Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The PMK Crossed Panel Top

As I mentioned before, back in September I drafted a pattern for a knit top using Wild Ginger's patternmaking program for knits (PMK). The style I chose was the CROSSED PANEL. This has front shoulder princess seams and overlapping center panels which create a V neck.
Since the final outcome is not one I would repeat, I won't go into my drafting choices, but here you can see my pattern:
I WILL tell you that I had the bust level too high, and the bust points too close to center.

Also, the upper back is too short...as is the upper front! sigh.
I chose a beige textured knit from my stash to use for this top. This is a fabric I really liked and had been saving until I was sure about my pattern's fit. Apparently, I didn't save it long enough!

I had limited yardage, so had to be creative about the layout. Both center panels are supposed to be full-sized, but I decided it was unnecessary to make the underpanel reach the hem. By cutting the left panel shorter, I was able to fit the pattern onto this fabric.

BTW, although that is a pattern for a short sleeve, I DID cut a longer sleeve...3/4 length was all I could fit, though!
The contruction order of this style took a few minutes to work out! I decided that the first step was to partially sew the front princess seams...just above the bust.
That way, I could sew the front shoulder seams, which needed to be done before the neck edge was finished.
This looked really odd...all these pieces going off in all directions!

I basted around the neck edge (using red thread!) so I would know how much to turn under for the coverstitch.
Then I used the coverstitch machine to finish the neck edge.

Once the neck edge was finished, THEN I could sew the remainder of the front princess seams. After that, the contruction order was pretty normal.

I was not thrilled when I first tried this on.
Those sleeves were awfully twisty! barf. The lower edge is just folded under...there is no hem on the sleeves. I was just checking to see how it looked before finishing up. Needless to say, those sleeves came out!

But remember, i was short on fabric! I didn't have extra to cut more sleeves. I had to make these work.

I went back to the drafting board and created new patterns and compared. This is when I realized I had made a big mistake by choosing a C cup in my measurement chart! The front armhole is too long for me...I need more difference in the size of the front and back armholes and this is accomplished by using a bigger bust cup size.

Hmmmm.... I began to wonder if I could use the DART OVERRIDE to save this one.

The Dart Override tool makes the front armhole smaller and the bust dart larger (it will also do the opposite, depending on the setting choice).

So I redrafted using the DO and printed only the sleeve.
I just barely had enough room to recut the old sleeve using this new pattern. The cap mound of the new sleeve (paper pattern) is more 'forward' than the mound of the old sleeve. This is better for my body and will relieve the twisting.

To sew this sleeve into the existing armhole, which was NOT cut using the dart override, I had to ease the armhole to the sleeve in the lower front area. But this is a knit, remember? Knits are more forgiving of stuff like this!

The final shirt is just ok. I love the fabric. I like the neckline. The crossover pulls and causes folds because the dart position was not properly located for my body.

Also, the armholes are still not just right. I think instead of reducing the size of the front armhole, I needed to increase the size of the back one. But that would have called for a larger sleeve that could not have been cut from the first sleeve fabric. When I wear this top, I am aware of the armholes.

I am toying with the idea of just sewing the armhole deeper. I am torn, though...will it make it more difficult to raise my arms?
Overall, it isn't bad looking...despite that little bobble in the front hem that I created when coverstitching the hem and ran into a thicker area at the princess seam!
I really will have to fix that if I intend to wear this shirt out of the house!
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