Sometimes being forced to think, is a blessing. I didn’t get back to the sewing room for 2 days. By that time I’d realized I wanted the fit of the Ebb across the shoulder and upper bodice but the relaxed fit and ease of the ABO across the hip. I placed the Ebb pattern pieces on top of the ABO and trimmed the ABO’s shoulder and neck to match the Ebb. I compared sleeves, but decided that the Ebb was much wider, and higher than the ABO. I used the Ebb’s sleeve. I serged the shoulders together and finished the neckline. I did serge the sleeve into the armscye but only basted side seams. Then I tried it on. Much encouraged I hemmed the garment. I added 3″ cuffs because the change to the shoulder line and using the Ebb sleeve meant that I had a 3/4 or 7/8 length when I wanted a full length sleeve. I serged the side seams and finished the cuffs before trying on for the final pics. This I like:
In each of the follow pictures the unfit ABO is on the left, the final garment is on the right.
I will not be making changes to the back. The completed garment fits nicely across the shoulders. There are some vertical lines towards the sides indicating excess ease. This is still a boxy garment by design. I did not put in darts. Only the shoulder area and sleeves have been changed. I’ve actually seen very similar garments back in stores and worn recently. The back is fine.
Other than being able to see the rising front hem, I’m also satisfied with the side view. It seems to flow smoothly over front and back whereas the unfitted ABO, clung to every bump. The finished garment is also not trying to cup under my rear.
I know it’s not always easy to see details, especially if using a tablet of some kind which makes these small pictures even smaller; so I added lines. The finished garment sits smoothly across my shoulders ending just 1/2″ beyond my actual shoulder. I do like a nice cap sleeve garment, but this is my preference for drop sleeve. I don’t think it looks sloppy. I think it looks relaxed. It is evident even in the front view that the extra length is needed in front. I’m finding that to be a new typical alteration I need to make.
I should confess that I slipped 1/4″ shoulder pads into the final garment. I’ve realized that my left shoulder is visibly lower than my right. I’m not sure what’s causing the change; only that I need to make this slight adjustment. After all, it takes less than 5 minutes to pop shoulder pads in. I’m buying them in bulk from WAWAK.
I’m really pleased. I wasn’t sure that changing the Ebb into a 1 piece front would work. Often, the designer will rotate darts into an Empire line garment. In which case, extending the side seams to shirt, tunic or dress length, isn’t going to work at all. As for the ABO, I’m not sure I’m keeping the pattern. I know I don’t want to make the jacket as drafted. The seam of the dropped shoulder really irritates my skin even though another layer (blouse). I also know that I won’t like the top as drafted even with just the short sleeve. Again, the seam line falls in the wrong place. However, I hate to throw a $20 pattern into the trash. I’ll probably hang onto it until I need room in the pattern stash. After all, there are still some good sewing ideas and techniques in those mini-lessons called “Sewing Directions”.