Monday, 23 May 2011

A Question of size.... Butterick 5147

Wednesday 25th May - Quick Update. 

I wore the linen top all day yesterday (with a little grey cardi that I made to go with, more on that later) and guess what?  THE most strange thing, it didn't crease or wrinkle - at all?!?!  Do you suppose that's something to do with the muslin linterlining?  The outer fabric is most definitely 100% linen, I just tested a remnant in my hand and it did stay creased.....

And more good news re this top - It fits b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l-l-y, the neck pleats worked out well. So much so, I will be making it again, in the same size, with the neck pleats.....  Don't you love it when a plan comes together?

Okay, Mrs Smug is off for a cup of tea and next project planning.

Happy Wednesday all.

Also entitled "Blimey, the more books you read, the more confusing it gets!"

I like the Palmer and Pletsch series of fitting books, but have just read Fast Fit, properly, for the first time...  I think I prefer this book.  I found it easier to follow and laid out extremely well.

Cards on the table, I have a method that works everytime for a full bust adjustment, swayback, full tummy, full bottom, lengthening and shortening patterns and grading to a larger/smaller sizes.  I use these tried and tested methods for customer toiles and in class.  BUT  why can't I get it just right for me?  Am I being overly fussy?  

Here's an example where I though I would bite the bullet and cut a size 14 top.
The pattern used is Butterick 5147.  So looking at the envelope measurements (and finished garment measurements) a size 14 should fit me perfectly at the bust point, waist and hip (ahem, adding just a little extra at these two points...)  Yes, yes I know you are supposed to use your chest measurement as the bust measurement, but bear with me....

I decided not to line the linen I used as per pattern, but to interline it with muslin (washed 3 times to avoid any shrinkage) and finish neck and arms with a bound edge.

I tissue fit it, having pinned all the darts and seams very carefully, and guess what?  By jingo it fit!!!  I checked all my usual fitting "issue" areas and it was almost spot on.   I always need to do quite a large sway back adjustment and take out a fare old amount down the back seam from the neck to the waist.

So I got stuck in as quickly as possible, pieces cut and tailor tacked, I placed all 3 pieces on the ironed muslin, hand tacked in place and then cut the muslin.  It's going well isn't it?

I stitched it all together and used a concealed zip down the left hand side.  I hand stitched the hem in place - lovely, stitches hidden in the muslin, just perfect. 

Next I marked 1.5cm seam allowance around the neck and arm edges, folded my bias strips in half, pinned in place, stitched, trimmed, pressed open, pressed flat, pinned again and machine stitched one last time, it's all going brilliantly and such a quick project!  Do you think I should try it on?  Okay, I'll have a quick look before I go to bed. (I should mention I started this project yesterday evening.  I am not in the habit of going to bed during the working day!)

Mmmmm, as suspected, the upper chest area is too big.  I suppose I might get away with it.  But all that effort, I think I should do something with it.  I know, I'll put a couple of pleats in the neck before I bind it.

What do you think?  Have I got away with it?!

Neck pleats.  Approx 1" each.

Typical back adjustment for me.  Remember the New Look
white satin dress?

Interlined with muslin, side seams overlocked and neck/arm
edges bound with bias binding.  I'm sewing from the stash so the neck edge
is bound with ivory binding - well, who's going to see it?

Moral to this (long-winded) tale?  Stick with what you know best, don't try and re-invent the wheel!  Next time I will make a size 12 and go with my usual adjustments!  BUT  this has been a good learning curve.  If I need a pattern that crosses sizes I may go with the larger size and do an upper chest adjustment, that way the bottom half will fit with less grading out for my ample thighs....

Happy Monday everyone!


Karin said...

I am no good at fit adjustments. If you have a method that works I would stick with that! :-) It's a pretty shirt, and it seems to fit the manequin well.

Anonymous said...

If I ever find a fit method that works well for me, you can bet that I won't be trying anything else! And yes, I like the interesting detail that you created with the pleats in the front, though wearing it for a day will be the ultimate test on how nicely they hold their shape and move with you. Love the fabric choice! :-)

Eugenia said...

Fitting isn't easy but it does get easier the more you do! I have got both those books and use them regularly. I think your blouse looks lovely - I like the pleats and the fabric is beautiful.

Irene said...

It really would have been a shame if this blouse didn't work out - the fabric is lovely. Glad you made it work.

Sherril said...

Even with the round-about way to getting the fit you want, your top turned out beautifully. I actually love those neck pleats.

Carolyn said...

You have very good reason to be smug, that top is lovely! I really like the idea of underlining, and those neckline pleats are a very nice feature.