Category Archives: LouiseCutting

POV Test 3

I wanted a slightly over-sized  camp shirt.  Ya-know slightly dropped shoulder and corresponding sleeve, roomy not fitted; something casual not I-mean-business attire. Haven’t quite gotten there.  To me, Test 1 looked not merely over-sized but sloppy; at least it was comfy. Test 2 looked a little more like I wanted but had problems (a) the yoke felt close

; not tight, but close fitting. I wanted casual comfy.  Issue (b) was all the poof in the back caused when I made the smaller yoke but kept the front and back pieces the same.  I did feel Test 2 was good progress and I wanted a Test 3 to make the yoke a little more comfortable; less fitted.

I copied the medium yoke  and trimmed the shoulder end 1/2″. I trimmed the XL hip from front and back so that these pieces are wholly “Large”.  I was seeing strain from the underarm, so I trimmed 1/2″ in that area of both front and back. Finally, I folded out the center back pleat as  I planned adapting the large front and back to a smaller yoke.

My fabric is a linen-silk. I’m not a real fan of linen. Did think the blend would be a nice fabric. It has been pre-shrunk, so no sizing to mislead me.  I don’t remember where I bought the fabric, but I do remember I’ve always planned on summer trousers. Never got around to making them. Realized the 1/8″ grey/white check could make a nice blouse. At the last second I made a very good decision to go with contrasting collar/lapel.

Couple of issues, mostly my fault. I did not cut pieces singly but did the quick-and-easy fold fabric in half cut duplicate pieces. The result is that the checks don’t match exactly but they are so small it is hard to tell until you are very close-up–close enough to get your face slapped.  It also meant that some pieces were not perfectly on grain. The worst of it showed up in the back hems. Since this was a test, I made it work but still have reservations.  For once I did my asymmetrical-shoulder alteration. I did it wrong. And, I serged it. Meaning there isn’t a chance of fixing the error because I trimmed needed fabric.  I don’t know why, but I opted for 4 buttons instead of 5. Fixable, thank heavens

The medium yoke trimmed 1/2″ didn’t work. I basted all the pieces together. Pressed carefully. Even inserted shoulder pads.  It looked as sloppy as Test 1. So I ripped everything apart (fortunately I basted with water soluble thread). Pressed the yoke in half and placed the small yoke pattern on top.  I then cut the small 1/4″ away from the shoulder end (effectively adding 1/4″ to the back width).  Should have done that to start with.

Please ignore the darker spots. I like to give my garments a whiff of spray and press them before the final pics. My sprayer was set to stream instead of  spray. Also, it was blocked from stachings-past. What I’m hoping you can see is that the yoke looks find front, side and back. It is neither too big, nor too small. Goldilocks. It feels comfortable.  May be difficult to see in the pics but instead of Louise’s beautiful deep pleat in the center back, I have two small pleats (both front and back), positioned towards the armscyes. I have enough excess ease to be comfortable while it is close enough fitting to look nice satisfy me.

I am happy with this version. I do think it will look better in a different fabric. This was not a soft linen. I was happier with the hand of my cotton and polyester shirtings. I’ve got a little of that Adult ADHD or whatever it is called, so I’m tired of working with this pattern and want to do something else.  Eventually, I will pick it up again and using a fabric I really like create another blouse.  It’s a good pattern. Well drafted. Excellent instructions plus Louise always includes some couture features. It’s a pattern I know I will use again.




POV Test 2

I wasn’t entirely satisfied with my first POV.  The shoulders seemed too, too wide. When I wore the blouse, it kept strangling me. “How Funny” I thought. My blouses normally don’t strangle me.  I don’t remember CLD blouse patterns ever strangling me. Eventually I wondered if the shoulder pad might be the cause.  I took the shoulder pads off; the blouse settled with the front yoke just forward of my shoulder and looked like the front cover.

