Two Rectangles

I really don’t want to draft or drape patterns. Both drafting and draping require so many decisions on minute details; and using myself as the intended wearer complicates matters. To use myself (which is who I sew for) I must measure myself or drape fabric on myself and pinch. As soon as I move my arm to measure or pinch, I have altered what needs to be measured or pinched. So every measure and pinch is always an estimate that must be corrected later; and these estimates-to-be-corrected accumulate until the shape I’m trying to achieve is horribly distorted. Nonetheless, I cut two rectangles 32″ wide and 34″ long and started draping b-e-c-a-u-s-e pattern drafting definitely didn’t work for me and the normal select-a-pattern-and-make-slight-alterations, isn’t either.

I used what is called “sheeting” but you wouldn’t put it on your bed. It is a light weight, cotton-poly blend that makes wonderful summer blouses. This is a Walmart fabric from long ago. It’s unusual mint-green shade has side-lined it for many years. I decided it would make a fine muslin and do like it as muslin. It holds it’s shape neither clinging to my body or standing out at great angles.  I rough cut a neckline. Hoping for large enough to slip over my head (and avoid a back zipper) but small enough to not slide around on my shoulders.  I fused stay tape about 1″ from the top edge for shoulders and along the necklines.  I assumed these pieces would get lots of handling and need help maintaining their shape. Before stitching shoulder together, I marked horizontal balance lines every 3.5″ on both pieces. I chose 3.5″ because I have a ruler that is 3.5″ wide.

At the machine I’m using a 3.o mm straight stitch and water-soluble thread in the bobbin.  My top thread is whatever partial spools of thread on-hand. This works really well. I’m clearing out spools of thread that are decades old and with the WST in the bobbin, seams rip out in a flash. I just grab the top thread and pull.

So I taped shoulders and necklines, stitched shoulder and tried on my potato sack:

I’m not surprised that this looks like a potato sack and I look like an escapee from Bedlam. I’m not even surprised to see the front HBL’s rising at an upward angle while the back HBL’s are (visually) horizontal.  This has 20″ ease across the bust and 18 at the hip. I should look like a sack o’ ‘taters. What I was surprised at is where the shoulder line sits:

Unless I really misunderstand fit, my shoulder is clearly forward of the shoulder seam. Is the back too short? Or the front too long?  Well I finally got my CLD CD’s (yeah) and Louise says the solution is (usually) remove 5/8″ from the front and add to the back. So I did.  First I added 1/2″ then I added 1″ and jumped to 2″ . Didn’t help.

Well I haven’t trimmed anything and this wasn’t working so why not try the reverse, add to the front shoulder?

Adding 1, 1.5, 2″ to front shoulder


Wow no help. In fact my ‘tater sack looks worse. It is clearly developing bust issues.  You are seeing 9 pictures (before and each incremental change to the shoulder). But it took me 4 hours to get this far. Enough for one day. I return the shoulder to its default and close the sewing room.

I return the next day and decide since the obvious is that I need, really need more length over the bust, I should start there(and return to the shoulder when I get smarter.)  I also start taking in the sides, reducing the total circumference; and chipping away at the shoulder length. I figure the shoulder needs to be sloped but can’t tell how much when it is 10″ too long.  I figured adding to the top of the shoulder didn’t work and between 1 and 2 was a big gap for a neck, so the place to add was between HBL 2 and 3 (counting from the shoulder).  I stitched a 5″ wide strip of sheeting just below HBL 2 and slashed the muslin just above HBL 3. Tried on my ‘tater sack  and pinned the strip along the bottom edge of the now opened slash .

I expected the front HBL’s to be nearly level, I didn’t expect the shoulder to slide into place! While the slash could be spread more, I wanted to trim out the armscyes and see my muslin in a fairly “blouse” type shape:

At this point I said “Oh my gosh! I’ve draped the HAF top. I pulled out my HAF pattern pieces and compared. My pattern has a bust dart right about where I need to extend the slash. My muslin is 1/4″ taller at the shoulder seam.  Neither have sloped shoulders.  My muslin also has more ease but I hadn’t finished working on circumference.  In fact, take a look at this HAF from June 2014:

It’s a little shorter; could use a smidge of ease across the rear.(If I remember correctly, the reason it looks snug is because I did not sew the vents as drafted) But I’m seeing the same excess ease at front neckline; similar shoulder width, etc etc.

