originally published Sep 2, 2012
.I’m finished with the pants for my Autumn 6PAC and working on tops that will be suitable for the changeable fall weather. My first fabric choice is a light weight shirting in alternating blue, orange and white pin stripes. I will be making long sleeves, mostly because that’s what my pattern, Burda 2010-08-130 specifies.
I chose to make a Burda pattern because I wanted to see if my new fitting routine would work for Burda patterns. This pattern “won” because I wanted to make a woman’s blouse with convertible collar. I would have been satisfied with either a button tab or as on this pattern, the faced center front. I wanted sleeves. 3/4 would have been acceptable but the pattern is drafted with long sleeves so long sleeves it is. I also wanted a semi-fitting blouse. Something that skimmed the body, neither tightly nor loosely flowing. I would have preferred a regular shoulder in place of this drop-shoulder. For that style, my choices would have included either yoked or peplum details. That’s all my Burda collection offers. In the end, I’m eager to see how this shoulder really looks IRL. It is not straight or angled, but gently curves over the shoulder to about 1.5″ below the shoulder point. This shoulder could be flattering.
To choose my size, I took my high bust measurement in centimeters and compared it to Burda chart. I was surprised, but pleased to see that Burda equates their size 38 with the US size 12–the same size I chose for shoulders on American patterns. I traced the front shoulder and upper chest area at size 38; then used size 40 for the sides and hem. For the back I traced the size 38 shoulder but immediately expanded to size 40 for all other lines. I added seam allowances, trimmed the tissues and pined the front and back together at the sides to try it on Mimie. I think this is the first time I’ve made a 1.5″ back waist length adjustment. Usually I shorten the BWL by 1″. This is an alteration which I trust to Mimie’s figure. Mimie’s cover was fitted to exactly my waist and in the last 5 years Mimie’s figure has never been wrong.
I unpinned everything and compared with the Simplicity 2154 tissue. 2154 doesn’t completely fit exactly the way I’d like but several critical elements are perfect and the rest close.
The size 12 shoulder is perfect. The 2154 is a sleeveless draft so when I compare it to a sleeved garment, I need to allow extra length along the shoulder. I don’t necessarily have add anything, but as I’m looking realize that a sleeved garment tissue would need to be a minimum of 1/2″ longer at the shoulder.
The darts are all in the right place. So if when I compare a new pattern I can see if the darts need to be moved up or down or if they need to be shortened — shortened is usually the case.
There is enough width everywhere –OK nearly everywhere and I’ll come back to that– so when I compare a new pattern I can see immediately if there is enough wearing ease. Heck I can even tell if there’s going to be enough style ease to create the look I want.
2154 is the minimum length I want a top. So if the tissue of new pattern is short, I know how much to lengthen it. I also know that the longest I really like tops is 4 inches longer than this tissue. So if the pattern is too long, I know how much to shorten.
Now back to “enough ease everywhere” exception– I think it’s the center back, right below my shoulders. There are numerous drag lines that point or originate around my upper back (but below the shoulder blades) and terminate from middle of armscye to waist. I considered that maybe the armscye was too shallow or the waist lacked enough ease. But the final garment feels wonderful around the armscye; and while the waist is comfortable it also obviously has too much fabric.
I entirely like the fit of the front -without the vertical waistline darts. I almost liked the fit of the back. The back seemed to have too much ease at the waist but manipulating the vertical dart which should have controlled ease in that area, made the back look worse.
Why all this information about 2154. Well I’m using it as my basis for adapting 2010-08-130. I compared the tissues and added a 2″ FBA and almost duplicate adjustment to the back. I didn’t do the full 3-slashes FBA. I split the tissue from waist to bust point and then to armscye. I really didn’t want to add a bust dart. The style doesn’t call for a bust dart and I can live with “those” drag lines. I added a 1/2″ seam allowance to the back. Although not part of the original style, I want to keep working at fitting the back. If a CB is necessary in all future blouses, well that’s my figure. I don’t get upset at needing a smaller shoulder and I’m not getting upset with needing more room for my back. I did one other really odd thing. Adding the FBA and back adjustment pushes the hem at the sides out further and further. I don’t mean just adding ease, but the angle changes so that a Judy Jetson look is achieved. I measured carefully and realized that my FBA keeps incrementally adding width i.e. at the waist it added 2″; at the tummy 2.25″ but at the hip is 2.75″ and by the hem the extra ease is 3.5″ per side or a total of 15″ additional ease. I only need an additional 4″ ease in the tummy-hip block. In fact if I was using a stretchy knit fabric, I wouldn’t need any additional ease. To avoid the Jetson Fashion Styling, I cut diagonally into the side seam/hem corner from the center slash. Then I overlapped my new slash until the tissue was flat (about 1″). I can’t say this would work for anyone else or at this point even if it’s going to work for me. I’ve read and followed the FBA instructions from several places and I think I’m FBA’s right, but I keep producing a lot of flare at the hem. It needs controlling and as always, I’m looking for a simple method that can be done right on the tissue, repeatedly. Like with every new tissue, I can slash and spread 2″ and overlap 1″. I will report honestly on my results. For now, it’s time to cut fabric.