Side Note:  I’ve learned not to put all my faith in either fashion drawings or pictures. They tend to take “artistic license” which means the garment will not fit on your body exactly like it looks in the pic/drawing which BTW may not even look like the garment as worn by the model

Without shoulder pads, the test became very comfortable except the sleeves. The sleeve caps rubbed against my arm. When they weren’t sticking out oddly that is. But it was now comfortable to wear. Previously I’d considered a size small yoke and collar. Decided now I should follow up on that thought and see if it fix my issues, thus Test 2.

I copied the small yoke and collar, as planned, shortened the sleeve and added 1″ length to the center front –both issues I’d noted before. I kept the same size large front and back ?skirt pieces?–the body of the blouse that is attached to the yokes.

Test 2 is constructed using a polyester shirting which feels like cotton and has  30% stretch. I don’t really like this fabric. I prefer poly cotton blends to 100% poly even when it does feel like cotton in the hand.  I bought it thinking it  would  color-coordinate with my brown pants. My idea of color coordination is that the color is in both bottom and top. I was hoping this was more brownish. Nope the dominate  color is red. A dusty, old, red-brick red. Didn’t like it but hoped it would make a good muslin/test. With 2 yards of  42″ fabric I could not cut a collar.  Not even if I changed from the fabulous 1 piece collar which came with the pattern  to the standard two-piece (top and under collar). I could have a collar or a sleeve. Well could have had a short sleeve but I want to wear-test. In the winter. I freeze in a short-sleeve . No big deal, I was more interested in the shoulders, sleeves and fit across the back. Collar could easily be eliminated.

I had a terrible time with the buttonholes. Had to take rip one  3 times and 2 once each.  The automatic buttonholer would get so far and then start zig zagging in the same spot over and over. Do you know how much of a PITA it is to remove buttonholes?  Even shaving them away, like I did, is not fun and not especially quick. I changed to a different type buttonhole and wrapped the edge with water soluble stabilizer.To add insult to injury, I wasn’t really thinking about the buttons. Wanted 5, white buttons that I could stitch on at the machine. The buttons are too big for this blouse. I mitered the hems as I was serge finishing raw edges which I prefer to do while the blouse is still in pieces. The hems then practically formed themselves. When I got it stitched together enough for a fitting I took pics.

Umm took pics several times as I tweaked the fit. I dealt with several seemingly small issues. The shoulder/sleeve seam is still about 1″ beyond the curve of my shoulder. had to remind myself this is a drop sleeve style and  this should be good. Sleeve was now too short.  Final sleeve  hem is a turn-up and top stitched 1/4″.

Leaving the ?skirt? pieces the larger size was not the best idea.  I had way too much fabric length to attach to the new shorter yoke. I ended up making 4 pleats at CB which caused the back to billow out. For the final pics I did something I haven’t done since high school.  I pressed those pleats all the way from top to bottom. The yoke to ?skirt? seam is serged so I’m not ripping that seam to adjust anything. Thank heavens I planned this as a test.

I worked with the shoulder pads through 3 fittings. Settled on a 1/2″ pad placed 1″ away from the armscye seam. Practically eliminated the  “U” drag lines I get. (U draglines =Diagonals from side back and side front which meet at the side seam in a big drape.) Armscye feels fine but final pics indicate the armscye is a little too small. Easy to correct, next time.

I think the overall impression is good.

It fits me nicely but not perfectly. It looks sized for me.  I was hoping for a little oversized so I can wear things underneath.  I’m not ready to cut into my ‘good fabric’ yet. I need to lengthen the sleeves; scoop out the underarm just a bit and take some width out of the back. I’m also thinking I want to make an in-between sized yoke. IDK, that shoulder looks pretty good but the back yoke feels a little close.

That’s fitting changes, I also need to make some fabric conserving changes:  a separate facing and 2-piece collar. While I love these two techniques, I rarely buy more than 2 yards of fabric. Without a few more inches I will always be choosing between collar and sleeve. Besides, I like a contrasting lapel and sleeve; much easier to do if the facing is already a separate pattern piece.


Point of View: Wearable Muslin

POV View B is not an 80’s style.  It is closer to a classic camp shirt with yoke, convertible collar and button up front.  Louise has also incorporated current styling with the high-low hem.  As always her instructions are a couture-sewing class as is the mitered hem,  low bulk collar and cut-on facing.

