Category Archives: 314AbbyRaglan

314: Sweater Knit

Definitely into winter sewing, I pulled out the next ‘real’ sweater knit and paired it with 314 Abby’s top and Silhouette Patterns Raglan pattern.  I do like how this pattern goes together except I’m not sure how easy it is going to be to change necklines and hems. Those are the two easiest changes, usually, to make the same pattern look different. I have altered the pieces to include hems.  In this version, I cut separate bands for the sleeves by simply folding on the line I indicated on my traced copy of the pattern.

Because I’ve sewn it several times and worked out the fitting issues, it was a quick sew. actually mostly it was serged and coverstitched. No darts! But I did need to serge the right side a little deeper than the left and I still haven’t figured out exactly which shoulder pads and need and where they need to be.

Had a little problem with the neck-band. ..

didn’t cut it short enough. Dang I basted it in too but didn’t catch how floppy it is before serging it permanently.  So I used my easy fix which is cutting a small vertical slit in the inside back and  running clear elastic in the channel opened.

It is a very plain top relieved only by the cables and rib.  But I think I will mostly be wearing it underneath a vest and it will look wonderful

None of us are really enthused about making such plain garments. But they are so useful. That’s why it is best when making a simple garment to use a pattern already fit.  Honestly it goes together so quickly when you aren’t stopping to address fit issues or construction questions.   Even pants can be quick if those details are already worked out.


PS after these photos were taking, I top stitched the neck ribbing below the serged seam to make the ribbing lay down flat during wear.

Holiday Dressing SP 314

So the objective was making a coordinating top for yesterday’s skirt.  Already had my fabric picked out and ITY knit in a lovely red, blue purple color way.  Next was pattern and I opted for a now TNT Silhouette Patterns Abbey’s Top # 314. I was also inspired by a recent Let’s Sew Broadcast The Weekender Peggy  started with #127 and a stripe knit. She moved those stripes around which would look good up close but from this end I wondered why she went to all the effort to cut apart and sew  fabric back together.  I know, I know it’s another of those you have to see it in person to fully appreciate. I especially like the fringe, but I didn’t want to fringe the sleeves. That would only make my arms cold and I planned to wear this top when temps hover in the ‘teens.  But I liked the inspiration of it all.

I mean this was a flash to cut and sew.  I added 6″ length when cutting out and I did it just like Peggy. Can’t believe I copied her!  I placed my 6″ wide ruller below the hem and cut across there. So much easier than making more pattern pieces.  I opted to leave the neck, sleeve and hem  ribbing off also extending sleeve to full length (but not more since I didn’t plan on fringe.)  Stitching together as directed (skipping bands) and adding FOE to the neckline.  Course at this point, it really looks too long

But I had planned for fringe. I also wanted to repeat the angle of the skirt fringe

I carefully pinned the edges of the blouse hem together, laid it on my cutting table and smoothed out the folds. Then I placed a line of tape 6″ above the hem.  Using my rotary cutting I trimmed the hem at an angle so below the tape it was 3″ long on the left side 6″ on the right. Then, again using the rotary cutting, I sliced upward  to the tape (and maybe even nipping the tape) creating 1/2″ wide fringe. quick easy done. But I’m not so sure best choice.

Love the  side views


and the front is sweet

But if anything the back looks like a mistake

I’m not sure why. Did I need to make the angle greater? The 3:6 ratio bigger? I may trim the fringe later. This kind of stuff bothers me.

OK final shots, but I must tell you this is not complete dressing.  I will have my hair done professionally. Wear necklace, earrings and heels in a complimentary color.


Umm should work on a complimentary wrap too, donchatink?

