So from my previous post we’ve established that I liked Butterick 5525 both the style and fit but didn’t like how low the neckline was. I thought a pattern alteration might be simple and pinned together the pattern pieces. This is where a dressform is very helpful. It only takes a few pins to secure the pattern pieces on the dressform. I thought I was going to add 1 strip of tissue across the front but expanded to 2 and then 3 strips. I wanted to keep the raglin angle and put in a strip of tissue along the front side of the sleeve which is the side-front neckline too. Then I needed a 3rd piece of tissue because the sleeve has a dart at the top and I wanted to preserve the darting. Fortunately, I’m talking about 1.5″ wide tissue maybe 8″ long. But still I was wiggling 3 tissue bits in and around and between pattern and dressform. All the while trying not to tear the tissue or dislodge my securing pins from the dressform. I sketched in the raglin angle and finally about 1″ away from the original lines I sketched in the new neckline.
Whew! And then Baloney! Because when I carefully removed the pattern pieces with tissue extensions from the dressform; unpinned and smoothed them out, I had drawn in a weird lump. My experiece with weird lumps on pattern pieces is not good. A weird lump on the tissue usually means a weird lump in the final garment. I fussed with the pattern and tissue pieces for a while then sighed and stepped back to regroup.
About 3 years ago I was introduced to the Loes Hines collection of patterns. Her 5205 boat neck top was especially interesting. It’s described as a “modified raglin”. There is a nice underarm curve and then a smooth nearly upright shoulder line. I could see the results in the various versions stitchers around the world posted and I was intrigued.
Intrigued enough to fork out the $$ and try this “modified raglin sleeve”. My first attempt a was light pink knit made with the short sleeves. I don’t have pictures of that first top, but I was stunned. The combination of a really upright raglin with boat neck was easy to sew and attractive on me. But then I was let down. My next version was a light peach, loopy knit, long sleeves and cowl neck. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. I would have thought that the loopy knit would help disguise the raglin. But this combination (upright raglin, long sleeve, big collar), was bad. On me it was bad. I mean there are others who wear the combination beautifully. But I wore mine long enough to take and examine the pics. The garment went straight into the donation box. Pictures were promptly deleted.
But the experience started me rethink the raglin sleeve. Why would the upright line be good with a boat neck, but not the cowl? Would other nearly vertical raglins be wearable? So I purchased Butterick 5525 and it was good, except the neckline was uncomfortably low.
Now I went back to LH5205 thinking maybe it would be easier to alter the raglin/boat neck into the square/drape-front style. So I copied the front of LH5205; pinned together the sleeve, back and copied front; and pinned this group to my dressform. So now I’m looking and saying OK how low do I want the front, given that I’m aiming to use this variation again this winter? I sketched in a line about 1.5″ below the original stitching line; disassembled the pattern pieces and then carefully drew in the new lower neckline and seam allowance. And promptly got cold feet. My original intention was to alter the tissue at this point to incorporate the drape. But I was uncomfortable taking that last step and decided instead to make up this version in a light yellow boucle knit. I also opted for the half sleeve and decided this would be a spring top since it worked so well with my Spring 6PAC. Oh yes it did, just look:
I did still have the problem of the front being too wide. I’d noticed this with LH5205 before but I wasn’t sure if the neckline was too wide or if somehow I had stretched the fabric during handling. So after this version I took a 3/4″ dart in the front just to the side of the center front so that I didn’t mess with the grain line.
BTW, I’ve worn this version of LH5205 already. It is comfortable and modest but I’m not done with the pattern alteration yet.