Category Archives: 81508 Ebb And Flow

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
Advertisements

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.

 

 

Beyond Frustrated

I’ve just had 5 days of sewing which made me want to destroy my entire pattern collection.  I’m documenting it here so that should I tackle these particular patterns again, I will have some recollection as to what I’ve previously done.  You, the reader, shoulder probably skip this post because there are no pictures only whiny bitching.

I was at a standstill with my Spring 6PAC. I wanted a little time to figure out corrections for both my printed and solid Tee. Also when it came time to cut fabric for the 3rd layer, I wasn’t so sure I had the right fabric for the type garment I wanted. So a time out which I would use by sewing something else.

I opted to make a quick check of the Ebb.  I love this pattern. It’s been one of my favorites ever since my first muslin.  But in recent years I’ve been unable to fit it completely. Last fall I thought my remaining issue was the rising CF which was emphasized by the empire line. During the review of my spring clothing, I discovered and was somewhat horrified that NONE of my Ebb’s fit even close to nicely.  They all suffered with not only the rising CF but also deep V’s on the sides. Since I’d recently discovered that I need an RBA, I thought of making a quick muslin to see if the RBA would fix my issues. I traced my size based on finished measurements. IOW I measured the pattern and compared with my completed Brad’s chart.  I opted to trace a medium shoulder, large side. I added a 1/2″ RBA and 1/2″ shoulder slope. After that, nothing went right. Since this was a muslin, I slashed freely to let the CF drop as needed. Would you believe, it didn’t drop? Nope instead it slid to the back; and in the process all the V’s I had removed returned. What’s worse is that the original fitting, the one with only the RBA and Shoulder Slope changes fit better than the 8 subsequent changes and fittings.  After 2 days of futzing with not 1 but TWO muslins. I decided I needed to get smarter, still.  I’ll find notes on this in 2016, Indy’s, Ebb Muslin Apr folder

Moving along, how about adding sleeves to the “fit” Sweater Set, Silhouette Patterns 195. I  had fit this for a sleeveless version. Didn’t want to make sleeveless tops right now but the pattern was supposed to be easily adaptable for sleeves. The sleeve pattern is already enclosed. The designer claims that the armscye for knit sleeves and sleeveless patterns is the same.  This may be a personal preference, but I always seem to want my sleeveless versions to rest higher at the underarms and that’s the way I fit the sleeveless 195. So I thought it would be easy to add the sleeve; just trace the sleeve and lower the armscye as needed. (I even considered that the designer might be right and the armscyes be the same.)

But I ran into problems immediately. I looked at the final muslin and didn’t think all the changes had been transferred to the tissue. Yet, I swear I did that before I wrote my final blog post. Well, easy to check, do a quick muslin.  Sure enough, the center back needed to be taken in a little more, i.e my rounded back adjustment needed a little tweaking at the neckline; also the back armscye darts had not been transferred to the pattern. So no big deal. I make those to the sleeveless pattern. Then I trace the sleeveless version and get ready for a sleeved muslin. As always, I walk my seams. Let me repeat, AS ALWAYS I walk the seams. I’ve learned that anytime I make changes there is room for error. My seams won’t walk.  The front hem is 1.5″ shorter at the side 1″ shorter CF. I thought I added an even 2.5″ to both front and back to make the whole garment longer.  I don’t like the length. It’s a simply style change, isn’t it? Then I find that the side seam notches don’t match. the front armscye is a different depth from the back at the side seam. The back armscye dart has never changed the side seam length before this, did it now? Somehow, I have gotten so many things mismatched that I don’t believe the sleeveless version fits either!

