On Thursday afternoon, I pulled all the t-shirt fabrics out of the stash closet, wrapped them around my body, marked where the fit looked good, and then measured between the marks to size the stretch. In one of her videos, Peggy Sagers tells you to do this and then to sew the size that corresponds. So if you wrap the fabric around and between the pins it measures 34", you would then sew the size with a 34" bust measurement. This works BUT not quite the way Peggy says. She tells you to go ahead and sew that size and everything will work out. I say go ahead and trace that size, make your usual alterations, and then there are greater odds it will work out. It's a good tip. It works.
New Look 6735 has been my T&T t-shirt pattern for a few years now. Having worked out a new set of alterations with a lot less gyrations, I wanted to see how the resulting pieces would differ from the ones I'd been using. The short answer is barely but better. With the pattern traced in my typical size, I wanted a fabric that matched that sizing to sew the (hopefully wearable) muslin with. This blue/grey/purple burnout was perfect because it is also...
... a print and a print is especially useful when you're not quite sure you've made all the right adjustments but you know you've made the major ones. It'll hide minor imperfections.
With a stretch fabric, I wasn't sure how much hip differential to add in the back so I traced a larger size along the side seam and then added a back wedge which I then ended up taking out after fitting. Once the seam was permanently sewn, I thought perhaps I'd taken a bit too much and when I compared...
... the cut out wedge of fabric to the inserted wedge of paper, I was right. I'm working on another version. For this next one, I traced the pattern with no wedge inserted and I'm focusing on the shape of the lower armhole. More about that tomorrow.
Do you remember this picture of my stash closet from a few weeks ago and...
... this picture of my clothes closet? Do you see what they have in common? There's about the same ratio of colors, textures, and prints. When I finished the t-shirt, I took it upstairs to the closet and noticed immediately how it went with a large portion of the other garments. It certainly wasn't deliberate but it did remind me of a conclusion I came to a few years ago.
Although I always start with the best of intentions, I have never finished a SWAP plan - nor any other wardrobing plan for that matter. In fact, it seems the minute that I state I have a plan, I'm seduced away to some other goal. I've read numerous books on developing your style, dressing for your body type, and finding your fashion personality and they fascinate me. I've learned a lot from the descriptions especially about why I like a particular color, texture, print, or style. I've made some mistakes - and I'm sure I always will - but over time I've become increasingly confident with my choices to the point where most of the fabrics I buy, and the garments I sew, work well together. While not planned, my wardrobe does organically evolve. Let's call it accidental wardrobe planning.
The thing that always detours me from developing any wardrobe plans is the curious question and it's the process of exploring those questions that has led to better results both in terms of developing patterns that fit and flatter and in terms of developing a fabric stash and a wardrobe of clothes that fits and flatters. It's a win-win.
Often it's a question or comment that gets me thinking which is one reason why I really appreciate the feedback and discussion. Thanks. Right now, I'm exploring Debbie's comment about the front armhole looking like it's cutting in. I haven't liked that shape for a while and it was time. After that, I have a few more questions waiting to be explored and I imagine even more will develop so it's unlikely I'll be doing any specific wardrobe planning in the near future. It's more likely that I'll continue to sew by the tickle and need method alternating between questions, occasions, shiny objects, and holes to be plugged. And that's okay. It works too.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - less alterations, better fit,