Monday, May 28, 2012

Butterick 5678: Moving the Princess Seam

Happy Memorial Day to all of the US readers, Happy Monday to everyone else!  To all those who have served our country, or who has a family member who serves or has served, thank you. 

I had a few more small changes to make to my flat pattern.  Before we get to moving the princess seam, I want to point out the other changes I did prior to moving the seam.  

First, I felt as though I needed just a tad more room at the front armscye.  I pinned the muslin to my dressform, inserted some tissue, and drew the shape and size needed.  Then I transferred that amount to the pattern.  (See arrow, below, left.)  

Second, after trying on my muslin a few more times, I felt like I needed a little more wearing ease over the tummy, hips, and bottom.  I added about 1/4" to the front and side front pattern pieces, which made for smoother transition below the bust, at least on the flat pattern.  This picture does not show it terribly well, but  I marked the addition with red slash marks.

Now on to moving the princess seam.  I thought about the fact that I added to, and now will take away from, the same pattern piece.  Duh.  Anyhow, I tried on the muslin and determined how far I wanted the seam moved toward my arms.  I measured that amount on the side front all the way up the pattern with tick marks.  Then I drew a line connecting the marks, tapering to just a mm or two at the shoulder, and cut that amount off of the pattern piece.  If one wanted to, a new seam line could be drawn in, but I don't need it to be indicated on the pattern at this point.  I transferred the notches to the pattern since I was cutting them off.

The next picture shows the front pattern piece.  I taped tissue to the princess seam side, measured the same amount that I took away from the side front, and connected the tick marks (red line furthest to the left, below).  I trimmed away the excess tissue outside of that new red line, which is the new cut line.  Again, I marked the new notches.

One last change - I added a little more room to the back and side back pattern pieces below the waist.  I added 1/4" to each, which will result in an extra 1" back there.  If it is too much, I can fix that as I sew.  

Over the weekend I dug through my stash.  I pulled out a rather large piece of white cotton/lycra that I had purchased at Hancock's at a really good price a while back.  It is on the heavy side, and stretches crosswise only.  It is heavier than I would like for a shirt, but good enough for a first version now that I think I got the pattern fitting pretty well.  Who knows, I may end up liking the fabric.  It is cut out and ready when I find the time to sew.

I have done nothing to the sleeves yet, but after I sew this up and am happy with the fit, I will address the sleeves.  In reading PR reviews for this pattern, it sounds like they would need adjustment anyway, regardless if I had made changes to the pattern or not.

One more thing I noticed tonight. I was walking the two front pattern pieces to make sure everything was lining up.  The notches above and below the bust on both front pieces indicate where one piece needs to be 'eased' into the other.  It seemed to me that there was a lot to be eased, so I am making a note for myself here to go back to the original pattern pieces and walk them to see how much ease is between the notches before the pattern was altered.  I made a lot of changes to the bust area, so better safe than sorry.

Fingers crossed I have achieved a wearable fit.  I have to admit, I am getting restless with this project.  With having only tidbits of time here and there to work on this pattern, it has taken a while.  I am hankering for a 'quickie', and I also have the fabric rolls for my MB window treatments calling out to be sewn.  All in good time.

Happy sewing, all.  Hopefully next time I post, it'll be about a wearable shirt.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Getting Closer: Butterick 5678

Tired of looking at my b**bs yet?  I am!  No pics of the girls this post....

 I've eked out a tad bit of progress since my last post. I've used both Fit For Real People (FFRP) and Sarah Veblen's book, The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting. The latter, in particular, gave me the answer to a puzzle that I ruminated on in my head for a couple days. I've really come to love that book.

 In my last post, the pictures showed that I needed:
 1) a narrow shoulder alteration
 2) to move the shoulder forward a tad
 3) to remove excess between the shoulder and bust
 4) to add some hip and glutes room
 5) to move the princess seams on the front laterally toward the arms a bit for the most complementary look over the girls.

 I've done the pattern work for 1 through 3, and started 4 and 5.  I can't find my narrow shoulder alteration pictures, but that is a straightforward alteration, shown in books such as those mentioned above.

