SP083 Collette’s One-Piece Wrap

At Silhouette’s last sell, I picked up  96, 75 and this on 83 Collette’s One-Piece Wrap

I recognize from the broadcasts that this is a shrug with a twist; spin; something different.  I thought it would be quick and easy. But you know, I can turn a molehill into a mountain without any effort at all.

The first place I stumbled was sizing. I’m expecting small medium large and maybe and XL (in women’s. I didn’t pay attention to the children’s.) To my surprise it is sized by waist

Full bust and Waist?  This thing doesn’t appear to go around your bust or  waist at all.  In fact the finished shrug will not close, the center fronts will not touch nor overlap even though one of the variations shown in the instructions shows both overlapped and belted. I tried.  So I’m looking at size wondering what I’m supposed to choose.  I decide upon XL because I buy XL or 1X in RTW. But I didn’t feel comfortable about my choice at all.

Next is fabric

If you can’t see that is says “Wool, cotton, sweater work….” OK this is such a simple shape. Fit is more a question of how much do I want it to drag in back or extend down the arms. I’ve got so many soft drapey fabrics I’d love to use in this shrug.  I thought to check and see if there were any PR reviews and what their thoughts might have been. Only 2 and one of them says she went up 2 sizes when using a wove fabric. I mean, I look at the list and think wovens is the first recommendation and here’s somebody saying “if you do it will be small.” So I limit my fabrics to sweater knits and pull out a lovely cream, tan variegated sweater knit which I happened to buy a few weeks ago when I was thinking of adding more Ruana’s to the closet.   My fabric is a polyester knit which surprises me to no end.  I should be used to the fact that poly is such a mimic.  It soft, comfy like a fine wool but washable. Yeah!

Then I befuddled myself over the pieces. Totally my fault. Couldn’t figure out why I had 3 body pieces and 1 trim.  Eventually by looking carefully at the labels and some pics on the internet I realized I was looking at 1-the children’s pattern (fold up and put away maybe forever) 2) adult long length 3) adult short length and the trim.

I chose to use the adult long. Then stumbled upon the fact my chosen fabric didn’t have 2.5 yards.  She’s not kidding. You must have that length for the women’s larger sizes. I’m not entirely convinced at this point that even the smaller sizes could be made on less that 2.5 yards. I recheck my fabric. I’ve got some cuts with 2.5 yards that would work very well but they are woven. I did not want to use a woven fabric until I was positive about the garment fit. I finally decide upon adding a center back seam which means I have 1 more seam

and my fabric is cut cross grain instead of with grain.

Oh forgot to mention the ‘ends’ problem.  Directions say to sew the ends together. Well I looked everywhere for the ends. Dummy me, I’m expecting something that says ends, or side seams. Nope. I’ve got a neck edge. A bottom. A CB on Fold. A ‘approximate fold’ line. No ends. No side seams.  There is a double notch on the side that has no other labels. I figure it’s got to be the ‘end’. After sewing my added CB seam, I sew these edges together and holy cow it turns out I’m right!  That was the ends.  Like I said, I can make a mountain of a mole hill.

This may not be the most flattering garment -shrugs seldom are- but it is the speediest.  It can be serged entirely, even if you add a back seam like I did.  I did a triple-zig zag stitch to hold the serged seams in place around the band and on the serged and turned-up armscye.  I think Peggy has really embraced the raw edge.  She suggest ‘you can’ finish the armscye after the garment is all put together by turning up once and stitch.  I serged the edge once I figured out it would be the armscye/hole way back there before stitching together the two back tabs — the place where she shows adding zippers.  I made a note on my pattern of 2 other times I could finish that edge and even add ribbing (right after cutting and again before stitching the lower and upper back i.e. zipper place).

I wore it immediately because heck you can but also I wanted to see why that PR reviewer thought it too small in a woven.  Even in the sweater knit, the armscyes bind. Really restricts movement and I too will be using 2 sizes larger for woven fabrics.

I didn’t want a bolero type garment and  chose the long deliberately but seeing this droop

I think I would try to short next time.

Also I’m disappointed that it won’t close center front.  I’ll have to think on that and see if there is a solution. One possibility is the trim. It is 4″ when folded in half.  Perhaps leaving it flat and serging just one edge to the body of the shrug would give me more coverage?  Might make it even wider than the 8″. 2nd possibility is choosing a larger size. There were a few more on the tissue. Problem with that choice is that I already dislike how the back puddles at the hem. A larger size would also mean a longer size.  Something to think about.

