Category Archives: 22547 Your EveryDay Drifter

YED the second try

I think basically the YED fits.I just need a few minor tweaks. I’ve added 1/2″ ease to the back between hip and hem; and made a 3/8″ (3/4″ total removed) tuck across the upper bodices.  I chose a silk Jacquard fabric for my 2016 YED #2.  The silk Jacquard is softer, smoother and drapes just a little differently than the cotton used in the last version. This fabric alone could actually improve the look and drape but I’m counting on my tissue alterations to help as well.  I press my fabric layout my pattern and cut the pattern pieces, a front facing and a bias band for the back neckline finish.  I mark the notches and the center line on both fronts.

I begin construction by taping neckline and armscyes. I serged the center back seam but baste the shoulders and armscyes.  I’m hoping my tweaks work but want to be able to make further adjustments should they be needed.

Needed they are. The first try-on is worse than any of the previous versions. Being softer only means every hint of a drape or drag line is made maddeningly obvious.  Additionally the ‘sleeves’ are cutting into the front of my arm. They are painful.

Trying to remove those drapes I pinch shoulder seams

Twiddle with side seams

Increase the curve of the back

and then reverse all the above.  I simply did not see any improvement.  The 3/8″ tuck was definitely needed. For the first time, the front neckline sits comfortably at a modest level.  But I simply don’t know what to do to fix this YED.   I just knew I’d found the answer to fitting CLD’s patterns to my body. If the PAS fits, why won’t the YED? …and will the RAL (which I had planned to work with next)?  I love these simple blouses for summer. They are a step up from the cotton T-shirt that we all seem to live in.  I’m not happy.  I feel like taking every commercial pattern in my sewing room and throwing them all in the trash. I’m so tired of fighting with patterns.

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YED

Excited by my results with the PAS, I charged right into tweaking the YED.    The YED fits me nicely except for the same V/U’s on the side seams.  I added 3/8″ to the side seams and another 3/8″ to the already shapely center back seam. I selected a light weight cotton fabric for my next YED and thoroughly confident proceeded to serge shoulders, side seams  and adding neckline facings.  I serge finished the side seams and the basted them together.  I mean, I am wearing versions of the YED made last year and I’m happy with them.  This is only a tweak to eliminate the U/V’s along the side seam. It should be good, right?

Well, no.  I discovered that I must not have transferred all the fitting changes to last year’s pattern.  I spent 2 hours and 4 fittings tweaking and tweaking. At which point I realized the needed changes, needed to be made in the tissue. So I finished with 3/8″  to the back side seam, a 1″ dart on each front (1″ at the hem narrowing to Zero at the waist);  and side seams stitched together 1″ higher than the DOT.

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This fabric and the garment are so much lovelier in person.  I top stitched the armscyes and neckline.  I’m not sure about my button choice.  While they fit ‘artistically’ i.e. they follow the intricate curvilinear theme, they  just seem  disappear.

Maybe I should have chosen  plain or even solid blue or white buttons.  I do think white thread for the buttonholes was a good choice.

While fit is still not perfect (the V/U’s seem to have moved to center back),

it is improved and remains much better than RTW.   I made final tissue changes as follows

  1. +1/2″  to the back side seam at hip
  2.  1/4″ tuck across the upper bodice of both back and front pieces

This echos the changes needed to other patterns.  I’m not ruling out that I may need to change the shoulder slope. It’s an idea to be explored in the next version.

YED

As you may have guessed, my 2nd garment for the Late Summer Collection is a top:

I used the 2nd very light blue fabric mentioned yesterday.  It too is a rayon cotton blend with lovely drape.  I wanted to tweak the vest-made-top pattern in Louise Cuttings Your EveryDay Drifter pattern.  This is a favorite of mine. I think I wear it to death every summer.  I traced the Med, applied my NSA and BWL adjustments then added 1″ to the back divided between side seam and center back seam.  I made the center back waist curve 1/4″ deeper than drafted before cutting and basting together. Basting told me that curve needed to be deeper still. I made the change to the tissue but for this garment I added 2 tiny waist darts.

A lot of times people will look at the back views and say I need a Sway Back alteration.  I think I have a circumference issue instead of length issue.  If I make a Sway Back alteration, the hem really curves up. Whereas when I make circumference changes, the back is smooth and the hem is level.

