I’m having a wardrobe crisis. The Christmas-pounds-that-won’t-go-away are eliminating my wearable choices. It seems that every time I pull out a woven garment it goes into the donation bag. The knits are more forgiving. Still I, She-of-the-2-full-closets-AND-6-Sterite-bins cannot comfortably clothe myself in the summer heat. Nor can I “whip-out clothing in nothing flat” at the sewing machine. I seem to have evenly gained weight, a real oddity for me. Most of my life, I’ve packed those pounds on around my hips and thighs. Oh they got padding too, but tummy and bustline are unexpectedly larger. (NO! I was cut-tied-and-fried many years ago and have been post menopausal for 10). I need shorts and sleeveless tops quick. I think I filled the shorts requirement with Burda 2000-11-140. It’s the tops causing my current angst. I can’t use my TNT’s. I need newly fit patterns. So I started with this McCall’s pattern M6077:
I’ve had it in my stash for several years. I loved M6077 for its details. Views A, B and C have a separate yoke which could be really handy if I had a short length of a wide fabric. The pattern contains instructions (more like suggestions) for using and adapting trims. The other views, while also embellished, are based on a plain and simple tank top pattern — not too revealing and not too warm.
Although it is woven fabrics that I’m discarding left and right, I deliberately chose to fit a pattern for stretch fabrics. That’s because I wear my knits the most. They are comfortable and classy. Oh and forgiving. If I’m really being honest, I should also admit that while I still can pull last-year’s knits over my head, I haven’t taken a picture to see how they really look . Just because you can zip it up, doesn’t mean it fits. (I think I’m paraphrasing Louise Cutting.) So really, fitting knit tops is my first priority. But I don’t like to make plain tops; and I don’t want to invest a lot of time embellishing the first garment made with any pattern. So I’m “borrowing” the collar/neckline of Butterick 5493 View A:
I compared M6077 with Pamela’s Pattern 104 which is both Pamela’s and my perfect T-shirt. I trimmed the M6077 tissue to size large. On both front and back pattern pieces, I did my 1″ back waist length alteration and 1/2″ narrow shoulder alteration. I walked the collar piece from Butterick 5493 along the neck-edge and found it to be much too long. I decided just to fold under the last 1.5″ of the collar because that area seemed even width wise.
My fabric is an ITY from Fabricmart.com which I think I’ve purchased sometime in the last 9 months. That’s a pretty good turn-around for me.
I serged the shoulders together. I did not stabilize the shoulders which is something I usually do. That may have been an error. I then pinned the sides together and tried it on. No pics at the try-on stage but it was obviously the shoulders were much too wide. I trimmed 3/4″ from the armscye edge. I hate doing this but it is a quick and expedient repair. The problem is that the shape of the armscye is changed and while the shoulder now fits, I can’t be sure that the armscye is correct. I notice a bit too much ease under the arm which disappears by the time the fabric is laying across my bosom. I transferred the 3/4″ shoulder alteration back to the pattern shoulder but for the underarm issue, I cut binding and eased the armscye to the binding. It’s perfect for this first version but will need to be reconsidered during the next iteration. I think M6077 needs to be shortened about 3″. The proportion is just a little off. I don’t want it longer. It skims nicely past my tummy, hip and rear. Overall, I’m really pleased with the fit and won’t be altering this version. Sharing the back first:
I basted the collar to the neckline and then finished with the band. I’ve learned, if I want the neckband to lie flat and not rip/sitch multiple times, I need to baste. I love my HV Ruby’s basting stitch. I basted the band in place; checked, ripped a little and finished within minutes— like 3. Then I serged the band to the neckline. In fact, I completed the entire garment after the first try on and plopped it on Mimie for Pics. Uh OH— The collar just disappeared! Not kidding the print is busy enough that the collar disappears better than an American Soldier in Desert Camo.
I’m one who doesn’t want make embellishments that won’t show up.My solution was to apply lace. I auditioned my white laces and chose a 1″ wide lace. My collar is basically a half circle. I know that if I apply the lace with a 1:1 ratio, the outer lace edge will cup or pull downwards. So when I stitched, I placed the collar edge on top the lace and pulled the collar just a little. I didn’t stretch the knit as far as possible, just a little tension. Then end result is that the lace extends very nicely from the collar. It follows the ripple of the collar without adding more curve or restricting the flow of the collar. I did see one thing I’d like to fix—but I won’t. I chose a zig-zag stitch to attach the lace. My thought was that the zig-zag would enclose the edge of the lace and keep it from rolling–which it will. But I don’t love the zig-zag finish. I would have preferred the look of a straight stitch even if I had to make an effort to press the edge flat after each launder.
I know we always want to see photos on a body. I agree photos on the body are so much more telling about the pattern. I’m doing several things at once and needed to cut back some place. “Final pics” was the time I cut. I can tell you that it fits on me very much the same as Mimie but it looks even nicer. The excess underarm ease is not even noticeable. I’m not and don’t expect to look like or ever be a size 0. I’m definitely a middle-aged, Mid_Western woman. I look good in this top. I can’t wait to make it again.