But I don’t want you to think I dislike this pattern or want to saying anything negative about Peggy.  I realize most the issues are my very own.   This is wonderfully quick and as I said can be totally a serger garment.  While not especially flattering, it isn’t ugly either. The nature of the shrug is a cuddly, undulating wrap of fabric. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to you and I definitely will be making it again for myself.


Re-Musling 195

I had an idea about Silhouette Patterns 195 (Sweater Set) that I wanted to try.  My thought was I chose the wrong size. I thought I fit the description of the W sized woman.  The W doesn’t have and never had large bone structure and height.  She’s not the mythical Amazonian but rather a regular sized female human who has gained padding over the years. Sounded just like me and so  I chose 5w at the shoulders merged out to 7w at waist and hips.

It worked. With effort but it worked. The biggest change was taking out length between shoulder and bust.  I’ve never had to either lengthen or shorten along that line. For the 5W I removed 2″.  After that it was expected changes. I tweaked the circumference and  sloped the shoulder. I altered for my asymmetrical shoulder during construction  and before the ‘real’ garments, added length at the hem just because I like my garments a little longer.  Then I made a couple of tank tops for summer. I was happy with 195 other than I really don’t like a french dart.

Then fall rolled around and I added the sleeve.  Yikes! What a disaster. I couldn’t believe all the drag lines.  What was worse, I couldn’t remove them.  I tried a second fabric ’cause I knows that the fabric always wins. Except it didn’t. 195 would not fit with sleeves added.  I was perplexed; puzzled; miffed a little. I set 195 aside and moved onto other and I might add successful projects.

But my clever left brain continued to puzzle over 195 eventually offering a possibility.  Start with the 4. Yeah drop back into the patterns not drafted to fit anything special*1.

So I did.

I traced a size 4 and added 1″ to the side seams added 5/8″ shoulder slope and 5/8″ RBA.  Should have added 1.5 at the side seams because subsequent  pattern changes were limited to letting out the side seam to 1/4″ and making the shoulder slope permanent.

I knew I wanted added length which had to be done at the tissue stage and I thought the sleeves were a bit floppy from elbow to wrist. So I finished my muslin (of polyester/cotton knit light-weight sweater fabric with  2-way, 75% stretch) and called it Pajama Top.

I looked twice at the side views. Really focused on the bust:

That dart insisted on forming in every picture, both right and left. Since I’m trying out things anyway, I decided to go up a cup size. I traced the B cup for the muslin above; now I traced the C cup pattern. Made my tissue alterations (summarized below) and cut into   ‘real ‘ fabric i.e. an rayon knit with a print and in colors I liked very well.

The first fit revealed, I had fixed everything except the right side V’s

I put it away overnight. I had tried pinching out the shoulder. Didn’t work. There is a limit to how much you can pick up at the shoulder. If this was one of my princess seam patterns I would have already altered and stitched the right side 1/8″ deeper than the left.  It’s like not only is my right shoulder lower, but the right side of me is slightly smaller. Or maybe the left is slightly stretched and bigger. I don’t really know. But I do need to change the right while the left will look perfect.

So solution 1 (pinching at the shoulder seam) was out of the running. As was Solution 2 (deepening the princess seams).  I considered adding darts where the princess seam would have been. I didn’t really want that look and moved along to Solution 3: Restoring the armscye. A pattern maker would have thought of this first. When the armscye is changed, (the 5/8″ shoulder slope) it affects the sleeve cap. The cap can be changed by an equal amount; the cap can be ignored and it will gather into the armscye; or the armscye needs to be restored.  If I restore the armscye i.e. change the armscye, I can’t unchange it. So if changing the armscye has not effect, I’ll still need to think some more. If changing it works, well “I’m in like Flynn”; but if changing the armscye makes those drag lines worse: I’m hosed. Because I can’t undo the armscye change I will have ruined a beautiful fabric.

I put my pattern piece back onto the right side and slid it down 1/4″. Cut the armscye to the new depth; repeat on back with back pattern piece.  Resulting in

A much improved right side!

So last change to the basic pattern is restoring the armscye.  Although I am wondering if I shoulder add length to the center front.  I usually need to do so except it doesn’t show up in every picture of the re-muslined SP195. Because it doesn’t, I don’t know if I have a front length problem, a camera angle issue or an editing issue.  This is one alteration that will have to wait for experience.