This is #2, moving the shoulder forward. I drew the orange lines on the picture to give the general idea. More specifically, I folded out the seam allowances before drawing the lines on the pattern pieces so that when sewed, they will match up properly. Then, I cut and moved the sections forward, with that little section on the front pattern piece (on the right) being hinged at the neck. I'm only showing the front pattern pieces, but I did the opposite on the back pattern pieces - spreading the same amount as the overlap on the front, again, hinged at the neck.

Next, addressing the excess fabric above the bust.

#3 Removing excess above bust.  This shows the "tuck" across the front pattern piece. which is really a slash & overlap.  Note that is is not symmetrical.

#3 Removing excess above bust.  This picture shows the "wedge"  (lower arrow) , tapering to nothing at the armscye with a hinge.  The cut lines were trued (not shown).

 #3 Removing the excess between the shoulder and bust is the issue that I had to cogitate on for a couple of days.  I needed to take out a significant amount at CF - 2 inches - and needed to taper to zero at the armscye.  In my head it was no big deal, but when playing with the flat pattern pieces, I was a bit stumped about how to handle this adjustment.  I tried folding, and I tried slashing.  The latter seemed to work better at keeping the pattern piece flat, but it seriously threw the upper portion off-grain.

One evening, I took Sarah Veblen's book to bed with me and paged through it, thinking that I had read about this particular issue in her guide.  I found the solution, which was to create a "tuck and wedge".  The tuck is on the front, the wedge on the side front.  This in reality becomes a  slash and overlap on the front and side front pattern pieces, creating a hinge at the armscye.  Sarah addressed the issue of the area above the adjustment being off-grain.  I guess not only is it not an issue, but adds some bias to that area, which can help with the fit.  One caveat here:  My front pattern piece required an asymmetrical "tuck" (ie, slash and overlap) of a significant size.  The next mock up will be the litmus test.

In green:  Overlapped 1" (total 2" adjustment) at CF (which is actually 4th pink line from right) and 1/2" (total 1" adjustment)  at princess seam (seam line in orange on left).  Note:  My green lines are not accurately drawn, just an estimation.  This shirt pattern has a self-facing at the front.  The 3rd pink line from the right is the fold line, which becomes the edge of the front placket.  Make sense?  My point is, when making these pattern adjustments, it is important to remember to make the adjustments at the seam line,as on the left, and at the fold line and CF as is the case above.  Remember, when I pinned out the excess, the facing was folded in, and I was pinning at the CF.

This picture also reflects where the lines were all trued in pink. 

This is a partial solution to #4 and #5 above.  After trying on the muslin again, and measuring how much I needed to move the princess seam, I felt like I needed a wee bit more room from the bust apex down, not just at the hip.  The pink arrows are pointing to where I made an adjustment for both issues.  Not sure why the pattern above the apex looks scraggy - it may not have been laying right.

The blue lines are pointing to the trued grain lines/CF line, etc.

I still need to take away from the side front princess seam the amount I added to the front princess seam, and maybe add a little wiggle room at the back side.  I am so looking forward to getting this done, but as with most people, sewing time is at a premium.

It turns out my DD is going to need spine surgery, unfortunately.  I am looking forward to having her pain relieved, but not looking forward to surgery for her.  We are working on getting a date asap after final exams are over.  If I appear to drop off the face of the Earth, that's why.

I will get this shirt done one day!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Butterick 5678: Continuing The Fitting Journey

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there!

Thank you for your kind comments to my last post. I'm really happy to report our sweet little friend is out of the hospital! She is improving daily - it seems home is the best medicine.

Now, I know this has been a helluva long fitting journey, and if you are still following along, you have a great attention span. I've only had snippets of time to move forward on this project, but I persist because it is a personal goal to properly fit a button down shirt to my body.  The last time I made a woven shirt was the 80's I believe.  The girls were big then, but not ridiculous, and clothes tended to be oversized in the 80's, so it worked.  Not so much these days.  (Ladies, between you and me, I fully expected these things to shrink after, y'know, "The Change".  No such luck.)

