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