Friday, September 20, 2013

The T-Shirt Series

Since working on the little girl twirl coats, my mind has been racing with ideas for a t-shirt series. I want to take my basic T & T pattern and divide center front with a squiggly line and then experiment with different ways to join that curved seam back together. That guideline is specific enough to give direction and general enough to allow for endless possibilities which is exactly what I like about series work. It challenges me to find new ways to fill a simple shape.




When I took my new measurements yesterday, they had gone down a complete size. Since I'm a triangle, think of that difference as moving the entire body - upper bust, full bust, waist, and hips - in one size smaller from whatever that number was originally - including cup size which meant I no longer needed the 1" length and width of the full bust adjustment that was drafted into my T & T t-shirt pattern. Because of that, instead of sewing the side seams wider, I traced a smaller size and worked through my usual adjustments. It seemed a better approach.

The front and back chest widths were correct and the pattern is drafted with zero ease as opposed to negative ease. For the sleeve, I chose the size where the bicep width of the pattern equaled my actual bicep width. This is something Peggy Sager's talks about in her webcasts. Her solution for any differences between the correct sleeve and the original armhole is to trace the armhole of the sleeve you'll be using onto the bodice you'll be using. I wish she had actually illustrated how to do that because I'm wondering if I've done it correctly - which means that I'm considering this first t-shirt as a wearable muslin and the base to develop the series from. It's plain, no squiggly line down the front.




My bodice is a 14 and the sleeve is an 18. The difference in width at the underarm is 1/2" each side and the difference in cap height is 1/4". That's an total of 1" that needed to be transferred onto the 14 bodice.




I started by using a pivot and slide method and aligned the underarm point of my traced bodice with the 18 of the pattern sheet and slide the shoulder point of the traced bodice until it matched the line of 14. Then I traced the 18 armhole onto the 14 bodice. The dotted line is the original armhole shape and the solid line is the adjusted one. As you can see, this narrows the front and back chest widths considerably. It's a concern and as I say that I wonder if this might also be the answer in cases where the problem was not the front or back chest width because I'm forever pinning out extra fabric in that area.




This new shape didn't include the 1/4" difference in cap height so I erased the new line and instead matched the shoulder points of the 14 bodice with the 14 line on the pattern sheet and then pivoted the armhole of my traced pattern until the width of the 14 (that short little mark) was aligned with the side width of the 18 on the pattern sheet and then traced the new armhole shape which is - as you can hopefully see - 1/4" lower. I'm not actually sure that I wanted to lower the armhole at the underarm point as opposed to raising the shoulder point but I'm going to sew this version and see what happens. It's a start. I'll learn what I learn, make some adjustments, and go from there.




I love this New Look 6735 pattern and have used it for years as my T & T only one thing confuses me about it. The instructions call for a fabric with significant crosswise stretch - 50% - and yet it's drafted with zero ease so significant crosswise stretch is not necessary. On the other hand, at bust height along the side seam, the front is 7/8" longer than the back. There is no recommendation for vertical stretch on the pattern guide even though that amount will need to be eased in. It makes a HUGE difference if you don't have that ability to ease. Ask me how I know. I've come up with many not so good solutions and the bottom line is easing is best and a dart works and I prefer easing to trying to figure out where to place the dart. I've learned to check both stretch factors before choosing a fabric. The one I'm using for this (hopefully) wearable muslin has 50% crosswise stretch and 25% lengthwise stretch so it will - just - work. I hope. We'll see. More on Monday.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - progress

8 comments:

  1. Sometimes I need to make a large bicep adjustment, but I use this method:
    http://theslapdashsewist.blogspot.com/2012/01/burda-09-2007-120-tie-neck-blouse.html. This way the shoulder/armhole/bodice remain unaltered. This works for me, even though I have broad shoulders. Plus, it's easy. I look forward to seeing what you do with the t-shirts:)

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    1. Thanks for the link. It was more about wanting to try Peggy's method and see what I think about it than finding a method that works. The one I've been using to date has been great. I just like experimenting wit possibilities.

      LOL - I'm looking forward to seeing what I do with t-shirts as well.

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  2. Myrna,

    If you go to Peggy's website, and pull up the webcast from March 19/2012, she demonstrates how to add the larger armhole onto the smaller pattern. There's good info on the webcast about the relationship between armhole depth and cap height - lightbulb moment for me!

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    1. Perfect. Thank you. I'll definitely go watch.

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    2. LOL - oh my gosh - information overload - menopausal brain - no idea. I have watched this video before and I remember being impacted by the B length from the side forward. It's what led to my preferred method. I'll continue watching - again - to see how she traced that armhole. Thanks for the prompt.

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  3. LOL - I know! I've watched it a couple times, not all the way through, as there was enough info to process just on the mechanics of the armhole, and the relationship between the cap height and the armhole depth (Line A?) - that at least explained why shallow capped sleeves never work for me...

    When she mentioned that what she was doing to the armhole is the same as what one does to the crotch seam, I realized what she is doing by adding the larger armhole to the smaller bodice is, in effect, scooping the armhole, as one would scoop a crotch seam...

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    1. On the grey t-shirt made Friday, without knowing I did what she describes so unwittingly I did good. That said, I didn't like the results as much as my other method of making a narrow back and a narrow chest adjustment and adding the amount of those adjustment to the side sleeve of the seam. That method is a factor of the A an B measurements she describes and seems to work better for me especially as I male the corner more square than rounded - an L versus a J which is also a crotch shape analogy. It's such a journey figuring out what works for us but I think we can confidently grasp it when we do... which is good... and comforting... because what I really want is to get on to the creative stuff and the wearing the actual clothes part.

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  4. I agree - there is more than one way to skin a cat, and if THIS way works better than THAT way for you, then go with it - it's sewing, not brain surgery!

    My ultimate goal is to get a number of basic patterns fitted to my satisfaction, and then tweak the basic patterns to create different versions of those basic patterns. That will be the fun part!

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