Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Peach Eyelet #1

Last week, while suffering with a head-cold/bronchitis, I began tweaking measurements in PMB, to see how things changed. I found that without changing cup size, I could affect the size of the bust dart by just reducing the Bust Measurement.

For example, a 39D-cup produced a larger bust dart than a 41D-cup.


So I decided I would reduce my BU measurement and use more EASE and see what happens.

But of course, I couldn’t leave it at that…I had to make other changes, too!

As you know, I have ‘issues’ with the front armhole in PMB.

  • I always have to manually scoop the F-AH to get the right shape. I just haven’t been able to ‘force’ the program to give me a good AH.
  • Plus, the sleeves are never ‘just right’….the front of the sleeve hangs free of the arm, but the back of the sleeve tends to lay close to the back of my arm…this is a clue to me that something is wrong with the armhole shapes and sizes, but I just haven’t been able to figure it out (until now!).

So I thought, what the heck…I’ll reduce my cup size, too, and see how THAT affects the armholes.

  • I do know that reducing the cup size DOES scoop the F-ah a little.
  • PLUS, it changes the FRONT to BACK distribution of the patterns at underarm level…the larger the cup size, the narrower the back width at underarm level.
  • PLUS, the larger the cup size, the larger the bust dart.
  • PLUS, the larger the cup size, the longer the front length on the pattern. This meant that if I reduced my cup size, I would have to increase the Center Front Length and Front Shoulder Slope, to make up the difference in what the reduced cup size would eliminate. In PMB, each cup size makes a difference of .375” in front length. So, going down one cup letter meant going UP 0.375” on my CFL and FSS.

But along with this reduced cup size comes another change...not to the blouse pattern that I will be sewing, but to the RED OVERLAY (aka the dress sloper) that PMB drafts with my measurements, upon which the patterns are based. I have been trying to follow the advice of the company…and that advice is to INCREASE THE CUP SIZE in order to LEVEL THE WAIST OF THE SLOPER.

This is the way my previous patterns looked, with my previous measurement chart (which uses an E cup), before I began this recent tweaking:

Look at where the ARROW is pointing….to the amount the Side/Waist is ‘raised’ above the level of the CF waist. The S/W point on my red sloper is .9” higher than the level of the CF…already a bit higher than recommended.

But look at what happens to the sloper’s waist when I REDUCE THE CUP SIZE from (E to D):

Now, after reducing the cup size, the sloper’s waist is even MORE unlevel…the S/W point is now 1.75” above the level of the CFL!

If I were listening to the fitting advice being given, I would immediately reverse this, and increase the cup size to level that waist.

But “been-there, done-that” (and it didn’t work). So now I am going the other way.

What the heck…it is a test garment!

So I created this new measurement chart and set about drafting my patterns.

Because the reduced cup size changed the width distribution at underarm level on the F & B patterns, this meant I needed to use different settings for Side/Hip placement than before in order to keep my sideseams as mirror images.

I found that I didn’t have to move the S/H point backward as far as before (since the new back underarm point was now more forward) so I used the (+.25) setting.

This also meant I no longer had to use an extra 2” of hip ease and remove it at the front waist darts, as mentioned here.

So I used:

Side/Arm Point: -1
Side/Waist Point: +1
Side/Hip Point: +.25

The Side/Arm Point in PMB will not go any farther forward than -1.

I always use that (-1) setting, to try to widen the back pattern at underarm level as much as possible, although I always WISH I could make it even wider.

Since that S/A point is sort of ‘fixed’ (maxed out), to get mirrored sideseams the HIP must be balanced to that point (wherever it is) by moving the S/H forward or backward.

Here you can see the sideseam relationship of my new pattern.

I didn’t sew it with a shoulder dart…but it is necessary to put the dart ABOVE the armhole to evaluate the sideseams! The actual garment has a side/bust dart.

Ok, so here is the pattern I sewed.

As you can see, I manually scooped the F-ah as described previously. But that was the only change I made…the rest of the pattern was used as it drafted.

And here is the blouse. The sewing isn't my best is hard to do a good job when you are sick (well, for me, anyway)! At first glance, it isn’t too bad (if you don’t count the way the bust dart puckers at the tip!).

But it is too tight.

The back needs more ease to be comfortable. There is no room for my ‘wings’ to spread when my arms move and no breathing room when I sit. Well, it is wearable, but I am ‘aware’ of the tightness all day.

The Bust Point/Level is too high on this one, and the overall front length is still a bit skimpy...too short (I took care of that on the next one though!).

I have reached the point of having made my shoulders TOO NARROW. I have been gradually reducing the shoulder width measurements on each garment I make...and I should have stopped already!

Combined with this close fit, it is apparent that the shoulder width measurements are much too narrow for my body. For a sleeveless blouse, they are ok, but this blouse was designed to have sleeves!

Because these shoulders were so narrow and the bust/back a bit snug, I decided to NOT use the sleeves, and make this top sleeveless instead...much more forgiving!

I DID sew the sleeves in, though, and evaluate the fit before ripping them I know how this would fit if I DID use them.

And the fit would NOT be good.

This blouse is ‘wearable’ and I did learn a few things by sewing it, but this is NOT the measurement chart that I will continue to use in the future!!!

I learned that using the 39" bust (when I really measure 41") was NOT the way to get a larger dart, even though I used more bust ease. The point of this was the larger dart size...but that is so variable, and can be affected by Side/Waist placement and ease and other things, so I am going to restore my BU size for the next one.

Reducing my cup size from E-cup to D-cup WAS a good thing…the waist on my sloper will just have to continue to be 'unlevel', I guess, because the smaller cup size seems better!

The angle of the sideseam above the bust is better now, but as you can see in the side view above, it looks like it could even angle a little MORE toward the front above the bust dart…next time.

With the new cup size comes a new armhole-- BETTER, but still, my sleeves weren’t ‘just right’. But I’ll have to reevaluate that once I widen the shoulder widths and increase the bust ease.

As you can see in these pictures, I STILL have plenty of ease on the sides under the arms, yet the blouse is constricting across the back with arm movement.

This top could use another 0.5 to 0.75 inch width all the way down the back sideseam, from shoulder to hip/hem, without changing the front.

So after making this one, I tweaked measurements and settings and compared patterns and created yet another NEW CHART that will give me that!

And that was the second top I sewed recently….stay tuned!


Marilyn said...

Do you feel like the armholes are too deep? For a sleeveless garment, anyway?

Trish said...

Marilyn, yes, I did. But I was thinking they were ok for a garment with you agree, or do you think they are also too low even for a sleeve?

Marilyn said...

Yes, I think the armhole is too low for a sleeved garment. And don't think I have a fetish for armpits, just because I always comment on such!!

Trish said...

Thanks Marilyn! I value your input and will definitely raise the ah level on the next one!

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