End analysis:  I’m very happy.  Many of the changes I made reflect my personal preferences and not the drafting of the pattern. In fact I made more small, personal style changes than I did fit alterations.  That’s a really good record.

BUT I still don’t love french darts.


*1 I practically hold up a silver cross anytime someone says ” I drafted this and it is perfect.  I’ve taken into account all the changes that need to be made for your problems and its perfect!  ”   Well, it never is perfect. As someone else pointed out it can’t be. There’s a whole tomb of fitting alterations that can’t possibly be applied to every pattern. Pattern makers listen to me:  never claim you’ve solved it all. You can’t be expected to deliver a pattern designed for square and at the same time sloped shoulders. And while asymmetrical shoulders are common, not everyone has them; nor are all are sloped evenly or the same amount. Quit making that ridiculous claim!


Net Pattern Alterations

  • Trace Size 4 regular
  • Add 1.5″ to side seams
  • Add 1″ to CF length
  • 5/8″ RBA
  • Shoulders
    • 5/8″ shoulder slope
    • +1/4″ for shoulder pads
  • Restore the armscye 3/8″ lower
  • +2.5″ length
  • Establish my standard SA
    • 1/4″ neckline, armscye, sleeve cap
    • 1-1/4″ hem
    • 1/2″ elsewhere
  • Sleeve
    • Trim 1″ from sleeve width at hem zeroing at underarm.
    • Stitch sleeve cap to armscye w/1/4″ SA but don’t change tissue.
    • Stitch underarm seam 1/2″; hem 1-1/4″

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.




TRT with Lace Hem

I had one goal in making this TRT: checking the fit after the Pink Lace Tee disappointed me with its drag lines. But I  may as well have a little fun too, eh?

My fabric is an ITY purchased I think about a year ago.  I like the blue color but was undecided about the print both when I purchased it and when it arrived. It just didn’t say me.  While I wasn’t thrilled about the fabric, I knew it would be an excellent test, being of the same fabric previously good TRT’s were constructed with, or if something is wrong with the pattern I won’t be upset if this doesn’t turn out well.

The fun bit is adding a 6″ lace to the bottom of the sleeves and hem.


Oh and adding a keyhole neckline.  There must be hundreds of ways to make and finish a keyhole, I have a whole Pinterest board of them. I chose to create the keyhole with a facing

and bind the edge of the neck, slip stitching across the open keyhole space.

I’m happy to say this fabric cut from the same exact pattern version as the Pink Lace fits as nicely as ever.

I’m also happy that the print looks nicer in garment form then it did as flat fabric.  I’m not entirely sure my blouse is finished, even though it needs no further stitching.  I’m looking at the visible proportion of lace to bodice.

I like the swish and fell but I think there is just too much visible lace.

or maybe not enough?

I’m also thinking, I might like a bit more shaping. Maybe some elastic at the waist?  Not sure and of course, if I don’t fix it soon, it will be like this until it goes into the trash.



PS I have the TRT down pat.  Even with the extra steps required for keyhole-neckline and lace hems, I had this done in 4 hours from start to finish. Yeah!  Love TNT’s!  Yeah!!!!


PPS Re Fitting:  I see hints of the issues which plagued me on the Pink Lace TRT.  Partly I think I have a posture issue in addition to one shoulder being lower than the other. It’s been noted that I may have one leg shorter than the other.  I never seem to be straight in the pics; always leaning slightly to one side.   I also tend to stand with my weight on one leg or the other.  When I purposely stand with the weight evenly on both hips/legs and feet about shoulder-width apart, the drag lines just don’t appear.  But, I do have unnecessary ease through the body of the garment.  I  want a little more ease. I want the garment to skim my tummy and hips doing no more than indicate I have such assets.  Also, this is a basic T-shirt design. It’s even named Tee which is derived from men’s Tee shirts which are unfitted (and men often wear one size too small in order to show off their own assets.) IOW it’s supposed to have excess ease. So far, I’ve worked on variations to the basic pattern. Now  I may work on introducing a little more shape. Just for fun. KWIM?

