Category Archives: 5213V-NeckTunic

5213 Again and Again

Continuing from yesterday’s post….

I had to stop and ask myself: Do I want to do an FBA on Loes Hinse patterns?  An FBA is an aggressive alteration effecting the armscye, shoulder, bust and hem. The beauty of Loes patterns is in the excellent draft and the simplicity of the design.  Her patterns show case fabrics. So I asked myself where was I going with this idea, especially as pertains to 5213?  My issues are the diagonal lines that extend from bust point to high hip which are mirrored on the back; and the rising front hem. I’ve also noted a tendency for the front to appear flounced probably as a result of adding the center front wedges when trying to add center front length.

It is imperative to me that the hem be even, unless the design specifically includes an asymmetrical or multi-length pieces which can be quite beautiful. But my run-of-the mill tops usually have a hem that is even from back, across side and front. That’s how this pattern and all my Loes Hinse patterns are drafted.   I need to even the hem.  

I need to eliminate the flounced front.  Again, there are designs that specially include this feature but none of my Loes Hinse patterns are so drafted. I don’t want my fitting changes to cause it.

I’m not really annoyed with the diagonal lines in front.  I’ve always thought of myself as anemic in that area.  Usually I am unreasonably pleased that my clothing might indicate  some padding about there. Because the diagonal drag lines are classic indicators of insufficient room in the chest area, I’ve assumed that I needed to increase the ease. That may not be true.  I have several blouse patterns on which the diagonals do not occur. They are all darted bodices.  I’ve even read that you can’t eliminate these diagonals unless a dart is taken on the side seam. The boob bump helps, but even having 7″ too much ease  which included a boob bump, did not eliminate the diagonal lines. Did not even reduce the number or depth of the diagonal lines.  I’m beginning to think that altering the bust may not be the solution at all; or that people who say a dart has to be added and sewn are correct.

So with these things in mind I started a new 5213. I’m using an ITY fabric, yet again, which also measure 50% stretch.

I’m using the previous pattern tracing (not the last larger sizer). The front has been slashed, spread, overlapped so many times that I traced it once again.  I applied my 1″ BWL.  I did not use my normal 1″ NSA.  The shoulder is already very narrow. But then I needed to shorten the sleeve  1″. Usually the 1″ NSA decreased the wing span 1″ which brings the sleeve up into position and the sleeve is then the correct length. Since the wing spread was not decreased at the shoulder, I had to do it on the sleeve.  Instead of adding a wedge to the center front to add length, I extended the CF line 2″at the hem and, using my curve, drew a new hem line connecting center front to side seam.  One last change to the center front. Loes has drafted a little fitting into each of the seams.  Wonderful for those of you who have a waist. I can’t tell I have a waist from the front or side views.  To see my waist, I have to look at my back.  In fact, my waist in front is not indented but is convex, curves outward. So I placed a ruler on the center front pattern piece and drew a straight line between neckline and hem eliminate the shaping Loes provided for my more shapely sisters.  I’m hoping these last two changes will add length to the center front without adding a flounce.

The first fitting was a near success. Even though when tested this fabric had 50% stretch, the same as all 4 fabrics sewn with this pattern since Nov 2014, I now could pinch 1.5″ ease under each arm. The shoulder and upper bust fit smoothly but where the previous version had fit nicely under the arm, this ITY was far too loose. I increased the side seam allowances from 1cm to 1.5cm

You can always tell a bad hair day by the way the photo is cropped.

This is not the finished garment but pics after the 2nd fitting.  The hems are turned and basted into place. Neckline is finished and I think I’m finished with changes.  The front hem is nearly even. I will turn the back hem up 1.75″ instead of my usual 1.25″.  I will be hemming the sleeve 2″ instead of it’s basted 1.25″ While the pictured  length is the current trend, I do prefer a slightly shorter sleeve. It still feels a little loose in the torso. Like I could take the body in another .5cm. But then it would be too tight across the back hip.

I am frankly flummoxed by fabric.  I’ve used 4 different ITY fabrics with equal stretch and gotten 4 different finished ease factors. Along with not being sure the bust needs to be fixed, I’m not sure anymore that I needed to add the 1/2 to my pattern side seams. Personally, I don’t find knits hard to sew. Rather, I find them difficult to fit. Which takes me to tomorrow’s book review post.


