Altered Butterick 5561 (II)

OK summarizing from yesterday’s post I’m using Butterick 5561

  • BWL and NSA already incorporated
  • Eliminated center front pleat
  • Cut Size 12 for front armscye on both the sleeve and the bodice front armscye and neckline (not the torso or hem)
  • Cut size 14 for on all other cutting lines.
  • Added 1/4″ wedge to the high hip (Version 1 just felt a little snug.  I’d rather take that out later than not have it).
  • Cut Bias strip to use for facings and hems.

The summary got a little head of the narration. The fabric selected for the 2nd version:

would have a different visual impact than the first.  Both are Rayons. Both are drapey, drapey drapey.  But the first was busy with it’s flowered print and multitute of colors.  This stripe is essentially 2 threads of off-white alternated with 2 threads of tan or muted peach.  From a distance of about 6 inches, it looks like a solid, light muted peach (or pinkish-tan).  The busy print of fabric 1 (not shown) swallows up design details. This nearly solid, light colored fabric displayed above is guaranteed to highlight garment structure.

Fine when that’s what I really want. But I am the classic womanly PEAR shape.  I’ve avoided raglans or hints of ranglans for a long long time, because the raglan design line tends to emphasize my large seating area (AKA hips and thighs) while minimizing the bust and upper half of my torso.  Finally I’m at a time in my life when I can explore, experiment and investigate other than the simplists solutions, I’ve developed 8 possible actions to make raglan lines work for me and looked around for inspirations to solve this specific delimina..

For the 2nd version of B5561, I was inspired by Lekala,  a Russian designer/patternmaker with a fabulous Internet site. I did download numerous patterns however I’m much more excited by the design lines (fashion drawings) and what is referred to as the “design picture”. I personally feel the design picture to be worth $$$ on it’s own. It shows the shape of the pattern pieces, how they fit together and even some indication of the dimensions, arcs and angles. This is especially interesting to me, because I have the yen to draft garments for myself. So while I downloaded some patterns, I copied with abandon the fashion drawings and design pictures. Finally I found the catalog. OMG, this is heaven. For the hopeful, for the aspiring designer these 3 documents (fashion drawing, design picture and catalog) are an amazing and informative resource. Thank you Lekala, thank you. For this version of Butterick 5561 I’m inspired by Lekala Blouse 5105

It is a V-necked, raglan sleeved shell with neckband that fulfills My Principles for Making Raglans Work for Me, Principle 4 Add Diagonales in the opposing direction

I didn’t look at the Lekala Pattern.  I tried to solve this for myself. My plan was to use the Raglan lines of Butterick 5561 and add a 3″ bias strip to be sewn to the inside, flipped to the outside shaped and sewn into the same or nearly the same V-neck appearance. I did think that properly executed, the design lines of Lekala 5105 would distract the eye from the raglan.

I wanted to really emphasize the opposing diagonal and debated between using serger piping, flat piping of bias tape or a preprogrammed stitch on my HV Ruby SM.

The preprogrammed stitch won my heart. I used X18 with 3 strands of Coats and Clark, Off-White, Pearl Cotton #8. Threaded through my 7-hole foot and combined with the X18 stitch in the nearly the same peach colored thread as the fabric, it was a winning edging. During testing I used 3 layers of water soluable topper to stabilize the edge. I was interrupted (thank heavens) and the next day realized that old-fashioned, starch-dipping would be an equally good stabilizer and a lot easier to execute. I poured a little Sta-Flo liquid starch in a small bowl, swirled and rubbed my 3 bias strips in the liquid and then smoothed them out and hung them over the shower curtain rod to dry.

When I sat down a day later to start my trim, I was working with a board stiff substance.  I decided to serge one edge to help me guide my foot.  I hadn’t decided whether to trim the serging later or use it some how, but I did like the idea of not working right on the edge.  That’s tricky at best.  The results can run the gamut from inspiring to gut-wrenching. So working 1/4-3/8″ from the edge was a much better idea.  Having the serger mark that amount for me was a piece of cake I couldn’t resist. Actually stitching the trim took less time the my testing. Let me repeat that:  Actual stitching the trim took less time the my testing. I was stunned to say the least.  In retrospect, I had tested several stitches and 2 different weights (5 and 8) perle cotton but only for a length of 6″.  I truly thought the final stitching would take much longer and was stunned to be finished so quickly.

… And then life intervened yet again. This time thankfully. Because when I picked up my trim to continue my garment I was amazed yet again. This time because the side opposite on which I had serged and then stitched the perle cotton had stretched into a U shape.  Each of the 3 pieces (1 for each armscye and 1 for the neckline) had a definite resemblance to a new moon.  I rinsed out the starch; dried the strips; pressed; stretched; pressed some more; added steam. No matter how I tried to manipulate the result was the same. This would not accomodate my original vision of a 2-3″ neckline binding distracting the eye from the raglan sleeve. What to do?  Well I adapted my original vision.  Instead of sewing the binding so that the trim side would be 2.5-3″ from the neckline, the trim edge would now be sewn next to the neckline and armscye (right side to right side).  I then stitched a line 1 pressor foot away from the trim and towards the stretched bias and pressed the bias edge under to favor the last stitched line. I trimed the bias 3/4″ from the last stitched line.  I used a little SAS to secure the bias in place and then topstitched from the front side. Yes lots of pictures would be helpful here if I were creating a tutorial.  I’m not. So I do apologize if you need more details.  I didn’t photo the details and can’t share the step-by-steps. I can only hope I’ve given enough detail that you can think it through.

The end result was a slight lengthening of the sleeves and a slight decrease in the circumference of the neckline.  I like my trim muchly but I wouldn’t say it is eye-commanding.  Right now I would say I FAILED to interpret the design lines of Lekala 5105 and will work at this again.  However the top itself is a SUCCESS.  I took pictures on Mimie and then did a little styling on Mimie with a belt (I seldome wear belts), a vest (I wear them a lot) and a blouse-as-jacket (another oft-worn-garment for me).  I had intended to take pictures of me in the same top tomorrow. At the last second I decided “why not take pictures now, today?” and I did:

However, please take time to see the whole slide-show.  Despite the sour-puss expression above,I’m really pleased. This garment is not a show stopper.  It is a classic, wardrobe building top.  This version may need a little elastic run through the bias to snug the bias to my neck. The stabilizing of the neckline does seem to have done the trick of dis-allowing a deep scoop neck — because if you watch closely through the slide show you will notice that the center front hem is raised and needs a little more fabric to hang evenly.  I’m delighted that evaluations of the problem and the solutions have turned out to be correct.  You have no idea how ego building this is for me.