Holiday Dressing: Skirt

I checked my closet for 6PAC needs and came up with nothing. Yes, at this time starting Winter, I have  nicely put together 6PAC’s in my neutrals Navy Blue, Chocolate Brown and Black. What I did note though, is a lack of dressier clothing and holiday attire. First thing I put together:

Summers end of 2016,  I purchased this from HSN, QVC or Evine.  I was watching one of them because as usual nothing else cable offered was of interest, when they showed this gorgeous skirt on sale for an incredible price.  I think I paid $7 including shipping. It was beautiful! and the Host so enthusiastic. They said it had so much ease you shouldn’t worry about size, choose for your height. So I did. In fact I ended up purchasing 2. Because the one received was the correct length, but counting-hairs tight. (How does a skirt get that tight?)  Sending it back would have cost me more than keeping it. (How does that happen?  Well skirt costs $7. Return shipping $8.95. You do the math.)

I figured, no big deal. I’d just buy another in my size same color and up cycle the one on-hand to a vest or tank. Make a matching set. Right? WRONG. Right sized skirt is definitely not the same color as wrong sized skirt. Besides the new skirt which fit nicely around hips tummy etcetera, was 6″ too long.  disheartened, enthusiasm down and that  undiagnosed adult ADHD kicking in, I put the skirt away for summer 2017.  Which came and left without addressing the skirt. BUT it so happens that I ordered fabric in the fall and one of the ITY’s was a beautiful matching color way. Whoop! Whoop! Couldn’t believe my luck.

I cut the waistband off at the top which is when I discovered that the front was an overlapping panel

Stitched into one side seam but left free on the other.  It makes for lots of fabulous, whooshing, fringe. I trimmed another 1″ length from the top then turned down 1.75″ to make a channel for the 1.5″ elastic I inserted. Stitch back together and skirt is ready.

I love this skirt. I actually hope I wear it more often that just this holiday.


Umm, let’s continue this discussion tomorrow.

Abby’s Top, V2

Version 2 began with a few tissue changes. I immediately added the 5/8″ RBA and 1/4″ center back seam I should have added before cutting fabric for the first version.  I trimmed excess added to the side seam allowances down to 1″.  That’s the 1/2″ seam allowances included with 1/2″ added ease I desire.  Keep in mind, I may still trim away some more especially if I use this pattern (and I will ) with sweater and slinky knits.  I trimmed the armscye SA to 1/4″, my fav for seams I plan to zip through the serger and probably won’t need for fitting adjustments. Left the neckline at 3/8″.  Then I walked the seams. I was stunned at how off the side panel to front/back seams had become.I pinned the side seams together at the notches and then smoothed to either end.

I don’t get excited about 1/8″ or less differences. That’s a matter of a slightly astray pen or cutting blade. The biggest difference was from the bottom notches to hem on all body pieces; and while more significant in my added 1″ it was also plainly different along the traced pattern lines.

OK, there’s still the possibility that the tissue shifted during tracing. I usually catch any shifting.  To be off 1/4″ and more due to shifting is just beyond my belief. I never get that far off. But, I didn’t go back and walk the original pattern. So I can’t swear 100% it isn’t all me.

While I was working with tissue, I made a change to the sleeve which gives me 3 sleeve finish options.

I added 4.5″ at the sleeve hem. I can still fold it up and use at the drafted default along with the separate cuff; or I can cut 5″ longer and fold up for a cut-on hem. 3rd option, and the one I’m using today, is folding the extension along the 2-1/4″ line and finishing the sleeve with FOE.

I realized at the first fitting that the sleeve was too long for a foe finish.  I made a 1/2″ deep tuck on the inside (and changed the line on the tissue)

which on the public side looks like a seam for the cuff.

I also finished the neckline by leaving off the band and  applying  FOE.

I should mention that during construction I left the back seam open at the top about 3″.  After  I applied the FOE, I glued the very top edge together and then stitched the seam closed.  I glue because that’s the only way I can align and keep aligned both ends of the FOE or other elastic.  I don’t like particularly like the neckline application. It was  applied at a  1:1 ration and is not hugging the neck as well as I like.

