With few exceptions, I was pretty happy with Fit 04 of Muslin 1. I traced the tissue pieces before applying the fitting changes. By tracing new pieces, if I goofed or if I was wrong, I wouldn’t have to trace from Otto’s Master Pattern Sheets again. Also by having Tissue 1 intact, I can easily restore the side seam shape and armscyes. So, I copied Tissue 1 and made the planned changes. All of them. At once. To both front and back.
I hunted through my fabric stash looking for a knit fabric with 20-25% stretch that was also light in color so I could see the drag lines. I was hoping for an elderly fabric. Can you believe I’m eager to get these older fabrics out of my stash? Not from some kind of guilt, but because they seem to have different fitting requirements than newer fabrics. The sooner I don’t have to deal with them, the easier fit will be for me. While I have a few of the same vintage, none are the same weight or stretch or even knit stitch. I settled on a fabric that’s been in my stash about 7 years. It is baby french-terry and a little lighter in weight. Not much, but enough that when handling 2 yards I can tell it don’t weight the same as the watermelon jersey of Muslin 1. It does have 20% stretch. 25 if I pull hard. I pressed the fabric lightly. Mostly just smoothing any wrinkles and looking for any fabric issues like spots, fade marks etc.. Laid fabric and Tissue #2 out on my cutting table; then walked away.
That process (tissue changes, fabric selection and pattern layout followed by walking away) is something I do most of the time. I rarely cut fabric the same day as I lay it out. Sometimes I go back in an hour or two, cut fabric and start sewing. Most of the time I leave it over night. This pause gives me time to think. I frequently make minor changes just before cutting. This time I completely revamped. The nagging worry that I’d made too-many-changes too-soon overwhelmed me. Totally destroyed my confidence in all the fitting I’d just done. I decided to apply the alterations more slowly and create places for adjustment during fitting. I traced Tissue 1 again i.e. now working on Tissue 3, Muslin 2. Instead of applying all the changes to the front then repeating on the back done all at the same time, I worked back and forth between front and back. First I made the NSA to the front rotating that dart to the hem and restoring the side seam by copying from Tissue 1. Repeat for back.
After some consideration, I added the front bust dart. On Muslin 1, the bust dart had fallen about 1/2″ too low. I measured the bust-dart center-line placement beneath the armscye at 4″ and placed it at 3″ on Tissue 3. This was cause for concern as Muslin 1 had 3/4″ removed in length with another 3/4″ length darted at the armscye. I wasn’t sure where the new dart needed to fall but I have to start some place.
Adding the 2″ bust dart means the front and back side seams won’t match. Either I need to add length to the front or take it away on the back. I also needed to shorten the back waist length. In times past, I would have applied the NSA and BWL immediately and to both front and back. This time I added the 2″ BWL only to the back piece which balances the front and back side seams. It does leave me wondering about length of the center front. I usually need to add length there to make my hem level. Has adding a bust dart solved that issue?
On Tissue 2 I offset the 2″ BWL by adding 2″ at the hem. I may still prefer to have that length. For this test, Muslin 2, which if wearable is intended to fill out my winter PJ requirement, I have no problems adding a band at the bottom or just leaving it at this shorter length.
I decided not to adjust the underarm circumference until fitting. I’m getting anxious with the tally of 6 changes and I know I have at least one more. Before I get to the final alteration, I decide to make a way to shorten the upper bodice and dart the armscye that will also look intentional. I draw a yoke line on front and back pattern pieces. I make it high because that’s the better yoke position for me. I don’t cut and add seam allowances. If the yoke is needed, I will create a tuck or dart or some combination of both. The last thing I do is establish my shoulder seam allowance. For Tissue 1, Muslin 1, I added 1″. Totally unneeded. At no time did I take advantage of that ‘insurance’. However, my shoulder line has become misshapen due to the NSA. I first draw a dashed line (indicating stitching) 1″ below the highest point at armscye and neck edge. Above that I draw 1/4″ and 5/8 ” lines. I’ll use the 5/8″ cutting line when I want to add shoulder pads.
Done. Note that I copied the 1″ side seam allowances, 1/4″ neckline and armscye seam allowances from Tissue 1. What’s left undone is the over all length (added at hem), upper bodice length, armscye dart, armscye restoration and all sleeve alteration. I’m felt more comfortable with my decisions even though I’d still made 14 changes (counting each change separately) .
TISSUE #3 CHANGES
- 1″ NSA Front
- Restore Side Seam Front
- 2″ NSA Back
- Restore Side Seam Back
- 2″ Front Bust Dart
- Back 2″ BWL
- Front Yoke Line
- Back Yoke Line
- Adjust Front shoulder
- Stitching Line
- 1/4″ seam allowance
- 5/8″ seam allowance for use with shoulder pads.
Even though that’s quite a list and more are to be added, I was not unsettled. Making a change on front and then corresponding on the back and restoring lines as needed allowed me to understand the shapes which were developing, their relationship to each other and to me.