Having decided that shoulder seams and side seams are not enough shaping for my body, I continually look for patterns that also contain seams and darts in that 10″ region between shoulder and bust. That being my current frame of mind, I really zeroed in on SaF-T-Patterns 2017 “Traci’s Top”
It is a shoulder princess seam with additional horizontal additions i.e. the empire and an upper bodice yoke.
Yeah, I purchased quickly and without much further thought..
Does anyone other than me get upset with the lack of landmarks on today’s patterns? I planned to use Peggy Sagers LCD method of fitting because it works for me. However, even Peggy says she wont drape someone elses patterns because she has no idea what decisions they had to make. So feel kinda on my own. I perused the instructions and opted to trace a size large because that’s what the designer recommends for my bust measurement. Now here’s where my gripe comes in. Before I cut fabric, I like to measure across the bust, waist and hip of the pattern to be sure there will be sufficient fabric to start with; but nooooooooooooooooooo there isn’t a bust point, waist or hip marked unless it is some special and cryptic notation I don’t get. I’m left to wonder and guess where these landmarks should fall. I can only hope that I have measured in the right places in which case the large will be big enough in these zones.
I sort through my stash and choose a rayon challis I’m not entirely loving. I’m not wild about the print. The colors are just sort of meh. BUT perfect!… for a test garment. Just before laying out the pattern pieces, I decide to do my 1″ back waist length adjustment, just as I used to do. I mean I used to trace a pattern and immediately add 1″ narrow shoulder and back waist length adjustments. I can’t count on that being the right answer any more. Looking at the pattern pieces and the checking the measurements on the pattern envelope, I decide the BWL is a safe bet and an 1/2″ RBA is also needed but I should wait until draping to make any other changes. .
I cut all my pieces from my rayon challis fabric and baste them together. I tried to place my pieces to take advantage of the print. Don’t think I did a good job, but I tried. I didn’t want to fiddle with a center front placket and simply scooped the front neckline 8″ below the shoulder point. I did take initial fitting pictures and …
… they weren’t wonderful.
However, I could tell that with my 1″ BWL, the lengths were about right. I went immediately from (L)ength to C(ircumference). I pinched out 1″ at the underarm (removing a total of 4″ circumference at the bust). Everywhere else the circumference seemed to be OK.
I proceeded to D(epth) considerations. I increased the shoulder slope 1/2″. Left looked good. Right, not so much. I increased the entire right shoulder seam allowance 1/4″. That’s typical for me and it worked this time too. At least, the right looked as good as the left. The front was looking pretty good. Oddly the side backs looked like I had rouched them when joining to the center back piece.
I unstitched the side backs; cut 1/2″ off their tops and stitched back together. Not sure what heppened their because the seams walked perfectly. I must have stretched the side backs either when handling or stitching. At this point (Fit04 and Pic set 05) I decided to restore the armscye. I had been surprised when I compared my sleeveless template to the original pattern and the pattern was a near match. But that changed, of course, when I took away circumference at the underarm and length with the shoulder slope adjustment.
I tried, really tried all the way through Fit 05, to like the pointy hem
Other than the swish factor, I H-A-T-E it. HATE HATE HATE. That’s pretty strong . But I at the very least, strongly dislike the pointy side seam hem . After Fit05, I rounded the points and finished my blouse with a rolled hem and bias tape for neckline and armscyes.
So, I’m not wild about this top. The fabric print has something to do with that, also the hem. Another fabric would correct the print issue, redrafting the hem might take care of the my issue with the points. But I also do not like the gathering at the upper back bodice where it joins the yoke.
I’m not even sure why it is there. If I make this again, and that’s a pretty big IF, I’d remove the gathering. Not even convert to pleats or tucks. Just G-O-N-E.
All the changes I made to the upper bodice, raised the empire on the right side to within 2″ of my underarm. It makes me wonder if I have made the correct fit alterations. I’m not anxious to repeat 6 fittings.
BUT, what I absolutely love is that I think I confirmed my personal fitting theory. By selecting patterns with darts and seams between shoulder and bust, I am able to more quickly fit patterns to my body.