I wanted an easy success. I like the challenge of complex projects, but sometimes I need an easy success. New Look 6940 View C is perfect
There’s no complex twisty thing that I always seem to get wrong. It’s a 2 piece back — a place for a little shaping– and an empire front with a little loop to make sweet gathers. My problem with empire looks is that they can easily turn into maternity looks. Now counting 6 decades plus a couple of years, that’s not the impression I want to make.
I compared the pieces carefully with the altered McCalls 5359 shell top. I was delighted with the alterations needed. I cut a 16 side, 12 across the armscye, neckline and shoulder and then did my standard 1″ BWL and a 3/4″ NSA except instead of placing the NSA in the shoulder, I placed it in the neckline. The shoulders were only about 3″ wide. That should fit on my shoulder of 4.5″. Nonetheless, the top is too wide across the upper chest for me. I needed a dart up there some place and I didn’t want to use it as a design feature so I split from the neckline to about bust level and overlapped the tissue 3/4″. The neckline, front and back, needed to be trued a bit. That, of course ruined the facings… ummm I’m not sure there were facings… so I planned to bind the neckline and armscye. And that’s when the adventure began
The first fabric I planned to use was a freebie from a Fabricmart bundle. It had a double-knit appearance, 4 way stretch and came in 7/8 yard of a yellow-green.
The yellow-greens are tricky for me. A dull yellow-green seems to throw a sickly cast onto my skin. A bright neon Chartreuse, hurts my eyes. This wasn’t quite the shade of my liking, but it was an interesting fabric and would make a good wearable muslin. I planned that my bindings, the loop and a flat piping in the empire line would come from a cantaloupe colored scrap
from a previous project. The cantaloupe scrap was a similar fabric though I’ve forgotten the exact fiber(s). I didn’t do a burn test. I’m not sure that would have warned me of the pit falls. See these fabrics when placed together were squirrels. The center back seam of yellow-green to yellow-green serged easily enough. I serged it and had to adjust my cutting width. I noted a little wave and also tweaked the differential feed. Good and done right?
Then I made a mistake. Now I did read the directions before cutting the fabric. I gathered the front using a zig zag stitch and a length of pearle cotton. I remembered being slightly disappointed when the instructions revealed that the loop would not provide the necessary effect in front and gathering would be necessary. I remembered and I did the gathering. But after that I did what I wanted instead of following instructions. I added the loop at the top and bottom of the front top section. Naturally it was too long. Didn’t even phase me. I didn’t even think to check the instructions. I just cut off the too long loop. Next I serged the top section to the bottom section with the flat piping in between….. AND….. ripped it out. Love ripping serging, don’t you? I use pins sparingly. If I know I need lots of pins, I get out the SAS.
Note: I’m using a lot of abbreviations that are common to me, but the average person wouldn’t have a clue. If these abbreviations don’t mean anything to you, see my tab at the top labeled Uncommon Abbreviations. I provide a detailed explanation as well as spelling out the abbreviation.
After ripping the empire line, I basted (at the sewing machine) the flat piping to the top section of the top, realigned the bottom section (of the top) placed only a few pins and serged the sections together…..The seam stretched and rippled looking exactly like the serged seam for which the differential feed is highly recommended. I had almost enough together to check the fit and decided to baste the sides together and check the fit before ripping the seam again. To my surprise, the armscye hung well below the sides of my bra. The neckline was considerably lower than expected, but at least covered the bra at this stage.
I’ll jump ahead and assure you that it was the inherent stretch of the fabric. I realized now that I had a light weight slinky. I love to wear slinky, but this pattern was not a good match…. OR not an easy match. I knew from previous experience, that my serger adjustments would be fine for the vertical seams but all the horizontal seams would need taping and the horizontal length of the garment would need to be modified at the top. Slinky packs and travels like a pro, drapes beautifully, wears comfortably and is a real knock-out but I have to account for its tendency to grow lengthwise. Otherwise a mini-dress becomes a maxi- and a neckline becomes a waistline. I trimmed 1″ from the shoulders and started ripping out the empire line. One episode of Charmed later and I had 2″ ripped. At which point, I decided to further modify the length of the garment by cutting off the serged seam. Bad ideas. Both the shoulder lines and empire line were choppy and needed major correction.
At this point, I decided to cut my losses. I figure the scrap of cantaloupe fabric was free. The piece from the bundle was free and not a to-die-for fabric anyway. My loss was limited to my time. I kicked it all to the dust bin and proceed to Version Two.
Today’s post will be continued.