Category Archives: 22044 2×4

2X4 Possible changes

You probably think I’m nuts.  The last thing I said about the blouse, was I loved it exactly like it was. The very next post I’m writing about changes. Unfortunately, I’m never willing to make the exact same pattern over and over again. I’m always looking for something a little different but not too wild.  For the 2×4 I need to consider fitting as well as style changes.

The floating effect of diagonal print.

was a combination of the 7″ ease and the body of the 100% polyester fabric.  I really do love this effect and will keep it in mind for similar fabrics.  This much ease is also good with fabrics that hang close to the body. But I don’t always want 7″ ease.  I want to trace the next size down, make the same tissue alterations (which were my standard narrow shoulder and back waist length adjustments).  I’ll keep these in separate envelopes (store most of my patterns and tracings in Kraft envelopes) with the ease clearly marked on the face of the envelope.

I did notice that my  hem seemed to rise in both center front and center back.  It may be that the shoulder is still too wide but I’ve been noticing that the center front’s of most of my blouses are too short.  Since the center front is obviously shorter than the center back, I will both length the center front of the blouse and take a little more out of the shoulder.  This may be one of those adjustments that needs to be done a little at a time and even over several blouses.  I didn’t want to alter the shoulder on this first version because I had the bias tape inserted in the seam.  Without that, I could add a small shoulder dart.  With the bias tape in the way, I need to rip out the whole shoulder; trim the bias tape, make my dart and hope I don’t have to repeat.

I also noticed an odd tendency for the side seam to lean forwards

 

but not always

There seems to be more fabric in front than in the back.  The later is typical in many of my blouses during the first fitting.  I find that I’m placing an additional inch ease in the back and removing 1/2″ from the front.  Interestingly, I’ve had to do much the same with pants I’ve recently fit (excepting the Eureka pants. )   I think it could help the fit of this garment to make a similar change.

Generally, I would think this blouse is too long on me. The length worked because of the fabric and print.  But in reality I need to shorten the hem.

I’ll probably adapt the neckline, too.

This is not a bad neckline, just not my best.  (The gaping  is entirely my fault for choosing an incompatible finish.)   I will fill in the areas over the shoulder.  I just don’t care to have my neckline sliding back and forth over my shoulders.  Thing is, necklines are one of the easiest changes to make.  I have a whole book with nothing but neckline variations and the instructions to do them. I used the neckline as given because I like to make minimum design changes during the very first fitting. If I make too many changes, I can’t tell if the pattern is wrong or if I did something that made it wrong.  I love the versatility of this pattern and can see endless changes: Vneck, Scoop, Square, bound (there are numerous binding methods.)

The basic design of the pattern does lend itself to many variations. It was easy to change from the vented hem to the straight hem used above. It’s also ease to change to a spade or rounded hem and even add different hem finishes: baby hem, bound, stacked.  I don’t have a book of hems, but I’ve got lots of edge finishes that I’ve saved and they can all be used for hems.

I added 2″  sleeve length because winter will be here very soon (expecting snow this week).  I like the 3/4 length sleeve but not during the coldest time of the year.  It’s easy to change sleeve lengths but I also have some cuff design details in mind that  would be fun to use.

This fit of this garment is kind of boxy.  It’s not severe like the typical knit T-shirt, but there is no real shaping. That’s especially evident when looking from the side view and seeing the drag lines.  I won’t try to add the horizontal bust dart, but on Louise Cutting’s site are wonderful instructions for adding front and back tucks across the waist.  Mostly, I’ll use this design as is ( with less ease). From time to time though I might like it to have a little more fit.

Please don’t shy away from this pattern because I want to make changes. It is a great pattern; well drafted, very versatile.  I want to make a few fitting tweaks and then add details. You can use it as is and create 8 different looks.

 

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CLD 2X4

I’m pleased to report that I have a new camera, a Nikon S3500.  It’s an easy camera that takes 20mp pictures.  It seems to be able to compensate for my tendency to shake the camera.  However I’m still working out some issues.  I cropped these pictures to 300pixels, like usual.  They were still far to large.  I’ve resized using WordPress’s on-line utility but I’ve noticed that doesn’t always work.  So I’m once again able to take high quality pictures, but I need to learn how to manipulate the new size to create what I need for my blog.  Please be patient just a bit longer

 

I needed a new copy of this pattern:

I gleefully cut my first pattern to my size. Now several years later, I need a larger size.  An entirely  new pattern was in order because I also slashed the pieces to accommodate my narrower shoulder and shorter frame.  This time, I traced the tissue. Frankly, I hope never to change sizes again. But just in case I’ll have this reliable pattern to trace for the next needed size.

I think the drawing doesn’t quite show this design to it’s best advantage.  On me, it is a modified T-shirt type pattern.  Modified for woven, non-stretch fabrics. Also that’s not the drop shoulder of a typical T-shirt sleeve.  On me it falls just off my shoulder point.  This is truly a wonderful pattern and I hope everyone has something similar in their stash.  Once fit, it is very quick to make.  It’s called the 2X4 because several easy changes are included. If I remember correctly, Louise designed it so that you could create 8 designs (2*4=8) from the enclosed pattern pieces.  It is loose fitting but you can select sizing based upon ease desired.

