Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Aqua Fitted Princess and Kimono

Back in April, right after the wedding, I worked a bit on fitting a knit top.  Although it wasn't perfect, the improved fit of the MOG dress had me raring to go, anxious to see if I could improve the fit of the knit garments too.

Ok, that was PART of the inspiration, but there was more.  I had fabric that was tempting me.

Last Fall, when shopping for the MOG dress, I stumbled onto some fabric at THE FABRIC SOURCE in Jackson, TN.  It was a floral printed stretch tulle.  Precut into approximately 2yd lengths, I bought 2 of them, for $5 each.  They provided instructions for a no-sew swimsuit coverup...you just cut it into a big oval and cut out armholes. 

Well, also on that same trip, we stopped and did a bit of shopping at FELICIA BELLA BOUTIQUE, also in Jackson.  I had tried on a long-sleeved pullover made of...you guessed it!...printed stretch tulle!  I didn't buy it because it was nearly $60!  But I studied it as closely as I could in this not-so-private dressing room.  I even did a bit of measuring!  It seemed to be almost a long tube with two holes in the middle...one for the body and one for the head. 

Inspired by the memory of that top, and wanting to use this fabric to get it out of my way,, I decided to start cutting.  I layed out the fabric on my table and cut what I hoped would be similar to the shape I had tried on (months ago!). 

Well, it wasn't good.  So I went to the computer and opened my PMB software!  I drafted a KIMONO pullover, then compared the patterns on screen.

As you can see, there wasn't much difference between the front and back patterns. 
Here, the front is RED.
 I decided that I would just use the BACK PATTERN...but I still didn't want to have to print it, because, after all, this was simple, right?

So I measured it!  Then I could print this diagram on one piece of paper, take it to the fabric and measure and cut.  It seemed like a good plan.
There was ONE PLACE I was having a hard time just winging it...and that was the sideseam/underarm area.  So I printed ONLY that area and placed it where the measurements dictated:

Above is the sideseam...the right edge of this paper is the cutting line.
Once I began actually plotting out my cuts, I made another change.  I LOWERED the angle of the arm by 3 inches....shown below by the dark blue line.
But after sewing this (yet again), I still wasn't happy with the way the sleeves draped.  I knew this was gonna be loose and drapey, but I didn't want it twisting!  And yes, the sleeves seemed kinda twisty.  So I ripped and reshaped the FRONT sleeve to lower the over-sleeve seam by 2" at wrist AND, I shorted that seam by 2" also.  This allowed me to ease the back seam to the front, creating fullness in back and eliminating the twisting.  Good enough! 


I hemmed the neck and lower edge, as well as the sleeves, with the coverstitch machine, turning a small hem to the backside.

Now it was time to make something to wear UNDER this!  I drafted a fairly closely fitted Princess seamed tank and cut it from some cotton interlock.  Oh dear.

Remember?  Back in the post about the ZERO EASE TORSO BLOCK, I discussed the armhole shape and how I was lowering the notch on the BACK armhole so it would coincide with my body's ah measurement...but I was NOT doing it on the front armhole because it just looked 'too scooped'.  Well, after sewing the MOG dress and realizing that the armholes were still not perfect, I decided to give it a try.  I used the AH SHAPE TOOL to lower the front notch until the distance from shoulder to notch matched the distance on my body from shoulder to the V-crease where arm meets body...look back at the HELPING MEASUREMENTS if you need further explanation.

Here is the pattern I came up with.

You can (hopefully) see how very 'J' shaped that front armhole is!  Pattern on the left, FYI.

As I said--Oh dear.

Or, rather--

OH.MAH.GAH. BECKY, Look at that armhole!

The front armhole was WAY too scooped...making this top potentially a wadder. 

The shoulder angle seemed ok, though.
Overall, it wasn't totally unfortunate.

I was SHOCKED by the back:  I think this is the first time ever that the back neck has actually come up to the bone where the back neck is supposed to come to!  I put in a pin to show where I will lower the neck to.

I liked this style and this fabric, though, knew I had to find a way to salvage this top.
Somehow I got it into my mind that I should NOT have used the E cup to draft with after all...and that I needed to shorten the whole upper front, which I could do by ripping the shoulders and cutting off the front shoulder before resewing them....so I did.***

***later evaluation of the fit proved the front was now a tiny bit too short...that front length was needed and should NOT have been whacked off!  It was those goofy armholes making me crazy.  

Anyway, I decided that I could create some facing-like pieces...like a yoke, perhaps...that could be sewn on to fill in the missing area of the F-armhole.  So I went back to the computer/drafter.

Since I had felt the need to shorten the upper front, the obvious conclusion (to me, that day) was that I had used a bust cup size that was too large (E) and should reduce it.  So I did.
***another spoiler alert!  Bad idea...but I got away with it on this top, this time.

Here you can see the NEW FRONT PATTERN (in RED) superimposed on the old pattern.  The new front is shorter at the shoulder.  The new pattern has a smaller bust dart (so the angle of the upper front is different) and the new armhole is both higher and less scooped (The back armhole is higher on the new pattern, too, but I didn't show that).
I aligned the sides to the center pieces and created 'yokes' that could be cut from the remnants I had left.
 But I needed to know WHERE to trim off the existing garment so I could sew on those yokes!  So I created and printed little 'yokes'  from the original pattern, too, and used them like templates to show me where to cut.  The upper pieces in this image are the 'cutting patterns' and the lower pieces are the new yokes to be sewn on.  you can see that, on the FRONT pattern, there will not be much cut off in the 'scooped' area!   But there WILL be quite a bit added back on, via the yoke, in that area.

And it worked!  It actually looked pretty good...like a design element!  I had top-stitched the seams with the cover-stitch machine, so I top-stitched the new yoke seams, too.

Here is what it looked like right after sewing:


 And back--

As you can see, there is some fullness (rippling) in the back armhole that I didn't notice at the time.  I used clear elastic to stabilize the neck and armhole edges when hemming.  But it wasn't until earlier LAST WEEK that I realized WHY this might be happening. 

I was discussing a program issue with Tech Support Karen...the Dart Override tool isn't working with my numbers...and she asked my why I was enlarging the armhole by raising the shoulder with the SHOULDER HEIGHT TOOL but then trying to shorten the Front Armhole with the Dart Override.

Well, the SHOULDER HEIGHT TOOL affects both front and back patterns, but the DART OVERRIDE tool only affects the FRONT armhole (or at least, that is how it is supposed to work) by putting some of the bust dart into the armhole OR by stealing some of the front armhole to enlarge the bust dart (this is what I was trying to do).

So, even though they do two different things, it did get me thinking about the shoulder height setting and 'what if'...

Up to this point, I have been operating on the assumption that the pattern's shoulder angle was correct for me (and my square shoulders) when I raised that setting 0.5". 

But further reflection has me thinking that:
  • a) lowering the shoulder tip by 0.5" might eliminate that back ah rippling, and
  • b) I should have just lowered the F-shoulder tip in front instead of whacking off the whole front shoulder!  This was kind of a light-bulb moment.
So, for the NEXT ONE......I will NOT raise the shoulder height.  We will see how that does!
And I will go back to the E cup, which is what I should be using.  But I will NOT scoop those front armholes to force the measurements to match my body's measurements!  obviously, the front notch is NOT supposed to be an anatomical location!

1 comment:

Marilyn League said...

Really loving the blue top with those seams!!

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