I also trimmed the width of the shoulders. That’s in addition to the NSA (narrow shoulder adjustment) done at the tissue.  I just don’t care for shoulders that drop to the top of my bicep.  They rub annoyingly.  I followed Peggy Sagger’s instructions.  I laid my curve on the pattern; noted numbers and then pivoted the curve at the shoulder towards the neck 2″.  I took the same amount off on the tissue.  I’m not sure this is the final fitting of the YED.  As with the PNS, I notice the upper bodice being too wide and it feels too long. That didn’t happen when I used the small.  I’m really thinking of going back to the small and figureing out how to add ease to the hip and rear without changing the overall shape.

To coordinate with the pants, I used the center flower head and repeated it 3 times on one side 4 on the other. I thought I would like the slight asymmetry. Now I’m not so sure. But between the flower and cover stitch top-stitching, I think it coordinates beautifully.

YED Vest Fitting for 2015

The “luster” has worn off my Conni Crawford patterns which allows me to turn my attention in other directions.  The last attempted C C had me seriously thinking about the vest in CLD’s Your Every Day Drifter pattern.  Every seamstress  has goto patterns. For summer, mine are all CLD patterns

  1. the PAS Shell
  2. the HAF tank top
  3. the RAL top
  4. this vest the YED which I make into a top

I did acquire two new fitting gems when working with Conni Crawford’s patterns

  • adapt the shoulder slope
  • add ease to the back hip

That’s in addition to my long-time standards

  • narrow shoulder adjustment NSA
  • back waist length adjustment BWL

However, I’m not diving into fitting the YED Vest  with scissors and tape. I’m doing this logically and carefully.

I checked the pattern back for recommended size and traced the front and back of the vest pattern. I did not trace the facings.  I know the facings will need to be modified after I’ve made fitting alterations to the major pattern pieces. It’s just easier to create the facings from the altered pieces instead of altering the pattern pieces and then altering the facings.  I looked at the traced pieces and thought “Did I really get that much bigger all over?”  It’s a fair question. I’ve gained weight all over but mostly I store my energy reserves in my rear.  I’ve been noticing tightness across the rear, bunching in the middle back, and diagonals/U’s just below bust and shoulder to the side seam. While I realize that I must have put some padding elsewhere than my butt, I don’t think I added as much everywhere as the new size would suggest.  I pulled out the previous fitted YED and found that it was a small… er .. based on the small size.  I measured the Large sized tissues, subtracted for 5/8″ seam allowances and asked myself “do I really want the resulting 12 inches ease?” Since the answer was no, I compromised and traced a Medium. Which really didn’t take a lot of additional effort.  Tracing consisted of adding the medium shoulder and side seams onto the already traced large. Then trimming along the Medium lines.

I made my 1″ back waist length adjustment and then pulled out CC1201 for a quick comparison.  I added 1.25″ length at the hem. This may not be enough because I think 1201 is shirt tail hem length and I prefer a wider hem because I think It adds weight to the hem. (I like weight at the hem because it helps gravity slide my garments downward instead of hanging up on my curves.)  While the patterns are vastly different, it did tell me I should have enough ease and length.  I hate  it when I baste together a new/or newly fitted pattern and find that it is too small.

I cut my fabric, a  light weight, 100% cotton broadcloth.  A slightly lighter fabric than used for 5620 . It’s a sister fabric i.e. purchased at the same time same place with same description on the end of the bolt.  It too has the linen like weave that I like so much. The pink and white stripes say summer to me and thus I bought 1.5 yards, just enough for a quarter or cap-sleeve top. Unlike 5620,  I had enough fabric to cut the facings! Which I did and set aside immediately.

I marked the center fronts and basted the pieces together using water-soluble thread. (No permanent stitching whatsoever.)

I wasn’t expecting this to look great, but I always hope.  I knew I needed to make some sort of shoulder slope adjustment. A concern  which developed was despite 4″ of ease in the pattern, this felt tight across the bum but loose in front.  My old nemeses raised its head: the hem is not level (center front hem is rising).  Too late to fix, sigh.  I copied the shoulder slope from CC1201 and I restitched the side seams at 1/4″ before taking the next fitting photos.

