I chose my fabric, an interesting fabric with two knit sides joined together. It is constructed probably with a double-bed Jacquard stitch pattern. It doesn’t look like double-knit it looks like double- cloth! It is heavy enough for pants. When purchased, that was exactly what I was planning. But I’d pull it out; pat it; even lay out the pant pieces, but would always put the fabric away. Finally I realized that my left-brain was not telling me ‘not this pattern’ but rather ‘not pants’. Once recast as a top, a winter top, the inspiration and execution of a garment came about in short order.
I’ve had this pattern KS3915
For quite some time. Judging by the copyright, MMXI, I’d speculate around 2011-12. Although, it feels like I’ve had it even longer. I’ve quit using most Big 4 and even my Kwik Sew patterns because of fitting issues; and particularly the Big 4 seem to have abandoned working from a basic block so it seems that I can never fit their patterns. I never know what alterations to make and how much needs to be changed. AND, I’m not using 3915 now but I am borrowing the V neckline and collar from View A to use with my TRT. With this garment my Fit For Art Tabula Rasa Tee pattern moves from TNT to “block” and therefore posts involving the TRT will now be on the Block Party Blog.
I began by tracing the collar and upper front, upper back bodices from KS3915 which become templates…
…and not just for the TRT. I can easily use these same templates with 6299 and 195 and maybe with the raglan style 314. Adapting a well-fitting pattern with a new detail, is one of the things I love to do.
I know that the back and front neckline must correspond in length with the collar. So next was comparing with the TRT front and back pattern pieces. The back necklines, surprisingly, matched and no changes were needed. I laid out my fabric and cut the back and front. The back needs little prep work, so I serged the back seam, pressed and laid it aside. With the front still on the cutting board, I laid my front template onto the cut fabric…
and trimmed away the excess from the neckline. I stay stitched the V in the neckline, Frey Checked at the very corner and clipped. Then I stitched and pressed the bust darts before joining the back and front shoulders; as always, stitching the right shoulder deeper than the left. A step which accommodates the asymmetrical nature of my shoulders and removes the last of the drag lines on the right side of my bodices. I cut the collar and folded it in half, pressed, and double checked that all the markings had been transferred to both collar and bodice. My collar will sit slightly differently because I’ve shortened the right side via that deeper right shoulder seam allowance. Fortunately at this time there is not that big of a difference and only me during stitching and the eagle-eyed will even notice. I matched notches and basted the collar into place
BACK UP A SEC because I forgot to mention the flat piping. I decided I wanted to emphasize the neckline by creating a break, a place for the eye to rest with a solid flat-piping. I was introduced to this technique many years ago and love it. Flat Piping is not as work intensive as the round piping everyone seems determined to use, but has the same impact. I cut, crosswise, a strip from this dark brown scuba knit that I bought and have no intention of ever wearing (who wears garments that don’t breathe?) but makes good accents. The final piping is cut 2″ wide and folded in half. Using 1/4″ Sa, 3/4″ shows at the neckline. Now this was absolutely the worst of the sewing. I haven’t used this collar in a long time. Completely forgot how to do it. I bought the KS pattern years ago mostly for the instructions and dimensions. First issue was how wide the piping should be. I cut 7/8″. Didn’t like it. Tried 1″. P-u-n-y. What’s the point of doing this if it isn’t going to show, eh? Finally got bold enough to cut 2″ wide. Well that looked good in theory. I basted the strip to the collar and then carefully basted the collar to the neckline. Whoa! It was weird. The right collar overlapped the flat piping. Tell you, it looked off. So take it apart, carefully arrange and pin in place so that the flat piping completely outlines the collar. Baste together. WTF @@!@@??? I had stitched it back together exactly as the first time. Take it apart a second time. Pin. Pin. Pin. Check from the front. Baste. Ahhhhhhhh. Now it looks like the above pic and I can serge the collar to neckline seam allowance. But dang all the width-trials and then putting it in 3 times took an hour.
Construction was pretty routine after that. I did use the flared side pieces. I wanted a little swing. Look at the back, I’m not sure I wanted that much. Fortunately side and front look much better.
I wish the sleeve shows up a little better. I also cut 4.5 X10″ strips from the same scuba knit which were then used as cuffs on the sleeves. Since I know, I will want to use this cuff over and over, I drew a fold line on the sleeve pattern indicating “cut here for 2″ cuff” and also indicated the strip size needed for the cuff. Actually it says ‘Cut here for 2″ Cuffs 4.5X10″‘ along that fold line. No new pattern piece is actually needed. I can fold along that line anytime I want a 2″ cuff or a 2″ shorter sleeve — the later I can’t imagine. I prefer my cuffs to be smooth inside instead of feeling the seam. So I joined sleeve to side panel and the joined the strip in a circle, folded in half and serged to the sleeve. I like the way that feels and I also like the way that looks.
I should have gotten a hair cut this month but that has no effect on how well I like the finished top. I will want to use my templates again fairly soon so that I remember how. Also, there are variations to the collar itself. I did not use the button loops and buttons. Have little desire to futz with button loops that are essentially non-functional. Should I want that look, I would still ignore the loop brouhaha and just tack the buttons in place. I overlapped right over left. Entirely possible to use a center miter or even a right over left miter. I hope you can click the pic to enlarge as I am wearing the collar with about 1″ turned down at the back. It can be worn completely standing and folded down all around. It would take a little prep but it is also possible to narrow the back of the collar. Less effort would be narrowing the entire collar. Making a two piece collar is not out of the question, but again takes some thought and prep. As long as the two long edges (neckline and collar) are the same, anything can be done to the collar itself. The question for me is, do I like the shape and depth of the collar? Yes, then change or repeat as the fancy strikes.