CS1204, The Dartless Block

… (continued from yesterday)  the knit block was not my sole reason for purchasing CS1204. I was also anxious to get my hands on the Dartless Blouse which I presume are the pattern pieces labeled Dartless Block  I love a camp shirt. My favorite Loes Hinse Blouse (for wovens) is a dartless bodice. Many of Louise Cuttings tops are dartless.  I want a dartless block, especially now that I’ve realized I don’t need an FBA but a greater shoulder slope.

I pull out the document protector containing the dartless bodice pieces; separate the large from the X-large; and smooth the pieces with my hands.  I retrieve my 1201 block and quickly compare. Yea! These look similar. I’m expecting the dartless to be slightly different.  It’s my understanding that they move the darts to the side seam and then eliminate them to make dartless fashion. (Sometimes the dart is trimmed other times it’s just not sewn.)  My blocks should look similar but be smaller in a few places, most notably the waist. It is! I quickly trace the size large. Because I’m short and the front and back pieces have obvious shaping at the side seams, I make my 1″ BWL.  I add 1/4″ to the side seams of the back and then trim the shoulder seams to match the slope of my darted block, CS1201.  Once again, Connie has provided a quarter sleeve but I’m wanting a full sleeve. I place the pattern on my cutting table, align my EAC sleeve on top and then frost the cake with a layer of tissue.  I trace sleeve cap of CS1204; length  and hem from EAC. But it doesn’t sit well with me.  The sleeve isn’t wide enough.  I added about 1/2″ to the EAC to create a comfortable, long sleeve.  Do I really want to go narrower? Also, is the sleeve cap height and width right for me or will have I the same issues as on the 1201 sleeve?  I cut vertically from shoulder point to hem; slip in a bit of tissue and add 2″ overall width. It’s still narrower than the EAC sleeve. If I’ve added too much ease , it will be easy to remove.  Not enough and I’ll be recutting the sleeve.   Then I have another panic attack. What if by removing the dart ease, I don’t have enough tummy room?  I add 7/8″ to the side seams to give me a full 1″ fitting room.

I choose a shirting fabric.  I believe it was advertised as 100% cotton.  It feels like Pima but acts like it has a bit of polyester. I like polyester.  Combined with cotton it makes wonderful shirts that look good all day long and are comfortable to wear. This is an IKAT print. Not real IKAT, but a print that has been designed to look like IKAT and using bright, soul-warming colors.  It has a definite repeat in horizontal stripes.  I start humming the preschool song “I’m a little teapot short and stout…..”.  I place my pattern pieces cross-grain.  I can’t avoid the stripes, but I can use them to my advantage.  I struggle with placement. One repeat has big dots that I don’t want falling on any of my prominences. The other dramatic repeat creates a very slimming, almost color blocked inversion. I like that, but placing the inversion at it’s most flattering level, my waist, would eliminate using the border either across shoulders or waist. Suddenly I realize I very much want to use that border as the edge of a tunic. I pull everything off the cutting table and lengthen the front and back pieces 3″.   I purchased 3 yards and boy am I glad.  Aligning on the pattern wasted a lot of fabric. But I like the end result.  I stitched side seams shoulder seams and basted side seam before trying it on:

It’s sitting catywampus on my body. That combined with the pattern makes judging drag lines and fit difficult.  I decide to add the sleeves and that I want this to be a roomy top.  I use the same gathering technique  as yesterday for setting in the sleeve. Except that I serge instead of stitch as the SM. The sleeve is not quite a smoothly set in as before, but it’s good and besides you can’t tell if it’s pucker or pattern.  I’m not sure if this is final or not:

I finished the neckline by making a 3″ slit in front. I let out the side seams to take advantage of the fit-insurance but not for fit; for the roomy look I wanted. Thought I wanted. Seeing it now, I’m not sure if the sleeves are just too long (which they are) and making it look like a big sack all over or if I have made my blouse into a big sack. As I envisioned, it is comfy and cool. The fabric feels as smooth on my body as it did to my hand.  I look at the front and side wondering if I’m seeing those dreaded drag lines (and should have increased the shoulder slope) or if the ease is so great it just has to ripple and fold from some place, my bust being the most promontory.

I am pleased with the dartless block. Even if those are drag lines.  I know an easy fix. I prepared the block (tracing and initial alterations) in about 30 minutes. My garment was conceived, sewn and fitted over two days (typical for me) with little fuss. It wasn’t tweak after tweak after tweak (I racked up 8 tweaks with 1201). While my faith in Connie isn’t completely restored, I am feeling a little more confident.




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