Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Amazing Fit

This post could also be titled something about being the first thing I've sewn for me in nearly 10 years.  I sew for Thing 1 all the time these days, but rarely do I sew anything for myself.  I'm trying to change that this year and sew a few things for me.  The pattern, Simplicity 1941.  The fabric, a cotton print from JoAnn's I bought when a new store opened up nearby.  Nearby being right at 30 minutes away.  Since the closest prior to that was a good hour, the new one is classified as nearby.  Overall, it's not that great of a store.  It is on the small side, but handy for sending the Hubs into for patterns and basic notions.  In general, I'd rather drive the extra 30 minutes.  The variety and selection is worth the extra mileage.  As an added bonus, it shares a parking lot with a Northern Tools store, which means the Hubs doesn't squawk when I need to drop in for a few things.

Pattern weights, pulling
I stitched this beauty up before I stumbled across the Stashbusting Challenge, but since it was done this year and both pattern and fabric were out of my stash, I'm calling it as a win for the home team.  With 2 small ones running about and "helping" mom, I try to group my sewing chores to maximize my time behind the Harmony.  This means when I break out the pattern weights and cut fabric, I cut several projects in an afternoon.  Do you use pattern weights?  I love them!  I made mine up one day back in October.  I'll save that for another post, but I've come to the conclusion that I don't have enough.  I really like to lay out the whole pattern and weigh it all down and cut.  I usually end up with a couple of pieces hanging out with just one weight on it as a place holder.

Basting in the side seams
To be honest, I actually cut this pattern and a couple others out in November and tucked them away in my sewing space and pretended they didn't exist until after the new year started.  Once I pulled it out and got started, I have a couple of stumbles with the pattern.  I read the first three instructions at least four times, swore a bit in between each time.  Once I figured out what the pattern wanted, it was a breeze, but I had low expectations due to the poor start.  If you can get past those first three things, the pattern is actually a breeze and contains great fitting tips.  One step has you basting the side seams in wrong side out after doing the front princess seams and the back darts, but before sleeves and collar.  I was suspicious, mostly due to the rocky start, but followed the instructions anyway.

Adjusted darts prior to
serging off the excess fabric
Turns out, it was one of the better things to do.  I was able to see that the back darts needed to be deepened and extended upwards.  I was saggy in the back with lots of extra room in the shoulders.  I pulled the basting stitches out, adjusted the darts, serged off the excess fabric created by the dart adjustments and moved on.  The rest of the blouse was a breeze.

My cutting adjustments on this pattern were cutting the largest size for the sleeve.  I have chunky biceps, and tend to allow for that.  I shouldn't have bothered with this blouse.  I chose the option for the loose fitting 3/4 sleeve and they're a bit on the full side.  Next time I make this sleeve, I'll do so with the size that matches the rest of the blouse.  The other adjustment was to use the pieces for a C cup.  Thanks to a pro bra fitting, I happen to know I wear a D cup, but I wear what are called Minimizer bras, which arrange the girls so that I come off as a C cup.  I measured up, compared to their instructions and decided that the C cup pieces were going to fit me the best.  Some of that is the bra business, some of it is pattern ease.  Either way, the C cup was the right choice and I didn't have to make any adjustments to the front princess seams.

Pretty enough to not need extra top stitching
I also skipped the top stitching.  The print is so busy, top stitching would have been lost as a decorative element and after repeated wearings, I can attest to the fact that it isn't needed for structure.  All my seams are serged.  I love the flattering fit of this blouse.  It is comfortable and perfect for work.  I'm already planning on making this pattern again, next time with short sleeves for spring and summer wear.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice! I too batch cut and love your happy looking pattern weights!