So I stopped. I already have a very nicely drafted pattern that is the same shape as this muslin. I don’t see the point of continuing this particular exercise.

I did learn that

  • I must add length to the front above the bust. Which probably means that I need an armscye dart.  For me, the armscye dart  will be a fitting option, one I think is easier than an FBA.
  • My pinch and subsequent stitching needs to be directed towards achieving a specific shape. I kind of bumbled along thinking “Here’s a fold. Let’s pinch this out”. I wanted to create something like my Vintage Blouse pattern. However, my pinching choices were creating the HAF. Don’t get me wrong. The HAF is a favorite pattern of mine that I have and will use over and over again. But I like and want to make different styles, different details.  I have been accused of “being the most colorful dresser in the office” and “not conforming to any uniform”.  Since I was InformationTechnology, my dress was accepted and expected.  Almost like they needed me to be weird and different somehow. Like being weird inspired confidence that IT could do its job.

This is another topic (like the LNS vest) that I don’t know exactly where I’m going. I needed to document my experience for future reference. I think I want to explore adding length above the bust and controlling it with the armscye dart.  I’ve made peace with my age and figure. I do not expect to look like any Hollywood starlet. I didn’t buy DG2 jeans, until I saw a model with nearly my exact figure parading around on HSN (or was that QVC?)  OTOH, I know that while I’m not starlet shaped, I’m also not horribly disfigured. I do not need major surgery; definitely not considering cosmetic surgery.  I am aging normally albeit (gratefully) slowly.  I compare myself to my grandmothers, mother and aunts. I know that I look 20 years younger than they did when they were my age.  I know that my figure is partly a result of my hereditary factors as well as environmental . IOW I’ve got more padding because more food is available to me but I put on weight very similarly to my immediate ancestors (grandmother, mother, aunts).  This was a good lesson. Now, I’m back to slashing and spreading patterns–at least until I have time to think about and apply what I’ve learned from draping.


LNS Vest

I admit to being totally star struck by Louise Cuttings latest pattern Light and Shadow

I also need a break from serious fitting.  The Vest, I thought, would be excellent . No major fitting issues. Just sew to my heart’s content. And I did.  I mitered corners and top-stitched with abandon.

Used Bias tape to finish edges (which were also top stitched with shiny rayon thread.)

I chose not to use the cowl.  I only had 1.25 yards of 60″ wide fabric. The cowl would not fit.  I could have done some color blocking. Used a different fabric for the back or one of the fronts. But all winter I found I could not wear my tops with big collars. I flushed and perspired like I was going through the change again. This garment has nearly 2 full fronts. I didn’t need a big ‘ol collar too.

My fabric is a cotton from the Home Dec department of Fabricmartfabrics. For vests, I often pick up  1 -1.5 yards of fabrics that look interesting. I have a vest pattern that takes 28″ of 50″ wide fabric. However with this pattern, if the cowl is used, the full recommended amount will be needed. With just the 3 major pieces, only about 1.25 yards is needed.  I cut the fabric and then immediately fused bias stay tape to armscyes and back neckline.  Since I  knew the hem would be vented, I also fused interfacing to the hems.

This is one of those patterns where if all the marks are transferred and each direction is followed in turn, the garment completes quickly and easily.  From tracing to final press, was 4 hours for me. Top stitching added some time but I saved time with bias tape finishes and not  using the cowl.  I was pleasantly surprised at how the front went together. I was expecting to overlap and button or snap. Instead right is assembled over left, basted at the shoulders then both are serged to the back.

The size I chose is the size I normally choose when using a CLD. Do you need to know it? (Large for those of you that must know.)  I always check the charts before choosing a size because Louise has warned that different styles have different amounts of ease and your tastes might be at odds which her choice of ease.   Typically, I need to narrow the shoulder 1″ and shorten the back waist length the same.  These days, I’m also struggling with a new drag line (from the bust) and add an FBA. However with this pattern, I did only my new NSA the slash and slide method  I quickly checked length by holding one of the fronts to my body.

