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!



  1. I am so sorry to hear that your DD is having to have surgery. I will be thinking good thoughts for you all. Take care.

  2. So sorry about the surgery. My thoughts are with you.

  3. You're making great progress with this fitting. It's a lot of work, but your stick-to-it-iveness is going to pay off. I'm looking forward to seeing your continued progress.
    I'm glad to know Sarah Veblen's book has been helpful. I haven't seen it but will have to check it out.
    I'm sorry to hear your daughter needs surgery, and will be sending healing energy your way!

  4. Thank you all. You know my Mommy heart is breaking. Two more surgery appointments, one tomorrow and one next week, before we decide on a surgeon to take care of our baby.


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