No Shoulder pads

For today’s project I chose the size which would give me 7″ of ease across my hip. I also decided to forgo the neat hem vents at both the sleeve and bottom because I had just used them with the Ebb.  My fabric is a light 100% polyester woven.  No stretch, but with the 7″ of ease has a nice floating effect.  I found the fabric at Hancocks  in Sioux Falls.  Or maybe I should say it found me.  This was one of those experiences when I rounded the end to a new row. You’re looking at what 200? 400? 600? bolts of fabric all lined up on the double rows of shelves. But all I could see, was this fabric.  I checked the price. Checked the fiber.  I just wasn’t sure about 100% polyester. It can be a super fabric.  It can also be intolerably hot and spring was just ending.  Several months later, I returned to the store and the fabric was still there!  Well if that isn’t a sign from above I don’t know what is.  I bought 2 yards thinking of long blouse.  At the time I didn’t notice this was a diagonal print.  It took several false starts before settling upon the 2×4 and a layout attempting to match the diagonals–which didn’t work. Matching diagonals didn’t work.

Something I learned in the past is that a solid area between two visually disjointed areas can actually camouflage the discordant shapes.  The solid area allows your eye to rest and so your brain doesn’t realize the areas don’t match.  This is particularly helpful with large plaids or stripes and even prints.  To form my solid area, I used bias tape folded in half and inserted into the seam.  It’s just snuggled there between the two right sides while stitching. I pressed the seam to one side and top stitched only one side.

My fix does not help between sleeve and the body of the garment. But it most certainly does work for the side and shoulder seams.

I used the same bias tape to finish the neckline.

The binding is stitched to the right side, joined, pressed, flipped to the inside and top stitched. It’s a quick lovely finish but unfortunately did not stretch enough causing my neckline to gap slightly.

I’m not sure if I’m going to fix the gaping.  I could easily run elastic behind the bias tape or with a little more effort remove the bias tape and substitute facing or a ribbing.  Truth is, I was much more interested in the fit of the garment.  I basted the side seams together and was thrilled.  It is a little over-sized. I kept it from looking like I was playing dress-up with mommy’s clothes by hemming the sleeve at my wrist and making the bottom hem 2″ wide.

No shoulder pads. I promised I brushed my hair this day. I also put the blouse on and brushed my hair again. It’s the truth.

I finished it off and starting taking the pics above. I also decided to check the fit with 3/8″ shoulder pads.  I ditched the shoulder pads because I didn’t see an improvement on the front view and the back gave me football shoulders.

 

Guys, I love this blouse, just the way it is.

 

CLD Pattern #22044

Another pattern that I’ve had in my stash for a short period of time and really should have sewn much much sooner.  As usual Louise’s patterns are perfectly drafted and come together beautifully.  I made View A but shortened it mostly to fit the 1.5 yards of fabric that I wanted to use.

 

I also used a 3/4 sleeve length.  This has turned into my favorite sleeve length. I wear it through 2 full seasons, Fall and Spring.  I wear the 3/4 though all but the coldest of winter weather. (Sometimes I get too cold.  I need to cover everything up, all the way.)  I also wear this length during parts of Summer.   So unlike other sleeve lengths, I wear the 3/4 length year round.  It’s also a little saving on fabric.  When I’m running short, one of the first things I think of is “Could I use the 3/4 sleeve?”  I also think this length is very attractive. A long sleeve tends to fall even with my widest hip which of course makes the hip visually wider. The 3/4 sleeve falls just above and is so much more flattering. And last, I don’t seem to have a problem getting a 3/4 sleeve caught in doors, drawers or machines. Yep 3/4 sleeve is a winner for me.

 

My fabric is the sister piece to the one I used in CLD’s Ebb blouse.  So it’s a high quality and expensive blouse fabric even if it is 100% polyester.  I worked out all the sewing issues on the previous blouse.  All I had to do was test the 4 seams and then stitch everything together. Oh and it really was that simple.  Other than carefully reading the hem and vent instructions it was a breeze.  Since I was top stitching a lot, I did mark the stitching lines for the vent and hem.  I wanted to be sure those corners were crisply turned.  I fused 1/2″ strips of interfacing to the back shoulders; and where Louise recommended 4-5″ strips of SAS (Steam-A-Seam), I SAS’d the whole edge.  I did not want those edges slipping out of place, in the very least. PERIOD.

 

The result is a fabulous blouse.

 

I used a size medium and other than the length made no alterations.  I was concerned that the shoulders might be too long – the tissue looked a little long when pinned to Mimie (my dress form).  IRL, they could be narrowed a little no more than 1/2″.  But there is more than enough ease  to suit me.

The neckline feels a little too wide for me.  I’m not sure that I’ll alter the pattern any, but I do have plans to add lingerie guards to at least the first version.

 

And you get pictures of Mimie’s back because I’m still working out how to make the new camera do what I want it to.

 

All in all, this pattern joins my TNT’s especially since it comes with 4 nice tweaks right in the envelope. I haven’t tried it, but the neckline on this blouse and the MHAF are supposed to be designed for wearing together.  What I do know, is that this is another winning design from Louise Cutting and I should have tried it out months ago.