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.



  1. Don't you hate it when no one reads your blog on Sundays? Why is that?

    I am looking forward to seeing how you are going to adjust the flat pattern for this. Fit is my next challenge. sigh.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Elle, it's like a puzzle, and I like puzzles! I'm really finding both FFRP and Sarah Veblen's book very helpful.

  3. Wow! the fit in your last picture with the final pinning in place across that horizontal seam looks fantastic! I'd say you've got a terrific muslin to work with there!
    Thanks for your comment, and in reply; our very coldest winter days will get down to 3C minimum and around 15C maximum. It is pretty rare to get colder temperatures than that, and mostly the days will be a few degrees warmer.

    1. Thanks, Carolyn! It has really come along. I think that horizontal bit I had to remove is excess from the FBA process.

      That temp range sounds like a perfect winter. The scenery in your pictures is always beautiful.

  4. I understand exactly about your Mother. My mum is gone now and so is my MIL and I miss them both. I don't have children myself and too old now to have any but I realise how different things could have been. I miss being about to call her and just chat. I have an older friend who I use as a substitute Mum but it's not quite the same.

    It looks like your on your way to getting a good fit. I have similar problems so now I've found your blog it'll probably help me a lot. Thank you.

  5. Hi Andrea, I was wondering if you could help me out here. I lost the sleeve pattern to this pattern. Is it possible for you to send me a digital copy of the sleeve? I don't know how to draft either and I really want to make this pattern. I would really really appreciate it if you could help me.

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Dorothy,

      I'm not sure how I could send you a digital copy. Anyway, you have left me no way to contact you. Your profile is private.

  6. About the different lengths of the side versus center pieces: I attended a class given by a representative of McCall's and his note to us was that the company assumes 2 things: that you will sew the pieces in a certain order, and that your sewing machine stretches the top piece of fabric when you sew a seam. So, the longer piece should be on the bottom or else really pin carefully and make sure the pieces ease together. It might not be your cutting that made the problem. Great muslin, BTW!

  7. Hi Delamonda, and thanks for your comment and insight! I have read and learned from a Kenneth King article for Threads, that it's important to stay stitch the CF pattern piece, and to stretch while pressing the most curved area of the side front pattern piece. Fortunately for me, my FBA on the princess seam curve is now much less dramatic since I've lost weight, and my bust is smaller. I've yet to revisit B5678 since my weight loss, but perhaps in the winter when it's cooler. Do you have a blog?


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