Tabula Rasa in Pink Lace

After struggling to fit (and not entirely succeeding) two pairs of jeans, I wanted an easy sew. Something in the cut, serge, wear genre. I pulled out my Tabula Rasa Tee pattern then looked at fabric. I talk about refolding the fabric stash as if it is some sort of chore. Truth is I like handling my fabrics and I find it helpful.  During that September Sewing Room Gussy I separated out the sheers. Mostly because they contain a lot of so-called sweater fabrics that are absolutely useless in the winter unless they are underline. In that stack was a beautiful pink, knit lace. 100% polyester and Yes I did know when I bought the lace would need consideration if it was to be any type of garment. My solution was pairing with another sheer, a pink cotton knit.

I cut the two fabrics separately i.e. I cut the all the pieces out of the pink knit first; repeat for the pink lace.  Then I placed the two layers together and serge finished all the edges. Because this is a pattern I’ve made many times before I don’t have much to say about the tissue changes.  I opted to use the back with the neck darts which I left unsewn. Wonder how that worked out? I modified a technique often used to snug up knit necklines using ribbing. For my lace, I used my Curve Runner to measure the back pattern piece

I multiplied that by 2 (full neck length) and then subtract the dart (3/8*2*2 dart leg width *2 legs * 2 darts).  Then end result was 8″.  So I laid out my  straight ruler and measured 8 inches. I don’t like to work with short fiddly lengths, so I didn’t cut the elastic right away. But I did mark it at the 8″ length and again at 4″ , the middle.

I pinned one end to the back neck and began stitching with a triple zig zag set at 3.5 wide After a few stitches, I stretched the elastic so the first mark matched the center back

I stitched up to the center mark, then stretched the elastic again all the way to the other end of the neck; finished stitching; and cut the excess elastic.  The neck gathers slightly when the elastic is relaxed

I stitched shoulders together and bound the neckline edge. Totally finished:

So the back neck is not totally smooth as it would be had I stitched the darts. But it isn’t gaping  and I don’t have  a bulky dart back there, which is what I feared the two layers of fabric would create. Especially since I planned to bind the neckline. Yuck, I would have had darts of 4 layers covered by binding of two which wraps down, up and over. Another 6 layers. 10 total over each dart. Nope didn’t want that. I prefer the not perfectly smooth.

The 2nd fabric was way to wimpy for the cuffs or the neckline binding. I had to make the binding two layers using a 3rd fabric to underline the binding. Confusing? It’s nice to have a stash to find such solutions.  I didn’t really want to leave the lace at any of the edges which receive hard wear. Although I did for the hem. At the hem, I simply turned up my usual 1-1/4″ and machine blind stitched.

I’m not entirely happy with the fit this time.  Since I’ve loved every version of the Tabula Rasa T up to this lace, I’m blaming either the fabric or the duo layering.

It’s possible I just don’t have the garment sitting on my shoulders properly. I’ve never had the TRT lifting in the front or the drag lines visible in all 4 pics.

I’m not getting too worked up about fit because I don’t think this sweater will be wearable more than once or twice. In fact now finished, I asked myself why did I buy this fabric at all. I know without a doubt it will snag. It will get caught on things.  I’m just going to enjoy its beauty while I can and toss it the first time it gets badly snagged.


Fitting with a PSA

 reminder PSA= Princess Seam Alteration

Fitting went surprisingly well. First off, I expected to rip a few seams. So I cut fabric, ran to the serger and serge finished because, this is fabric that ravels like the devil.  I serged the center back seam. Swapped out the bobbin for water-soluble thread, joined the upper bodice and skirt. Put the regular bobbin back in and joined the shoulders. I stitched the right shoulder 1/4″ deeper than the left. Then remembering the issues with the Mashup, I stitched the left shoulder at 3/8″ and the right at 5/8″. I attached the facing also using permanent stitching; then swapped out for WST before basting the side seams. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the mirrors reflection. Made no changes, just took pics and trotted up stairs.

Keep this in mind when looking at the pics 1) I don’t think I have the shoulders square on my body; and (2) I already have 1/4″ shoulder pads pinned into place.

I’m seeing a little bit of drooping but not big V’s. Oddly, I’m seeing more on the left than the right. The blouse feels comfortable so I’m reluctant to take in the side seams. It will be difficult to work on the shoulders a bit more, but I will try before the final.

I also see the right side swinging forward at the front hemline.  That usually indicates additional ease is needed in front. I’m surprised but yes I can offset the seams a little now and add more tissue to the pattern later.  The empire does seem to be rising in front. I tend to think that’s because I don’t have the shoulders sitting properly. Honestly, I’m hoping that goes away because I can’t fix it now. Adding length had to be done way back at the tissue stage.  (I took all length away in the skirt. The upper bodice length was untouched.)