I was slightly surprised at the final pics.

I took two pics of the back. Both skewed to the right. Also the neckline is homogeneously wide. Well the whole garment is quite wide on me.

Despite the fact this has enough ease to be a potato sack, I could still use an FBA.

I don’t understand why my right front does not hang at an angle like the left. I promise, I copied all the marks and matched when sewing.

Somehow the proportions are just not right.

I’m not sure I’m doing anything to this vest, even wearing it. I  do think it’s a charming style but I need to make a smaller size and a longer garment. My estimate of length was wrong. I could rip out all the top stitching (shedding tears here) and either cut it smaller or make tucks. But  the proportions would still be off for me. I feel like bashing my head against the wall.  I know that Louise often crops tops at a high level than I prefer.  I thought I was avoiding the length issue when I held the front up to my body. I totally missed the fact this is too short.

Not sure what I will do…..

…. tucks could be interesting….


I like this pattern and will sew it again with modifications to reflect my tastes and preferences. As always the pieces are well drafted. Everything meets where it should, even after my NSA alteration.  The dots are in the right places. Fold on the dot and miters are perfect. As mentioned before, assembling the fronts was clever.  I’m not likely to make a many vests using this pattern. The style  arty and distinctive.  I can see having a cool weather and a warm weather version but not much more.  My recommendation to others would be measure several times in several places before choosing size.  (This does fit me more like and XXXL)


I transferred the small changes from my last version of the EAC to the pattern.  I made a small 1/8″ tuck from shoulder to hem on both front and back. It doesn’t sound like much but 1/8″ removes 1/4″ from each piece.  When I cut and sew, the change is made twice on the back and once on each front. A total of 4 *(1/8*2) or 1/2″ on the back and 1/2″ on the front; total 1″ ease removed from the garment.  I also walked the side seams and learned that truing after making the dartless FBA added 1/4″ to the side seam.  I made a 1/8″ horizontal tuck across the front about 2″ above the hem.   Since the front hem hung drastically lower than the back, I also removed 3/4″ length at the center front and then retrued the hem. I felt like I could have removed all the length added by the FBA, but I prefer to make small changes. Check and see how that works and then make more changes if needed.

Truth is I was excited by Myrna’s sleeve wrinkle revelation and really wanted to work with that. I added 2″ to the cap on the sleeve pattern.  Drastic, but I knew that 1/2″ had not made any perceptible difference. I wanted something that would really make a difference. I thought if that was too much, it wouldn’t be impossible to remove the excess cap during sewing.

My fabric is again a good shirting with about 1″ lycra, less than 10% stretch. I have numerous lovely blouse and shirting fabrics that I’m eager to use now that I know my slash-and-slide NSA and the dartless FBA will produce a smooth fitting shirt. I chose this fabric for its dominant yellow coloring and the fact that it is so much like the previous shirting.  I’ve absolutely reached the conclusion that a different fabric can produce different and not necessarily desirable results.  For example, I will never again use a soft knit fabric with my jeans pattern.

Well the 2″ sleeve cap was a bust. I moved it from 2 to 1.5 and 1″ high. Tried rotating backward and forward in the armscye and never, ever lost the sleeve wrinkle.

To my horror the drag lines from the bust returned

and the back developed issues as well

I wondered if the angle of the shoulder made any difference and I basted it together with a 1″ angle at the sleeve cap. Since that clearly made the back issues worse, I offset the front and back shoulders and repeated stitching at a steep angle.

Totally disgusted, I ripped the sleeves out; returned the sleeve pattern to its original dimensions and cut the sleeve cap down. I figured since the sleeve cap didn’t fix the sleeve wrinkle, I wouldn’t tolerate all the gathering needed to insert the higher capped sleeve. I also sewed the shoulder at it’s orginal length and angle. With no idea what went wrong, I finished.

It’s nearly impossible to detect any difference to this shirt from the ones made straight from the pattern without 2 hours of alterations, uncountable hours fitting and several fabrics sacraficed. Sheesh!  I comforted myself with the idea that I could wear a vest and cover the worst ills

Yeech. Bah! Humbug!

