Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On The Same Day

Yesterday was a no make-up, stay-at-home, play in the studio kind of day. It wasn't until I watched the evening news that I learned about the bombing in Boston. It's amazing how on the same day one person experiences great joy, another unspeakable tragedy, and yet another the mundaneness of repetition. A hundred years ago, it would have taken days to hear each other's news and now it's around the world in a matter of minutes.

Why is it that a bombing in North America reverberates fear throughout first world nations while daily bombings in a country like Syria can continue relentlessly for years at a time? There's something wrong with that. There's something wrong with humanity that we can't live together in peace and instead feel a need to hurt and terrorize each other. Why? So many questions that can't be answered.

As blasé as it might seem, I'm going to talk about darts today because terror wins when we allow it to control us and while I wonder when such an event will happen closer to my home and impact more closely someone I love, I don't want to allow those who perpetuated this tragedy an extra measure of success.

I experimented with cutting one size and adding to the back hip by making a muslin of Vogue 8815. While it worked with the last t-shirt, that pattern was drafted with a curve starting above the waist and flaring out to the hips which meant there was enough waist room. With this one, there definitely was not. I've concluded that there are some instances in which one size may work and a lot of instances where it will not and which is which will be something to learn with time and experience.

In the back, I narrowed the dart to 1/8" wide. My back is flat and I don't need the depth that a dart is meant to create however, the style lines of a dart are vertical and more slimming.

In the front, I needed more depth. I made a full bust adjustment and added a bust dart. Since I haven't sewn a lot of blouses, I realized with this sample that I don't have a solid working knowledge of darts. I know how to stitch and taper to the point so it won't pucker and how to press and that the dart needs to end about 1 1/2" from the bust point and even still, I'm not getting the flattering look on the body that I'd like. I need to go to dart school.

It appears that I need to take a larger dart below the bust but I don't believe that's actually the case. It has amazed me how often I think X or Y alteration might be needed when it's actually a matter of circumference and incorrect sizing. Now I know to wait until I've made the adjustments to the waist width before deciding on the dart because pinning a dart that deep right into the bust point is not normal or doable without puckering so it's highly unlikely this is the issue. That said...

... I don't actually like the way the back peplum falls. That split is right below the zipper and - IMHO - looks bunched and tail-like.

The rest of yesterday was indecisive. I traced three patterns and changed my mind three times. In the end, I concluded it would be good to implement my new learning around alterations in some kind of step-by-step way that gradually increases the level of difficulty and at the same time I need some more clothes in my wardrobe right now and not to spend my time making endless muslins of and sewing difficult garments and of course there has to be some balance between those two thoughts to keep things fun.

Vogue 8536 is - as they say - a basic design with some neck variations. It's curved through the waist with 3/4" of easing along the side at bust level. The view top right has a cross over V neck. That's the style that's been reviewed the most. It's an interesting variation. I'm going to start with the basic round neck and see if - with my new sequence of alterations - I like this pattern more or less or about the same as my TNT New Look 6735 which is drafted similarly. This afternoon. I have appointments this morning.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - multi sized patterns

I darn near had a heart attack when Chloe decided to sleep on this pile of scraps and muslins because that grey one has pins holding the sleeve in and I promised my daughter Chloe would not get pinned and luckily, she didn't. When I sew a muslin, I try to re-use whatever parts I can like cutting the next muslin's bodice out of the last muslin's skirt. I have some ideas for these piles that I haven't had time to explore yet.


  1. Regarding Vogue 8815, I've done 2 muslins plus a wearable muslin before I cut into a paisley cotton from Sawyer Brook. I've made adjustments to that pattern that I haven't to other Vogue patterns, so I would say: don't take the alterations you have to make to that particular one as being universal. I think there's something wonky with how it's drafted. Just my opinion. I'm am pleasantly surprised, though, how flattering it is on me with my hip fluff...


    1. Good information. THANKS Brenda. I'll take that into consideration... right after I sew a few more practical pieces. Do you have a picture of your garment posted somewhere that I can see?

  2. Good morning :-)

    I don't like the look of that peplum either. The peplum from New Look 6130 was much nicer. Perhaps you can change this peplum's layout/construction so that it mirrors 6130's? Or just sew the 6130 peplum on the Vogue bodice!

    1. Substituting peplums is a good idea. Later. I'm peplumed out right now.

  3. I had similar thoughts about Boston vs Syria. Neither should be more or less of a tragedy.

  4. The back peplum on the top looks like it needs to be slimmed in the center and maybe 2 splits and spreads to hang right. I wasn't sure by what you wrote if you had added the extra for your back hip.

    Vogue 8536 is my TNT knit top pattern. I cut by my high bust and graded out for the ss-10 for the top and a 12 for the ss through the sleeves. The only alteration that I made to the pattern was a sloping shoulder and adding a bit of length. I did remove a small (small) amount of sleeve ease and rotated the dart out. I'm small enough I can get away with it with no drag lines. THAT'S IT! Everything else fit me beautifully without any tweaking right down through the hips. I have never had a pattern fit me so well right out of the envelope. And I just looked and I don't have one single picture in flickr that I can link you to! LOL I'll see if I can fix that tomorrow or Thursday.

    BTW, if you can't tell I love this pattern!

    1. I did add width to the peplum - possibly too much if I'm following what you're saying. I'll pin some out and see what I think. Thanks.

      I'd love to see a picture of your t-shirt. Thanks. I'm not having the same experience although my size range is much more expansive. After I'd done the alterations, the armhole was virtually identical to my TNT armhole so I'll use that sleeve. I needed a 1" FBA so I turned the easing into a dart as it fits smoother to the body and is more flattering when there's that much easing. I'm not quite finished sewing and tweaking yet so I'll wait and see how it turns out for the rest of the story.

    2. Re the peplum-I think what you need to do is go back to the original pattern piece and make a series of slash and spreads across the entire piece so that by the time it's done it will have an arc to the piece. Of course I'm basing that on what I think it should look like based on the look of the front on the pattern envelope which is falling in soft folds. Not sure what the front of your actual top looks like since there's no picture of it! Does it compare to the pattern?

    3. The front peplum is cut on fold. When I lay the adapted back peplum on top, it followed the same arc. The front does have a softer look. When I get back to it, I'll pin out some of the width I added and see what happens.

  5. You are so right that it does no one any good to simply dwell on tragedies in the news. Sometimes we can't help but change our normal routines, but I don't think it's wrong at all to carry on when possible. I hear you on the irrationality of being much more horrified when something that is a daily happening in other countries happens in our own, but then that is human nature. We can't respond to everything equally, so our impulse is to identify with what most affects our own "tribe".

    Not to beat the peplum dead horse, but my thought is that some peplums distribute the flare evenly around the body, while others concentrate it in one area or another. On me, I think the flare works better to the side, with the front and back lying flat. The Vogue pattern seems to put a lot of fullness at the center back, which I wouldn't care for.

    Good luck on the t-shirt! Can't wait to see what you come up with.

    1. Identifying with your tribe is such an interesting concept. Even though the furthest international travel I've done is to the United States, when I cross back into Canada, I'm less tense and relax. I'm Canadian. I'm home. AND YET...

      ... the clearest feeling of being with my tribe that I've ever experienced was last year at the Design Outside the Lines workshop. As soon as the opening circle began, I had an overwhelming feeling of finally, finally I'm in a group of people who do what I do. It was quite amazing.

      I wonder if the distribution of flare on the peplum has less to do with it and more to do with the shape you're sewing it to.

      Interesting things happening with the t-shirt. More soon.


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