Creating the shoulder slope greatly improved the side view. Also made the sleeve too tight on my upper arm which hemming might fix .  I was concerned about where the sleeve was hitting on my arm. I don’t remember the sleeve  being that extended or that far down my arm. I kept thinking this would be a cap sleeve. Clearly that’s a quarter sleeve or longer length.  I stopped to check reviews at PR, my own posts and what is trending in the world of RTW.  I may make a deeper sleeve hem than the pattern calls for.    Decreasing the side seam allowance added the ease I need across the rear but suddenly the front looks too large.  Umm, I don’t think I can just hem the sleeves  to fix the upper bodice problems. In the side view there are big U’s running from front to back. They tell me that the underarm is wrong for my body.  Also, I’m still concerned about the masses of of fabric mid-back and I’m not sway backed.

I stitched  a new CB seam.  It is 1/8″ deeper from neck to waist and then curves out to 1/4″ before the hip.  I offset the side seams  stitching  the back at 1/4″ but the front  at the full 5/8″.  Did nothing more to the shoulder slope or armscye. With this style I’m just not sure if it fits or not. Surprisingly, I found no back views of similar garments.  It could be  my pictures accurately show how the upper back should look because that’s what the design creates.

I’m pleased to note that my major complaints, except the rising front hem, have all improved.  So much so that I”m not sure if I should continue to make fit adjustments or simply transfer these to the pattern and start Version 2.  I’ve learned that some issues have to be fixed at the tissue stage.  I’ve  experienced a situation in which  I made  correction 1 which created correction 2. When fixed correction 3 was needed. Made that fix and by golly gee whiz,  correction 1 was once again raising its head. So I make correction 1, again. Holy cow, correction 2 and then 3  all needed to be made again and when I’m done repeating those corrections, correction 1  reappeared.  Just as some things are fabric related and can’t be fixed unless the fabric is changed,  some fit issues begin at the tissue and must be fixed in the tissue.

I modified my back seam.  Deepening the SA 1/4″ along the waist and curving out to 1/4″ about an inch above the hip.  I serged the CB seam to 1/4″ and transferred the change to my tissue. Next I serged the shoulder seam, but did not adjust my tissue. I finished the front neck line, carefully serging a neat 1/4″ seam. I adapted my neckline/front facings. Stitched to the garment. Understitched after carefully pressing.  Added my buttonholes and buttons.  Then I remembered the neck/front seam allowance was 5/8″ not 1/4″.  Sigh, I changed the tissue but this blouse is what it is.  I trimmed the front seam allowance so it would be 1/4″ like the back.

Then I returned my attention to the “cap sleeve”.  Until this latest fitting round, I would make a 1″ BWL and 1″ NSA (narrow shoulder allowance) as soon as I traced the tissue.  I made the BWL but not the NSA.  I’ve learned that the shoulder slope needs to be adjusted to fit me.  I’m uncertain of how the slope adjustment and NSA work together. Conni Crawford made the NSA for me.  Now I’m having to handle it on my own.  I used the slope determined when I fit CS1201.  Now I was looking at the bodice and sleeve wondering how to apply an NSA after the fact.  I decided to mark 1″ up from the armscye along the shoulder seam. Then marked 3/8″ above that for the seam allowance that I normally trim away.  I used my curve to connect to the new back and front side seam allowances and trimmed away the excess tissue. Did it work?

I’d say, over all yes.  I have less bulk mid back. The upper bodice is smoother both front and back. In fact, the entire garment looks much better.  I still have issues. I think the front looks too big and will need further adjusting.  My plan is adding a 1″ NSA to Version 2 and subsequently map the shoulder slope from CS1201.    I won’t trim away fabric or tissue until I’m sure the shoulder slope and the NSA play well with each other.  Then I’ll work on the excess ease in front and chip away at all the fabric in mid-back.

It’s nice to have a plan for going forward.

Fabric01: More Stitching

As I looked at the sample stitching, and considered the decided upon sleeveless top pattern, ribbons popped into my mind. It would be easy (if boring) to use the fabric with the built in decorative stitches of my HV Ruby to simulate ribbons.  I cut my fabric into 2 large pieces 36″wide and 30″ long; dropped it in my bucket and poured liquid starch on top. I sloshed the fabric in the starch and added another cup of starch.  Finally the fabric was thoroughly saturated with starch and I hung it up to dry while I began to test ribbons.