I start the fitting process over, tracing a 5W at the shoulders/armscyes and 7W at the side seams. I intend to remove 1/2″ circumference on each seam at the bust after all the other adjustments are made.  I do RBA, shoulder slope and add length now.  I walk the seams. THEY WALK!!! Well it’s a good sign.  Then I add 5/8″ to the side seams so that I will have a 1″ wide seam allowance for fitting.  I make my first muslin. At which point I discover I haven’t made the 1/2″ adjustment to circumference at the bust. After that it goes downhill. Downhill through 2 more muslins. (I made a total of 3 muslin).  I adjust the RBA up (3/4″) and down (3/8″). I increase and decrease the shoulder slope.  I add 3/8, then 1/4″ shoulder pads before deciding that no shoulder pads are needed and that I’ve stretched out the neckline (reason for beginning muslin 2) I take in a let out seam allowances. Just before Muslin 3 I decide that one of my issues has been ignoring hip circumference. The designer did not specify hip circumference and the waist was more than sufficient. I assumed the designer was correct and there would be plenty of circumference at the hem. Nope I need 6″ more.  I tell you I made, increased and decreased everything I could think of. Lowered the armscyes repeatedly.  I ignored the wrinkles on the sleeves thinking I needed to get the bodice fitting first. Never, ever did the bodice fit me again. I never removed the V’s. I never made the pattern look any better than it did when the only changes were RBA, Shoulder Slope and increased hem. What’s worse, I was trying to transfer changes that I thought successful to the tissue and add the 6″ (1.5″ each SA) I needed for the hip but I could never draw a nice curve. There was too much difference between bust to waist and waist to hem.  I was thoroughly frustrated.  3 muslins, innumerable changes and fitting pics. (I will find detailed notes in Indys, 195Muslin, Muslin2 and Muslin3). I threw all my tracings and all my muslins into the trash. It shouldn’t be this hard!!!

Why did the TRT and TRJ and TRB fit me so easily while these two (Ebb and Sweater set) never even came close?

Taking Another Run At the Ebb

I remember that phrase throughout my life “take a run at”.  Generally it meant digging into the depths of some task more with the intention of discovering what was there more than the actual hope of solving/finishing.

“Making a run at it” was always productive, if an honest attempt was made. I knew people who gave lip service to making an attempt who were then humiliated when someone else successfully made the effort. 

I’ve pretty much identified my fit issues and have already had at least mild success with the Ebb.  But haven’t reached the perfection I seek. My last remaining issue has been that the Empire line distinctively rises at the center front. With busy prints, like the 3 versions in my closet, the line isn’t all that visible. But I know it’s there. Since the last time I made the Ebb, I’ve draped my shoulder and create a basic block for both woven and knit fabrics (and tertiary blocks for sleeveless version of both).  I’ve used my blocks numerous times both in fitting an existing pattern and in drafting versions of the basic style. So I’m taking another run at the Ebb, using my basic block.

I whipped the tape measure around my bust — yep no change and then checked the envelope for recommended size.  I find that I make fewer pattern alterations if I start blouses using my full bust measurement and pants using my fullest hip.   IMO, it’s easier to tweak dart depth than to add tissue trying to make an full bust and prominent seat adjustments.  The envelope suggested starting with a size Large.  So I did.  I traced a size Large.

Louise uses industry standard seam allowances which is 5/8″ unless there is a specific need for something else (like mitered corners that are best with 1/4″ SA).  I, however, use 1/4″ for shoulders and armscyes, 3/8″ for crotch curves and 1/2″ elsewhere. The point is, I can’t just slap my block on top of her patterns and call it done. I need to allow for the seam allowance differences.  So the first think I do is mark the stitching line along the shoulder and armscyes for 1/4″ SA. Really easy to do. Just takes a tick mark or two measured 3/8″ in from the cutting line. Then I slipped my block on top align center front/back and slide upward until the armscyes meet. To my surprise, my block and the traced Ebb are a lot alike. My shoulder slope is different which I copied.  Then, just for fun, I started measuring some differences.  The back shoulder is 1/4″ longer than my block and the back  is 3/4″ wider at each underarm (total +1.5″ across the back).  The front is spot on!  I needed a 1.5″ back waist length adjustment (3/4″ tuck) both front and back.  I

I was tickled pink. I

  • Chose and copied a size
  • Transferred my shoulder slope
  • Made a 1.5″ BWL.

