Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Break From Blouses

Yesterday, I sewed a skirt... with an elastic waist... and copious amounts of ease. It may not be flattering but it'll definitely fit. It should be finished for tomorrow. We'll see then.

Before starting, I sorted through all the Butterick 5678 muslins and corresponding pattern pieces, wrote some notes for next time, and got rid of what wasn't needed before I forgot what was what and started to confuse myself. LOL - it's not hard to do. I'm taking a break from blouses to sew a couple skirts and then I'll try again because...

... the sloping shoulder adjustment didn't work for me. As you can see, the garment is too tight to move my arms forward and...

... horseshoe shaped wrinkles developed on the upper back from shoulder to shoulder and...

... when I cut the shoulder seam to allow for more ease, the pieces separated by the amount I'd raised the shoulder which means that...

... this black and white version with the narrow back adjustment worked the best. The sloping shoulder adjustment would have been such an easy answer. I really wanted it to work and it didn't and while I was hopeful, I'm not really surprised since I've had my shoulder width and angle measured several times and the narrow back adjustment is the one that worked for my T & T t-shirt pattern.

Our usual adjustments are only fussy at first and then we get comfortable with them so I'm sure that once I've worked with the narrow back adjustment a few times, I'll start to make it with confidence and be able to move forward with other patterns more easily. I just need some woven blouse experience. Later. For now... a skirt... with an elastic waist... and copious amounts of ease sounds like bliss.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the blouse pattern is drafted and ready to go when I'm ready


  1. Did you drop the underarm the same amount as you sloped the shoulder?

    1. No - how would that alter the feeling of tightness and the horseshoe wrinkles? Perhaps I narrowed the shoulders too much? OH... more thoughts to follow. Looking forward to your feedback.

  2. If you can do Nancy Ziemans pivot and slide pivot down the amount you want to slope the shoulder and trace. You then slide the shoulder/underarm down the amount that you sloped and pivot the ss back so that it meets the original ss and trace. Obviously do that to front and back. You've then restored the original armhole depth.

    The horseshoe wrinkles were because the armhole was too short and possibly pushing into your underarm.-see above.

    With the picture you posted of the short shoulder I figured you hadn't dropped the underarm. That's also why it felt tight. You could have possibly narrowed the shoulder too much but I'm not sure. You can still do this on your muslin with a bit of ripping out and resewing. That way you can check the shoulder width against the sloped shoulder adjustment.

    Then close up of the shoulder above-is that with sa's or without? If it's with I think you may have overdone the narrow shoulder but try to adjust the underarm first.

    1. Am I understanding correctly that you're simply cutting out the armhole shape and moving it down? I'll look up her method to see if there are illustrations. You'd need to know the answer in advance to do this. Same as with Sandra Betzina's narrow shoulder adjustment done by drawing and tipping a template. I'm curious how to make the adjustment when you don't know the answer in advance - as in you've cut out the garment, you realize it's needed, you make the adjustment. Would you in that case cut the armhole down the amount you sloped the shoulder? I would really like that answer to work because it means few before alterations and the possibility to adjust while in the process of sewing.

    2. That's a very interesting adjustment. Very similar to the narrow shoulder method of Sandra's and entirely possible to combine the two. It's not impossible to do after the fact but better to know in advance. Below is a link if anyone is interested.

      Do you have sloping shoulders and use this adjustment? If so, is the amount consistent pattern to pattern? Thanks.

    3. I think once you determine that you need a sloping shoulder adj. you're always going to need one. As for the amount it's something that you'll have to figure out yourself. I remember when I had to start doing one 1/2" was the suggested amount to start with.

      Yes, I do a sloping shoulder, generally 1/2" and it seems to be pretty consistent pattern to pattern on more fitted garments. Coats and jackets I play be ear because they have a lower armscye and I can sometines get away with it!(; After a muslin, of course.

      Yes, it similar to boxing and dropping but the reason I like Nancy's is because her's takes out a small amount of fullness through the chest and back shoulder (for me, anyway) when you pivot it back to meet the ss.

      I know that one of the things you were trying to eliminate was extra fabric in the back with the narrow shoulder adjustment. If you do the sloping shoulder per Zieman you'll see that it does indeed remove some fabric there although maybe not as much as you want.

      Since the sloping shoulder is a length wise adjustment I would do that first and see if you still need the narrow shoulder or if you need as much as you're doing.

    4. Thanks so much. I'll give it a try. Nice to know that it's generally the same pattern to pattern... after a muslin... so don't give up on muslins - LOL.

  3. Yes, you might be blaming me now (!) but for a sloping shoulder, you cut out the entire armscye and slide it downwards, not just the shoulder seam, as that will produce the problems you have just encountered - a too-tight armscye also will not fit the sleeve head btw.

    I have to say on the narrow back thing, it depends on the pattern company. I find Vogue shoulders HUGE, and Burda about right, but the shoulder slope is pretty standard.

    1. Definitely NOT. I really appreciated the suggestion. I've been playing with making the adjustment the way Debbie suggested - on paper - and it's not removing the fabric in the area I want it removed so it could be that I actually have a narrow back. The wrinkles are similar. When I was using Pattern Master Boutique software, I always had to move the armhole over toward center at the upper back point and a lot of the other adjustments I've tried point in this direction but even so, all ideas are worth exploring. Wouldn't it be nice to stand in some kind of X-ray machine and have it spit out a here's the adjustment you need to make list? LOL


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.