2017 Spring 6 PAC: Print Tee

I might should have waited to brag about this Tee until I took a second set of pics:

I can clearly see I’ve got one shoulder pad sliding off the right shoulder towards the back while the left seems to have no shoulder pad. That’s because the pad has slid to the front. Why couldn’t I feel that?  Interestingly, even with the wonky shoulder pads, the back is hanging smoothly.

Like wise, I think the uneven hem on the right side

probably resulted from not positioning the garment, especially the shoulder pads, squarely on my shoulders.  I was preoccupied with what I thought might really be wrong and needing fixing:

My front neckline is not lying against my neckline. Oh it’s not the fabric. It is my FOE that is falling forwards.  Generally that can be blamed on not stretching the FOE enough during application. The FOE neck application also suffers with an uneven join at the shoulder.  I hate the typical neck application of leaving one shoulder unsewn and stitching around the neckline. You are suppose to finish by stitching the open shoulder closed. I know it can be done. Neatly. Perfectly. Done. I’ve seen it in RTW.  Even had a few people encourage me to keep trying. Invariably my edges will slip.  This time I had 3 pins in that sucker.  3 pins in less that 1/2″ of an FOE sandwich. I didn’t pull the pins until the needle was about to piece them. I bent pins.  The join is off by about 1/16″. Enough I can tell and be pissed.

I did a little better with the FOE sleeve hem application but I had wanted that to cup in a bit more. Oh and the joins were still slightly off.

So during the ‘photo shoot’ I was looking and wondering what corrective action I could take.  I’m thinking some darts at the front would fix the gaping.  Mirror on the sleeves and they might cup they way I want. Problem for me will be how to keep the edges of the FOE even during stitching.

For now it is what it is; which is my 2nd Tee in my Spring 6PAC.


Whup! Whup! 4 done; 2 to go!!!!

2017 6PAC: First Sewn Garment

Not surprisingly is the blouse variation of the Fit For Art Jacket

My fabric is an IKAT print on peach skin.    I love the colors and prints; the drape and ease of handling during construction as well as the laundry-friendly  characteristic.

Hope you can see how well the right side fits.  No big V’s meeting along the side seam.  No big drapes visible from side view.  Especially note that the hem is level. I cut both shoulders the same. When sewing, I stitched the right shoulder 1/8″ deeper.

Even the back is devoid of drag lines.  The back does feel  a little tight when I extend my arms forward.  Before I hang the blouse in my closet, I will set out the back seams 1/8″ between shoulder and top of the side panel.  Just giving myself a little reaching room.  I think this confirmation that every fabric will need its own accommodations. The rayon test garment felt fine across the back. It too did not stretch. Other than fiber (peach skin vs rayon) and hem length (overall length  is 1.25″ shorter) there are no other differences.

L-o-v-e these button:

Can’t tell you exactly when or where purchased, but the buttons were purchased before the fabric.  I knew they were one of my colors and purchased with the hope that someday I could use them.


Blouse #1 of my Spring 2017 6PAC:  D O N E!!

TRB: The Reveal

Yes I finished! I am pleased but noted some interesting discrepancies between fitting and the final garment. l

Well not the back. The back is about the same.  Even in a medium (instead of the large used for the Jacket) the blouse is roomy.  I am using the flared side panel, which I probably won’t use in the future. Also I blended between medium and large at he hip. Possibly that will go away.   I am pleased that rotated the RBA to the shoulders worked so well. There is a possibility that a curvy body needs garment curves to at exactly the right place. IOW, darts they may not be moved elsewhere when they are needed at a specific place. Feel like I got lucky this time.

I’m a bit confused by the final side views above. Their drag lines are hardly visible in the fitting photos below.

Should I assume I need to fix something or that maybe I stretched something during the final stitching?  I do agree that I probably need to do more for my right shoulder which is lower than the left.

Also the sleeves seem a bit long but when I bend my arm, I like the length.

I love the front view

Although I have some questions. For example why is the bust dart (red arrow) so much lower than my bust (green arrow)?

I’m inclined to just ignore this discrepancy because it seems to work with this roomy blouse.

My last discrepancy has to do with the neckline depth

If I’d put my button right across from my apex, which is my preferred 2nd button, the first button spaced at 2.5″ would have been dangling at the neck edge. I considered a 2″ spacing which would have worked but required 7 button and looked off. I don’t know. Crowded? Excessive? That many buttons on this fabric, spaced that closely together upset my sense of balance.

