Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The After Market Sleeve

There are issues and you know I'm going to tell you about them because I'm quite good at the full disclosure thing BUT...

... can we first celebrate this back armhole? Isn't it fabulous? There's no bunching. No extra fabric under the arm. It lays smooth and even and looks great even with its after market sleeve that doesn't fit completely correct. Doesn't matter. The armhole is WONDERFUL. I can't even tell you how long I've been working on the armhole issue and this is significant progress. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

The pattern is Burda 7063 with its summer fresh look and easy styling. In particular, I really liked the shape of the collar and - LOL - it looks nothing at all like that on me. It's narrower. I thought I could go sleeveless and I tried it and I couldn't so the sleeves are frankenpatterned from Butterick 5678 - after the fact - which doesn't make for the best draft but did do the trick although there was no ease through the front and too much in the back which resulted in pulling.

The waist shaping is made with sheering elastic. Basically, you zigzag over the elastic and then pull it up to size. If you make this pattern, two important points are... do NOT pull the elastic up as tight as they suggest unless you have a really teeny tiny waist or you'll look sucked in like a sausage... AND... the waist point is between the bottom two rows of elastic. There are supposed to be six rows and I have four because I ran out. That makes the back sit a bit high because there should be another 1/2" of elastic sheering below BUT... I'm not sure I'll add it because...

... I doubt I'll wear this blouse. Like the New Look blouse from yesterday, it has a horizontal line across the abdomen and that's neither comfortable nor my best look and this one is sucked in and sticks to me and makes me feel really fat and... if we're going to get real picky... and apparently I am... I really dislike the bust gathers. I'm not a fan of gathers most times. They are very hard to do really well and I don't like them done so, so... SO... if I were to sew this again I would use small tucks.

Another tip if you sew this blouse is to position a button at bust level and another mid elastic to keep the garment politely closed. The waist especially has great gaping potential. The elastic ends 1 1/8" from the button band which creates tension on the band... which... speaking of ... is 5/8" wide and IMHO that's a stupid width for a button band if you're hoping for centered button holes. I'd add 1/8" next time.

Here's the full back. Remember to visually add another 1/2" of elastic below the sheering. It's okay. I like the waist definition and might be tempted to use it again in the back however, by and far, the best back feature is those wonderful armholes. JUST. LOVE. THEM.

As I said yesterday, it feels like I've made some gigantic leaps forward in my sewing knowledge over the past few weeks. Because the work is trial and error, you might think I'm getting discouraged. I most definitely am not, more like ecstatic to finally be answering some questions even as these answers raise new questions. And, at the same time - to borrow a knitting phrase - I've been exploring new to me styles using my less than best fabric. It's a good way of learning.

Next, I plan to sew Butterick 5678 again using the information I've learned. This is one of my favourite styles. The princess seams and the shaping through the waist are both flattering on me without any sucked in sausage or fat across the tummy overtones.

I've noticed that as I work out each fitting issue, and the garment comes into better fit, I need to make slight adjustments. Both the New Look blouse and this Burda one were adjusted based on the same fitting shell. With the armhole issue resolved, this one almost looks over fitted so with the next blouse, I'll extend the shoulders slightly and give myself a bit more room....

... while maintaining the armholes because....

... what amazing armholes ! ! ! ! !  YEAH - way to go armholes.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - great armholes

I'm helping !!! Right ??? 


  1. Cool Myrna!! What a great progress.... I think if it weren't for the elastic this top would have been fantastic - fit wise! It's so inspiring to see you relentlessly make muslins and now have reached such a great fit.

    1. Thank you. I'm quite pleased with the progress. The top could be sewn without the elastic and it'd have a triangular flowing shape and quite possibly a few darts or back elastic could keep it from looking pregnant. I'll leave that experiment for another day. LOTS of patterns in my drawer.

  2. I think it's really pretty and I love (LOVE!) the polka dot fabric!

  3. Replies
    1. ... LOL ... thank you. I bought that fabric in the bargain center for $2.00. It's great. I may look for more.

  4. I'm with you on those bustline gathers - great look in theory; in practice, not so much!

    I think the New Look pattern was very flattering on you re: the waistline. I think because it's a seam, plus the shape of the peplum.

    I look forward to seeing your newest version of 5678!

    1. On the other hand, I adore tucks so next time...

      I wore the peplum top to get together with my sewing friend today. She liked it as well. I may try it again with some variation. Thanks for the encouragement.

      Slow sewing today but the 5678 is coming along. LOL - I chose fabric!

    2. That's a start! :-) What did you choose?

    3. It's a cotton polyester blend with crinkles in a dull grey. I'm wondering what compelled me to buy so much yardage of such a dull color but it's perfect for the next trial run and a great go with a lot of things and you can add color basic. It'll work.

  5. I also have an aversion to gathers, and often turn them into pleats which lay flatter against the body. Here's a thought...why don't you take the elastic out of this one (and loose it in the bin) and try creating/playing with vertical darts and pleats on the waistline, shaping out over your hips. I do think the top half sits well on you. Throw on a necklace and I am sure this top could be used by you ... oh, and perfect sleeve length...J

    1. LOL - great minds think alike and all. The top is on my dress form and I've been pondering possibilities for the waist but haven't ripped the elastic out yet... cause I'll get distracted... and I need to finish up a few other things first. It's definitely one to play with.

      Three quarters is my favourite sleeve length. It could almost be said to be my only sleeve length. I use it extensively.

    2. Way back when, I made up an Anne Klein blouse from Vogue patterns. It was the one with all the pleats in the shoulder area, as well as a huge bias cut scarf like collar. Anyway, to control all the fullness resulting from the shoulder pleats, there were tucks at the waist. I think they were about two inches long, and controlled the fullness beautifully. I think there were three on each side, front and back.

    3. Great idea Pearl. Thanks.


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