Craftsy Course: Adjust the Bust

This is the second Kathleen Cheetham Craftsy Course that I’ve taken.  I must like her because I decided to take this course and pay the full price. If only I’d waited, Craftsy had a flash sale practically the next day.  Ah well, I enrolled in this course specifically because of the bust fitting issue I’m having with tops.  Because of LH5213, I was particularly interested in the instructions pertaining to dartless tops.

I like Kathleen Cheetham. I repeat this is the 2nd course I’ve taken. The most I would complain about is her habit of licking a finger or thumb and then handling, pattern, fabric or tools. I know this is a personal issue. It was drilled into my head -both while growing up and during medical training-that the mouth is a hot bed of germs and is to be avoided. So I spend lots of my viewing time shuddering and telling myself not to be so irrational. After all I’m not going to be touching anything that she is touching.  Besides, her instructions are very good. Very clear. She is calm and organized. It’s a totally different experience from Sandra Betzina.

This course is all about bust darts. Where to place them. How big to make them. How to add them to dartless patterns. I was therefore a little disappointed. I did not want to add an FBA and yet that is precisely Kathleen Cheetham’s solution even for knits.

I do recommend this course. It is a very comprehensive study of the bust dart and how to apply use it for your figure.


But, I had to stop and ask myself did I want to do an FBA on Loes Hinse patterns?  ….

Up another size?

After finishing the last LH 5213 to which I added 1/2″ to the side seams of front back and sleeves pieces and added an additional 1″ wedge to the center front. I begin to wonder if I hadn’t created the next larger size.  I compared the pattern pieces and found that the next larger size was about 1/2″ higher at the shoulder; and 1/8″ wider at the front and back side seams. The sleeves seemed nearly exactly the same.  I trust Loes drafting. I mean the past versions of my Loes Hinse patterns have seemed wonderful. (Have I just been blind to the fit differences?)   So I traced the next larger size  to test for fit.

I wasn’t too confident of this choice. 5213 is supposed to contain 2″ ease at the hip and is recommended for knit fabrics.  Here I am using ITY knits and using a size which should have 6″ ease ( {pattern hip size +2″=} – my hip=6″). Also, I was pretty sure that the previous size was a bit too long between shoulder and bust. Maybe 1/4″too long; and I’m adding another 1/2″?  Mentally, I just couldn’t reconcile the idea the larger size would fit even though I knew I had enlarged the previous tracing to be almost this size.

I chose another ITY. I think it’s important to at least be consistent with fabric choice.  This ITY also has 50% stretch but  I hate the print.  In fact, when I received this fabric in with my order, I checked to be sure it was the same as I ordered.  I can’t really condemn the fabric company because I know how difficult it is to photograph fabrics.  I believe that they take a standard sized sample and format it for the internet.  I believe the discrepancy arises from the fact this particular repeat is  large.  I liked the yellow and orange diamonds I was seeing, but was stunned by the puke-green roses which were also a part of this print.  I didn’t complain to the vendor. Like I said, I realize there are issues in photographing fabrics. The facts are that I ordered a group of ITY fabrics because they were on sale and fairly inexpensive.  I might have purchased this had I seen it in person just to have as a muslin. Muslin it is.

I cut the fabric and basted the pieces together. I should not have been surprised. Yet I was stunned.  While the previous version didn’t seem too large, this one was humongous

I made two attempts at stitching seams larger. My first attempt was stitching the shoulder on the stitching line of the previous size.  As suspected, this larger size was much too long between shoulder and bust. That of course, dropped the bust, waist and hip shaping all too low.  However, this was more difficult than I anticipated. Taking in this two-piece semi-raglan sleeve is awkward. However I was able to adjust enough to see that I really did not need to use this size.

It occurred to me that instead of “Muslin” I could make this a PJ top. I know another blogger who regularly cycles her less than acceptable sewing efforts into sleep wear. So I was struggling with a third set of alterations when DH declared, and I gratefully acquiesced, a time out for the evening meal.

Adding A Boob Bump

Loes Hinse (LH) patterns are a staple in my wardrobe. I have about 6 LH patterns I am fitting for my current size  and contemplate buying more.  So when I realized I needed to add bust room, I decided to start with one of her patterns because I would probably be making the same changes to all.