112 Kacy’s 5Way

My experience and front photos here :

EAC: Pattern Alterations

I decided to start fresh with this pattern.  I made a new tracing but at the same size has the previous version.

I’ve always heard that you make length adjustments first so the first thing I did I made was a 1″ BWL (back waist length) alteration to front and back pieces.

Since the dartless FBA has a length component, I made Louise Cuttings Dartless FBA next.  Basically the front is quartered, separated specific amounts, taped into place and then lines are trued.   I added 3/4″ width and 2″ length.

Next I made my 1″ NSA as described in yesterday’s post.

Last I trimmed the armscye, shoulder and collar seams to 1/4″.  I prefer 1/4″ so I can sit and serge. But I admit to a need for fitting and left the other seams at least slightly adjustable.

I chose a good shirting fabric.  I did not want to repeat the mistakes made on the POV.  Ok part of that was simply I don’t like extremely dropped/extended shoulder seams. But the lawn fabric was also just not good for that design. It ended up looking like what all the fat girls wear  instead of the elegant garment in the drawing.  First step in avoiding that look (fat girl garment) is through fabric choice. My fabric was advertised as cotton shirting with 1% lycra. It has a very slight stretch, not even 10%. Which gives the fabric just enough room to stretch or bend when I do and then completely recover to its former size and shape.  I do think there is a polyester content as well because it presses easily like cotton  and tends to maintain the press like polyester.     At 2 yards and 48″ wide, I didn’t have quite enough fabric.  I wanted to check sleeve cap height (shown here) and opted to make long sleeves but not the collar.  Still didn’t have quite enough fabric (I purchased this fabric thinking summer, short-sleeve, camp shirt) and had to change the full length sleeve into separately-cuffed, full-length sleeve.

I taped the back shoulders and stitched them to the front; then finished the neckline, front facing buttonholes and buttons.  I basted in the left sleeve and stitched the long underarm/side seam.  Then I basted the right side seam together but stitched  the right sleeve only at the underarm between notches.  As referenced in the previous paragraph, I checked the sleeve cap height and also took photos from front, side and back to check fit.

OK, a camp shirt is supposed to be roomy. Right? But does this back look too large?

It can be hard to see with a busy print (especially a blue that makes my eyes look so beautiful), so I drew lines following some of the vertical folds.

I was mystified. I did not expect the back to look so roomy. It did not look so big in the previous version


and was absolutely too tight in the POV:

(POV used same size).


I am surmising that the slash-and-smash and the rotating dart methods of shoulder alteration must have removed ease from the back with me noticing.  It will be interesting to test this theory. For now, in the final version I stitched a 1/4″ vertical seem from neck to hem edge:

It’s still roomy, but “roomy” like a camp shirt instead of a potato sack.  I have stitched in both sleeves, even though the shoulder cap on the sleeve needs to be raised. I’ve also added shoulder pads and finished the hems in the photo just above this paragraph. I’m not unhappy with this version but I will say that I probably could have made that back seam 3/8 or 1/2″ for this fabric.

To my total shock and the first time in a long, long time, my front hem is too long at center front:

I’m going to again assume, that my previous NSA methods were reducing the front length and/or lengthening the side seams greatly.

I’m also pointing out (in the pic above) that I do seem to have a bit of excess ease on the side.

I’m really pleased with the front view:

But don’t be surprised if I restyle this into a short-sleeve, summer, camp shirt. It just has that kind of feel for me.

I’m can’t call this a TNT, yet.  Judging from the width of the back and ease of the front, I might have started with a smaller pattern. I’m more interested in being able to do creative sewing;  so I will tweak this pattern to fit by

  • Vertical 1/8″ fold on the back to remove excess ease
  • Vertical 1/8″ fold on side-front to remove excess ease
  • Raise the front hem until even with the back, approximately 1″.