So am I going to wear this?  YOU BET!  I do plan to shorten the sleeve 3/4″ and raise the neckline about 3/4″.  I will do that immediately.  Using the straight or flared panel will always be an option depending upon the fabric I’m using at the time.  Over all length is also subject to the current garment.  While this tunic length has its own loveliness, I see no reason why I could not shorten up to 2″ on whatever whim. As for removing the blending from medium to large at the hip? That’s a probably future event. I’m just not in a hurry to get it done. I like the roomy look.

Once again, I’d like to reiterate that the purchase of the Shirt Variations was a good choice for me. While I”m glad I went through the process of drafting a moulage, (it was a game changer for me), I still don’t like drafting patterns. I tolerate made alterations.  I will make easy minor changes such as a neckline or hem length variation. But I didn’t have to. Fit For Art spared me the entire awful experience of drafting a blouse based on the jacket pattern. But I can understand someone would skip the purchase if short on money or  loving the drafting experience.  Each to their own. This was a good experience for me.

Tabula Rasa Shirt Variations

I realized at the first fitting of the jacket, that I wanted help converting it to a blouse. I ordered the Shirt Variations immediately and continue to finish my first TRJ.  Usually my orders from PR take close to a week. I was pleasantly surprised when the package arrived about 3 days later.   I read the directions and looked at the pattern pieces.  Now if anyone wants to say $12 plus $5 shipping is a bit high, I agree. I purchased through Pattern Review because, thank God, I’ve been ordering through them for years, long before whatever validating programs have swept the on-line retail market causing so many places, Fit For Art included, to reject my address and thereby my orders. I’ll stop there because that’s a long story of its own but please don’t tell me to purchase direct from FFA. They won’t let me.

So what did I get for $12

  • Huge booklet of instructions. Well 8×11 sized pages  that were folded in half; and quite a few to page though I   didn’t count.
  • 2 sets of pattern pieces – 1 for sizes L to 3XL the other sizes L-XS which include
    • curved cuff
    • stand up collar
    • flat collar
    • back facing
    • front facing
    • front template

Because of all the fitting changes I need, I never use someone else’s facings. I always alter my pattern and then copy the pattern to make facings. With shirts/blouses I rarely use the back facing. I prefer bindings That makes 2 less pieces (back facing and front facing) applicable to me and  I won’t even trace.  I’m unlikely to use the stand up collar or the curved cuff.  I might someday but cuffs are so easy to draft and I rarely, like almost never, use a stand-up collar. I don’t like the way a stand-up collar rubs my neck. So that’s 2 less pieces for me and again, I didn’t trace . I in fact paid $17 for

  • Booklet of instructions.
  • flat collar
  • front template

It seems like a lot of $$ for what I’m actually going to use and I’m reconsidering my interest in the other FFA variation packages. Despite the cost and the inclusion of pieces I’m probably never going to use in the end, I am pleased. Why?  Because it made conversion from jacket to button front blouse incredibly easy. Just incredibly.

I traced a size medium blending to a large at the hip. Yep back to the original pattern and trace it once again because I had decided the size large makes a nice jacket but seemed a little large for a typical blouse. I also traced the flared side panel. It’s so easy to make that into a straight panel but to start with I wanted to be sure I had enough ease across my rear.  Next, put the jacket pattern  away and pull out the variations pattern. Trace the flat collar . Slide the medium Blouse Front Template beneath the jacket front tracing and added the appropriate lines.

It was amazingly easy. No measuring or pulling out the curve. Just slide the template into place and trace.  I moved from the drafting stage, which I don’t want to do, in seconds.

I still needed fitting alterations so the size medium just traced I made

  1. 3/4″ shoulder slope. That’s an increase of 1/8″ which I did because I still had a hint of back diagonals.
  2. 5/8″ RBA rotated to the shoulder.  FFA recommends rotating to the neck. I resist working with the neck as much as possible. It’s far to easy to stretch out of shape. Besides rotating to the neck looks like you don’t really know what you are doing. Rotating to the shoulder is the golden standard. There is a possibility, strong possibility, that the shoulder dart can be moved to the shoulder-neck or shoulder-armscye. I’m taking this one step at a time. While the experts seem to think a dart can be moved anywhere, my personal experience says there is a limit.  I want to know if, when and where these changes go wrong. So I make changes step by step. Rotate to the neck worked.Now I want to know if I can successfully  rotate to shoulder.
  3. 1/4″ lower back dart. Not sure what else to call that.  I’m very round and need a back dart opposite the bust dart.  I’m always bemused that it works because I have to make the side seams match and so immediately
  4. 1/4″ added to the back seam length at the hem.
  5. Increased length of front, back and side panel 2.5″
  6. Decreased that long sleeve cap 1/2″.  That may not be enough. I walked it and it seems enough but I removed 1.5″ (3/4 on front armscye and 3/4″ on back armscye).  Because I removed 1.5″ length from the armscyes I should need to either remove 1.5″ from the sleeve cap or add some back to the armscyes.  Sigh, ATM I’m doing what I can measure and not relying on mathematics alone.