I narrowed my color choices to 4 and chose a dozen stitches to test as borders and ribbon centers. I tried light colors for center and dark colors for borders and then reversed. I did fetch a lovely pink to sample, but once again put it away. I also tried and discarded another light blue. I was amazed at how the thread which was a bright, vivid orange in the thread box, glowed softly as gold upon the minty fabric. A darker rust-brown, visibly color-shifted when placed upon this green-aqua fabric. Complimentary colors really do sing together.

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After the above sample I limited my colors and stitches to 3 colors and 5 stitches, did a few more tests and then chose my final 2 colors and 2 stitches.

This process took place over 2 days and when finished my starched fabric was dried. Dried and stiff as corrugated board.  Even my Rowenta had problems removing the creases.  I pressed each side twice and then  dampened the fabric and pressed each side another 4 times.  I marked a horizontal line across the top and bottom of each piece so that I would start the stitches in exactly the same place each time.  Then I began the long process of stitching each row.

I know from experience that this much stitching will distort the fabric.  My solution is not to stitch row after row one right after the other.  What I do is to alternate which end I’m stitching from and I start stitching on the center rows and work outwards.  With this fabric, I’m stitching only on the darker appearing stripe.  So I’m stitching every other stripe.  I’m also skipping stripes, so I’m stitching every 4-th stripe.  I will come back and stitch those later.  This does 2 things for me.  It helps minimize the distortion this much stitching will have upon the fabric.  It also gives me a chance to recover if I’ve over-estimated how much thread I have.   If I think I’ve got more thread than I really do, I will run out of thread and could be faced with either ripping out a bunch of threads or more likely discarding the project.  But I know that by leaving all these blank stripes now, I could choose a 3rd color to use.  A 3rd color stitched throughout the fabric would look like it belonged there instead of being a last-minute fix.

And so the stiching progresses…..

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Fabric01

The disappointing results with trying to discharge Fabric 01
vertically striped; 100% cotton; equal to medium weight denim
had me contemplating dying and painting the entire fabric. However, I’m not an expert in either dying or painting. As a matter of fact, I’m hardly a novice with either one. I knew I could ask the experts at Stitchers Guild, if I had a question to ask. Just asking “what can I do?” would most likely garner replies that I couldn’t or wouldn’t do. I too have limitations of time, money, skill, and inclination. I thought it might be easiest to simply paint stripes in a variety of widths which would, hopefully, completely cover the color. At least, I thought, lots of painted stripes would push that muted aqua-green into the background where it would be less noticeable.

It occurred to me that what I choose to do color wise could be dependent upon what I chose to do shapewise. I.E. I’m a lot more experimental and willing to do much more to a 18×36″ table runner than I am to 3 yards of garment cloth. Especially, if I intend the garment-cloth to become clothing for myself. I contemplated the fabric itself. I’m willing to wear this fabric (forget the color for the moment) as summer-pants, a long-sleeve shirt, a jacket or a vest. I don’t wear many skirts and I’m not willing to make great effort for any garment I don’t/wont’ wear much. But pants are out. I do very little to pants. For many years I’ve kept my pants quite plain. I want all your attention to shift from my generous pear-shaped bottom up to my top. I maintain very few jackets. I don’t need them. I don’t wear jackets often. A jacket –OUT. Because it’s approaching summer, even here in South Dakota, I had pretty much settled upon a vest. Had we been approaching autumn or winter, the blouse would have had greater preference except for one undeniable and hard to surmount fact: I have 2.5 yards of 36″ wide fabric. I might have had difficulty cutting a long-sleeve blouse. So my thoughts began centering upon a vest. Except–

I just disposed of a white vest with nearly the same aqua-green colored embroidery. It languished in my closet for over 3 years. It languished because I had few coordinating garments. It was disposed of because the few times I did wear it the white accumulated stains that were not removable even after a 7-day soak in the Biz-Bucket. Pretty much, 7-days is my limit. If Biz can’t remove it in 7-days, I figure the stain is there for eternity. So I’m asking myself, do I really want another vest in the same/similar color? Is there a way to change the color so the vest would be worn more often? Hence, the effort at color discharge and the thoughts of paint and dye.