I like having a plan to fit patterns, so for new patterns or to re-fit existing patterns I plan to use the

  • 1″ BWL
  • 1″ Slash and slide NSA
  • 1/2″ X 1″ FBA

It would be wonderful if that’s all it takes to fit patterns to my frame, but I have to be honest. The camp shirt is a loosely fitting garment which hides many body variations. When I work again on the Tunic Blouse and my favorite T (PP104),  I will need to consider other changes to achieve the more skimming fit I love and desire.  I’ve not ruled out yokes, center front or center back seams as design lines that include fitting options.  Also, my body continues to age and change; so I will be continuing to explore and tweak fit.


EAC: Playing with the NSA

I have much more to say about this version of the EAC (Easy Ageless Cool) pattern.  Next up is my NSA Narrow Shoulder Adjustment.  I know my shoulder is narrow in comparison to the standard measurement charts.  A full inch narrower at the size 10.  I can’t remember when I didn’t need an NSA. My shoulders, both RWT and pattern sewn, always collapsed causing gaping at the neckline and er bubbling between neckline and apex.  My sewing teachers recommended shoulder pads and padded bras. I was well into my 30’s and maybe my 40’s before I discovered that an NSA took care of all my upper bodice issues.  At the time my NSA was very simple. Where there should have been a shoulder dart

I drew a line perpendicular to the shoulder slope; slashed and overlapped.  Interesting at a size 10, I overlapped 1/2″.  At a size 18 I overlap 1″.  The pattern companies seem  to assume that my shoulder length grows at the same rate as my waistline.   Whatever amount I overlap creates a bubble in the upper back area. It’s supposed to. We add darts to create roundness in our fabric which we hope matches the roundness of our bodies.  But I didn’t want extra roundness, just less length (and a greater slope) along the shoulder.  I would smash the bubble flat. My pattern would keep its outline but be wrinkled in the interior of the upper bodice.  Because my shoulder is the same length whether looking at it from the front or back, I made the same adjustment to both front and back pattern pieces.

This slash, overlap, smash technique worked very well for a number of years, over 20, not due to weight gain/loss.  I eventually climbed to 194 lbs and now am averaging about 40 pounds less. (Holidays and winter, YKWIM).  Possibly this worked for so long because it was a tremendous improvement over my previous efforts to control the upper bodice … um … fluidity.  Possibly it worked because during part of that time the artsy-fartsy look we now call lagenlook was very popular and definitely a major player in my closet. Possibly I was satisfied for so long because I turned my attention to other areas of fitting and other sewing experiences.

But now, with my body really beginning to show signs of aging, the slash and smash NSA is under inspection.  My back seems to be more rounded (maybe I’m just noticing it more). My tummy is definitely more rounded. I have no visible waist from a front-on view.  My rear and abdomen measurements are the same (weren’t always.)  One of the things I noticed from experiments with rotating the bust dart for design purposes, was that ease gets shifted, moved or as I like to think of it ‘thrown’ to the new rotated dart. You have the choice of sewing in the bust dart, leaving it unsewn or moving it to the seams. I wondered if I could do something similar with the back shoulder darts. i.e instead of slash and smash, could I rotate the dart and ease from the shoulder where it wasn’t needed  to the hip where my garments were begging for just a few more threads? Later when realizing that my back was rounding, could I throw some ease to the back?

Moving the shoulder dart to the hem wasn’t highly successful.

It added very little across the hip but caused flare at the hem line. A wide hem makes my shoulders look even narrower.  I prefer designs which at least visually balance my hip and shoulder line.  Because I need more back room, I rotated the shoulder dart to the back:

I extended the dart line all the way to the back. This not only added length to the back but also tilted the upper back towards the shoulder. This is a good solution, if I’m willing to sew a center back seam in  every garment . Another good and easy solution, would be a yoke. However, I have to apply this solution to the front as well (my shoulders are the original issue and they are the same front and back.)  I don’t want every garment I make to have a front yoke or center front seam.  While the rounding of my back is getting my attention, it’s really my hip and stomach that cause the worst fitting.  I decided to throw the dart across the hip and tummy:

This time the shoulder dart is extended to about the waist and then angled towards the side seam. This too works as far as reducing the shoulder length and does add some ease directly across my tummy and hips.  I also start noticing the center front and back rising no doubt caused by the fact that when the shoulder dart is closed, the leg going to the side seam opens and in addition to adding ease across tummy and hips, adds length to the side seams.  Side seams can be shortened what I couldn’t seem to fix was some additional fluting occurring at the hem especially in the center front. Again, I didn’t want the fluting at the hem;  I’m going for a pegged or at least vertical side seam to keep the visual balance between hip and shoulders.