It seems like a lot of alterations but there could be more.  I haven’t narrowed the shoulder. I measure the medium shoulder, subtracted the seam allowances and decided not to do an NSA, yet.  I also did not make a BWL (back waist length adjustment). Both adjustments are like 2nd nature to me. I nearly always need an NSA. The BWL is nearly always needed if there is any side seam shaping.  There is slight shaping along the side seams but I haven’t needed the BWL for either the Tee or Jacket. For now, I’m not doing a BWL, yet.

A quick walk of the seams and I proceeded to stare at the stash.  I’ve got enough fabric to set up shop in a 3rd world country. But when it comes time to choose a test fabric I stare and stare and stare.  I want this test fabric to have a similar weave, drape and weight of the fabrics I’d commonly select for blouses. For me that’s rayons and most cottons. I’ve got nothing in the muslin pile.  Either the fabrics are too heavy and stiff or they are knits.  The wrong knits. I couldn’t use most of them for musling the Tee. So I’m staring at the regular stash looking for a sacrificial fabric that will make a good muslin. That means no knits,no strip matching; no dark fabrics. Some of the fabrics I just can’t sacrifice.  I really want to wear them. Finally I do find a 2.5 yard by 60″ wide rayon.  Purchased 13 years ago, the print is slightly outdated.  But I love the colors and the rayon is exactly what I want to test. So rayon it is.


Tune in tomorrow when I test the fit.




Tabula Rasa JACKET

A hunt through my stash for fabric completely changed the my thinking since I did the pattern comparison on Feb 27.   I discovered a voile/lawn fabric languishing in my resources room for about 20 years. Lined or unlined it would make a nice blouse. It’s too transparent to be worn unlined, unless used as an over blouse or jacket. Ah perfect! Instead of immediately trying to convert this pattern to a blouse, I decided to trace and cut the size large jacket. 

I made few changes to the large tracing.

  • I traced the A-B cup even though I successfully used the C cup front on the T.  I’m just not certain that the C-cup did anything for  my barely-B cup body.
  • I immediately made a 5/8″ slope adjustment to the shoulders
  • Added a 1/2″ RBA rotating the RBA to the neckline darts as per Fit-For-Art’s instructions and video(I apologize I lost the link.  When I find it again, I will update this page.)
  • Learning from my previous issues with the T, I made two 5/8″ darts in the sleeve cap to offset the changes made to the shoulder slope.

This is the kind of fabric that kind stretch out of shape before you get to the sewing machine . My first step was reinforcing necklines and shoulder seams with bias tape.  I’m using the flared side panel because I think it has a slightly feminine effect and decided to further that by adding trim along the neck-band.  I skipped the WST this time choosing to baste with 4mm stitches all the seams at the 5/8″ designated seam allowance before the first try on.

The first try-on said I was very close.  I need shoulder pads. I waffled because they can be seen in this fabric. My standard is adding 1/4-3/8″  shoulder pads to my blouses. I think my blouses look much better with shoulder pads.  Without the shoulder pads 2 deep diagonal form. The diagonals that indicate shoulder slope or round back adjustments are needed.

otherwise, as a jacket or 3rd layer, I think the fit is fine. I proceeded to finish without further adjustments and I was able to spend extra time trimming the band

I attached a 3/4″ wide lace and couched a decorative thread on the public side.  Ran out of lace, so on the private side I skipped the lace but couched the decorative thread.  When the jacket is worn, it is rolled at the collar and trim shows whether looking at the public or private sides.

This was a 2 day project (each session taking about 4 hours).  I half-way expected success because of FFA’s instructions to make the same changes to both jacket and T. Still I was delighted to find out they told the truth.


