6299 Red Crinkle

That thought I had at the end of yesterday’s post? It went to an embroidery project already in progress. I had intended to use my TRT for this 100% cotton crinkle fabric. Crinkle acts like a cross-wise knit and benefits from less circumference.

I embroider a rectangle slightly larger than the front pattern piece. To precisely place the embroidery where I desire,   I created a full pattern for the front only.

That’s the only pattern change. Swear. Yet you can see that the pattern which was  too tight yesterday – even with minimal 1/4″ SA — is now exceedingly  roomy

It won’t always look this roomy. Typically when I launder crinkles I will broom-stick it i.e. twist tightly until it twists back on itself and secure with rubber bands or nylons. Wash and dry until the interior is dry (sometimes that takes a few hours).   When it comes out of the dryer, I smooth out and even press the worse creases. The resulting garment  will be much closer to the body but still very comfortable.  I’ve not broom-sticked this top because I wanted to ensure that all the embroidery stabilizer was removed in the wash. Next time though….

I haven’t sewn with crinkles in a long time. I’ve forgotten what to how to handle them. Normally I prefer to finish necklines and armscyes with bindings but I realized the front neckline was going to be far to low and used the facing to terminate it much higher on my body; and big facings so they can be secured much lower on the princess seams. I actually hate the standard facing because it flaps about. A big facing like this, will become a bumpy underlayer. Secured by armscyes and tacked to the princess seams eliminates my facing issues.

I measured the armscye and decided at 22″ the crinkle had stretched too far during handling.  I cut my FOE to 21″ planning to have a 1/2″ excess on either end and a 20″ finished armscye.  In retrospect, I must be wrong someplace. The armscye is very high.  Not too tight but too high. I did not trim the 3/8″ SA, my mistake, but even that would not have made the armscye low enough for my tastes. Something still to tweak.

Serging the seams was a good choice. I don’t believe any of them were stretched or at least not stretched enough they couldn’t easily recover with a burst of steam.  The hem however was close to disaster.  I chose the knit, blind-hem stitch.  For the first time machine hemming on the Dream Machine failed me.  There were several large spaces as well as many 1/2″ gaps where the hem stitches didn’t secure. Usually it’s just a matter of keeping the fold bumped up next to the guide bar of the R foot. Another thing to tweak and puzzle out in the future.

I’d say that using my accidental Knit Version of 6299 was a good choice for the crinkle fabric. But then again the crinkle will adapt for me.  I could still need to tweak the Knit Versions for knit fabrics.


6299 2nd Look

After I finished 6299, I transferred my changes to the pattern pieces. I realized that I may have made some changes too soon. Such as I shortened the armscye early in the process. At the final fitting, my armscye was too high and too tight.  I decided to start fresh. I’m sure this isn’t the last time I will trace this pattern. It’s just that good for me. To preserve the tissue, I applied  interfacing to the original pattern pieces.

Pre-muslin changes:

  • Marked original tissue 5/8″ SA at empire line of all 8 pieces.  Overlapped upper and corresponding lower pieces along this 5/8″ SA
  • Marked new hem (Blouse -10.5) to offset the length changed by eliminating the empire seam.
  • Traced Size 16 (resulting in 4 pattern pieces vs original 8)
  • Added 1.5″ to side seams (side front and side back pieces)
  • Added 5/8″ RBA
  • Marked 1/4″ SA (-3/8″) along  all seam lines except necklines and side seams (to which I’d just added 1.5″)
  • Marked 3/8″ front and 1/2″ back  princess alteration between armscye and mid-point
  • Trimmed all excess tissue
  • Walked and trued all seams.

At this point, I have recreated Burda 2009-03 #124 which  may seem like a waste of time. However I hadn’t completely finished fitting #124 and was stumped by the final needed change. Instead of continuing that fitting experience, I will  work exclusively on 6299.

My next fabric is a 100% cotton sateen, blouse weight, purchased from Craftsy just a few weeks ago.  Looked much more interesting on-line than IRL, so if I won’t mind ruining it. I laid out the pattern pieces, cut and serged together front with side front; back with side back; and shoulders well, with shoulders. Then I basted side seams with WST and took my first set of pics. I was expecting to tweak the side seam at the underarm because none of my pattern alterations had addressed that issue.  But I wasn’t expecting this:

I was positive, that other than overlapping the top with corresponding bottom pieces along the empire line,  I had but copied the previous changes. (Except for underarm ease and shoulder depth which I delayed until fitting).  I was stunned to see and feel how tight the new version is.   But I thought, I’ve got a little fabric to play with to fix this.  I stitched the side at the underarms 1″ deeper merging out to a 1/4″ side seam allowance just before the waist and all the way to the hem. Because I could see it clearly sticking out, I also increased the back princess seam  1/4″ between  armscye and  midpoint. I thought “That will do it!”.