I want to ask for help from SG. But I want to ask the right question; and while I’m not an expert with dye/paint I do have a lot of experience and preferences for embroidery threads. My thought was to experiment with embroidery threads to determine which color(s) I’d like to achieve and then ask the experts. I cut larger fabric samples (maybe 5×7 or8″), and backed them with a soft paper. I spent some time with the samples, my Marathon Color Card and my color wheels.

Yes that was plural on the wheels. I puzzled with the primary color wheel for many years, but was never really comfortable with it.  A little over a year ago, I happened upon a color wheel in muted/grayed colors. Working with the richness of the muted color wheel was a light bulb experience. So many of the uncertainties that I experienced before; so many of the questions that weren’t completely answered; so many of the color puzzles I just couldn’t complete were suddenly clear. Suddenly answered. Suddenly made sense. I understand the need for working with the primary colors, but it was working with the sophisticated muted colors along with the primaries that made it all click for me.

I selected a number of threads based upon a complimentary and split complimentary color scheme.  My original thought was stripes i.e. what stripes could I paint upon the fabric, but I choose a variety of stitches to test the colors on my fabric.
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I consider this playing time, also time to use up those half-filled bobbins. My fabric was cooperative from standpoint of having “lines” already drawn. Where the two types of weave met, a nice definitive line emerged. But I still needed to draw additional lines so that my sample could be filled with stitching.

In my second sample, I switched from decorative stitches to plainer lines.
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I’m still thinking of placing masking tape upon the fabric and using a brayer to paint nice crisp lines. I did note that satin stitching of nearly any width did more to “cover up” the fabric’s color. And I narrowed my color choices even further. I found that the aqua that were more blue, only made my fabric look greener. Whilst the more green, did nothing to achieve my desire to change the color. While I still wanted to change the fabric color, I was most fond of the sample with complimentary orange and brown threads.
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Which started me pondering. Did I really have to make a vest? A vest has the limitation of needing to be worn with two other garments; needing to coordinate with at last 2 other garments. A sleeveless blouse OTOH, would only need to coordinate with the summer bottom with which it was worn.

And then I remembered a Louise Cutting Classic 22547, Your Everyday Drifter.
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This pattern was most famous for it’s tailored shirt. But I never made that. I was fascinated by the “vest” which accompanied the shirt. I’ve made this vest twice before (see here); once as a vest and once as a sleeveless top.  It is converted to a super summer top very easily.  I believe I stitched the side seams another 2″ up into the armscyes and added buttonholes and buttons to the front.  What is even nicer, is that the fabric used for the first top is similar in fiber, weight, drape and care to the fabric I’m struggling with right now. The beauty of it is, that I can wear the current fabric as a top with numerous bottoms already in my closet.  It will not languish in the closet and when it’s worn out; well it’s good fabric for rags.  And with that my thinking and experimenting took a new direction.

The Newest Projects: What to do?

I’m not sure what I’m doing with either of those fabrics.  I’d like to make something with them, preferrably a wearable item. I am a dressmaker, after all.  In my heart, I’d love to just fix the the colors I don’t like. But that’s a lot of terriorty, er yardage to be fixing.  I wonder if it’s even possible. So I cut a few small samples, maybe 2″x3″ and start testing.

Hydrogen peroxideon Fabric 02 :
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soaked 24 hours and dried 24 hours; does seem to make everything just a shade lighter.

While dishwashing gel:
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which was recommended as a stamping decolorant appears to have a new shade of blue.   To be fair, I did not use “Sunlight” diswashing gel as recommended.  I couldn’t.  I could not find it in any of the stores locally or at my Walmart 90 miles away.

Bleach
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immediately smeared the colors on fabric 01 but after drying 24 hours lifted the whole color scheme.  I could use this. The orange and tan would work well for me; much better than the previous red and green-grey.  But could the blue be preserved in some way?  Some reasonable labor-wise way?  I am talking about 2-3 yards of fabric which would need to be changed.

Fabric 01:

tested only with bleach.  There wasn’t enough change with hydrogen peroxide or dishwashing gel to pursuade me to make another test.  Initially the bleach appeared to have no effect upon this sample.  But after drying for 24 hours there is a clearly an unlovely-to-me change in the color.
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