Not sure this pattern is going to work for me. I wanted a basic knit, sleeveless top that I could vary neckline, hem and armscye details and finishes but fit is not going too well. Maybe the issue is the cotton interlock fabric I’m using. This being the last of my remnants and the 3rd attempt at fitting the pattern (now made 5 times because I made no fitting attempt for the camisoles), I’m quite certain that cotton interlock has limited usefulness.
I decided to play just a little and added trim to the front. I used FOE and some decorative elastics all purchased from Walmart. I was surprised to find both those smaller trims at Walmart which is also stocking some FOE. Caution on the Walmart FOE. Yes it does seem to be good or at least reasonable quality but the quantity is small. That is a full roll. A single roll would not be enough to cover an adult neckline and armscye. I stacked the narrow elastic on top of the FOE and stitched the round elastic to either side of the FOE. Makes for an interesting trim. I used the standard zig zag stitch, not even the 3 stitch, to attach the elastics. Had problems keeping the FOE straight. It wanted to wander beneath the foot. Possibly I should have used Steam A Seam to pre-attach it and the roll elastic because I also had a hard time keeping the roll elastic butted up next to the edge of the FOE. Also a possibility, I should go foot shopping. Our machines are designed for all around general purpose sewing. Sometimes a special foot is needed to adapt them for special sewing, like uncooperative elastics.
For some reason I thought the elastics would not ravel. Therefore, I didn’t Frey Chek the edges. Well I had stabilized the front of the top with sticky WSS before beginning the trimming. WSS shrinks and changes shape rather rapidly. Just the humidity, even winter humidity, is absorbed and causes the WSS to change shape. Get it near a steam iron and drastic, immediate change take place. Before modeling, I needed to remove it all and I put my top through a standard wash/dry cycle. That’s when I found out these particular elastics do indeed ravel. This top probably isn’t going to last long in my wardrobe because the raveling is definitely unattractive.
I planned to tweak the fit a bit as I have been seeing swags running from back, under the arm and up to the front or maybe it’s from front to back. Either way, the personal solution I’ve found is increasing the shoulder slope. Before cutting this interlock, I increased the tissue’s shoulder slope 1/4″ at the armscye edge. That meant that the underarm would be or should have been too high and not long enough. So I also lowered the armscye 1/4″.
I did the embellishment first, then stitched the shoulders together before applying the trim. I basted the side seams and looked in the mirror. Nope. 1/4″ did not take care of the swags. Basted the shoulders another 1/4″ lower making a total of a 1/2″ increased slope. No and curiously no real improvement either. Finally I basted the shoulders with a total 3/4″ slope. What that got me was a lump at the shoulder seam neck edge and all the side swags. a3/4″ slope not the solution.
According the Connie Crawford, er according to my limited understanding of Connie Crawford, when correcting these swag lines, you work at the shoulder seam as long as that makes a difference, then you work at the side seam. Since working the shoulder seam had made no discernible difference, I ripped out the basting at the shoulder and started increasing the side seam. Didn’t help. Instead I now had big drag lines indicating insufficient bust ease.
My last thought was to change the armscye finish. I had planned a simple 1:1 binding. I decided instead to use a 1/2″ self-ribbing. However, when finished the shoulder would be too wide.So I trimmed the shoulder length 1/2″. I cut my ribbing 1.75″ wide and 80% the armscye length. On this garment that was 16″. Applying the ribbing took a lot of stretching and made me wonder if I my 80% was enough. But it did confirm my reaction to Peggy Saggers recommendation of 75%. I had immediately thought no way! No way 75% was a good recommendation for all fabrics. Perhaps I have a wider definition of ‘ribbing’ which would be why my experience supports another formula i.e 80% instead of 75%.
The armscye finish did control most of the gaping but didn’t help with the swags; and surprisingly, this interlock fits way too tight when compared with the previous which admittedly was a little snug. At least you couldn’t count the rolls. It just goes to prove the same type fabric, even with the same stretch factor will not necessarily drape the same way on the body. As home dressmakers, we are always making originals even when using our TNT’s.
I need to step back and reconsider, yet again, my fitting procedure. It’s unlikely that my figure is going to improve. I’m not willing to change my diet. I’m not willing to endure the pain of extreme exercise. I’m at a good place in my life. Basically happy and not intent on making changes. No big goals. Just living every day to its fullest. I do know clearly how I would like my clothes to fig. I’m also reasonable. I don’t expect to look like any of the K@rd@si@ns. So for now, I’m taking a break not only from this pattern but from fitting in general. I’m going to work on my Spring 6PAC using the 25 patterns which satisfactorily fit me. I’ll be returning to this type pattern, if not exactly this one, because I still want a basic knit, sleeveless top pattern in my TNT’s.