Well no. Not exactly:

PS I’m liking this fabric even less but realize it is my fault. I should have fussy cut i.e. carefully place the print.

I’m not quite sure how I lost the ease of the empire version but it’s clearly gone and I don’t have enough seam allowance to make it up.

In fact, this  reminds me of the fitting I’d get if I used a pattern drafted for knits instead of wovens. Hmm which gives me an idea.  I transfer the few changes made. Wrote in bold letters ‘KNIT’ and put it away.  Hmmmm that gives me an idea…..

Connie Crawford 6299

I was really happy with my Connie Crawfords 0456,  especially about the fitting process.   I wanted to tweak a few style lines and I wanted to get to the point of duplicating my new maxi dress without its fitting errors. I worked on Burda #124 Mar 2009, because I wanted to know if the armscye princess seam was my magic wand i.e. the tool that would make fitting quick and easy.  Then,one day I was knocking around on Pattern Review and found Connie Crawford’s 6299.


I said “WOW. That is exactly what I’m  working towards”. I want a View  B maxi-dress and a View A tank top.  So why am I tweaking CC0456? Because I didn’t know 6299 existed.

I usually order Connie’s patterns in the range which includes the XL. For this pattern I had the choice of either 8-16 or  18W-24W.  I had to think about that. When I started working with Connie’s patterns I tried the W sizing.  It went badly.  I had to change shoulders and bust point; armscyes, waists. I mean every line had to be changed, usually considerably and still didn’t fit nicely without 3-4 test garments. For an XL  I do my RBA, BWL, adjust the shoulder angle, add to the side seam allowance and basically I’m done. Point is,  I don’t want to use the W draft and make all the changes but I think a size 16 will be too small .  Sigh, you seldom get to make the ideal choice — it’s just not in the running– and so you choose 2nd best or  3rd or 4th. Sometimes you’re even faced with choosing  between bad and worse. Fortunately, sewing patterns aren’t that critical a choice. I mean if you start somewhere and work at it, you can get to a good fit.

I had Pattern Review send the 8-16 pattern to me.

I’m expecting this pattern to work for me and  will want to make more copies in the future. I made the BWL to the tissue. It’s a simple fold and tape and  I always need it no matter the size so why not make it to the tissue? I drew a new hemline on the  tissue 12″ up from the drafted hem and labeled it “Blouse -12”. Then I traced the size 16 bodice and fitted skirt pieces down to my new “Blouse -12″” line. I rough cut around the pieces of my tracing and arranged them to take a few measurements. I can’t find the default seam allowance. I’m sure it’s there in the guide pages some place but I can’t see it. So, I’m assuming  5/8″ SA.  If using a 5/8″ SA, 6299 size 16 is going to be close.  I add 1.25″ to the side seams and leave the rest alone.   Thank heavens, Connie marked the bust point and waist.  I was able to measure and determine that the shoulder to BP was going to be too long.  I will cut the test garment as drafted, but I’ll stitch the shoulder seams at 1.”  Thankfully, Connie also made notches along the princess seams. So much easier to stitch those correctly when I have the notches.

I chose, I think a 100% cotton fabric.  I purchased this some 10+ years ago from the drapery section of Mill Ends Sioux Falls.  It’s a sweet print and will make a lovely  but comfortable summer top.  Since the length is 2.5 yards, I can totally screw-up the test version and use the rest of the fabric for a ‘real’ top.

I pressed the fabric with lots of steam; laid out my pattern pieces and  carefully aligned grain lines.  I stitched the pieces together using 1/4″ seam allowances and  water-soluble thread in the bobbin.  I was not planning to take pictures of the first fitting but it was so much better than I expected.

I was absolutely relieved that the blouse was too big. Yes there’s still things to be done but I’ve got the fabric to work with.

I did many small fittings, all in front of the mirror. I’d pin a change, then run to the SM and stitch the 3-4 inches involved. Thing is, after the tissue alterations, I was making tweaks not major changes. I started at about 10 in the morning. Worked most of  day (seldom am I able to do that) and finished up about 5 PM.  The final garment really pleases me

The side views, both left and right are pretty good.  I tend to think that I over shortened the upper bodice. I lowered the armscye 1/2″ just before applying bias tape.

