Friday, October 10, 2008

I had to put my jacket project aside to finish the heart/frog art project, and now I have moved on to a dress! I will be needing a dress to wear to an upcoming wedding, as well as to the "Une Grand Soiree" where this frog/heart (and others) will be auctioned. So I am working on a new pattern.

I have been refining the fit of my basic Torso block...using Patternmaster Boutique software (PMB). My original plan was to do an Empire style, but the muslin showed that I would need a lot more length in the bodice portion to force the fabric to 'return' to the rib cage under the bust (for a closer fit), and I really don't have time to work that out right now, since the wedding is on Oct 25. So I changed plans and will do a more simplified style. I am considering princess lines vs. just using darts. My basic idea is to do a cut-on cap sleeve...but that depends on whether or not I can get one to suit me. I printed a pattern to test, and was not thrilled with the area where the sleeve cap's hem meets the AH...I almost wanted to 'round off' that corner! Hmmm....

Last night I watched a show I had recorded called LIPSTICK JUNGLE. These ladies wear amazing clothes! One of the characters is a fashion designer, so there is a smattering of 'fashion' there, but the female lead characters are dressed VERY well.

Anyway, in the episode I watched last night-
http://www.nbc.com/Lipstick_Jungle/video/episodes/?vid=737984#vid=737984
-I counted 3 or 4 dresses with cap sleeves! When the episode began (after the recap of previous shows), the first scene showed the 'fashion designer' character (Victory) on a tour boat wearing a red dress with a very nice cap sleeve...I 'paused' the recording to study the sleeve, and sure enough, the cap meets the armhole at the same place on the body where the arm meets the body. *THAT* is the problem with my PMB cut-on cap sleeve...the notches are too high, so the cap meets the AH too high. This helped me realize my instinct (to want to 'round off' that corner ) was a good one; I just need the validation!

I wasn't absolutely positive this sleeve was cut-on, as opposed to sewn in, but that was my impression.

There was another 'top' (that NICO was wearing) that had sleeves which almost looked like the 'casual' ah without any sleeve...just barely a cap at the top and much less shape to the armhole edge. Nice. Many of the cap sleeves I have seen are definitely 'sewn in', though.

My own dress will not be full-skirted, as this one is...mine will be straighter. And I have not finalized the neckline shape yet!

Now that I have worked out the measurements and settings for the shoulder/bust area (again!) I am once again looking at getting the distribution around waist and hips correct. I have been messing with moving the SS at waist and SS at hip both forward and backward, trying various combinations, etc. But just using the muslin that I have sewn so far, it appears that the BEST solution is to use SS/H=0, even though that makes the back have that odd shape...you know, where there is hardly any waist indent on the back pattern. This is because I must use WAY more ease at hip than at bust** (**PMB gives me about 1.5" MORE bust ease that I ask for, so to get an equivalent amount of hip ease requires asking for more than I ask for at the bust level.)

After sewing this muslin, I may find I can use less hip ease, but I am thinking I need 5" for a dress. But here is the deal...I LOSE 1" of that hip ease in front when I extend the front darts to the hem!

And THAT is my latest revelation...

I remember several years ago, when Lisa was looking into her PMB drafts and asked users about their front waist darts...and whether we needed them to be shorter or longer (many were complaining that the darts were too long at the time)...anyway, *MY* response was that I thought MINE needed to go down to my knees! I was kinda kidding, but actually, that probably *IS* what was needed!

Look at the picture of this Mueller draft, here>>>

Ya know how the front has the long 'extension' of the front waist dart? Well, I have FINALLY realized THAT is my problem with PMB. When I use the front waist darts, I have always gotten a poof of fabric at the release. So, I assumed I needed larger back waist darts than front, and have been trying to accomplish this for years now. But my muslin is telling me that I need to actually *sew out* the long front dart-- all the way to the hem! Just eliminate that excess in front...which WILL make the front dart narrower (if you measure horizontally from the dart's waist point over to the long straight edge of the lower dart) and will make the overall hip ease *less*, with more of the total circumference in the back (where I need it).

Now, my PMB patterns don't have this long extension of the front waist darts. You have to KNOW you need to remove this excess. It helps to extend the front waist darts, as I have done in the image above.

I have mentioned before, on chat list... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/patternmasterusers/patternmasterusers/

...that, when I use a PMB princess style, if I slide the Side/Front pattern over to align to the Front pattern at hip level, there is a GAP created at bust level. Well, this need to sew out the front excess totally explains that gap! If I make the PMB waist darts go all the way to the hem, the GAP at bust level disappears! duh. What took me so long to figure this out? Or, to 'accept' this...sometimes I know what my pattern needs to look like, but still 'fight' it...wanting it to look more "normal"!

Anyway, so that is what is happening now.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Hey Patricia;

You know that "gap" must be cup/bust size related. Mine only measures out @ .128 when I slide my pieces together! Mine also disappears when I extend my darts to hem. I haven't used pmb's cuton cap, but thanks for the heads up!:)) Interesting, I usually extend my waist darts to hem, and now I know why!!:)))

Interesting dance you have to do with your excess bust ease when choosing hip ease to get a decent back sideseam shape. Thank goodness the side/arm pt. does the trick for me. Sideseams..to mirror or not to mirror..that is the question!:))

Debbie

 
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