SPOILER ALERT: I promise you will be disappointed.
I spent a few weeks thinking about this pattern before I ever pulled the pieces out to trace. Now I’ve spent almost a week on construction not including the 3 days I was not at home. This muslin is finished. Let me show you why.
I finally trimmed the shoulder and neckline seems. Actually, I serged them along the last basting line. I have no idea how people work with 2″ seams. These were between 1-5/8 and 1-3/4″ and we driving me batty. The seam allowances overlapped at the neckline, flapped around and created extra bulk under the arm. The hems no longer met. That’s because a pattern is drafted at the seam lines and seam allowances are added afterwards. The pattern will always meet at the seam lines, but may not meet when stitched in other than intended places. I’m now sewing far into the interior were no seams were anticipated by either the designer or myself. I’m sure I’m experiencing a fabric issue. This crinkle rayon is less stable than any knit I’ve ever sewn. But back to the point, I serged and trimmed the seam allowances to get them out-of-the-way.
I still had a bubble of fabric around the raglan armscye. Very prominent in the front, I can’t tell if it’s there on the back. It’s almost as if the raglan detail was two opposing curves. I checked the pattern pieces and discovered, yes that is true for the bodice portions. The raglan on the sleeve is the smooth curve normally used but the bodice starts with the usual curve and then joins a slight opposing about mid shoulder. I’m not sure how that is supposed to fit but I do not like the bubble forming on my body and would not have purchased a blouse with a similar detail. Fabric may be a factor, but I think this is a design detail gone wrong on my body. I did something we used to call “pegging a seam”. I pinched out the bubble, pinned it on the inside and then stitched right along the seam line.
This works fairly well.
Possibly I could take it in just a little more, but I’m satisfied with the current appearance and fit. Besides, I’m tired of twiddling with the sleeve.
Oh, the neckline, really is a sweet heart neckline. I don’t see it on the illustration but the front pattern is clearly curved.
I completely released the side seam basting and restitched using a 1/2″ seam allowance from hem to about 6″ below the armscye. I increased so that under the arm the SA was 1-1/2″. I was surprised to find that eliminated most of the other armscye/side issues. The last issue to tackle is the result of my being short waisted. I decided to add the empire line. Mimie is not exactly my shape, but she does have the correct measurements in the right places i.e. bust, waist and hip measurements are the same as my own and are the same distance apart as my own. I can look at her and see that she’s not exactly the same. I have more fluff in front around the tummy and again in the rear. Mimie seems to be equally padded in all directions. Even though we differ, she’s enough alike me to help with most alterations. I placed the BPD top inside-out on Mimie and pinned it closed in front. Then I pinned a length of elastic around the torso area where I wanted the empire line. Next, along the elastic, I marked the BPD to indicate where I wanted the Empire .
In all the photos, the front of my BPD is shorter than the back. I do wonder if that’s a “me” thing because I notice the same issue on many garments. I’ve added a half inch length only to the front of all my favorite patterns. Since this fabric has grown so long, I’m going to take more from the back length than the front. I tried to get pics, but my marks didn’t show up in the photos. I drew line horizontally and an even 2″ away from my marked Empire line all along the back. On the front I drew a second line but it is 1/2″ away from the Empire line at center front angling to the 2″ at the side seam. Then I brought the two lines together and basted a seam.
When I tried it on, the diagonal “you need a FBA” lines were gone from the front as was the mass of wrinkles in the center back. High Waist issue solved but this was just the wrong fabric and wrong time to be adding an Empire line. The Empire Line is very stiff . The bodice stands away instead of draping nicely. I feel like I’ve destroyed the line of the garment. But, in addition to eliminating back and front drag lines, the proportions are now correct for me. Ignore my frumpy pants and hurt knee, just look at how the top works with my body.
I know this muslin is getting better, but I’m tired of struggling with a fabric I don’t like and is unstable besides. Most of the sewing I’ve done, has been to correct the actions of the fabric. Maybe it’s the shorts, at the end of the day, they do look pretty terrible, but I’m just not getting excited about wearing this fabric. The more I work with it, the more I dislike it and the more I understand why I never picked it to sew up a “real” garment. This fabric doesn’t even completely fulfill the role of a muslin. There’s not much I can transfer to the tissue. The next time I use this pattern, I’ve got to start the fitting with the same tissue I have now. But this one is done. I don’t want to wear it. No point in finishing.
What I do take away
1) small busy print does indeed camouflage a raglan line.
2) the proportions of this pattern can be adjusted for me.
3) it’s too promising to discard the pattern.
I need to make the BPD top up again but I don’t have a suitable fabric. Having struggled with this crinkle rayon, I want to avoid stretch fabrics period. It will be a while before I make another post on the BPD top.