue alterations

  • -2″ Back Waist Length
  • Hem
    • I’m still uncomfortable with Tunic Length Garment.  I trimmed the pattern at the “fold hem” line after adding 2.5″ to the center front.
  • 0 Bust
  • 0 Waist
  • +3/4″ at back hip
  • +1/2″ at front hip
    • dividing by 4 seam allowances gave an odd, practically impossible result. I opted to ‘weight’ the division in favor my back hip because I usually have to add more back there.
  • +1/2″ Sleeve length
  • Shoulder
    • I left the shoulder until last even though the ‘experts’ all say to start here. I’m anxious about the shoulder alteration.
      • I need both a narrow and a sloping adjustment.  I keep wondering if I also need a forward shoulder adjustment.
      • My slash and smash NSA doesn’t completely solve the shoulder issue and introduces some change to the armscye and CF line.
      • My use of different shoulder-pad thickness did not solve the sloping issue
      • Kathleen Cheetham says that it’s possible you might need 2 or 3 different alterations to solve the shoulder fit riddle, but she doesn’t explain how to combine them or even in what order to do them.
      • Ditto Nancy Zieman and the Pivot and Slide.
      • Using Kathleen’s L-method resulted in redrawing the armscye which changed shape and length slighty.
      • I wanted to try something different.
        • a little more elegant
        • would solve all the shoulder drag lines instead of some.
      • I wanted something that would
        • narrow the shoulder -.5″
          • I usually make a 1″ NSA and did so on LH5202
          • Pattern shoulder and back measurements plus the idea of a ‘dropped shoulder’ convinced me to make this with only a 1/2″ NSA
        • increase the slope .5″



…and so I’m off to alter LH5203.  Keep your fingers crossed. Mine are.

Apologies for long post and lots of verbage.  I am working my way through the thought process by writing about it.  I want a record of what I thought, why I made the decisions I did.


Fucia Flowers

Satisfied with the muslin,  I moved onto something I’d be proud to wear.  My fabric is again a rayon Challis. Purchased at the same time as the muslin fabric but the colors are more me. Clear reds, pinks with a hint of that acid green and some fucia.  The fucia is pretty dominant and not one of my colors. I selected clear red buttons hoping that would make the reds come forward.

I trimmed my tissue carefully around the armscyes being sure to remove the extra 1/16 to 1/8″ I’d inadvertently added the first time.  I lengthened the center front 2″ and trimmed both front and back to a 1-1/4″ hem. I added a 3/8″ CB seam. If I don’t want it I can always place the tissue along the fold line. For now, I want this bit of insurance. I also added 1/4″ to the CF. When finished the drafted 1″ overlap shrinks to about 5/8″ (turn of the cloth and all).  I prefer just a bit more over/underlap.  I added my line at 1/4″ and trimmed excess tissue on the other side of the line. Adding closer to 3/8–turn of the cloth and all, eh? On the front, I redrew my hip curve along the side seam.  This is hard to explain, when I added the 1/2″ for the hip, I aligned my hip curve with bigger end towards the hem.  That created one, long smooth curve.  By turning the curve around and placing the bigger end closer to waist, I create an immediate outward curve. I reasoned that in front, my tummy is already increasing in girth at the waist. It’s at max circumference a mere 2″ below the waist. My pear has morphed over the years.  I’m more watermelon shaped these days and  I need a different front waistline.  I added notches at the waist so I can match them up when sewing because I didn’t treat the back the same.  I added 1/4″ along the entire back side-seam.  I always need more fabric to cross my hips. The last few months, I’ve been adding 1″ to the back and removing 1″ from the front.  I may yet do that but for now my final alterations were to the sleeve and cuff.  I add 1/4″ along the back side-seam of the sleeve and 2″ to the length of the cuff. I did not add length to the sleeve, which you might have been expecting. I had trimmed the fabric 1″ not the pattern. So no need to add length to the tissue, I hope.

As I cut the front and back, I immediately rolled the pieces and moved them to the ironing board.  I wanted to tape the curves before there was the slightest chande of their stretching. I serged the shoulders and back at 1/4″. Normally I would trim both seams down to 1/4″ but I wanted some fit assurance. At the SM I stitched the CB and right shoulder seam at 3/8″. The left shoulder seam I stitched at 1/2″.  That’s only 1/8″ more and may not be enough to offset the effect of the uneven shoulders wearing uneven shoulder pads. Then I got in the zone and put the whole blouse together. I reasoned, it couldn’t look any worse than the muslin and I’d wear the muslin.

I was right.  This is the best fitting I’ve gotten yet. The back looks perfect.

I see that my  shoulder solution hasn’t worked.  Not sure if I should call the two-sizes shoulder pads experiment a failure or keep working with them. I purchased 3 pairs of 3/8 and 3 pairs of 3/4″.  I’ve used 4 of the 12 pads so I still have 8 or 4 blouses to decide.  Because while it isn’t the perfect solution, this is better than ignoring the problem entirely.

After all, on my left side I see only 1 of those pesky U’s:

The right still has about 3

.The shoulder look fairly even, so the different sized shoulder pads are helping:


Also, I’ll point out that I’m using a light colored, NOT busy print which tends to show every little divot.  In a dark color or busy print these drag lines might not even be noticeable.

I do strive for perfection. I just don’t throw away everything that doesn’t meet that high standard.  I’m not sure what to do next, about the shoulders.

I see my cami peeking out and the hem is still not level. I do know what to do about these. Add 1/2″ length to the front plus 1/2″ around the entire hem.

You know as dressmakers we’re often too critical especially of ourselves. Most people will not even notice the drag lines I’m so concerned about. They simply won’t see the imperfections that are so obvious to me. So I’m putting LH 5202 in my “Patterns that Fit” list and moving on. If/when I discover a better correction, I’ll revisit fitting. For now, I’ve made a lovely blouse. I’m just going to enjoy it and make more just like it.


A comment about body to body measuring or maybe it should be net body-to-body. I’m talking about the Pivot and Slide principle of comparing your body measurements to the measurements of the body for which the pattern was developed. The measurements you find on the back of the envelope.   I was much more successful with Pivot and Slide by ignoring the waist while  calculating  and applying all the other differences between my body and the body for which  Loes drafted LH 5202.  It was an excellent start. I know there’s still room for improvement because I needed to tweak the amount of ease added to the back and the curve of the front side seam (also ignoring the shoulder issue since there seems to be no way to measure shoulder slope.)   I’m going to keep working in this direction.  I like to be able to use new patterns. To explore new designers and even new patterns from familiar designers. I don’t like making 7 muslins or 11 fitting sessions. What I did, worked. I had 2 fitting sessions for the muslin. None for the final.  Admittedly, I could/should have endured more fitting sessions.