Not intended for Holiday Dressing but

Seriously, I was thinking ‘pretty’ when I bought the lace.

I was shopping Ebay for lace to hem the Up Cycles when I saw this lace yoke. I know these are all done by machine now but it took me back to my younger years when they were done by hand by little old ladies in Prague. Back then they were horribly expensive and I could only drool over such beauties.

My Ebay vendor is apparently also a Etsy vendor located in the US and so my laces arrived quickly. After finishing  Up Cycles, I pulled out an ink blue slinky fabric and SP195, Peggy Sagers Sweater Set.

I don’t buy into the advice to ‘just stitch the seams deeper’ that is  often given when someone wants to make a knit garment with a woven pattern and again when someone wants to use a normal-knit pattern with slinky fabric.  I don’t go there because I’ve already been bitten.  One of my first experiences with Slinky was a lovely Copenhagen blue that fit modestly at the neck when I set off for work.  By noon time, I was pushing back the shoulders and grabbing the neckline every time I needed to bend forward. By quitting time I was wearing my reserved-for-the-computer-room cardigan to preserve some of my modesty. The slinky top was in the trash as soon as I arrived at home.  Over the years, I’ve heard of people leaving Slinky to hang for a week before hemming; and wearing it twice at home before wearing in public; or just flat avoiding any  fabric with 100% stretch. Fortunately the manufactures have worked on this issue and recovery has been  much improved. But I still want to start with a pattern fit for a well-behaved Slinky.

I copied my now very-nicely fitting SP195 (do you see me glowing with pride?)  and made a few pattern changes on  front , back and sleeve.

    • 1/8″ tuck across the upper bodice though the armscye.
    • 1/4″ tuck across the abdomen
    • 1/4″ vertically bisecting the neck and leaving the shoulder unchanged.
    • 1/2″ horizontal tuck across the sleeve

That is only part of the reason this top took 3 sewing sessions.  The lace was the other factor.  I cut the front and carefully pinned the lace to the upper bodice.  Then I stitched following the lace design.  Often, I broke the stitching because not doing so would have been obvious. I stitched slowly, lifting the foot often to allow the slinky to recover and to turn around those curves.  Across the bottom of the lace (and bodice), I made 2 horizontal bands of stitching which attached the lace to the bodice. Then I took the front to the bathroom mirror to see how much of the upper bodice I could cut away. I was a little surprised but not unhappy that all but the lower triangles/scallops (which were stitched to the Slinky) could be cut away.

I tackled the back next. I keep the CB seam because it is truly easy to just serge it instead of converting and stitching back darts.  For this blouse I was even more pleased because I wanted a back opening

I serged from bottom to with 3″ of the top. Pressed the remaining unserged edges to the sides and top stitched them in place.  I added a hair elastic cut in half for my button elastic before proceeding to stitch the shoulders.

Shoulders of the lace are pretty square. Mine are not. Between my natural slope and round back, mine are 5/8″ lower at the sleeve edge.  I carefully aligned the back over the front with the sleeve edge of the lace sticking up above; and then stitched using the back for my guide. Once done, I serged the back neck, turned it to the inside and top stitched.  The shoulder was folded towards the back and my top stitching caught the shoulder and held it at the neck edge. Once that was done, I turned to the sleeves.

Well, I forgot to mention that while I was working on the pattern and attaching the lace to the front bodice, I had my PE770 running in the back ground producing two motifs for the sleeves

I aligned these center and 4.5″ above the cut sleeve-hem edge; then zig zagged around the outside edge. Unlike the Lace Insets done in March, I did not trim away any of the sleeve fabric. I hemmed the sleeves at the cover stitch; then serged them to the bodice catching the lace armscye and securing it to the sleeve.

I thought for a bit here and decided to serge the side seams before checking fit. A good decision.  I found that the bodice length, was almost too short and that was before hemming. Sleeve circumference and length is fine.  I’m not sure about bodice circumference.  I thought I would need follow-up the 1/4″  serged side seam with a stitched 1/2″ seam (reducing circumference by 1″) . As of the fitting, it looks fine. Question is what will this look like after it’s worn for an hour? Or more?

On the pattern I ripped out the bodice tuck (front and back) over the abdomen area. That will give me enough length for a hem in future garments. This hem I had to think a sec before deciding to finish with wooly nylon— for now (DH’s famous last words)

It gives me a finished hem now and later should I decide my blouse needs to be hemmed shorter, I have a finished edge for a turned up hem.

My only other criticism is that the front hem is rising like a hot air balloon.

OK not that bad but this isn’t the first time I’ve seen the upward tilt of the front hem.  I decided to fix the pattern and added 1″ length  at CF tapering to 0 at the sides for the next iteration. (Did the same to the  base fitted pattern.)

When finished I said “Holy Crap! This is not just pretty, it is dressy!” . So it too gets added to the Holiday Dressing even though  I didn’t start with that intention.




Holiday Dressing SP 314

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

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

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

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

Love the  side views


and the front is sweet

But if anything the back looks like a mistake

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

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


Umm should work on a complimentary wrap too, donchatink?

Holiday Dressing: Skirt

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

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

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

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

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

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


Umm, let’s continue this discussion tomorrow.

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.