The front looked dern near perfect with the first few changes. I did need to sew the princess seams (both back and front ) at the full 5/8″  and then an additional 3/8″ front (1/2″ back) from armscye to mid-point of the princess curve.

For this pattern, I worked the most on the back

and I agree it still needs a little help.  I wasn’t sure exactly what was wrong and kept making small tweaks. In the end, both the princess seams and the center back needed to be 5/8″. This was very surprising to me because initially I thought the size 16 would be too small. I thought using a narrower SA would be the key to fit.  I need to burn this in my memory :  for Connie Crawford trace  either size 16 or XL add 1.5″ to the side seam allowances for fitting; trim the rest to 1/4″.

I copied the fitting changes to my tissue. Even took the time to true the princess seams (cutting that much off really mucks up the line). I need to test my pattern one more time. I’m eager to fully fit this pattern. I think it is going to be  my TNT T-shirt/Tank top. I have a dozen fabrics waiting for it.

Sunshine Yellow for Summer

I’ve got a good start on CC0456 (at some point this pattern has been renumbered 5052 and that’s how it is listed at PR).  And feel like perfecting it. I mean I’m so tired of multiple muslins and fitting tweaks that end up filling my garbage can with fabric. I want to make garments that look good on me. Continuing with CC0456 feels like a no-brainer to me.

I made a few more pattern adjustments.

  • Add 1/2″ to side seams (rather have too much ease than not enough)
  • Added 2″ to lower back which is eased to upper back.
  • Add 3.5″ length.
  • Created front V neck
  • straightened center front a little. Now, this could be my fault.  I use my rotary cutter pretty freely and know that it can go astray.  But I wonder if Connie really did curve the front to create a deep lapel. I closed up the lapel because I wanted a blouse and not a 3rd layer.
  • 2″ FTA

My fabric is a Japanese Cotton purchased several years ago from Fabricmartfabrics.com.  Actually, this is a large remnant left over when I was making a moulage as per Suzy Furer’s instructions. Alas the moulage failed, IMO, because when I added ease all my fitting problems were still to be solved. (I was under the impression that drafting from measurements eliminated most of the personal fitting issues. In truth very few or my issues were solved through this method.) But I digress, I felt this largish remnant would be an excellent 2nd Try of CC0456. If all my changes worked, I’d have a garment in a beautiful fabric. If my changes were a mess, well it was only a remnant.

I devoted most of my time to making pattern alterations with the most significant the Full Tummy Alteration. I used the instructions provided by Fit For Art CommonFittingAdjustments. Scroll down to the “Front Bands Do Not Overlap” section. All the tummy alterations I’ve seen are nothing at all like FFA describes. However, what they show is very close to what was happening on my first CC0456

I stitched everything together except side seams which I basted at 1/2″. I even stitched button holes and attached the buttons before the first fitting.  No pics on Fit01. I peeked in the mirror and said ” My gosh that looks big”.  It’s an interesting difference between the cotton/poly of Version 1 and this Japanese cotton in Version 2.  I stitched the side seams at 3/4″ (I had altered the pattern for 1/2″ side seams).  Peeked in the mirror again and then stitched the back right princess seam 1/8″ deeper from armscye to dart.


Fit02 or is it 3 or do I still count this as Fit 01 because it is the first set of pictures and all changes were made after a cursory look in the mirror rather than careful study of pics at the computer?  I’m going with Fit01 which told me I still need to remove a little more ease from the side seams and that my left back needs the a similar deepening of the princess seam. Otherwise, this is sun-shiny cute and ready to finish.

Which I did.

I’m totally happy with the back. I was still concerned about a drag line or two on the skirt back of Ver 1 and so  I offset the back from the fold which I then eased to the empire. That  really wasn’t necessary. I’ll probably eliminate it in the future but it is an option. I trimmed the princess pieces so I can repeat the alteration in the future without having to try to garment on first. Besides, when that curved seam is trimmed to 1/4″ it is so much easier to sew it smoothly.

I think this is the best the right side has ever looked. I have not tweaked the shoulder seams only the princess seams.  I tweaked them much less than what I would have done to the shoulder. (I make a 3/4-1″ shoulder slope adjustment. The princess seams have been adjusted by about 1/2″ total).