So, I’m not wild about the final garment. It’s OK b-u-t

I really don’t like the shoulder pads showing.  It’s a fit issue. I need the shoulder pads. Will want the pattern to stay drafted for shoulder pads for other garments. This lawn/voile, not a good idea.  The fabric clings.  It is an over-garment that doesn’t want to go over. During pics, I realized the sleeve is  too long.

It’s in the magic closet for now.  There are weeks to go  before I would choose the wear this ‘jacket’. Despite the pics above, I do think it fits and works as a jacket.

I’m really glad I made the jacket version and didn’t try to immediately make a blouse.  I realize that it’s going to take more than just adjusting the circumference to make the jacket into a blouse. While I don’t anticipate buying the sleeve and cuff variations, I did order the Shirt Variations which will make it easier to transition the pattern to a blouse.   I might order the Rain or Shine Variations and the Sporty Details the later for the instructions on narrowing the pant leg something that I fail at repeatedly.  I’m almost sad FFA doesn’t offer more variations and more patterns.  I think this pattern line really does accommodate my curves.  I like the idea of buying a pattern for which I won’t need massive alterations.



  • Changes made:
    • Trace Size Large
    • 1/2″ RBA rotated to neck darts
    • Shoulder slope increase 5/8″
  • To do:
    • Narrow shoulder adjustment 1/2″
    • Trim seam allowances to my standard 1/4″ and 1/2″
    • Shorten sleeve 1.5″




TRT: Slinky

I started this Tabula Rasa Tee just before receiving my Silhouette 195 pattern.  I was going to finish the TRT then start fitting 195 but I made neckline mistake. Maybe not really my mistake. The elastic I chose to finish the neck edge frayed required unpicking.  Unpicking is not a chore I look forward to ever. It was particularly distasteful now because I had stitched on black lace elastic and top stitched with black thread.   I decided to take a little break and fit 195. I anticipated 2 days. The break stretched into 2 weeks. All my thoughts were stale when I returned to finish my T.  I had chosen to test the TRT with a slinky fabric.

Wit the yellow mess I had converted and tested the back which contains a 1/2″ RBA that has been rotated to neckline darts.  The yellow mess was a loss, but I was confident that the alteration would remove all the last, back wrinkles; and it did even with this slinky

There is a little something going on underneath the left shoulder. That’s unusual but I don’t think I’m going to worry because both sides are perfect


The little bulge at the waist, is my belt buckle.  It might behoove me to wear a pant that does not require a belt when wearing slinky.

The sleeve is good.  It could be a little tighter and a little shorter. The lace applique (which I will share in a subsequent post) is not showing as well as I’d like.

With its FOE neckline finish, the front is equally lovely

BTW, I didn’t unpick. I trimmed the previous finish away. Smoothed the curve and then applied the FOE.

At the time I cut this fabric, I offset the front and back pieces 1/4″ from the fold.  This removed a total 1″ circumference.  When it came time to sew the side/sleeve unit to the front/back, I got cold feet. What if I had removed too much ease?  I serged those long seams then tried it on to check fit.  I was relieved to see the shoulders were too wide, the sleeve too long and the garment definitely in need of the 1/2″ seam allowances I had planned. I returned to the SM, stitched those long seams with a 1/2″ seam allowance then turned up the bottom hem and cover stitched it.  My initial change (less 1″ ease) is a success at least during fitting.  This is a fairly new fabric. Think it’s been in-stash only 3 years.  So I’m not entirely sure how this slinky will act.  Will it stretch much length wise? Continue to grow like slinkies of old?  I don’t know until I wear it for a while.  So I like this garment but the jury is still out because I won’t know how the fabric behaves until I’ve worn it at least once.



  • Summary of pattern changes
    • Off set front and back 1/4″ from fold
  • Proposed changes
    • Back/Front
      • Length -1/2″
    • Sleeve
    • Length -1/2″
    • Circumference -1/2″


Muslin 2

I dwaddled and delayed making needed tweaks. I was unsure.

Fitting is somewhat like diagnosing a bodily illness. Sure, when you show up at the hospital with a bone sticking out, they know pretty quickly what to do. But when you show up saying, “I hurt all over and I’m just so exhausted”, it takes medical staff a little longer. Truth is our bodies have only so many obvious symptoms that we report: pain, inflammation, unusual bodily bumps and a few more but not many.  Medical personal have to start putting together what they know about the body with what you are telling them.  Oh and there’s that thing called referred pain.  I know about that.  I showed up at the dentist office having made an appointment a few days earlier.  Only now I’m in pain. He asks me “So what’s this about pain?” I reply “I know this tooth chipped. That’s when I made the appointment.  I can see the tooth is chipped. But it’s the tooth directly opposite that hurts.”  That’s when he told me about referred pain.