I chose a rayon challis in a busy grey/black/white print.  Laid out my altered pattern and cut my fabric. I taped necklines and the back shoulder.  Interfaced the front as indicated on the pattern and then joined the two halves of the front. Serged the shoulders together of both the blouse and its facing then turned to the SM and stitched the right shoulder 1/8″ deeper (1/4″Sa for the left 3/8″ SA on the right and lower shoulder).  Stitched the facing to blouse; pressed turned and top stitched. Nailed that back facing in place.  It’s large facing. It needs to be anchored. Added sleeves, stitched side seams and finished hems, buttonholes and buttons.  Did you see any fitting any there? Nope.  I’m taking this purely on faith.  Using my block I knew that I had length and circumference correct.  Depth at shoulders should also be correct. The only depth of concern is the same as always for me on the Ebb, the empire line.  I feel strongly this is either going to work or I’m going to need more work at the tissue stage.  So the first try on and  fitting check was done just before hanging in my closet.

dscn6368_resize

Pleased with the back other than I probably should have placed my shoulder pads a little further up the slope. Easy fix.

dscn6369_resize

Front is equally nice.  Love the 3/4 sleeve even without that neat vent trick. I’ve been using the various buttonholes on my Dream Machine to see how they really work with fabric. This particular buttonhole

dscn6367_resize

I really think belongs on a jacket or coat.  It has a wide gap. Very wide. But it’s not noticeable unless you’re up close enough I’d slap your face.

It is the side that tells me the truth

linesside_resize linessideshoulder_resize

There’s always the possibility that the pic is not rotated perfectly.  My tripod won’t hold the camera perfectly upright.  My pics start slightly skewed.  I rotate them at the computer but there’s the question of how well, how accurate my correction really is. So the orange lines I drew because it’s hard to see the empire line, may not be angled as badly IRL.  Despite that, I do think the empire is still definitely sloped upwards at the center front.

Also looking at the shoulder/ear alignment I think the shoulder is falling towards the back. Which happens to reinforce what I was feeling.  I kept shrugging and pulling the shoulders forward.  I think that’s a hint of what I should do next.  I know that my back has been rounding and a few times I have made a half-hearted attempt at adjustment.  I think it’s time to look at this carefully.

But I’m really happy to share that my other issue the SWAGS on the sides beneath my armscyes are G_O_N_E!!!!!

side_exposure_resize

Neither side has swags. I think that tells me the shoulder slope is correct and reinforces the urge to tackle a rounded back adjustment.

Oh and I’m wearing this. The busy print makes it difficult to see the angle of the empire line. I’ll move the shoulder pads in a little but otherwise it’s good to go — anywhere.  (Well maybe not black tie but I’ve never done black tie.)

 

 

Ebb (CLD 81508) Once my fit is close..

to fitting, I’m really eager to see if it is perfect. That’s why I had 7 Eleanor muslins.  With each iteration, the fit was so close, I couldn’t help myself. I absolutely had to make the next tweak that could make my  Eleanor perfect. Even knowing this personal  weakness,  I again tweaked the Ebb and paired it  with the  Rayon Batik purchased for my 2016 Spring 6PAC.

I’m happy to say:

 I’m close.

Let’s start by evaluating the back.

Add a few lines …

I’ am concerned the back neck is not hugging my body.  That’s not been an issue with previous Ebb versions. I question:  is this due to the newish fabric; or over-handling; or a new interfacing (a very lightweight, fusible Tricot purchased from The Sewing Workshop); OR the shoulder alteration;  OR my pressing;  OR  does the garment just need a trip through the laundry?  ( I’ve often been amazed by how much better my sewn garments look after they’ve made a trip  through washer and  dryer followed by light starching and  pressing).

I’m rather pleased that the use of 3/8″ left and 3/4″ right shoulder pads have evened my shoulders albeit not perfectly level.

I am happy at how the back hangs from my shoulders. I *think* this is how the garment is supposed to hang from a model’s body; even better that is how it looks hanging from my 60+ shoulder/back.

.. and so I look at the right side view …

… and of course add a few lines so I can see what is going on…

I must admit that the rising front hem which is echoed at the empire line does not inspire me.  I also note that the shoulder seam appears to be leaning towards the back; and wonder how significant that is.   I’m truly pleased that I do not have side swag-lines; the U lines that run from shoulder-blade  across the side and under the side seam before turning upward and meeting the front empire.  Not having those is so encouraging. It confirms that increasing the angle of the shoulder seam is the right choice for my body albeit not the total solution.