I spent several session working just with tissue attempting to rotate the excess shoulder length by creating a dart at the shoulder, into other areas of the side and center seams. In short, I didn’t like the results.  In sheer desperation I decided to drop the line vertically (instead of perpendicularly) from the shoulder to meet with a horizontal line extending from the notches at the armscye.

slide it over 1″

and then true shoulder and armscye

I was really afraid to do this.  All  my sewing life, I’ve been told not to change the armscye or sleeve cap. It’s like burned in my brain. If you mess with these you’re going to ruin your garment because they can’t be fixed.   I’ve been emboldened by viewing to Peggy Saggers broadcasts. I was mesmerized by her demonstration of creating the sleeve cap and how it related to the armscye. I decided if this failed, I couldn’t be any worse off than before.  I did make the effort to measure the armscye both before moving that chunk and after truing the new armscye. It’s really close.

Sometime in the future, I’m going to attempt the seam allowance method of pattern alteration, but this looked so good, I wanted to see it in fabric.


…and then I pulled the pin…

Louise Cuttings Easy Ageless Cool blouse is one of my very favorites. To me it is the perfect Camp Shirt combining ease of sewing and wear along with a bit of femininity and elegance.  Alas, my previous  version was less than satisfactory.  A combination of diagonal bust to hem pull lines, rising front hem and mess of wrinkles on the back completely overshadowed a beautiful embroidery and delectable light peach coloring.  Inspired by the improvement seen in LH Tunic Blouse,I opted to attempt the dartless FBA on this next blouse. I have much to share, but today I wanted to start with an eye-opening-for-me experiment.

A few days ago, Myrna posted an amazing description of how she  determines the sleeve cap height and why . (Namely those front of sleeve drag lines I’ve been puzzled by). The following day she posted an in-depth tutorial for making a sleeve cap height adjustment to the pattern.  I’ve tried adding cap height  here. I added 1/2″ as given by that pattern drafter. Adding 1/2″ had absolutely no effect upon the wrinkles in my sleeve. However after seeing Myrna’s description and pictures,  I wanted to give it another go.

Today I made several alterations to my pattern (which don’t include cap adjustment and will be discussed in later posts), chose a fabric and cut a new blouse using the EAC camp shirt. I stitched it together almost. Hems are not done and the right sleeve has been stitched from front dot, down across underarm seam and up to the back dots. The top of the sleeve was left unstitched but held in place by a single pin. I took back, side and front pics and then I pulled the pin holding the right sleeve into the armscye.


I’d call that a good 1.5 to 2″ of bare skin. Which means I need to add cap height to my own sleeve whether or not it has an end effect upon that annoying drag line.

… More to share on this blouse tomorrow.

Dartless FBA

Back to fitting a non-stretch top and one of my favorite patterns, Loes Hines 5202 the Tunic Blouse.  I started fitting this late last year then got side tracked by Spring 6PAC sewing and fitting pants patterns that should already fit.  Then a new pattern from Louise Cutting caught my fancy and I was off again.  The bitterness of that failure tells me I really need to step back and find out what changes to patterns are required for my aging body. (I believe this is year I out live both my grandparents.  I should feel older than I do instead, I wonder how they got old so young.)   The previous version included in my Spring 6PAC was sewn with only my 2 standard alterations. The same alterations I’ve used for years and years and ….  I could easily see that I had issues.  Fabric puddled in the middle of my back while from the side I could see wide V’s replicating all the way to the hem.  Also from the side it was obvious that my hem rose drastically at the center front.  The diagonal lines dropping off my bust were rather shocking.  I don’t think of myself as being well endowed. Yet the blouse was saying “add more room across the bust”.  These same 3 issues have been evident for quite some time.  I have been ignoring them. Well no more.