I’m working with 5213 the V Neck tunic.  I like this pattern and have made so many that I’ve lost count.  It has both center front and center back seams for shaping. The sleeve is what I’ve heard describe elsewhere as a half-raglin.  It has a bit of underarm shaping and then decreases towards the shoulder in a regular fashion. But does not terminate in a point as does a Raglan.  My size sports a 2″ shoulder seam. For that reason, I don’t do my usual narrow shoulder alteration.  I think Loes drafts  something that narrows the front because I never have gaping issues.  My NSA removes not only shoulder length but a little bit across the upper bodice. I”m slightly narrow in the upper bodice but the length is usually spot on. Or so I assume because the horizontal bust dart always falls exactly where I need it.

With Loes Hinse simple styles and preference of knit and drapey fabrics, she recommends a different type FBA. One that’s not so pattern invasive.

It consist of adding length at the top of the shoulder and adding a bump at the side along the widest part of the bust.  I know this works because it is exactly what Pamela’s Patterns does for the best fitting T-shirt I’ve ever had.

Before I added a boob bump, I looked closely at my pattern and compared it with Pamela’s Pattern #104, the excellent T shirt mentioned before.  I was surprised to see that the back was 1/2″ wider below the shoulder so from bottom of the shoulder to hem.  Same with the front. I had to stop and think a sec. Loes patterns are a bit more figure revealing which would demand a closer fit.  I compared the sleeves, which was that easy to do. 5213 is a 2 piece sleeve and it contains some shaping along that center seam. In the end I decided upon adding 1/2″ to the side seams of both front, back and sleeve. Then I added a 1/2″ boob bump and a 2nd 1″ tummy wedge (described here.)

Side bar here:  fabric choice is important. I chose a cotton, light weight double-knit that was humongous when basted together.  It was one of those experiences where I could only start at the pictures without a clue where to start.  I started by chosing another fabric.  I reasoned that the ITY used last November came me a near perfect fit. Starting with a known fabric would help me at least now avoid problems caused by fabric inherent characteristics. So my fabric is an ITY knit purchased from Fabricmart early last year.

I basted the garment together with 3/8″ SA and tried it on.  That’s when I discovered the issue of too long sleeves and the flouncing described in yesterday’s post.

I removed the flouncing, shortened and hemmed the sleeve and added shoulder pads for the final fitting;

The back looks slightly tight across my but!. Only because I see the hem cupping under. I’m noticing my uneven shoulders more and more. Probably will start fixing that.  I’ve been considering buying two sizes of shoulder pads 3/8 and 1/2″ and using the larger on the lower shoulder. could work.  I do see some diagonal drag lines just below the shoulder to the high hip. I’m if this is  related to the tightness I’m seeing across the hip or something else

I would be fine with this front were I not specifically working on adding some bust room to eliminate the diagonal lines between under-bust and hip.

The diagonals are most evident in side views where they form a V at the high hip.  Also the front hem is still rising.

For the next version I’m adding another 1/4″ (3/4″ total) to the boob bump on the front ; 1/2″ at the hip on the back and coming up with a different alteration to add front length.

I like this top and will wear it. I used FOE to finish the neckline. I trimmed 3/8 from the neckline and started applying the  FOE with a narrow zig zag. That worked like crap. 20 minutes latter having ripped the zig zag, I started again with a 4mm straight stitch. This time  both garment and FOE cooperated feeding smoothly under the needle.  This FOE has a shiny and a matt side. It’s narrow 5/8″ flat; 1/4″ when folded. I find that I prefer wider FOE and that I don’t like the shiny.  For some reason the matt looks rich in my eyes where the shiny side says cheap.   My greatest concern was not getting the circles in bad spots. I thought the 4 seams (CF, CB and side) would cut through the circles and help eliminate the issue.  With the exception of the two circles on the back just above my rear, I reached goal.  Fortunately, this is a winter garment.  I’m likely to be wearing a third layer which will completely cover up all ills.

I’m having a fitting experience

I know that I need to tackle the FBA; and I am.  Just side-stepping into it.  In fact, I did indeed add a boob bump a la Loes Hinse. But that’s a topic for another post. For this post I’m directing my attention to my efforts to add length to center front. Voila the usual dartless, 1/2 front pattern piece

I don’t know where I got the idea, but what I’ve been doing with some success is adding a 1″ wedge to the  center front

Note the black line denoting the center front or place on fold line. In adding the wedge just about the waist, the bottom half of the pattern swings down and out away from the true vertical.  I reasoned that I didn’t want to remove any tummy room to re-establish a true vertical and instead filled in the wedge extending from the hem with tissue pattern. It would seem that I had solve my need for additional length in front

In actual practice, I’ve added a flounce (or two) to the center front and (look closely) the hem still appears to be rising in front. It’s not even at all. To remove the flounce, at fitting time I offset the seam allowances so as to reveal a wedge extending from the hem along the front side seam.  I cut that off when serging the seam.