I finished the hem with the separate band, also 1:1 instead of drawn in.  The hem band as drafted wants to creep upward during wear.  In only minutes I have a high low  with the back hem up over my butt.  Possibly in the future I will extend the front, back and side pieces 2.5″ so that the hem is cut on. For now, I like the possibility of experimenting to see which circumference looks good.

My fabric is another ITY knit. Chosen for the fact it has the same 2-way stretch and 75% stretch factor as the first. I think it is the same fiber as the previous, based on how well it pressed. It has a shinier finish, so I’m not too sure.  It too is a busy fabric. I think raglans emphasize my pear shape. Echo the narrowness of my shoulders. I avoided raglans for a long time before realizing there were things I could do to offset the visual effect of the raglan.  Busy print is one. A busy print has your eye going everywhere instead of going to the raglan and then straight up. It’s quite likely that had I not told you this is a raglan sleeve, you wouldn’t have noticed that fact until after looking at my top for a while – if ever.

As far as fit goes, I need to add a little length to the front. Otherwise this is pretty much what I was hoping for and rarely find.   The rouching has been removed by the tissue alteration I did after walking the seams.  In both V1 and V2, the side diagonals  completely disappear after I install my shoulder pads.  In the end analysis, I’ve added 7/8″ ease and 1/8″ seam allowance; lengthened the front by 1/2″ and that is it.  Everything else I’ve done or am thinking about are detail changes.  I’ve never had an easier pattern to fit. And I mean that. Even when I weighed 96 pounds I had more standard tissue alterations.

I’ve no doubt that the future of this pattern will include many variations. Not just in fabric but in details as well. I don’t hesitate to change the depth of a neckline or shape from the  ballerina it is to a V, scoop or square. My full length sleeve can easily be marked for a 3/4-length with various finishes like cuff, lace or notch.  It would take a little more effort to change the front to a cardigan style; and a lot to change to eliminate the center back seam. (Which I might do but really I prefer seams to darts when working with knits.)  I almost wish this pattern had a woven/non-stretch version.  It has me that excited.

314 Abby’s Top

I haven’t been able to fit a raglan pattern in a couple of years. Yes with my last body change, raglans devloped strange drag lines I couldn’t pinch away. I set them aside for a while thinking once I had fit basic bodices I could return and successfully conquer. Well it took 2 years to figure out all that I need to do for basic bodices and the answer was use princess seams– armscye princess seams. But after a few successful armscye princess seams I once again decided to tackle the Raglan with Jalie 3245. Couldnt. I made a muslin. Pinched. Slashed. In places that shouldnt be pinched or slashed. I decided that I just didn’t know how to translate my needed changes from princess to raglan style. Set the raglan idea aside for awhile. Then I was going through all of Silhouette Patterns blouses looking for styles with seams bisecting the armscyes and I saw 314 Abby’s Top

and when I looked at the schematic I shreiked “EUREKA !!!”

Because it was not only the raglan I haven’t been able to fit, but it had panels which bisected the armscye on both front and back.  It had fitting opportunities.

I’ve had the pattern for several weeks. It just sort of bubbled up to the top of the todo list yesterday.  I’ve had a couple of successful or interesting fitting experiences with Silhouette patterns now. I decided to repeat the successes.  I traced the size 4 then added 1.5″ to the side seams only.  I didn’t check the layout, I did my own which used only 1.25 yards of a 60″ wide ITY fabric even with those humogous seams. I laid out the pattern pieces and snapped off the lights. Yep. Wanted to think this over.