This weekend I've carved out some quality sewing time. On Saturday, after getting as far on my muslin as you'll see in the pictures below, I cut out and sewed 3/4 of another top, a J. Sterns Tee - a TNT for me now, and so quick. I intended on wearing it out to dinner last night, but the in-laws came an hour early for our early Mother's Day dinner (completely 100% selfishly planned by me so I can sew on Mom's Day), so it did not get finished.  I just need to do the sleeves, neck binding, and hem.  I will post about that later.

Back to Butterick 5678, the pattern I am using to create a standard shoulder princess seamed blouse for myself.  I'm learning a lot about my body in this process.  I am learning that my body is showing signs of ageing, and it is motivating me to get back to the gym. I set up my camera on the tripod and used my remote  instead of using my cell phone.  It is really helpful to get pictures of my back and from various angles

.**Shams, thank you for reminding me to post the pattern number!

**Dixie pointed out in the comments of my last post that the princess seams need to go more towards the arms.  I agree, but this muslin was already cut out, so that will be in the next iteration.

This purple fabric is shirting - I think a poly/cotton/hint of lycra mix that I bought super cheap online for the purpose of 'muslining'.  Note the center front pieces in the above picture are shorter than the side fronts - no idea why, but this was cut out late one night, and I seriously can't see worth a damn at night.

The fit is close, but not there yet.  The shoulders - I had the hubs pin up my left shoulder, and I marked in chalk my right shoulder.  On the flat pattern, I will do a narrow shoulder alteration.  I also need to move that shoulder seam forward a bit.

Clearly, the front has a frumpy look to it still.

Looking straight on at the back, in addition to too big shoulders, it appears more room is needed through the hip and buttal region.  I do have a little swayback, but im going to fix the shoulder and gluteal areas first, then address swayback if still needed.

Dixie mentioned that she does a high round back alteration, and that perhaps I need one.  I thought I didn't have one, but holy smokes, I've been in denial.  My grandma had a serious dowager's hump, but mom had lovely posture and a nice, straight back.  Another reason to get to the gym...

The picture above shows a hint of something funny going on just north of the bust.

Something is off on that front. But I am loving the fit at the armscye.

Hmmm.  Definitely funny looking.

Me thinks I have an excess of fabric here.

Yay! Much better fit at the bust.

A closeup view.  There are still some drag lines and little tug at center front at the hip area.  I think these will resolve with more room in the back.

Next I will go back to the flat pattern and make some changes, including:

1)  Narrow shoulder alteration.

2)  Move shoulder seam forward.

3)  Shorten above the bust, tapering to zero at the armscye.

4) Move the front princess seam by taking some away from SF piece and adding that amount to the CF piece.  In order to have the front and back princess seams match at the top, I will have to decide if I am going to move both, or just make the change on the front, tapering to nothing at the shoulder seam.  Anyone have any thoughts on this?

5)  Add some hip and butt room.  

I find myself wondering why I didn't just draft a pattern from scratch! 

I am headed back to the studio.  I wish you all a happy Mother's Day, and if you aren't a Mom, just a happy day.  If you are so fortunate to still have your Mother with you, enjoy every moment.  I really miss my Mom every day.   She had a tremendous influence on who I am today.  Mom taught me that I could do anything and be anything I set my mind to doing and being. She taught me to sew, cook, drive, and the list goes on.  Probably most importantly, I learned by her example to be a kind person. Miss you, Mom.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Little Fitting Progress, A Lot of Crapstorm

Happy Cinco de Mayo, all. I am {finally} having a quiet moment with a cup of my favorite brew, and thought I'd do some catching up in blogland, both posting and reading all my favorite blogs.

Life has been a bit of a roller coaster lately. First off, my daughter has a spine fracture in two places. She is in an upper body brace made of a hard plastic material. In almost 90 degree heat. This couldn't happen in winter?? She is a trooper - and hopefully her good attitude will pay off with healing and avoiding surgery.  Time will tell, but in the meantime, pain is her constant companion.

