I really love the way the MashUP turned out. As I finished, I was thinking, I needed a few tweaks; more attention to the left shoulder/side which was developing a divot. But basically, I could pull out these pattern pieces and add a few dozen Ebb-like blouses any time I so desired.
Then the left brain kicked in.
The left brain said, “I wonder how the princess seam alteration we’ve been doing on the back, would work for the front?” Left brain also suggested now was a great time to experiment because really, not much more had been done to the Ebb than what I was doing 2 years ago. Adding the alteration to both now would provide an excellent comparison to its workability.
Well, left brain isn’t entirely correct. I am making major fitting alterations that I was not making previously. But I took the point well. Mostly because I realized immediately if a princess seam alteration was the solution for both front and back, that opened up a lot of patterns I could use or use again. See, I’ve been shunning any pattern without a sewn armscye princess. I won’t even tackle a shoulder princess. (Although I will work with yokes that terminate in the armscye.) So I think, well what the heck. Do I have anything in the muslin stack that I wouldn’t mind wearing if this happens to work? (I did. A cotton/poly lawn that I’d rescued from the home dec section of Mill ends when they were still in business. I’ve used this piece previously and had left an odd-shaped remnant. Perfect!)
So you’re probably scratching your head and wondering what is a princess-seam alteration. Well don’t ask a real expert. They will shake their heads and tell you there isn’t any; that I’m crazy. Here’s what I do:
Starting with back. I’m pretty well-trained in the LCD philosophy of fitting which I find the more I use, the more I understand and the easier it is to fit. (For me. I don’t doubt that there are bodies are there for whom this doesn’t work.) So the first thing I did was
Trace the size large. You have to start with enough but not too much circumference. The medium size that I started with in the Mashup was not large enough. I traced the Large. So now I can start fitting alterations with L, length. I already know from the Medium, my usual 1″ BWL was not enough. I need 2. So I made a 2″ BWL by folding in half horizontally and about the waist; then stitching a 1″ tuck. Back and the skirt portion of the front. Length fixed.
I didn’t do any checks on circumference. I knew from looking at the pattern that more than 1/2″ was added between medium and large sizes. 1/2″ is what I added to the medium to make it fit. So I’m pretty sure C, circumference is also fixed.
Depth. I like to start high and work low. The highest point is the shoulder. Now with the Mashup, I didn’t change the shoulder slope. After changing the neckline, I felt the shoulders were right. Which surprised me. I’ve always needed a shoulder slope alteration. I’m pretty sure some of the Ebb’s I’d sewn over 2 years ago had shoulder slope alterations. So this time I compared the back of the Ebb with the back of 6299.
Admittedly, that’s hard to see (even when you click to enlarge) because it is the same white tissue on top of white tissue. I lined up carefully the grain lines and shoulders. It looks to me like the 6299 is just 1/8″ more sloped than the Ebb. That’s what I marked on the Ebb (1/8″) back and front.
Moving a little lower brings me to the level of the round back alteration. I slash straight across the back leaving a hinge at the armscye; slip a tissue beneath and then spread 5/8″ at the center back.
I pin that in place, smooth out the curve and then add 1/4″ center back seam. It is possible to rotate the dart to the neckline or shoulders but I’m in a hurry and not doing that today.
Next up is what I’m calling the Princess Seam Alteration. I place my curve on the back starting at the armscye notch. I try to make a nice curve but I’ve found out that’s mostly a personal preference, so I’m not really particular about the exact curve.
It has to be extended all the way to the hem or next seam. If not you have a dart. I’d like to get away from darts and additional seams. I cut on the curve, leaving a hinge at the hem, and then overlap 3/8″ at the armscye notch.
This creates a jog in the armscye that needs to be corrected. So far I’ve been filling in the jog instead of trimming away armscye. I took a second to look down the PSA and found that I was losing ease nearly all the way. About 1/2″ at the hip level. Well, I can’t do with less ease. Know it. So on the side seam I added 1/2″ at the hip level down; and blended up to the armscye.
Once all my alterations are done, I trim the excess tissue.
Back is done.
Front. I have been mirroring alterations as needed, i.e. the BWL and Shoulder Slope. On the Front, I need to make the princess seam alteration. I start the same way, using my curve to draw a line from the armscye notch to the next seam which happens to be the empire line.
I slice that apart, leaving a hinge at the empire, then stop to think a sec. With the armscye -princess pattern-pieces I’ve found that I need to pinch the front at the armscye more than the back. It is logical. As I’m aging my back continues to round.Typical for the elderly that means the back stretches becoming a little wider while the front becomes more concave and a little narrower. So when I slashed the front, I overlapped 1/2″ instead of the 3/8″ used for the back.
Filled in the notch as I did with the back. I know it’s working so why not repeat the success?
And the front is finished
In its entirety as I had completed the front BWL at the same time as the back
I don’t want to work on the sleeve until I know how these alterations are working. I think I will need to remove 3/8″ length on the back sleeve cap and 1/2″ on the front but then again, I may not have made the correct changes. Also I’m still leery of the shoulder. Although it is at the right angle, it still seems to be 1″ too long. I consider this carefully. First, my pattern 6299 pattern piece contains only a 1/4″ seam allowance. (I find 1/4″ is the easiest to work with when joining to the armscye. Under the serger foot, the 2 fabrics (bodice and sleeve) practically meld together with no effort on my part.) Point is, I think the shoulder contains an extra (from my point of view) 3/8″ length. Minus the 3/8″, the shoulder is only 5/8″ too long. 2nd point: This is a drop shoulder. The sleeve cap is flatter/lower than a regular shoulder would need. I’ve noticed that Louise exaggerates the shoulder drop in her illustrations. I think she wants you to know this cap is not supposed to sit at the shoulder’s edge. But she also knows that the easiest to sew, most flattering, most comfortable drop shoulder is only a slight drop and that is what she generally drafts. Or, at least that is my impression. (I should confess I’ve not bought either her very earliest patterns, her Shapes, nor the latest patterns. I have several reasons, the #1 being my lack of fitting finesse, but also I’m looking for blouses and vests. Louise drafts every possible pattern a woman might want to use. She’s very versatile. Me, not so much).
Bottom line, I’ve leaving the sleeve alone until I get a little further along.
I thought the Mashup post would be shorter than it was and from the beginning of the project planned on the single post I made. This post on the PSA (my abbreviation and name ’cause I’ve never seen anyone else do this which doesn’t make it wrong) anyway, I expected this post to need more pics because I wanted to document exactly my changes; selfishly for myself. I’m at an age when if you don’t write down changes like you know you won’t remember a thing tomorrow, well you’ll have to repeat the whole bloomin’ process. See you tomorrow for the fitting…