After a solid failure, the best thing (for my sewing) is to pull out a TNT and have a resounding success. But I didn’t do that. I’ve been struggling for months to refit my TNT’s, consequently, I crave styling rather than dependable. I’ve even gone through all my Burda Indices and picked out 164 styles I’d like to make. OK, so I want different; I need success. Can I find something that will give me both experiences in one? Maybe….
I thought Style 118 in issue 04-2011 was interesting. I’ve been intrigued by it for the last 3 years. It is a dolmen (–my spelling may be wrong I’m thinking of the one piece sleeve-shoulder affair). These don’t bother me like a low dropped sleeve, but I still need be cautious because the look can be unflattering on me. I also hesitated because the dolmen obviously merged with a high front yoke which can be bad on me. Another concern was how the sleeve merged into the side seam and that line continues to narrow all the way to the hem. Can’t believe that would work on me. I’m not rectangular or apple-shaped. I have narrow shoulders and wide hips … the exact opposite of the line I’m seeing on the schematic. I reviewed the pattern frequently because I think this could be a fabric saving garment. Too often I’ve had patterns which called for large amounts of fabric, most of which became odd-shaped remnants. This looked like a pattern that might even fit into those odd shapes and might be perfect for two small amounts of coordinating fabrics.
I started not with a TNT, but by tracing a size 40 from the center fold. I found the grain lines on the shoulder/sleeves easily but hunted hard for them on the midriff pieces. I was expecting the grain lines to be parallel with the center fold line. I sort of stumbled across the grain line going crosswise. Unexpected but I think is another interesting and fabric saving feature. I looked at the traced pieces very hard. I expected to add more ease at the hips but the first thing I needed to do was shorten the pattern. If there were markings that said “blouse length here”, I didn’t see them. To shorten, I pinned the shoulder/neck/sleeve piece to the bottom pieces and compared with my TNT Pamela’s Pattern #104 to mark the length. I added 3″ ease on the side at the hip. That would be 3″ for each side on both front and back a total of 12″ for the entire garment. That’s a lot. I also compared the sleeve width because it looked dang narrow. Instead of a separate narrow sleeve piece, I have the PP104 sleeve marked with the “narrow sleeve cutting line”. I’ve never used the narrow sleeve. I prefer the ease of the regular sleeve. But, 118 (Burda 2011-04-118) looked about the same as PP104’s narrow sleeve, so I left the sleeve alone.
I used a slinky fabric. Even though the sleeve passed comparison, I wasn’t sure I trusted it. I wanted slinky because I know slinky stretches a long way. As suspected, this is a fabric-thrifty pattern. I started with a piece 60″ wide, 1.5 yards long. I have left a 35″ by 35″ square. Enough for a summer tank top.
I serged the front and back yoke/sleeves together and finished the neckline with FOE. I had a problem with my FOE (my fault) and had to trim it away. There’s nothing as difficult for me to rip as black thread on black fabric. I trimmed not only the FOE that I goofed but enough to reshape the entire neckline evenly. Unfortunately, that makes the neck a little wide for me. I do like the FOE finish and take full responsibility for my goof.
Next I serged the bottom pieces to the top and then basted the side seams from bottom hem to sleeve hem. (Didn’t hem yet .) With that I discovered that my reticence was correct. I could pull the sleeve on only because my fabric was slinky. But it was much too tight to be wearable for any length of time. I spritzed away the basting (I use water soluble thread) and inserted a 2″ gusset to the under sleeve.
That’s perfect! I just need to alter the pattern adding the same amount of ease.
I serged the side seams and hemmed using my cover stitch machine.
I wanted easy. I got easy.
Oddly enough, I think there is too much ease in the back across the hip. The wide boat neck seems to emphasize my rounding back as well as displaying my bra and back support. I may need to wear a scarf so that I cover these up.
I think the side looks fine. The yoke falls just above the widest part of my bust. This is not bad on me. Best is the Ebb which falls below the bust and just above the tummy. But this is OK. Definitely wearable. Even more so because for the first time in ages, the front hem is not rising (that I can see.) Normally I need to add length to the center front. I won’t need to do that with 118.I do see the fold which would indicate that a bust dart could be helpful. I think this is typical with the dolmen styling and I’m not sure I can eliminate it. Next time (there will be another), I ‘ll see if I can smooth just a little bit up into the yoke line.
I’m even pleased with the front. Taking into consideration the type of pattern it is and that I modified it by copying the side seams of a TNT, it’s pretty good. I will keep in mind that this is drafted for stretch fabrics. I’ll remove a little ease from the hip (on the back; I think I need the ease for the front) and change the neckline just a little so that it doesn’t highlight the rounding curve of my back. I’d also like to figure out how to add a small shoulder pad. It’s pretty obvious that my left shoulder is lower than my right. I suppose I could ignore it but I’d like to counteract the rounding back too. Overall, I’m very happy especially for a first time garment. I’ve already started thinking of it as the TNT #118.