Tuesday, October 11, 2011


While I've sewn a lot in the past couple of weeks I have nothing to show for it or rather nothing to wear for it.   Not fun.  I put aside my  jeans until more cheap inexpensive denim arrives from Fabric.com. (and I needed a break) and   cut out  the draped hem top from the new Hot Patterns pattern 1130. I knew that the  armhole was way too low and I raised it.  Just not enough. The pattern envelope shows  the sleeves as nice and narrow and the underarm  cut high.  Not the case.  The pattern has other issues.  For one it's way too big, for another the center front hem is much longer than the back.  Not at all what it looks like on the envelope where it  falls at mid hip, which it does in the back but not in the front.  The neckline is also much lower than the illustration, which is the least of it's problems.  I took up the shoulders about an inch which partially solved the armscye issue and raised the neckline.  (the underarm is at least 2" too low) Now of course I have to change the sleeve.  It's still too long in the front but I was unsure how to change it.

The pattern hem  is actually straight across the bottom but it comes out a good  6 inches  longer at center front in a long curve.  That giant dart seems to be the problem.  I am playing around with the top on my  dressform.  The back on which I made a narrow back adjustment, fits perfectly.
This is what I came up with.  I took out a 3" dart on either side of the dart, the one on the right is perpendicular to the center front and the one on the seft is perpendicular to the waist, stretch line.   This still isn't enough but if I take it up any more there I'll no longer have the drape at the hem.
I figure that I will hem the center deeper.   Only because I love this style am I willing to put so much effort into a simple knit top!

The cowl bottom top?  Not willing to go the extra mile for it.  It's way too long, the underarm is too low as well (they all use the same back) and as you can see, the neckline is also lower than the illustration.  I added a dart to this top but it's too low and if I was going to make this I'd raise it up.  But I'm not.  It's just not right for me. 

One thing I learned from this experience is that making a muslin for a knit is quick and easy.   It took longer to trace the pattern than to sew it up.  I always avoid muslins for knits  because  knits are so much more expensive than a bolt of muslin and they are all so different in stretch and recovery.   However, I have a lot of knits in my stash that I am never going to use (this one was very thin and it wasn't expensive) that I can use them up making muslins and reduce my stash at the same time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Not Yet

When one is over confident it usually ends in a fall.  At least with me and pants!  I finally have a tnt pattern for trousers, but jeans have eluded me.  I am on my 4th pair, the first one became a muslin for the second pair, also not a great fit. So I decided to make a real muslin, not one intended for wear.  I did more fitting and cut out the 4th pair yesterday, and ended up with the same cutting mistake I thought I had fixed in the muslin.  I walked the pattern and I still have the back higher than the front side seam.  I can only  think that I forgot to add the back yoke when I measured. They may be a pair that is a bit lower than I want them to be, but I am going to  baste them and see if I they can be saved.  I know, as Kay mentioned that they won't be totally wrinkle free, but they will have the fewest wrinkles I can manage and still be able to sit down.  Fitting ended up being  a combinations of Peggy Sagers fitting techniques and Joyce Murphy's body space to alter the pattern.  I'll fit them today and hopefully they will still be wearable.  At least I am using inexpensive denim I bought on sale at Fabric.com.  The sale is still going on I think.  When they came one was as stiff as a board but they both washed up nicely.

I've also spent time tracing out two of the new Hot Patterns knit tops; the cowl bottom and the twisted bottom.  I will reserve judgement until after I've sewn them up, but the armhole was really low when I compared it to my tnt knit t. The sleeve cap also had a huge amount of ease that I removed.  Knit tops really don't need any ease in the sleeve cap.  The tops are really current in styling and since I wear a lot of knits I am always looking for something unique. For once  I decided to actually make knit muslins. There are a number of knits languishing in my stash that one,  must have been bought in a moment of madness, or two they were not anything like the color I thought I'd be getting.  Good use for them and good riddance