 Secondly, a friend and her daughter were displaced from their home a couple of weeks ago, and my very sweet husband offered them a place to stay until they get back on their feet.  We quickly turned our guest bedroom turned gym back into a guest bedroom.  Our traitorous dog adores them, and sleeps in their room every chance she gets.

Thirdly, a few nights ago, another friend's daughter was sick, so I drove them to the ER. It was a busy night, so we were in the waiting room for > two hours, all the while holding 'the bucket', if you know what I mean. (It just so happened that two traumas came in right when we did.)  Once in the back, her care was excellent, she looked much better, but then just as she was about to be admitted overnight, she suffered a severe seizure, which of course was a game changer. It was a crazy night, to say the least. She was admitted to the ICU where she remained until this afternoon.  She will be in a regular room for several more days.   She is over the worst of it, but it will take some time for her to fully recover.  It is not likely that she will be able to finish out the school year.  I have been at the hospital with them much of the time  since Wednesday night, as she is like another daughter to me.  It has been a traumatic experience for the entire family and all of their friends, but everyone feels gratitude that she came through this.  I truly saw her life flash before my eyes, and indeed, we almost lost her.

 And as if all of that were not enough, my husband's father was diagnosed with cancer this week. It's not advanced, thankfully, but will entail some procedures and lots of doctor visits, etc.

It seems like a crapstorm around here!

Sewing - has not occurred at all this week, but I made a teeny weeny bit of progress after my last post. I wanted to thank everyone for their comments on the muslin fitting progress here. I also want to address Dixie's evaluation, which I really appreciate.

      1. Yes, I changed the angle of the shoulder, but wasn't really happy with it. I've removed that change from my flat pattern and will reevaluate on my next muslin. I really have myself convinced that I don't have a rounded upper back (denial?). I also thought I had much less of a slope to my shoulders until I had the hubs take pictures for me.

      2. I agree that the shoulder seam needs to come forward. Some of that is the way I'm holding my arm, but not all. I also agree the shoulders are too wide, however, I am waiting to address that on my next muslin. There was an issue with the back on that muslin. I had constructed the back out of an old sheet, and it was off-grain, too 'soft', and stretched out. I've cut out a new muslin out of actual shirting fabric that I purchased inexpensively for the purpose of muslining shirts.

      3. I also agree that the princess seam needs to be moved toward the side seams.

      4. The girls do need more room! Apparently, my FBA wasn't generous enough. I referred to Sarah Veblen's Perfect Fitting, using her method to add 'just a little' to each of the front pieces on the flat pattern. The new muslin *should* fit the girls, and then I can address the shoulder/back issues. I believe the addition will fix the gap at the front armscye.

Thanks again, Dixie, for your input. Another set of eyes on fit issues is really helpful. Now I'd like to share some pictures of the progress.

Sarah's book shows a similar picture to mine above.  Here I opened up the princess seams as her book instructs, and look how the fit relaxed and the drag lines went away.  (As compared to here.)

When I opened up the princess seams, it corrected the armscye gap here.  Like magic.  ;-)

Adding a bit of extra room to side front - above, and to front - below, a la Sarah Veblen's book referenced above.  You can see marks on the muslin near the top of the picture.  I measured the opening at the princess seams (and wrote on the muslin) and then added 1/2 to each of the front and side front at the princess seam, tapering to zero above and below.

It really helps my thought process to blog about my progress, especially with pictures. I'm very visual, which is why I am loving Sarah's book.  I traced and cut a new muslin, but that's as far as I've gotten. Don't know if I will be able to sew this weekend. I've got some rest and the stuff of life to catch up on.  In fact, I am feeling a nap coming on right now!

Before I go, I must complain about the Blogger change.  I initially wrote this post on my iPad.  When I previewed the post, Blogger had removed all of my text formatting. My post turned into one long paragraph with no formatting whatsoever. WTH is up with that??

I hope you all are sewing up a storm, and life is treating you well.

Until next time, whenever that may be...