Thursday, July 30, 2009

A hot mess, aka green and aqua tops

I had previously mentioned that I had an epiphany regarding the fit of my armholes. As you may remember, I have been trying to ‘scoop’ the F-AH for quite some time, and for a couple of reasons. One is because I always feel a ‘tightness’ there at the F-ah with arm movement, but two, is because of the way the PMB back armhole flows into the front. It seemed to suddenly change direction at the sideseam, and I was trying to create a smoother flow from downward in back…across…to upward in front.


I have long been plagued by diagonal wrinkles in the back of my garments. It suddenly occurred to me that if I scooped out the lower BACK AH a bit, it would help with those wrinkles. AND, if I scooped out the BACK AH, then there would be no need to scoop out the FRONT ah!



Well, this was a whole new way of thinking for me. But I already had the next top cut out…this green one.



This one was very similar to the previous Ladybug Top with a few minor measurement tweaks, including a slightly increased BACK SHOULDER WIDTH. Again, I used a Bcup, but this time, I had used a little negative DART OVERRIDE to loosen up the front ah, to see if that improved the sleeve. My CFL was equal to my CBL.
(BTW, the reason I used the D.O. was to see if it made the armhole better for a sleeve...I knew it wouldn't be great for sleeveless.)

The sleeves are probably better than previous ones, but are still not just right. In all fairness, this is NOT the sleeve pattern that I should be testing with! I should use a straight sleeve with straight hem…not a tapered sleeve! The narrow hem circumference makes it hard to see the relationship of my arm to the sleeve’s fullness. The too-short cap height isn’t helping much either! But the FEEL of the sleeve was still wrong…they were constricting with movement…so I assume the armholes still aren’t right. I didn’t plan to leave the sleeves in this top anyway, so I ripped and finished as sleeveless.



And FYI, I have realized that ALL these recent tops are too long in front and too short in back! I evaluate in front of a mirror and probably stand too erect...getting a false sense of what fits and what is level with what. *
*
*
*
This next one, aqua, was also a B cup, but I had increased the CBL and BSS by 0.375”.

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
When I got the facings attached and tried this on, the front swung open, as if the Center Front Length was too long (I had increased the back length, not the front!).
On the left is the original...on the right, I have pinned tucks in both front neck edges, to shorten the front length. It seemed to make the front hang better.
*
So, what the heck, I cut off the front shoulder at neck point to reduced the front length by .5”…this made the front shoulder more ‘square’.
*
Well, it also pulled the Bust Point up too high!
*
And, it changed the balance of the garment…so now the BACK SHOULDER SLOPE seems long (see how the back shoulder has excess ‘ease’).
*I should NOT have adjusted the front shoulder...what needed to be done was to reduce the dart size and take the excess front length off at hem…as if slicing the pattern across the whole front through the dart and overlapping to remove 0.5”.
*
Oh well.
*
Since I had already messed this one up, I decided to play with it.
I had read some info on neck widths, which is the FIRST area on a fitting garment to correct. The back neck (on the pattern) should be 3" wide, and the front will usually be 1/8 to 1/4" narrower than the back.

I wanted to see what effect this would have on the F-AH.
I decided to simulate what would happen if I drafted a pattern where the front neck width was a full ½” narrower than the back neck width. So I ripped the shoulders and realigned them by moving the front shoulder OUTWARD. I had to cut off ¼” shoulder length at the back neck point…making the back neck ¼” wider on each side. I also had to unsew the back shoulder dart and sew it smaller to make the front and back shoulder seams match at the armhole ends. As you can see, this created a ‘gap’ in the front armhole. It felt awful, and didn’t provide ease in the ah.
*
This is the left image...where I am holding up ONE finger.
*
So I ripped it again and realigned the shoulders as intended…this meant I had to trim away ¼” from the front shoulder length at neck point…so now both front and back necks are 1/4” wider than they started with, but they have the same relationship as drafted…front neck is again 1/8” to ¼” narrower than back neck.
*
On the right, holding TWO fingers, is after realignment.
*
You’d think I had lots of time to waste!
*
After sewing these tops, I have decided that there is NO ADVANTAGE to using the reduced cup size…well, at least, not a Bcup. The smaller cup sizes have a lower, more scooped front armhole….but as I discovered, if the back armhole has the right shape, the front doesn’t need to be ‘scooped’. Plus, if the back shoulder width is adequate, the pulling on the front armhole is minimized.
You can’t fit armholes in a vacuum!

So this week I have been sewing and testing again…to determine WHICH cup size I should use. I tried an E again, and it was crazy wrong! I also tried a D, and it was better, but just looked so matronly…finally I figured out that it was because it was too large! I could take a .5” tuck from shoulder to hem over each bust…like a princess seam! BTW, I have used the same bust measurement and the same bust ease for all these tops. The B cups were a little tight-ish and the D and E cups were a little large. So like Goldilocks, I have decided that the Ccup is ‘just right’! Now if only I could get those sleeves to be ‘just right’…

Speaking of Goldilocks…OMG, I have cut my hair.

And it is bad.

Seeing my hair in the pictures of that green top helped me realize it was time for a trim, but I got carried away. I cut that bangs…it looked a little better! So I cut some more. And then some more. This went on over about a week.
Then I decided I better GO get the back trimmed to match the now-shorter front (don’t want a mullet!).

Well, she cut the back VERY SHORT…stacked it….and left the sides longer like I had them…creating an inverted sort of look.

Well, the sides looked like lambchops on my face! I *had* to cut the front to match the now-shorter back…so now it is ALL short! (All the images shown on this post have the 'before cut' or 'during cut' hair.)

Yuk.

I am trying to focus on the fact that it will no longer be a HOT MESS.

Maybe.

3 comments:

Marilyn said...

The aqua/green print top #2 is a very good fit. That IS why you have two fingers isn't it? Or are those gang signs? Ohh-a sewing gang. Can i join? What is the initiation?
I totally sympathize with the hair thing. I'm presently considering shaving my head and starting over!

Trish said...

Marilyn, if you cut your hair to be like a brown helmet, then you can join my sewing gang!!! :) Perhaps we'll all get those 'bump its', too...for a bit of height in back!

Marilyn said...

Your photo with three fingers looks like you were in a fight (barroom brawl?) I hope you won!

 
Free Hit Counter