But then the front makes me shake my head:

I purchased a new interfacing so that I would not struggle with cutting blouse interfacing.

I truly love most of interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply but admit that I’ve got a problem — please note I recognize this could be me and me alone — when it comes to cutting said interfacing.  I always need to cut the blouse-weight interfacing multiple times.  I end up whacking away at it several times creating jagged lines.   Much as I dislike Pelon, I much prefer the easier, straight-forward cutting experience I had to whatever it is I’m doing now. 
Not only that, but TSW interfacing doesn’t appear to be supplying the body I need for the front neckline of the Ebb. Hold those tomatoes! Take another look:

.

The neckline will not fold into a typical lapel. I’ve pressed it into place. This IS the best  the lapel will  look. But I like that the wavy empire line is not all that detectable, even when I add lines

Overall my worst complaint?  I can’t see my dragonfly buttons:

I didn’t make buttonholes.  I over lapped the fronts; tacked them together and then stitched my buttons on top. Love these buttons.  Purchased them a couple of years ago and held onto for the perfect garment.  This is it??? They aren’t noticeable unless you are up close and personal??? Despite my whining, this is a lovely garment.  Justifies my fitting efforts and I’m proudly making it Garment #1 in my 2016 Spring 6PAC:

81508 – Wearable Muslin

This past year, every time I’ve learned something new about fitting for my body I’ve returned to this pattern and try to perfect the fit.

I began by opening my Excel  worksheet  and comparing the measurements of my body with the measurements of the body LC used when drafting the pattern.  I traced a size large. Measured the pattern.  Calculated total circumference  Calculated without seam allowances. Calculated total ease.  Calculated… and then a surprising thing happened.  I looked at the finished garment measurements which LC provides.

From that perspective, the Peggy Sagers perspective, a medium would give me 4+” bust ease and 4″ hip ease. For a woven,  non-stretch garment.  I had to ask myself, did I want more? More than 4″ ease?   I remember the medium Ebb fitting nicely across shoulders and upper chest.  It was the center front length,  hip circumference and recently shoulder  slope that cause me concern. So for the first time I can remember, I chose size as Peggy Sagers recommends.  Based on the finished garment measurements, I chose to trace a size medium.

I double checked the medium pattern at  bust waist and hip.I opted for a 2″ BWL. I’m guessing LC uses the same back waist length as the Big4. Then moved onto my…

 

Sloping, Narrow Shoulder Adjustment as per Katrina Kay.  My previous attempt on a Loes Hinse pattern was easier than pie. I mean it was text-book. But on this CLD pattern,   I struggled.  I could not make the alteration as KK described and retain the same armscye shape and length.  After an hour,  I walked the sleeve along the front and back armscye.  I think the sleeve cap will still be longer than the armscye. I think it will fit even though the back armscye is +3/8″ and the front is +1/8″ longer than the original.   My final alteration was adding 2″ length to the center front at the hem. Both back and front hem are fairly horizontal with only a slight up-tick at the side seams. It was difficult to  add length and keep the hem horizontal. I never really was satisfied with my addition. I think it curves the front hem too much. But I’ve seen this before and while the tissue  looks odd and on the ironing board the garment looks wrong, it hangs correctly on me.

I’m using a rayon Challis purchased not too long ago.  I thought the blue, while not my blue,  would dominate and the overall color scheme be fine for me. When it arrived, I almost sent it back. The actual fabric is dominated by taupe’s with equal amounts of blue and sage. This is not going to be a flattering coloration but it’s good for a muslin.

I used a slightly different sewing order.  I interfaced the front button bands, taped the neckline and then finished the button holes and buttons before taping the back shoulders and neckline. I basted with water-soluble thread from here on out, till I was ready to call this muslin done. One oddity, I based the right shoulder 3/8″ the left 1/2″. That’s what worked on LH5203.  I’m into repeating successes however minor.

My first try-on was a surprise.  I’m using a 3/8 shoulder pad in the left shoulder, 3/4″ in the right. Still I expected to see some swag lines on the side because the armscye lengths had been changed.

