My heart yearns to post pictures of completed, beautifully sewn, fits me like a glove, garments like Erica B... or Amanda... or Goodbye Valentino... or it seems like anyone else but me. That's the downside of experimental sewing. While most of the time it's fun - and yes, it actually is - to chase thoughts and ideas, ask what if, and see what happens, I would like to produce finished garments more often than it happens. I think - as in I choose to believe - that it's part of the plateau affect I talked about yesterday. No clothes, lots of experimenting, turn a corner, things work out, more clothes. I certainly feel like I've made tremendous progress in the last few weeks so please don't tell me if I'm wrong.
I've started constructing differently. More in stages. In the picture above, the shoulders and neckline are finished and the side seams are pinned as is the dart. I didn't want to guess about the placement. There's nothing more annoying than a dart that's out of place. The sleeves aren't even cut out yet. I was waiting to see what happened with the rest of the garment first.
In one of the reviews, there was a comment about the easing along the side of Vogue 8536 and how nice that was instead of the dreaded dart. The amount of easing drafted into the pattern was not sufficient for my bust. I could ease in the larger amount but that left a whole bunch of fabric along the side of the bust curve. A dart is MUCH more shapely and attractive than a bunch of fabric. That's been a positive outcome of this learning curve, identifying what THIS body needs... which is...
... curves. The back as drafted in Vogue 8536 is mostly straight other than some shaping through the side seam. On me that resulted in a fit that was smooth over the hip and baggy above. In the illustration, I experimented with adding the flare only below the waist and only to one side so that I could still cut the garment on fold. That resulted in less bagging over the waist but didn't eliminate it completely plus there ended up being little wings at hip level along the side seam. Conclusion, a center back seam with flare toward the middle is far more attractive.
As well... the shape of the armhole almost identically matched the shape of the armhole on my T & T pattern so I used the T & T sleeve and it didn't hang correctly. Debbie mentioned in her comments that she had rotated the sleeve. I can see why. The shoulder seam on this pattern angles toward the back making the position of the sleeve somewhat skewed. I didn't see that until the try on stage. Now I want to figure out how to identify an issue like this in advance. The secret will be in my fitting shell template. I'm amazed at how handy that is. For instance...
... when I compared the front of the fitting shell template with the front of the Vogue 8536 t-shirt, the waist on the template was 1" below the waist on the t-shirt. That was the indicator for a full bust adjustment and 1" was exactly the amount I needed. The front of the pinned t-shirt fit beautifully. That extra fullness became the dart I talked about above.
Peggy Sagers talks about the importance of darts in Darts Are A Girl's Best Friend and shows how they are incorporated, rotated around, and hidden within the structure of the garment. I was wearing the black and white Vogue 8691 with its princess seams and beautiful fit. I barely altered this pattern and basically cut and stitched on the lines. It was an interesting awareness as I struggled to fit Vogue 8536. The thought occurred to me that I am too curvy for large expanses of fabric.
This shouldn't have been a lightening bolt thought. It's been obvious for a long time that I need more seams or more darts. What's lightening bolt is perhaps the acceptance of that reality and the shift of thinking from trying to make the traditional t-shirt work to embracing a "new" kind of t-shirt that works for me - the Myrna t-shirt. More about that tomorrow. Let me get back to experimental sewing. I think it's really important to push the boundaries and to try those what if thoughts that niggle because it's through that process that we make new discoveries or solidify old ones. It's also how we develop patterns of working that work for us. I've sewn for thirty-nine years and suddenly I'm sewing differently.
In the past, I've cut out, sewn, and then tried on garments. It may have been quicker but the results weren't so great and I'm not after fast; I'm after great results. Now, I pin all the pieces in place on the fabric to make sure there's enough and then I cut out the main garment pieces and begin basting it together. Some seams are thread basted. Some are pin basted. A seam is only sewn and/or serged when I am confident that it is correctly placed and shaped.
Seam by seam, I slowly build the garment changing what can be changed as I go along. This is new so it was slow and painful at first but I'm finding that with more practice it is becoming increasingly confident and faster and that the results are MUCH better. I have another experiment in progress hopefully to show you tomorrow and to compare with Vogue 8536.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - curiosity