Our fitting diagnoses can also take a circular route.  They say ‘read the wrinkles’ and ‘the wrinkles point at the issue”.  I’ve noticed, thought, that the wrinkles have two ends which point.  How can I be sure, for example a wrinkle from the front crotch is pointing to a short front crotch, a full front thigh, or a short back crotch?  Give up?  On me it’s nearly always a short back crotch!  So I look at the wrinkles on my 195 top. I’ve made the obvious corrections the usual amounts. Am I still looking at obvious causes? Or should I be considering something else?

I really had to agreed that these:


looked like a needed RBA.  I was puzzled and hesitant because the downward diagonal didn’t seem to be accompanied by fabric stretch across the center back.  I had a 1/2″ CB seam (added for the purpose of making an RBA) and decided to use it to test.  I restitched that seam so that it curved from neck  out to cross back and returned to waist.   I increased the width at the cross back 1/2″.  Did that work?

Unfortunately that would be a “no”. The same diagonals are present from shoulder-blade to side seam at the hip.

Perhaps not enough ease at the hip.  No pic above also shows the result of stitching the side seams at 1/4″ instead of 1/2″.  In fact letting out the seams was a mistake.  I altered my tissue for 1/2″ side seams.  At 1/2″ the front armscye is nice and smooth

Add a little more ease and the front armscyes are now gaping.

The sides views weren’t improved either.

So what’s next. I started by returned the side seams and center back to the 1/2″ seam depth I desired.  Perplexed, I measured the armscyes.  Measuring right at the edge (which I was thinking would be a nice place to wrap FOE), but not including seams allowances at the shoulder or side seam give me an 17-7/8 armscye. Measuring inward at the seam line as Peggy drafted, 19.5″.  My minimum armscye, the armscye I would want for leotards and scuba suits is 19.5. Ummm…  I opted to lower the armscye 1/2″ and take more pics.

Lowering the armscye had an interesting effect.  I lowered it 1/2″. That’s all. However, compare the two underarm pics

The underarm in the right hand pic (and looking at my right side underarm) is considerably lower than the left.  I measured.  I measured down from the underarm 1/2″ and redrew the sides to curve smoothly.  I trimmed the excess, then serge finished. It’s hard for me to understand why the underarm looks 1-1.5″ lower.

Good news is that the diagonal wrinkles, as seen in the side views,  are better

Not completely gone, but much lessened.  So what now.


Well, I wear sleeveless tops in spring, summer and fall. I never want a neckline that high during any of those seasons.  So I trimmed the neckline to the highest I will wear and I finished it with FOE. I didn’t have to finish it. But sometimes, I start something and I’m not satisfied until it is all the way done. Then I looked carefully at the back alterations I’ve made to previous garments.  This is not exactly a brand new fitting issue.  I drew a line across the back where I’ve previously altered the back and made 1/4″ darts at the sides which zero at CB.  It seems as though I need extra length at cross back, but then it’s too much length at the side only a few inches lower

My back photo caught me just removing my hands from settling the back into place. So, it

could be suspect.  Front and side however look really good even lightened 70%.

The final proof would be sewing up one of my pastel knits. Unfortunately, I’m not inclined to make another sleeveless garment at the moment.  Temps have once again dropped to the point photo sessions being uncomfortable. For now, I’m listing the accumulated changes

  • Size 5W across shoulders and armscyes; 7W down side seam
  • 1″ tuck above bust on both front and back pieces.
  • Shoulder slope increased to 1/2″ left, 3/4″ right
  • Decrease bust circumference 1.5″ starting at underarm zero on side seam 4″ lower
  • RBA 1/2″
  • Add 3/8″ seam allowance to CB
  • Cross bust dart 1/2″ at side seams, zero at 3″ towards CB.
  • Length add 2.5″ (1.25″ length, 1.25″ hem)
  • Lower underarm 1/4″ (may need to be increased)

I’m this close <>.  I count it a success, my first real success with fitting Silhouette Patterns. In the next few weeks the weather will warm and I will return to tweak my 195 sleeveless top.  For now, there are other things that need to be done.  If it stays cool long enough, I might take on the long sleeved top.