Wednesday, March 30, 2016

See it, sew it

I have new patterns galore that I'm yearning to sew, and yet I seem compelled to spend way too much time hacking old ones. 

After seeing this top in a catalog,
I pulled out Simplicity 4076 and set about adding more draping. 

With Design Your Own Dress Patterns by Adele P. Margolis pointing the general way,


I drew some curving lines on my right front pattern piece, slashed and spread.

As I mentioned on Pattern Review, I had some confusion about how to true the (draping) side seam.

It turned out not to matter because I ended up simply fitting it on my dress form, after I had sewn on the neck band and basted the rest of the side seams together.

I had to take it in beginning around 2 inches at the bottom and tapering to less at the top, because instead of draping, I had drooping. After a lot of fiddling and frustration, I was fairly satisfied with the result, although it is still droopier and looser than the top in the catalog. (It would also obviously help to be as thin as the catalog model to achieve the exact same look.)

The red top, made out of a very old interlock, was my muslin for some wonderfully fluid teal rayon/spandex jersey from Mood Fabrics. One slight change on the teal one was eliminating some of the lower draping which helped with the drooping issue. In retrospect, I see in the catalog photo that the hem curves up much higher on the non-draping side which must aid in preventing said drooping. I did curve my hem up but only slightly. And on the second version I curved it in the opposite direction, that is, it curves up on the draping side which is how the Simplicity pattern is designed. If I were to make it again, I think I would do a higher curve on the non-draping side.

Also, when I first made this pattern up in 2008, I had scooped out the neckline, as the straighter one in the pattern seemed to cut across the bust. However, my top was forever gaping and had to be discretely pinned together. On my current version, I re-drew the neckline yet again, making it somewhat straighter like the original pattern which fixes the gaping problem nicely. I also brought the upper end of the draping side seam higher, closer to the under-arm seam. 

Obviously there's a big time and effort gap between the seeing and the sewing if you're trying to create or re-style a pattern. And despite a lifetime of sewing, I'm still bumbling along in this respect. I consider this an almost-success, and one I might tackle again in the future. But even an almost-success adds to the ability to make exactly what you want, which I think is one of the main things sewing is all about.