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5/2008 Style 17 Surplice


This is a surplice style drafted for jersey knits. From the schematic I think, those are 3 tucks/pleats along the left side with the surplice tucked in just below the underarm.  I thought, surely this will be a winner for me. First off, it’s Otto. I’ve had really good luck with Otto fit.  Partly that’s because I trace one size for the shoulder, a different size at the bust and yet a third size for the waist and hip.  I join these disparate lines using a hip curve.

But I’ll tell you right now, this was the worst pattern I have ever traced and that includes all the Burda magazines.  I took new measurements. It hasn’t been that long since I last took my measurements but I wasn’t sure what the pattern pieces would look like or how to alter them for my shape.  I wanted to start as close as possible to my real size.  I was disappointed to find my 43″ hips now required a size 52. I’ve had 48″ hips and know women with 54″ hips. I was rather surprised to find that many real women, the kind that Otto appeals to and shows in their pages, would not be able to make this garment. I traced the back and sleeve then started on the fronts. Yes Fronts as in two. A right front and left front are needed because each are shaped differently. Additionally, each front need an “a” piece joined to a “b” piece. To make things worse, from some reason Otto printed more than one style on the D sheet using blue ink. There were soooooooooooooo many conflicting blue lines.  I usually trace the lines with my finger before putting tissue on top and tracing with a pen. I kept getting lost. I could see that the shape I was tracing, was not any kind of a front but couldn’t figure out where I was crossing to another style.  Finally I figured it out and traced the appropriate lines. But then I couldn’t join my sizes. This has never happened to me before.  Joining the lines gave me unbelievable shapes.

I pulled out Pamela’s Pattern 104 thinking I might be able transpose the side seam, at least. That’s when I discovered that the size 52 was about 2 sizes too large.  I measured in inches and converted to cm’s. I’m assuming that my math was wrong.  So yes women with larger hips than mine (but I doubt 54″) will be able to use this style.  I managed to join the side seam lines, however the pieces just looked wrong.  The shoulder leans way to one side.  Anytime I’ve had that feature, there has been a dart, tuck, or gathering  to nip in the excess ease across the neck. I stared at that without understanding.  How could a surplice ever sit snugly across my body, if it started with too much ease?  Also the Right front had a ridiculous sharp curve along the side. How was that supposed to be sewn to the back side?  The left side (of the right front) curved outward in a large arc where the pleat markings were.  I could not visualize how this would form a top that would clothe my upper body.

Two hours into this “quick” pattern tracing session, DH called on the intercom and announced dinner. (He’s chief cook.).  Somewhat relived, I folded everything up, put it away and threw the tracings into the trash.

You did realize I would be continuing this story?