I checked the envelope for sizing and chose to trace a large yoke and collar, large at the bust and at the waist  easing out to the XL for the hip. Instead of trying to reshape the yoke,  I made my round back and shoulder slope alterations at the top of the front and back pieces.

From the stash I retrieved  a fabric I wouldn’t mind wearing if the  test- blouse aka muslin turned out nice but wouldn’t mind putting it in the donate box or trash if I didn’t like the final result.  I am not really sure of the fabric content. I’ve had this for several years and lost the tag. It has 10% stretch and was 3.5 yards long.  I like a separate front facing when yardage is at a premium, but because of the length I decided to make this test garment as drafted ie with the cut-on facing.  The low bulk at the center front made turning the reverse easy and created a crisp point. Ditto for the collar.

After cutting the fabric, I basted front, back and yoke together and gave it a quick try-on. Fitting pics not included. I hated the high low hem. Sorry, but it just isn’t me.   I felt it  was a little roomy and the shoulders far to wide. I must insert here that I have not just sloping but narrow shoulders. So even though POV is drafted as a drop shoulder (confirmed by the flat sleeve-cap), the shoulders were too wide on  my very-narrow shouldered-body YMMV. I cut the medium-yoke and collar. Being there is approximately 1″ difference between sizes, I boldly stitched the blouse together, made the button holes, attached the buttons and then added the sleeve. When I stitched the sides seams, I made them 1/2″ deeper about 6″ before and after the armscye. Then I trimmed the low back hem before hemming  the body and sleeves. Second fitting told me that the deeper side seam stitching was a mistake and the sleeves were an inch too long. Rip Rip Rip.

I think the front is near perfect and I’m not wearing all my accoutrements. (Had a CT scan today and had to remove my underwire bra. Forgot to put it back on.)  I’m still not sure of the shoulder width and plan to wear this once to be sure it doesn’t irritate my upper arm.

I think across the back width needs more ease and I might even need a bigger RBA . (Currently I made a 5/8″ RBA). I’ve really been working on my posture but I know that I bending over more and my neck/shoulders are definitely more forward.  Again, need to wear the blouse once all day to really know which issue, which alteration. Glad this is a busy print and the drag lines are in back. Most people won’t notice and I can’t see the wrinkles.

The side views make me think I need an FBA which is odd considering my boobs are laying loose and pretty flat. Since the wrinkles are reflected on both sides of the arm, it is possible I need only fix the back and add length to the front. Even so, I’m just waiting for the first wearing. If the shoulder width is right, I want to use fabric I do love in the next one I make.



  • Sizing
    • Medium Yoke  Collar
    • Large Bust and Waist
    • XL Hip
    • FOR BIG SHIRT go up 1 size at each
  • Alterations
    • +5/8″ RBA
    • -5/8″ Shoulder Slope
    • -3″ Back hem
  • Proposed Alteration
    • +1″  CF
    • +1/4″ Back Width w/adjustment to Pleat Depth

CLD: Relax A Little Top (RAL)

Every summer, for several years, I made this top.  I kept 4 or 5 versions in the closet for spring, summer and fall weather. Then suddenly, I couldn’t remove the drag lines from any of my Cutting Line Designs patterns. I tried. Everytime I had a success with other patterns, I would try it on one of my CLD patterns. Nada. What worked elsewhere didn’t do it for CLDs.  Additionally, the RAL has a 1 piece yoke.  I need a shoulder slope alteration. Where do I make that?  Making it on the yoke definitely changes the style line. Not making it at all introduces deep U drape lines on the side. I put the RAL in deep time out because even if I could figure out what I was doing wrong on the other CLD patterns, I wouldn’t know how to fix the RAL

It was a Judy Kissinger video which led to my break through with the RAL top.  Instead of making my sloping shoulder and round back adjustments to the yoke, I made them at the top of the lower piece!.  Lower front was a piece of cake. Just like altering the shoulder at the shoulder except the line drawn was a little longer. Altering the back required some thought. First I measured down 5/8″ and drew a line (Yellow in the pic)  from CB to the marked 5/8″ line

Yellow line starts at top of drafted CB and traverses to the new lower side seam point.