Love the new length. The additional 3.25″ gave me enough length for my 1.25″ hem. I like this hem depth because it helps weight the garment; helps it hang instead of piling up on my hip and tummy.

Don’t think that the Full Tummy Alteration helped any in fact I now seem to have too much skirt ease in the front. It may be that the front skirt  is drafted to pull apart there at the hem. Then again I adjusted the center front line and that could be the entire issue. Regardless, I like this sun Shiny yellow as well as the pink/white dots of yesterday.

One last comment the shoulder. I extended the shoulder 1″ and using my french curve as Peggy describes, connected to the armscye. The curve is beautiful. The armscye/shoulder looks really good. But I’m going to extend it another 1/2″.  It’s my shoulder-hip balance hangup. I think I look slimmer and better proportions if my shoulders balance with my hip. It’s one of the biggest reasons I’ve had for including shoulder pads whenever possible (not possible in sleeveless garments.)



Connie Crawford 0456

Back in 2015, I remember how incredibly easy it was to fit  this pattern.  I wanted to make 50 of them. Then my back rounded some more and I, um, added some padding. By Summer’s end 2016, my CC0456’s did not fit nicely at all.  I put off trying to refit the pattern because, it’s sleeveless until now, beginning of Summer 2017.

I traced the same size (XL) and add 3/8″ to the side seams for fit insurance. I goofed tracing   the wrong lines of the side front and side back. discovered  after cutting fabric and while trying to assemble the bodice top with bottom. Knowing this was not a problem previously, I went rechecked the pattern and discovered my issue.

Left side drapes beautifully

Even then, it took me 3 fittings. At the first fitting, I knew I needed a whole lot more ease for my tummy and rear end.  I considered using the women’s sizes. However they typically have much wider shoulders and much bigger busts to go with the much wider rear ends. I have the later, but not the two former. I may yet do some measuring of the W patterns just out of curiousity  but really it was easier to trace the XL and add an inch to each of the side seams because as in the 2015 fitting,  the XL shoulder fit as in the illustration and the princess seams needed pinching 3/8″ in the armscye.

Right side needs a little more work.

I think I need to pinch the princess seam a little deeper on the right side. Maybe another 1/8″ because the left side looked beautiful.

My fabric is a poly/cotton with absolutely ZERO stretch.

I should mention I added a center back seam and a 5/8″ RBA. I think that eliminated most of the drag lines I usually see (and did not see at all with this pattern, this version). The hem is right at my widest point. In combination with the above side views, and from the feel of the garment, I think there is plenty of ease across the hip and am at a loss the explain the drag lines.

The pattern has a left front and a right front for a truly asymmetrical and intriquing front hemline. Personally, the center V is avant garde enough for me. In fact, I’ll probably square that hemline.  While I think the hemline looks good, I think the the points are supposed to overlap instead of spread. Something I may or may not work on in the future ’cause, like I said, I think this looks good.

My biggest complaint, and I’m not sure I’m complaining, is how high up on the shoulder  the armscye crosses.  I am very narrow shoulder and usually avoid halter tops.  Especially as I’ve aged, gained weight and spread at the hip, I’ve tried to avoid the narrow shoulder/wide hip contrast.

Not a complaint but I will develop a neckline without the lapel and I very well could add a collar. The pattern does lend itself to some variation. Something good in my estimation because the pattern can be used multiple times.

I used only 4 front buttons. The lowest button is 2″ below the empire line but it rests 1/2″ above the waistband of my pants. No flesh shows; no muffin top either.


Fit  Changes:

  • 1.” BWL
  • 5/8″ RBA
  • +1/4″ CB both upper and lower bodice
  • increase princess seams SA 3/8″  from armscy to notch
  • Increase front ease by changing front SA to 1/4″ (-1/8″) and calculating CF with  3/4″ button radius + 1/4″ +1/4″SA.  (Moving the CF line 1″ towards the cut edge)
  • Increased SA at the underarms 1/8″
  • Increased ease at side seams 1″ all pattern pieces.

Tech changes i.e. nothing to do with fit but with construction

All seam allowances changed to 1/4″ except

  • Side seams 1/2″
  • Hem 1.25″

I think those 1/4″ SA’s make sewing princess seams a snap.

TRT Short Sleeves

I’ve had a bad run of sewing (perhaps I’ll share in another post) and needed a success. I decided to pull out my Tabula Rasa Tee pattern and work towards having a short sleeve version in addition to the full and sleeveless versions.


