This morning, I'm cleaning house and then I'll sew one more muslin and after that move forward with "real" clothes as my husband calls them. When I was talking to my daughter on the weekend about how I don't actually have a large wardrobe, he interrupted to say that's because all she sews is muslins. Too funny and somewhat true except that the process of the last few weeks has confirmed some things I needed to know and has made me very comfortable with the alterations I am making and why. It has also illustrated why other alterations looked like they might work and why they didn't and has shown where I've been overworking and what alterations I need to make in which order. Take the shoulder slope and the narrow back alterations for example...
The amount of my narrow back adjustment is 5/8". In the back, the tuck is made from the shoulder to the waist and then the width at the side seam is returned. In the front, for a narrow chest adjustment, the tuck is made from the shoulder level to the bottom of the armhole. I'm not sure why that doesn't work in the back but it doesn't. I've tried it and ended up with a lot of excess fabric through the lower back.
The tuck needs to be made before the adjustment to the shoulder slope because it greatly affects the position of the armhole and the shape of the shoulder. Above, I've drawn the tuck lines from the shoulder to the waist on the back pattern piece.
When I make the tuck, it appears as if I've adjusted the shoulder slope as well. This is deceiving. If I were to draw a line from the original neck point to the original shoulder point, I would be lowering the shoulder point. If I were to extend the original cut line, I would be returning the shoulder slope to its original angle.
In my case, I want to raise the shoulder point by 1/4" so I measured up that amount from the shoulder point and redrew the line as illustrated. Because of the tuck, it looks as if the change was 1/2" and it's not. A good way to know if the adjustment has worked is if the underarm point has moved.
Taking the 5/8" tuck narrows the width of the back. The measurement above - from center back - is 7 1/4" and a teeny bit. My back shoulder width is 14 1/2" so this works. The width of the back and the slope of the shoulder are now correct.
I retraced the shape of the armhole from the new shoulder point. The armhole is now 1/4" higher and 5/8" closer in to the body. To return the original width...
... I add back the 5/8" creating a new underarm point. It was interesting to me that the net outcome of the two adjustments was to raise the underarm because at one time I was making a petite adjustment through the armhole and although that adjustment was wrong, this information confirms that I was at least thinking in the correct direction. The underarm needed to be higher. What I hadn't realized was that the shoulder point also needed to be higher.
Here is the final affect of the two adjustments on the armhole. The darker line is the new armhole shape. It was traced from the original pattern tissue. The lighter line is the original armhole. On the front, I'll make a similar 5/8" narrow chest adjustment and on the sleeve, I'll add 5/8" to each side seam. Because the shape of the armhole was maintained, the shape of the original sleeve cap (if drafted correctly) will be correct.
Wish me luck. Hopefully, it truly is only this one more muslin. I know I've said that in the past and have then been sucked into following up another thought. I don't want to do that. I think I've learned what I needed to learn and can move forward now. LOL - we'll see.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - Although I'm tired of working on this "puzzle", I'm grateful for all the learning and how it is clarifying and simplifying the adjustment and sewing process.
For the next few weeks, until we take her back, there'll be a Chloe picture at the bottom of each posting so my daughter and son-in-law can see how she's doing. This is her please, please, please do you have a treat for me look.