I’m seeing the same divot (don’t know what to call it really) on the left back as I did before. I note that I’ve pinned my shoulder pads into place and the pin is placed exactly where the divot starts on my shoulder.  I realize I have several things going on here. The pins restricting the fabric, the shoulder of the blouse not square on my own; the question of were the PSA’s deep enough; and has this oddity been showing up before without my noting? Is this the aging body that I’m ignoring?

When I take pics, due to my limitations, I always end up rotating the pics. Which I never do perfectly. I only come close. For starters I don’t think I rotated this pic at all. I’m still aware that the shoulder are not sitting squarely but can’t help but notice that the front left seems to have at least an echo of back left divot. Apparently I need to do more with the left. Which is surprising to me because it is my right shoulder which is obviously lower and always requires the extra consideration.

BUT did you notice, I’m nit-picking? Little things. Not numerous V’s on the side. Not necklines nor armscyes that expose my underwear.  Not a single big complaint. By golly, I’m going to wear this!

Now was the time to consider the sleeves.  I knew I needed to shorten the sleeve cap. Also that the medium sleeve was comfortable and did not need extra ease. So I cut the sleeve at a size medium and serged  to the armscye (just after I deepened both shoulder seams 1/4″).  With some hesitance, I did not stitch the sleeve at 5/8″, only the 1/4″ of the serged seam. Firstly, I had a lot of sleeve cap to gather to the armscye and while the serger did this  easily, I’m not sure I can repeat the pleat-free stitching at the sewing machine. As for all the cap length, simply removing the size-large, side, seam-allowance was not enough and will still need to be adjusted.

When I stitched the side seams, I offset the front (beginning at the empire seam down to the hem) so that the seam would be 1/4″ deep for front but 1/2″ deep for back.  I again added my quick vents to the side seams.  Louise’s mitered vents are lovely and not very time-consuming when you have all the seam allowances the right width. Today, I’ve got wonky seam allowances and don’t really want to invest the additional time needed to miter each corner (which can be done even with differing seam allowances).  I did a number of other finishing touches, such as securing the back facing with SAS and then top stitching.  I did not cut the vent in the sleeve. Mostly because I used that on the two previous blouses just finished. This time I made a narrow hem.

I pinned the front lapels in place and steamed them to create a permanent crease. Unfortunately, I forgot to remove the pins before photos.  Full disclosure here:  In the past, I’ve done the same thing when ironing freshly laundered blouses and then wondered why my blouse kept pricking me during wear. Onto Final Pics:

Right side view looks perfect (not even the front hem is swinging forward). Left still showing drag lines below bust. I may  need to adjust the shoulder slope more than the 1/8″ I thought I was seeing when I compared patterns.

I’m not sure about the empire line rising center front.  I still don’t have the shoulders resting comfortably on my own  and they slop about a bit. So is the issue due to needing more length or needing a more secure shoulder?

Increasing the shoulder seam to 5/8″ helped greatly with the divot I was seeing before. It’s more of a suggestion which I might ignore. Do note though, how the shoulders are not sitting evenly. It seems to be sliding to the left and the right neckline is closer to my neck than the left neckline. It is sloping about.  My first corrective effort will be increasing the shoulder slope. Oddly, I don’t think I want to trim the armscye or sleeve cap down to 1/4″ my preferred seam allowance.  I’m liking where this slightly dropped shoulder is sitting.  I want to keep it that way. No idea why the hem is bending in. It just is.

I offset the front side seams because I thought I needed more ease. Now, I just don’t think so. But I’ve already added tissue to front pattern piece (thereby more ease to future versions) and besides while I’d like to blame the shoulder situation, insufficient ease really might be the issue of the front swinging forward in the first set of pics.

What is most important about this blouse is the fact MY PRINCESS SEAM ALTERATIONS WORKED!!.  They need increasing i.e. the 3/8 and 1/2″ PSA were not deep enough, I’m thinking 1/2 and 5/8 next time. But honestly,  I’m jumping around and dancing. This means I know what to do to fit my patterns which don’t have princess seams. I couldn’t be happier.

******* Alterations next version

  • Shoulders
    • Increase slope to 5/8
    • Trim seam allowance to  3/8″
  • Increase the back and front PSA to 1/2″ and 5/8″ respectively
  • Sleeve cap need sto be shortened at least another 1″ divided front/back