Happily, that took care of most of the unintentional flouncing.  Enough so that I will wear this garment.  More interesting is that visually the front hem is not rising as high as it did with the flounce.  I did not know that flounces had a visually shortening effect. It has to be visual.  I can measure the CF before and after the alteration. The after will be 1″ longer. However, I admit this is not the solution.

2014 Winter 6PAC: Top 1

Finally, I’ve been able to sew. My first finished sewn garment for my 2014 Winter 6PAC :

In my 6PAC, I’m aiming for basic black pieces that have a range of winter-uses.  This fits that bill. I’m using an ITY sequined knit with Loes Hinse V Neck Tunic pattern #5213. The fabric is not covered with sequins. Rather small 1/8″ sequins are sewn in partial arcs all over. It can be dressy. I certainly wouldn’t wear it while scrubbing the shower shall, but I also see it as a basic piece with casual possibilities.

It was time to refit this pattern. In fact except for the Venetian Vest, all my Loes Hines patterns need to be refit. For months, I’ve tweaked here and tweaked there until the previous version fit like cr@p.  It’s similar to the “too many cooks” syndrome. Too many changes and a perfectly good pattern has morphed into something rather hideous.  I expected issues. Was stunned that fitting was so easy.  I traced the next larger size. Because this is a modified raglan, I didn’t apply a NSA. I made a 1″ BWL and took a hard look at the pieces.  It has been longer than I thought since I last worked with the original pattern pieces.  I don’t remember the arms and body being so long.  I folded up the pattern along the shorter length line.  Then, because past experience reminded me that the V-neck is too deep for my liking, I raised it 1.5″. That’s it. Raising the neckline took the most time; about 5 minutes.

It’s also been a long time since I’ve sewn this pattern.  I forgot to do some things.  I didn’t tape the shoulders — something I always do with knits. I was in the middle of sewing the long underarm/sleeve seam when I remembered I should press the other serged-seams first. Too bad I didn’t think to hem the sleeve at that time.  I had planned to use my coverstitch for hemming.  The wrist was very difficult to get in under the foot. Finally I decided upon hemming at the SM.  I set my Ruby Sewing Advisor for fine knit fabrics and inserted a new 10-ball point needle (replacing the 12 universal).  No problems with hemming.  I love my Ruby. I did remember to sew the center front seam after finishing the neckline.  I once again tried Loes Turn-N-Stitch and I once again hate this method.  It just finishes unprofessionally.  It’s the finish for a new sewist.  Someone who hasn’t developed a discerning eye.  Well it’s done. I cut this blouse 2 nights ago. Today I finished it in about an hour and that includes stops to keep the laundry going. This is a wonderful pattern especially when I need instant gratification.

The picture above is lovely, but doesn’t tell me the fitting story. So after composing it, I lightened the exposure 100% to get:

I think I will lengthen the center front because I see the hem distinctly rising in front.

I see the drag lines from the bust. That’s typical in any undarted top. For me, that’s typical. I’m not a terribly busty person so I’m convinced that even when the envelope says B cup it really means double-A. I’m not worrying about the bust drag lines.  I am concerned about the back.  I did not add shoulder pads. I think that would take care of the back draping. I keep 1/4″ shoulder pads on hand (I buy them by the dozen).  It will be a quick fix.

Love this pattern. Why don’t I have a dozen versions right now?

6PAC Update

  1. Top -DONE
    1. Fabric: Black ITY with Sequin design
    2. Pattern LH 5213 V-Neck Tunic
  2. Top
    1. Fabric: animal print in black, grey, cream and bright blue
    2. Pattern LH5205 Boat neck top
  3. Pants
    1. Microfiber/cotton twill
    2. Pattern: PP113
  4. Pants DONE
    1. Jeans
    2. DG2 Purchased from
  5. Vest
    1. Fabric Chenile Loose Weave
    2. Pattern LH 5104 Venetian Vest, Simplified, i.e. no hem flaps or closure.
  6. Coat DONE
    1. Fabric: Polar Fleece
    2. Purchased from Walmart

!!!Officially HALF WAY THROUGH!!!