Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dartless Top Part Two, the pattern

I needed to figure out a way to create a dartless pattern that I would be pleased with. All the literature and advice I’ve read suggest that dartless patterns are good for bust sizes below 38”…or sizes of C-cup or less…so, right off the bat I am a bit disadvantaged because my bust size is a bit larger than that. But never one to take NO for an answer, I determined that it CAN be done…I just have to experiment.

My inspiration is the PLAY SHIRT instructions on page 140 of Natalie Bray’s MORE DRESS PATTERN DESIGNING. She rotates part of the bust dart to the shoulder, F-ah, and hem to eliminate having a dart to sew. I decided I would do that, too, to create a dartless block to use with knit fabrics.

Chart Changes

Because my cup size is larger than that recommended by experts, I created a NEW measurement chart to use for creating patterns for sewing Dartless Knits. I reduced the cup size in this chart by 2 letters…in PMB, each cup size extends the front length by .375”, so I know I will be losing .75” of front length. I will make up for the lost length by using the CF Extension tool when I draft the pattern.

Also, knowing that I will be putting some of the bust dart into the front armhole to be left unsewn, I reduced the FRONT SHOULDER SLOPE measurement by .5”. This is basically pulling out (at the top) the extra length I will be adding when I rotate some of the dart into the armhole.

I also reduced the BACK SHOULDER SLOPE by .25”…I don’t think that was really necessary, but I did do it…I’ll probably will put it back to ‘normal’ for next time.

Drafting Choices

To create my dartless pattern I began with the basic darted BLOUSE silhouette in PMB4. I chose NO CLOSURE, as I planned to cut the pattern on the fold of the fabric, front and back. Because my intended fabric wasn‘t as stretchy as some, I used .5” chest ease and 2” hip ease. Waist ease was left at 1”…the waist darts won’t be sewn, however, the waist ease WILL affect the size of the bust dart, so I keep it stable. I usually lower the armhole depth by .5” but for this knit, I chose to lower it only .25”…which is essentially raising the AH depth .25” above my ‘normal’.

I mentioned that I would be rotating the bust dart to shoulder, F-ah, and hem. While all these locations are choices within the Drafter, I cannot rotate the bust dart to all three locations at the same time, so I choose SHOULDER BUST DART, and will manually rotate some of the dart uptake to the hem in the PATTERN EDITOR. However, I CAN put some of that bust dart into the F-ah by using the DART OVERRIDE tool. I chose the (-.25) setting, which opens the armhole by .5”.

I changed my Side/Arm position from my usual (-1) to (-.75).

Because I knew I would be rotating some of the bust dart to the front hem, which will make the lower front wider, I changed the Side/Hip position from my usual of (+5) to (-.75)…this made the back wider and made the front really narrow! The sideseam are not at all mirrored! But that is ok…I knew I’d be changing that.

Again, because I had reduced my CUP SIZE (in the chart) by two letters, I used a CF extension of 1” to regain the lost front length.

For my sleeves, I used a CAP HEIGHT of (-.5) (normal for me is -1.25) and I reduced the CAP EASE as low as possible…it was .26”. I just drafted the sleeves wrist length, and modified them in PE.

My Pattern Changes

After saving the pattern, I opened it in the Pattern Editor portion of PMB. On the BACK pattern, I drew a line from NECK POINT to Shoulder Point, ignoring the back shoulder dart. I measured this line, and drew a matching line on the FRONT pattern.

Next, I selected the Sideseam, F-ah, and lateral shoulder section, along with the lateral dart leg of the bust dart. Using the BUST POINT (not dart tip) as my pivot point, I rotated the selected area clockwise to partially close the bust dart. I wanted to leave 1.25” of dart in the front shoulder.

But as you can see, that didn’t bring the F-ah all the way to the end of the new shoulder line.

So, I rotated only that upper section of the F-ah to close the last .25”, pivot point is the lower end of the arc.

Rotating the shoulder dart partially closed put the remainder of the dart into the hem (Remember, I don’t have to put ANY of the dart into the armhole, because I used the Dart Override tool in the drafter to do that for me!). To correct the sideseams and close the front hem, I FLIPPED the back pattern and superimposed it onto the front, aligning the underarm points. I redrew the BACK sideseam to have the same waist indent as the front one, but redrew the LOWER front sideseam to match the back. I redrew the front hem using an arc to close the gap. I erased the waist darts.

Of course, THEN I began to consider the neck styling…and how I hadn’t made any decision about that yet! A jewel neck won’t stretch over my head…I didn’t want a jewel neck anyway! So I drafted a scoop neck, widening the neck .25” at the sides, and lowered the back neck a bit also. NOW, I was ready to print!

Dart Override: -0.25
Shoulder Dart Position: 0

Side/Arm Point: -0.75
Side/Waist Point: 1
Side/Hip Point: -0.75

Cf/Extension: 1
Cb/Extension: 0

Sleeve Cap Ease: 0.26
Sleeve Cap Height Adj: -0.5

More later…

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