I started with tackling room over the bust.  I tried Loes suggested FBA which consists of a bump on the side and adding length at the neck. (It is detail in one of The Look issues. Sorry again, not sure which one.) It might be more successful with knits but definitely didn’t help me with woven garments. I did not want to turn Loes pattern into a darted garment by using the standard FBA instructions.  I just felt that would adversely affect the simplicity and elegance of her design. So when someone recommended Louise Cuttings Dartless FBA  I altered the pattern using her demo on the Threads site.  (I’m so sorry, I can’t find the exact URL.) I used the maximum Louise says can be used (3/4″). I want to see a change even if it is too much change. I still applied my NSA and BWL.  I’m thinking I need more alterations to fit the curves of my body not that a single alteration will cure-all ills past and present.  I found myself hesitating a few times and filled in rather trimmed off when truing lines. In particular, I know I added 1/2″ along the front armscye which may not have been the right decision.

My fabric is a Linen lycra blend. Yes it does have stretch. Honestly I prefer to wear blouses with a little stretch. Makes it so much more comfortable  to reach and move. But it does have the downside of being able to conceal fitting issues.  My fabric is also “not me”.  It is a bright dramatic print. If these alterations aren’t bad, I probably won’t miss the blouse.  In fact, if they work, I may find the blouse sitting in the closet unworn because it is so not me.

One of the things I love about Loes patterns is their simplicity.  I spent 40 minutes one evening tracing and making alterations. 3 hours the next day cutting and sewing. This linen is not stiff. It has more drape than body.  I taped the shoulder seams and front neckline before stitching shoulders and finishing the neckline and facings. I think of linen as being easy to press. This was not difficult but it seemed to get unpressed or wrinkled quite easily.  For the first time I removed the little shovel end from my  Mini Iron and used the ball end.  Really needed it along the curved front neckline but this is the first time I’ve felt that was necessary.  Usually my little  wooden  iron is more than enough to turn that seam and press into place.

Before I share fitting photos, let me tell you that the print made it difficult to see wrinkles or folds.  I applied a sepia filter to my photos, but I’m sharing full color with you.

I’m just not seeing issues in the back. There is a slight dip and pull just above the hip. Makes me think that I should have at least tried to smooth it out before pics.

The front is not much more illuminating. Sure there is some kind of diagonal between 3 and 4 button traveling towards the right. But is it an issue?  I also see sort of a vertical fold just below the shoulder down to about bust level. Is the 1/2″ I added when truing the armscye?  Should it be removed? Ignored?  BTW those are not contrast cuffs. I was checking length before finishing them. But if you can do note that the front sleeve drag line I’ve previously complained about — is not visible.   Is the print hiding it?  Did the FBA fix it?

For me it is the side view that says the most. Can see any back wrinkles (possibly angle of the pic has something to do with that). I see a diagonal from over the bust traveling towards the side but not reaching the side. It reverse and travels downward towards the hem but again not reaching the hem.  Is it a problem? Or just draping fabric? The hems look even front and back but maybe a bit long at the side.

Lastly, I do find this a bit long but it’s good when wearing skinny jeans.  This is a new pair of jeans from the DG2 brand.  Like my previous pairs it has horizontal wrinkles right at the back of the knee. Those are wrinkles which I do not mind at all. If I have to have wrinkles someplace (and I do because I move), back of the knee is the best place for wrinkles to congregate.

I think the dartless FBA has had a positive effect on fitting this pattern.  I still have questions because the print is so vibrant and the little bit of fabric stretch can hide fitting issues.  But, I like it!




My Other Wadder

I’ve got two new Louise Cutting patterns and was so excited to start. I must confess that CLD patterns are a love/hate affair for me.  Either they work for me and you can’t pry them out of my dead hands; or they don’t work for me and I can’t get rid of them fast enough.  Nonetheless I look forward to every new pattern and couldn’t wait to try 12134 Point of View.

I’m starting with Vew B which is pretty plain. I’m not a dramatic person. I’m a mix of classic, romantic and maybe a little casual.  I’m unlikely to ever use View A. View B looked wonderfully elegant with just a touch of romanticism.  I chose size based on my hip measurement and traced the pieces.  I then applied my standard 1″ NSA and BWL adjustments. I’ve been working with an RBA and knit fabrics.  I’m just not sure how that applies to woven, non-stretch drafts and elected not to make that adjustment.