Well what about the round back? My RBA needs to  add 5/8″. I suppose I could slash and spread as usual, but since the effect is the same, I made a mark 5/8″ above the top of the back (as drafted.) Then I drew a new line (Red) from this new CB mark to the lowered side seam mark

That line is drafted as a curve; so for my alteration I pulled out my french curve and also drew a curve.

When I trimmed the tissue, I trimmed along the red line. Looks weird, but, It works:

You really don’t notice either alteration.

One of the things I like about the RAL, is the ability to add shoulder pads. My shoulder slope is such that I often tease, I don’t have shoulders. I really appreciate what a little pad can do both in the back view above and this front view:

I did need to lower the “stitch to dot” on the side seam by 5/8″, the same as I trimmed away.

Oh you can’t really see that. What I really love is there are not any obnoxious drag lines even here looking at my asymmetrical and lower right side. I call this a success!


*****Summary of Changes

  • Small Yoke with Large lower front and lower back
  • 5/8″ shoulder sloper applied to lower front and back
  • 5/8″ Round back alteration applied to lower back
  • V neckline instead of collar.
  • Lower “stitch to dot” 5/8″
  • lengthened 3.5″
  • Curved hem
  • added shoulder pads


Fitting with a PSA

 reminder PSA= Princess Seam Alteration

Fitting went surprisingly well. First off, I expected to rip a few seams. So I cut fabric, ran to the serger and serge finished because, this is fabric that ravels like the devil.  I serged the center back seam. Swapped out the bobbin for water-soluble thread, joined the upper bodice and skirt. Put the regular bobbin back in and joined the shoulders. I stitched the right shoulder 1/4″ deeper than the left. Then remembering the issues with the Mashup, I stitched the left shoulder at 3/8″ and the right at 5/8″. I attached the facing also using permanent stitching; then swapped out for WST before basting the side seams. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the mirrors reflection. Made no changes, just took pics and trotted up stairs.

Keep this in mind when looking at the pics 1) I don’t think I have the shoulders square on my body; and (2) I already have 1/4″ shoulder pads pinned into place.

I’m seeing a little bit of drooping but not big V’s. Oddly, I’m seeing more on the left than the right. The blouse feels comfortable so I’m reluctant to take in the side seams. It will be difficult to work on the shoulders a bit more, but I will try before the final.

I also see the right side swinging forward at the front hemline.  That usually indicates additional ease is needed in front. I’m surprised but yes I can offset the seams a little now and add more tissue to the pattern later.  The empire does seem to be rising in front. I tend to think that’s because I don’t have the shoulders sitting properly. Honestly, I’m hoping that goes away because I can’t fix it now. Adding length had to be done way back at the tissue stage.  (I took all length away in the skirt. The upper bodice length was untouched.)

I’m seeing the same divot (don’t know what to call it really) on the left back as I did before. I note that I’ve pinned my shoulder pads into place and the pin is placed exactly where the divot starts on my shoulder.  I realize I have several things going on here. The pins restricting the fabric, the shoulder of the blouse not square on my own; the question of were the PSA’s deep enough; and has this oddity been showing up before without my noting? Is this the aging body that I’m ignoring?

When I take pics, due to my limitations, I always end up rotating the pics. Which I never do perfectly. I only come close. For starters I don’t think I rotated this pic at all. I’m still aware that the shoulder are not sitting squarely but can’t help but notice that the front left seems to have at least an echo of back left divot. Apparently I need to do more with the left. Which is surprising to me because it is my right shoulder which is obviously lower and always requires the extra consideration.

BUT did you notice, I’m nit-picking? Little things. Not numerous V’s on the side. Not necklines nor armscyes that expose my underwear.  Not a single big complaint. By golly, I’m going to wear this!

