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.