My fabric is where my issues started.  It was sold to me as shirting. I was disappointed when it arrived and as it was clearly a cheap lawn. I kept it because from time to time I need muslin fabric.  Now, when I’m unsure of needed alterations, is the time.  I hoped my standard alterations would be all that was needed and this pretty print would coordinate with  the T made a few days ago  becoming a good addition to my spring/summer clothing. (Often a blouse is the appropriate 3rd layer during these seasons.)

Cutting was fine.  I pricked my finger with a pin and bled over several pieces. I fixed that with liberal applications of hydrogen peroxide. It was a delay and annoying but recoverable. I taped the yoke pieces around shoulders and neckline; formed the pleat carefully and stitched it in place.  Ripped it out twice when the lips wouldn’t meet. I stitched the fronts in place added collar, facings and finished the neckline. Well I type finished but really most of it was basted together.   I chose my button and attempted buttonholes. My Ruby has made  wonderful buttonholes from day one.  If I have issues, they are end user errors. To my horror, Ruby decided to suck down both the top and bobbin threads and wrap around her internals. Took me 10 minutes to get that unraveled. By now I was beginning to have a serious dislike to this blouse.  I formed the hems.  The instructions clearly say to use a 3/8″ seam across the miters. My back miters stuck up like they held tent poles.  I rechecked instructions. As much as I could, I compared the pattern hems to the blouse (as in did I cut the hem correctly?)  Eventually, I gave up and simply stitched the back miters at 5/8″; front at 3/8″ and using seam a steam, secured into place. I basted the side seams together. Put the blouse on. Buttoned it up. Looked in the mirror.

For the first time, I was favorably impressed.  I took pictures. We’re going to skip to the end because I spent another 5 hours trying to adapt this to fit me.  You’ll look at the pictures and think that’s not at all like the pattern illustrations. You’re right. I took out the back pleat because it never looked better than this:

I just didn’t know what to think. I measured the pattern; measured the blouse.  I should have 8″ of ease across my butt. How could it possibly look like that? Across the shoulders there should be 2″.  Doesn’t look that way to me.  I made the back pleat into gathers, which improved the fit but caused my blouse to lose it’s streamlined smooth look. I futzed around adding a dart to the front which altered the armscye beyond use and so ripped it out.  Along about then I realized that what I wanted was the EAC blouse with back pleat and shoulder yoke. Oh and I had thought that’s what this pattern would be. I pulled out the blouse pattern pieces to the EAC and compared with this blouse. There are so many subtle difference. Half inch here and there, uneven hems. Just so many different changes that it’s not the same. The most objectionable difference (for me) is how extended the shoulder line has become. A shoulder to which  I can’t figure out how to attach my shoulder pads. I thought the shoulder would end just beyond the natural shoulder. Without sleeves, the blouse shoulders stick out 3″ beyond my shoulders (that’s after I reduced the shoulder line 1″ for my narrow shoulder adjustment.) I look like Ghanis Khan  I asked myself if I wanted to wear this dropped sleeve  blouse.  The answer was no. I didn’t really want to finish it. Definitely didn’t want to make it again.

I finished it. I nearly eliminated the high-low back end (because it just emphasizes how much the CF rises).Top stitched hems because that was quick and easy.  Took pics and am writing this post  to remind myself why I don’t like this pattern.  Please don’t let my negative experience sway you.  Many people love every one of CLD patterns. I stated at the beginning I’m not always on that team.  I completely agree that I need more alterations.  I completely agree that the fabric itself was not the best choice for a wearable garment.  Here’s my end result:

I even tried it as a 3rd layer:

Not impressive.

What really kills this for me, is the shoulder width and my inability to add shoulder pads in the yoke. Shoulder pads are a gift a my age. A gift I’m glad to have and to use.  I still want to work with fitting. But it won’t be with this pattern.


It happens to all of us. Sometimes for no real reason.  Take my first wadder a pair of Golden Olive TJ906 jeans:

More pics and thoughts HERE.