Now was the time to consider the sleeves.  I knew I needed to shorten the sleeve cap. Also that the medium sleeve was comfortable and did not need extra ease. So I cut the sleeve at a size medium and serged  to the armscye (just after I deepened both shoulder seams 1/4″).  With some hesitance, I did not stitch the sleeve at 5/8″, only the 1/4″ of the serged seam. Firstly, I had a lot of sleeve cap to gather to the armscye and while the serger did this  easily, I’m not sure I can repeat the pleat-free stitching at the sewing machine. As for all the cap length, simply removing the size-large, side, seam-allowance was not enough and will still need to be adjusted.

When I stitched the side seams, I offset the front (beginning at the empire seam down to the hem) so that the seam would be 1/4″ deep for front but 1/2″ deep for back.  I again added my quick vents to the side seams.  Louise’s mitered vents are lovely and not very time-consuming when you have all the seam allowances the right width. Today, I’ve got wonky seam allowances and don’t really want to invest the additional time needed to miter each corner (which can be done even with differing seam allowances).  I did a number of other finishing touches, such as securing the back facing with SAS and then top stitching.  I did not cut the vent in the sleeve. Mostly because I used that on the two previous blouses just finished. This time I made a narrow hem.

I pinned the front lapels in place and steamed them to create a permanent crease. Unfortunately, I forgot to remove the pins before photos.  Full disclosure here:  In the past, I’ve done the same thing when ironing freshly laundered blouses and then wondered why my blouse kept pricking me during wear. Onto Final Pics:

Right side view looks perfect (not even the front hem is swinging forward). Left still showing drag lines below bust. I may  need to adjust the shoulder slope more than the 1/8″ I thought I was seeing when I compared patterns.

I’m not sure about the empire line rising center front.  I still don’t have the shoulders resting comfortably on my own  and they slop about a bit. So is the issue due to needing more length or needing a more secure shoulder?

Increasing the shoulder seam to 5/8″ helped greatly with the divot I was seeing before. It’s more of a suggestion which I might ignore. Do note though, how the shoulders are not sitting evenly. It seems to be sliding to the left and the right neckline is closer to my neck than the left neckline. It is sloping about.  My first corrective effort will be increasing the shoulder slope. Oddly, I don’t think I want to trim the armscye or sleeve cap down to 1/4″ my preferred seam allowance.  I’m liking where this slightly dropped shoulder is sitting.  I want to keep it that way. No idea why the hem is bending in. It just is.

I offset the front side seams because I thought I needed more ease. Now, I just don’t think so. But I’ve already added tissue to front pattern piece (thereby more ease to future versions) and besides while I’d like to blame the shoulder situation, insufficient ease really might be the issue of the front swinging forward in the first set of pics.

What is most important about this blouse is the fact MY PRINCESS SEAM ALTERATIONS WORKED!!.  They need increasing i.e. the 3/8 and 1/2″ PSA were not deep enough, I’m thinking 1/2 and 5/8 next time. But honestly,  I’m jumping around and dancing. This means I know what to do to fit my patterns which don’t have princess seams. I couldn’t be happier.

******* Alterations next version

  • Shoulders
    • Increase slope to 5/8
    • Trim seam allowance to  3/8″
  • Increase the back and front PSA to 1/2″ and 5/8″ respectively
  • Sleeve cap need sto be shortened at least another 1″ divided front/back

PS on the Ebb

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…


Mashup: 5967 & Ebb

ETA: Fixing a lot of little errors that neither I nor the spelling checker caught.

You all know Louise Cuttings Ebb has been my fav forever?

Like as soon as it was issued, I had to have it. Stopped my other sewing and made my first Ebb immediately. But since my shape changed 2 years ago, I’ve not been able to fit the pattern. Oh, I get enough circumference, but I also get deep V drag lines on the side and the empire rises sharply towards center front. Something is off and I don’t know what. Other than, I didn’t have the problem before. I made a number of beautiful Ebb’s before 2 years ago.  Well let’s move along.

I dearly love this style and keep trying to create a pattern at least close to its styling. After my success with Connie Crawford’s 5967, I wondered about a mash-up. I started by copying the Ebb pattern. I compared the Ebb tissue with my fitted 5967 pattern pieces and selected a Medium. At the time, I thought that was slightly off. Usually I’m a large or X-large. When I’m a medium it is because I’m trying to use a pattern for wovens with a knit fabric. But I proceeded ( and regretted it much later).