The back looks more like the asymmetrical shoulder thing is going on. Side shows only maybe 1 of those annoying swags and the worst I can say about the front is that the empire should be horizontal but appears to be curving.  To my surprise, the hem is too long at center front.

I decide to increase the slope of the shoulders another 1/8″ which still adds 1/4″ length to the back armscye but brings the front back to LC’s original draft.  I also let out the side seam from underarm to vent; basting at 1/4″ instead the 5/8 SA drafted in the pattern. This seems to be enough to fix the back!

and vastly improved the front

.

Even the side looks pretty good. I’m ignoring any sleeve issues right now. Noting the drag line at the bust. The hem needs to be fixed.

At the final stitching, I increase the armscye slope another 1/8″ which yes shorts the front armscye length 1/8″ but leaves the back armscye 1/8″ longer than LC drafted. I offset the empire line at the center front so that it is 1/4″ deep on the upper bodice but the full 5/8″ on the other side. That tapers to 5/8″ for both about 2″ before the side seam.   While I can tinker with the middle of the empire, the side seam must stay the same as the back side seam. I also trim the center front hem 1″ and then try to re-establish its horizontal nature.

That would be a fail. I have a horizontal, straight hem with angled corners on the back, but a curved hem on the front.  At this point, I can only hope I’m at the forefront of a new hem trend and we can say ‘you saw it here first’.

I never feel as though my sewing of fitting tweaks is  as accurate as if I had been able to sew and only  adjust the amount of ease at the side seams. I’m right because the handling causes some stretching even though I taped critical curves.  But it’s more than that. A frustrating, ‘this just isn’t perfect’ kind of over all impression when the garment has been handled extensively before being  finished.

Disturbingly, my left shoulder is now lower than my right and I’m beginning to see the 80’s return. It’s got to be the shoulder pads. I’ve ordered another set from Wawak that are 1/4 and 1/2″ thick. Going down 1/4″ in thickness on both and thereby hopefully moving away from the 80’s. But also, making the difference in height between the pads  1/8″ less than the previous 3/8 & 3/4″ pads.  When I get the new pads, I’ll have to baste the shoulders and armscyes yet again and tweak armscye depth.  Otherwise, I can’t complain about the appearance of the back. I think it’s supposed to look like this.  I think the back should drop straight from the shoulders and hang free of the body.

Despite the variance of the hem, I’m also pleased with the side view. I’m not seeing multiple swag lines or even a slight pull at the bust.  I’m still getting the upward slant of the empire.  Note, I finished the sleeves and turned up a 1″ cuff but did not create that cute little divot that LC drafted in the sleeve. I know it’s an easy thing to do but by now I was ready to get this done and move on.  My preference is for 1 fitting to tweak ease at the side seams. These multiple tweaks are nerve-racking.  Besides, these are not my colors.  If they were my blue eyes would pop out of my head. No fooling, the right blue makes my eyes gorgeous. The right green and brown makes my skin smooth, slightly flushed and healthy looking.   These colors are doing nothing for me.

Straight on from the front, looks really good. I’m a bit picky and note that I haven’t quite solved the rising front empire line. I don’t think most people will notice. I’m also rather pleased with the front view of the sleeves.  These days, my front sleeves twist. I know it’s a posture issue, but haven’t been able to correct it. I’m not sure I’ve fixed it here either. These are 3/4 sleeves.  They’re not reflecting the full effect of how my arms normally hang.

This is a good muslin. I finished it and will definitely wear it a few times just because that’s the only way I’m truly sure about fit.  So many times, I’ve found that a garment almost changes shape after it’s been on the body a few hours not to mention a trip through the washing machine and dryer.

I’m rather eager for the next version and have already tweaked the tissue

  • Increased shoulder slope
  • Adding 1/2″ wedge to CF of upper bodice — trying to make the upper bodice longer instead of adding to the hem.
  • Returned CF hem to original squared off and horizontal position.
  • Added 1/2″ ease to back side seam. Hope that’s enough. Technically, changing the side seams to 1/4″ added a total of 3/4″ ease across the hip but evenly to front and back. Personal experience is tending towards adding more ease to the back.