I put on one of my TRT’s and stood in front the mirror with a ruller trying to decide how much shorter the sleeve should be. I thought about 12″.  I figure I will use this new sleeve style from time to time and it is different enough from the long sleeve to warrant a pattern which would include a hem allowance.  I folded up the full sleeve 12″ ; traced around the existing pattern and transferred all the markings. After that, just a matter of cutting and stitching my TNT TRT.

Except that the first version looked frumpy. “Oh, of course” I thought. The length I traced, created a half sleeve (elbow length).  This is not a flattering length for me and I’ve seen several designers/stylists who immediately change the half-sleeve into something else  flattering to many of us. Anyway,  I shorten the sleeve 3.5″ (1.25″ was the turned up hem); stitch, try on  again, and then I cut the sleeve off another 1.25″. The final “sleeve” is really short:

And still not typical T-shrit length.  Looking at the sleeve above, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to develop the short-sleeve length I desire.  I have to think of this a bit.

But I count this as a success. I do have a much shorter sleeve which looks pretty good.

. OK, I’m never going to look like some movie star but I can look like a nice, pleasant little old lady



South Dakota.

TRT: SleeveLESS Knit Top

I have a respectable stack of fabrics ear-marked for sleeveless tops. A sleeveless top takes a fraction of a yard. Well a little more if you make facings.  I accumulated these small yardages in the “Sleeveless Tops” stack from excess fabric from` winter sewing. Also I regularly cruise the remnants section of FashionFabricsClub.com.  I often find a piece or two that will make a nice summer top. I wash and then put it in the stack until summer finally arrives. Summer is here but I don’t have a sleeveless pattern which fits. Well, not one I trust.  My sloper will needs additional work. Even more to turn it into a sleeveless wonder. I’ve contemplated what it would take to make the TRT sleeveless.  I’m sure this can be done.  It would be a variation of a classic princess seamed vest.  Then I realized a pattern I had passed over might have the answer.

Yes, it’s right there in the “Swing Variations”. The vest. The people at Fit for Art have already modified the TRJ into a sleeveless Vest. I ordered the pattern and adapted the swing side-panel for my Spring 6 PAC 3rd layer (my post here).  It seemed natural to me to now pursue the idea of adapting the side panel to create a sleeveless knit top.

I’m using a remnant cotton-lycra knit with about 80% stretch. More stretch than I wanted, but this is a fabric I can easily toss if I make a mess.

I copied the straight side panel then added 3″ height to the top of the panel.  I convinced myself that the vest (in which the armscye is usually lower) was 2″ longer than the straight panel and by adding 1 more inch the side panel would be as tall as I needed.   I thought that I would probably need to narrow the panel at the top (the underarm) but decided to wait until I could actually see, on me, how much narrowing was needed.  Well that was interesting

The side panel just barely covers my underwear! What you can’t see is that I have pinned a 1.5″ dart in the center under the arm to make the new side panel narrow enough beneath the underarm. Then I took a 12″ ruler in the bathroom  and standing  in front of the full-length mirror  measured how much higher the side-panel needed to be. To my surprise, I measured 2.5″ and could have raised it even more.

Well I did. I added 3″ to the top (now a total of 6″). Then I measured out from the center of the side panel 3″ on either side (of the center mark). I wrestled with my curve for a while before reaching the conclusion that I would need to draw the curve so far and then reverse it to make a nice smooth side seam. Then I cut a second panel and basted into place.

The new panel worked so well I finished the neckline and top of the armscye panel with FOE before folding the bodice along the ‘armscye’ 5/8″ to the inside and top stitching from hem up the side panel, over the shoulder and back down.  Lastly I top stitched a hem in place.

I like this but I may want other versions in which the armscye rests on the edge of my shoulder.

See? It is pretty shoulder baring  and

like the vest square, angular where the panel meets the bodice. However, that’s not bad. It’s an interesting detail I just don’t want that style detail on every sleeveless blouse I make. I see a couple of options. I could finish the armscye with a classic rib binding. I could and probably will wrestle with my sloper until I make a nice sleeveless classic  top.  I could continue to alter the side panel adding more width across the shoulders as well as curve where the side panel joins the bodice. I could recopy the bodice front and back, apply my alterations without narrowing  across the shoulders. It could be interesting.  But for now, this is ready to make over and over.  Love the TRT pattern. Just love it.