The next day I started without hestitation. Well after doing the needed chores aka a load of wash, cleaning the downstairs toilet and mopping the downstairs floors.  The plumber visits us once a year.  We have tress and bushes galore.  They create a beautiful private garden just yards from the busy school street we live along. They also create blockages in the plumbing. The options are about $20,000 to replace the pipes (guaranteed for 10 years) or $100 a year (plumber) plus mop all the floors. I do the later and it takes precedence over sewing.  I cut the front and back pieces; stay stitched the necklines.  Started to to follow my regular procedure of stitching the raglan  sleeve to front and said “Holy smokes. The front is too short!  Better read the destructions.”  Peggy uses a different sewing order. Front is sewn to the sides  then to back. BTW there is a front a back, two sleeves and 2 sides pieces– not a side front and side back.  Which makes for fewer pieces to cut and sew.

I stitched as directed except I stitched the seams all at 1″. Yes I added 1.5″ but I need more ease than the size 4 provides.  As I recalled, I needed 1/2″ at the underarm, 1″ on the front tummy and 1.5″ over the rear. I added an even 1.5″ so I would start with enough to let out. To my surprise, the first try-on felt perfect.   I looked in the mirror.  Abby’s Top (SP314) looked and felt  darn near perfect at the first fitting. That never happens to me.

Pics tell a slightly different story. The pics say: You forgot to do the RBA

I know I need an RBA.  I know I need an RBA on Silhouette Patterns. There isn’t a pattern I’ve made in recent memory the covered my half and did not need an RBA.  I left this alone over night so I could remember the things I forgot to do. Why didn’t I remember I needed an RBA???

I think sides and front

repeat the RBA admonisment. There seems to be some rouching of the sides. I need to rewalk the seams for length. Adding that much circumference (1.5″ each  side)  could have skewed the draft.

But I want to point out some plusses +++++

The lengths are right. Shoulder to bust, bust to hem. Good and enough. I like the style. I thought surely I would need to address ease at the hip and tummy. Nope. Good and enough at the first basting. Well,  maybe a bit more ease could be removed especially for slinky fabric.  Sleeve is both a good length and good circumference. I will alter the pattern for the RBA and trim the tissue to reflect the needed additional ease (1/2″),  plus my preferred seam allowance of 1/2″.  This goes together really fast. I will have an extra seam at the center back because of my RBA. Suppose I could rotate that but then I’d need to sew 2 darts.  IMO 1 seam is faster to sew than it is to mark and sew 2 darts.  All the edges are subtlly curved. Even the shoulder darts. This is good. I knew as  was tracing that I would start with a better garment, but it still amazes me that a slight curve can make such a difference.

I finished this version quickly because an RBA has to be done at the tissue level. It isn’t possible to do after the fact without changing the style (For example I could add a yoke, but then it is a different styled garment.) Before taking final pics, I slipped in a pair of 3/8″ raglan shoulder pads.

In retrospect, I think the shoulder pads are too deep. I need to check for 1/4″ p ads on WAWAK, ’cause I face-it a long time ago; without shoulder pads, I have no shoulders. I think the hip band is a tad too short.  It does more than just snug to the body. It emphasizes the roundness of my tummy and doesn’t want to stay on the hip.  It want to slid upward to narrower ground.

Even at that; even without the RBA; even with the side panel being longer than the front and back side seams; with all that, this is a really, really good fit for out of the envelope. Essentially I added 7/8″ ease,  plus 1/2″ seam allowances. That’s nothing. Almost like I didn’t do anything.  I’m very pleased.  Kudos to Peggy for a well through-out, well drafted raglan designed.



Pattern specified 2-way stretch which is what RTW calls 4-way stretch. (This is definitely a time I agree 100% with Peggy. RTW’s verbiage is a mind-f. You can’t have 1 way stretch. If the fabric stretches right it will stretch left. If it stretches north it will stretch south. Can’t be any oher way. ) I thought this was a ITY fabric but I tell you it presses. I stitched the shoulder darts and pressed them open and flat.  Polyester does not do that. My fabric must have a rayon content. It’s also not slick like poly and stretches 75%.  Which means I won’t make the pattern any narrower just in case I want to use a fabric with 25% stretch. Although I stitched the side seams another 1/8″ deeper than I basted.