2009-05-134: Starting Again with a new Plan Of Attack

When wadders happen you can get mad. Throw a fit. Find somebody or something to blame. Or you can do what the Navy taught me.  Examine what you have learned. For this to be valuable you have to look at both sides 1) what went wrong; and more importantly 2) what went right.  It’s important to note your success and try to repeat them.

I liked the final proportions of the empire line. It’s a little lower than Louse Cutting’s Ebb but still attractive.  I think I might like to use this height even when a garment specifies a waistline.  I have a waistline in back.  In front I have a tummy. I prefer not to run a horizontal across the mountain of my tummy.

I was really liking the ease of the back.  It was still roomy and floating but was not tent like.

There were no suggestions of a curtain swag running from mid-back to under-bust.  These wrinkles have been the bain of my sewing for months. Initially I thought the issue was insufficient width across the back and needed full-bust alteration in front.  Neither alterations helped, in fact my last CLD pattern was worse for those alterations. What this tells me is that the armscye is perfect as is. Yeah!

Loved the sleeve. Length was perfect for my finish.

Cuff was perfect finish. Just made the whole sleeve beautiful.

The cuff was fiddly due to the short distances I started with and made even smaller for inserting the elastic. Also made fiddly by not knowing the length of elastic desired.  *Corrective action:  wrote final elastic length onto sleeve

Front proportions were good after I reduced length 1″

Neckline was far too low.  I’m not a bosom baring individual.  Most people characterize me as “quiet with occasional zingers”. *Corrective action: raise neckline 5″

Front had way too much ease and the effort to fix that resulted in disaster.  *Corrective action: start with a smaller size

Hem line was level in some pics, uneven in others.  *Corrective action: unknown. When the pics all show the same issue a solution can be determined. So corrective action right now is to determine why the pictures aren’t showing the same hem line.

This post is about starting again. So I did — but not before realizing that if I wanted to sew with Burda patterns I needed a bullet proof plan. I drafted a plan from what I’ve learned with the peach skin fabric. Twice during the night, I woke up and altered the plan.  Here’s what I came up with:

Trace size 46 Bodice
FRONT
BWL 1″ Wedges
NSA 1″
Add Shoulder slope aligning at shoulder points
Check and correct Neckline Depth
If tuck is used instead of BWL Wedges, add 1″ to CF length

BACK
BWL 1″ Tuck
NSA 1″
Add Shoulder slope aligning at shoulder points
Add 1/2″ circumference to back at hip

BOTH
Add Seam Allowances
1/4″ shoulders, neckline
1″ side seams
Add 1.25″ Hem
True all seams

This is all subject to change. I’ll refine this plan as I go along.  I may even change those 1/4″ SA to full inches should a new style warrant caution.

I pulled out the master pattern and traced a size 46.  As I did I paid attention to the differences between the 46 and 48.  I was surprised that it was 3/4″ at most places. That’s a 3″ difference between the two sizes when I was expecting a 1″ difference.

On further reflection I decided I didn’t like the princes skirt in back.  That’s the only place there are princess lines and it looks out of place to me. When tracing the skirt, I positioned the two pieces next to each other, aligning the grain markings.  I discovered there was a long unsewn dart that was 3/4″ wide but nearly the skirt full length.  I created a dart 3/4″ wide and 7″ long.  (3″ of the top of the skirt are above the waist).

Another belated reflection was the difficulty of working with the cut on facing.  It’s a neat detail that gives you the flattest possible edge on the front. But for alterations it was a bit of a bother.  I cut the front skirt and bodice 1/4″ to the side of the front edge line (not the center front but the next line over).  I delayed creating the facing pattern.

I made my usual 1″ narrow shoulder adjustment (NSA) and back waist length (BWL). This time I put the BWL in the bodice portion instead of the upper skirt. I thought that would kill 2 birds with one stone i.e. incorporate both the desired shortening of the upper bodice with the BWL. Then I raised that d@mn neckline a full FIVE inches. My girls are not going to be on display!

My fabric for the next blouse is a rayon challis.  I like rayon challis and usually have no major issues at SM or serger.  I say usually because I don’t remember having any issues with peach skin either and then I did. I did more than a quick test at the serger and SM.  I used a 14″ long strip. The SM was perfect. After my serger testing,  I  adjusted the lower looper tension to Zero all others at Normal.  Tried to make an appointment for a servicing but there were no openings for the next 6 weeks and they didn’t want to make appointments beyond that.  Then, there is the fact that my serger worked perfectly with the heavier plush I was working with last week and again in the test this week. Serger stitch quality could still be a fabric issue not a machine issue.

I laid out my new pattern pieces.  I’m still not using the collar.  I had one less skirt piece but now I needed a facing piece.  I cut the facing by overlapping skirt and bodice along the empire stitching line.  I didn’t want to make a final facing piece until I was sure I wouldn’t need to alter it again.

So pattern traced, fabric pressed and cut. Machines threaded and ready to go.  Time to snap out the lights and relax before basting this together.  Also, it gives me more time for reflection to see if I forgot anything.

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