Sleeveless Sloper #2

I start by ensuring I transferred the changes to my wearable muslin to the tissue i.e.

  • 1/8″ added to CB
  • 1/2″ added to back side seam
  • shoulder trimmed to 1/4′ SA
  • 1.25″ length added for hem
  • Front and back armscye curves skimmed 1/8″
  • Side seam pinched 1″ at underarm  0 at bust dart

I wanted to keep things the same to continue developing the sleeveless sloper; at the same time, I rarely want make exactly the same garment time after time. Copying the collar from CC5047, I opted for a contrasting collar and front facing.  I cut my fabric (a 15+ year-old, cotton shirting) ; taped the armscyes and stitched the darts. The shoulder and side seams were basted together for the first try on. I could tell with the first fitting that the changes above had made an enormous improvement over the basic sloper.  I focused my efforts completely on removing the remaining armscye gaping and the U’s on the sides.  When pinching to remove the gaping, the shoulder slope developed a curve. Yeah odd and I’ll show it to you

The white wedge is the piece trimmed from the tissue to match the stitching line.  My wedge does not extend all the way to the shoulder.  When it did, the garment neckline would stand away from the body. I had little tents at my neckline.  Starting the wedge mid-shoulder allowed me to increase the slope  1/2″ without affecting the neckline.  My wedge removed all the armscye gaping at the back, most of the U’s on the garment’s side and nearly all the gaping on the front armscye.

I could not pinch out all of the front armscye gaping without making an ugly dart in the armscye.

OK the dart wasn’t ugly. The awkward jog is ugly. It would be possible to create a nice dart, truing the legs and smoothing the armscye — for future versions. But I wanted to create a sleeveless top with a horizontal bust dart. I kept trying to smooth the gaping into either the shoulder or side seam. Couldn’t do it. Swear. I’d smooth; baste; and try on.  The gaping would return. Smooth. Baste. Tryon. @@!@@ gaping!!!

I wonder if that’s just what happens, the gaping, when there isn’t a dart in the armscye?  Is this particular gaping related to specific bodies or depths of the hollow? Does everyone have a little gaping and just ignore it? Am I particularly … um… blessed?  I think options to control the gaping would be a yoke,  or one of the princess seamlines.  I’m not against any of those styles.  In fact one of my favorite blouses from last summer is Connie Crawford 0456 (and it’s one that I look forward to making again. But I wanted to create:  a sleeveless top with a horizontal bust dart and no armscye gaping.

To finish my blouse, I ‘borrowed’ a knit fabric solution. If this were a knit, tank top I would cut a ribbing and ease the armscye to the ribbing. Well really with knits it’s just stretch, sew, and let it snap into place. For this woven fabric I measured the amount of the dart (3/8″ *2=3/4″). Measured the front armscye and then cut  3/8″ elastic the length of the front armscyes less the 3/4″ of the dart.  I stretched and stitched the elastic to the inside of the front armscye.

Serge finished the edge; then turned and stitched. The finished armscye is not perfectly smooth but it is nice.

It hugs my body and prevents viewing of my underwear. So the garment may need a little more pressing, but I doubt anyone will ever realize my cheat to fix the gaping.

Above is the finished garment. Hems done. Pressed. Lightly starched. Surprisingly, the back actually looked better in some of the unfinished shots. I’m trying to decide if my blouse is long enough and more importantly if I have the shoulders the right width. Do they need to be wider or narrower?  Sometimes,  I want narrower because I can trim off some of that curve I showed in the first pic. But I know for my own good, the correct width is the best answer because that’s the width I need to know for any style changes.

Before this side pic, I just couldn’t be entirely sure as to whether the armscye needs to be scooped. There is still a slight hint of a U and some diagonals on the back which I don’t see on the front. It’s always possible that my posture is the issue and I have to admit scooping needs to wait until I’m sure the garment’s shoulders are the right width. But I”m thinking a small 1/4″ scoop would clear the rest of side diagonals.

These are NOT the most flattering colors for me so I doubt this will ever be a favorite blouse. I still need to plink with button placement. I don’t have it quite right; and I think the blouse needs one more button below the lowest But I’m not unhappy.  It’s a good blouse. I’ve made good progress in fit. I normally leave RTW blouses with this styling at the store. I’d take this one home in a heart beat.   I’ve found gape-control options (dart, easing, yoke, princess) even if I don’t want to use them this time.  I’m in a good place. Just need to decide what to do next.  I wanting a long sleeveless dress for summer. Am I ready to develop that pattern?  I’m wanting pull-over woven tops.  I’m wanting woven tank tops.  Am I ready to develop those?  I’m wanting those other design options like princess seams, armscye dart, yokes etc.  Is it time to develop those?  Or do I still need to tweak this version just a little more?/?


Cumulative changes:


  • 1/8″ ease added to CB
  • 1/2″ ease added to back side seam
  • shoulder trimmed to 1/4′ SA
  • 1.25″ length added for hem
  • Front and back armscye curves skimmed 1/8″
  • Side seam pinched 1″ at underarm  0 at bust dart
  • Increased Shoulder slope evenly from 0 Neck to 1/8″ armscye
  • Curved Shoulder Slope from 0 at 2.5″ mid shoulder 1/2″ armscye
  • Marked 3/4″ armscye dart


*****************************************************************************Thinking out loud here….

Working with my basic, sleeved,  woven sloper to develop this sleeveless top has been eye-opening.  Connie was not entirely correct i.e. changing from sleeved to sleeveless was not a matter of just pinching the side seam. However, her suggestion was certainly easier and more successful that my previous sleeveless-fitting efforts.  I have 2 wearable blouses. I spent most of my time sewing as opposed to ripping and cursing.   I tweaked and tweaked and tweaked the Silhouette Tank top. Thought I had it only to be horribly disappointed with the very next version. Repeated the same process with the Otto tank; and the same unsatisfying results. Then was led astray by a knit version of  CLD’s HAF (it seemed to work on a ITY knit). The knit was very nice, the sand washed silk merely acceptable (fit wise. I still love the embroidery.)    For me, for my body my curves,  there is something basically right with  Connie Crawford’s upper bodice draft. Somehow, I need to be using it more and using it more effectively.  I need to direct my thinking and my process to make better use of my slopers.


4 thoughts on “Sleeveless Sloper #2

  1. Another nice blouse. This one looks very nice also. The use of elastic in the armhole seems like a great idea! I’d have not thought about that. The color isn’t that bad on you either. The color breaks – good job


    1. Thanks. I like this blouse too. I marked a 3/8″ deep armscye dart on the pattern but think I’d rather use the elastic. It cups the fabric to my body without a va-va-voom effect.


      1. Nice blouse. Have you considered putting an armscye dart in the patter pice and folding it out before cutting fabric? You could fix that jog in paper. Just a thought.


  2. I love this blouse, fit is great and I like the contrast collar! Love that elastic trick at the armscye, gotta remember that!



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