I immediately added a 5/8″ RBA and 1/4″ center back seam. I did consider rotating the dart to the shoulders but I have to think the process through every time. It is not something  I can whip through. Decided rotating could wait for another version. I also made a 1″BWL.  I have always needed to shorten the Ebb at least 1″ to bring the subtle waist and hip shaping in line with my own. I made one other change to the back, because it has been working for me:

I drew a line on the back which would correspond to the seam which would be created by an armscye princess. I cut all the way to the edge, but left a hinge. Then rotated the side seam edge inward 3/8″. I had to fill in the a little gap which occurs in the armscye and true the armscye curve.

I did not change the shoulder slope of either front or back because when I aligned the pattern pieces, the slopes were alike.

On the front, upper bodice, I laid out my pattern pieces from 5967

I really worked at lining up the grain and the match point/notches across the bust. This may be a little more understandable with the final pieces trimmed from the excess.

(click to enlarge any pic)

I noted that the shoulder had moved closer to my neck and was 1″ shorter than the Ebb’s shoulder. I reasoned that the 1″ difference in length didn’t matter because I always narrow the shoulders about 1″.  Since I wanted a princess seam, I needed to push the side front over and then add 1/2″ at the side to compensate for the now-needed, seam allowances.  I finished by folding the front along the fold line and trimming the facing to match the rest of the bodice.  I made the 1″ BWL to the skirt portion of the front. No pics of that.

This is one that I started by serge finishing all the edges. The pieces are visually different from both the Ebb which does not fit and 5967 which does. Enough difference that I feel uncomfortable with my changes. So I serge finished all pieces and then serged the side bodice to the bodice front. I stitched shoulder seams together before swapping out the bobbin for water-soluble thread and basting the empire seam and side seams. I ignored the sleeves for now. I have to tell you, the first fitting was close to being perfect.  My biggest complaint is the bust dart (forming in the front armscye) which is begging to be stitched

No I didn’t sew the dart, I trimmed about 1/2″ off the side seam.  My bodice tops often have interesting side seams as they tilt inwards at the underarm. I’m just narrow there.

2nd but not critical issue is that I think it is too long. The proportion seems a little off.   I trimmed 1″ from the bottom of at the hem of the fabric but on the pattern I increased the BWL to 2″ . Which takes care of a 3rd and maybe unimportant issue, I felt that the blouse was a little tight across the butt, even though it looks fine. Which suggests to me that the shaping is just a little low.

I also took a close look at the shoulders

The serge-finished edge is just barely reaching the edge of my shoulder. The Ebb shoulder illustration  clearly indicates a slightly dropped shoulder and the sleeve pattern has a flattened cap for a dropped shoulder. I hadn’t cut the sleeve from fabric, so I whipped out the 5967 sleeve, placed it on top of the Ebb and added a little height.

Then I cut the fabric. Thinking I needed to do nothing else, I serge the sleeve to the armscye and finished the blouse including hems, buttonholes and buttons.  I should mention that while I didn’t allow for vents during planning, I stopped the side seam stitched 8″ above the hem edge and finished with side vents.

I did have to ease the sleeve to the armscye. Ran a little basting line and pulled up the excess. That’s something I will think about fixing for the next version. The sleeve looks and feels good.

Oh forgot to mention that I had added 1/2″ to the side seams in the tissue stage.  Just couldn’t get over the feeling that a medium would be too small.  Turns out I was right. I stitched the side seams at 1/4″ which means I needed the large at least at the hip.  Um, that’s another tweak I’ll need to make to the pattern before the next version.

Love the right side view (above) and the front view

DH commented on how good it looked even in the pics from the fitting. I’m perplexed a little by the back which looked better at fitting

Finished (left) Fitting (right).  Also thought the left side looked fine during fitting but there are  extra front  drag lines in the finished blouse.

Finished (left) Fitting (right).

I love the final blouse. Can see more versions of this in the future.