Day 3

I mulled over the alterations I was testing on Day 2.  For sure, I needed to fix the gaping armscyes but was the 1/4″ back dart and 3/8″ front the answer?  I also needed to position the apex correctly – a move of 3/8; and shorten the lower back 3/4″. Question for me is where best to make these changes.  If I move the apex by shortening at the cross front, will I need to release the armscye dart?  I think so but that means I don’t have the extra ease wanted when inserting a sleeve. Connie says to reposition the apex to match your own. But I think that taking out that 3/8″ was reducing the bust to side seam drapes. How will I handle those if I just mark a new apex? Below the armscye? Possible. The bust dart falls 3″ below the underarm base. A 3/4″ tuck won’t interfere but it will make the front side seam  shorter than the back and the shaping will no longer correspond. So I could move the back 3/8″ tuck all the way up and directly across from the front tuck. Or will be too high to create the effect I want. See, I think if you have the figure of a 12 years old, those darts can be moved anywhere.  But when your body is curved and, lets say substantial, will the fitting i.e darts and seam curves have to correspond with your own.  Will that tuck work just as well below the underarm as it does 3″ lower? I’ve not yet worked on the lower right shoulder. I’ve been able to alter both shoulder the same and then make a small adjustment when sitting at the sewing machine. Is that still possible?  Kind of think I need to be addressing the lower shoulder from the get go i.e. the pattern.  The right shoulder is not only lower than the left, but it is lower than it was this time last year.  AND then I’ve still not addressed the tummy. It needs not only more ease (added by adjusting the side seams) but most likely a little more length as well. Howe can I do that without adding more flare at the hem? Speaking of which when do I’ll balance the hip/hem level?  All these changes definitely have an effect on other parts of the garment. That’s the chore for today.

A few more tests were in order. I’m not entirely sure the back waist perfectly horizontal.  I do have photography shortcomings.  Does the end nearest the side seam raise/lift slightly? Or is that my photo skills become apparent. One way to tell is make the back 3/8″ tuck into a dart wide end at the side seam terminating beneath the waist dart.  I’ve already seen making a front dart (at the armscye). It had no effect upon the bust to side seam drapes. Also with the dart just above the waist, the waist does not lift further Even the side view appears level. A better choice could be  increasing the bust dart from 2″ to 2-3/8″ and moving it up to correspond with my apex.



On the far left (as looking into the pic) is the final fitting on Day 2. In the middle, the 3/8″ tuck has been changed into 2 darts with wide end at the side seam and the darts are raised about 2-3″ higher than Day 2 Tuck.  I see that hem has grabbed a little high and has developed a pooch right above. More importantly the middle of the back has developed even more. In the far right pic, the darts have been corrected back to a 3/8″ deep tuck but at the higher level.  I think the tuck has to be taken further down.


I put more creedence into the left side because I still haven’t made any corrections for my right shoulder.  Far left front is Day 2 fit. On both the next 2 photos I’ve smoothed the dart that was just above the waist up into the bust dart. In the far right pic, I’ve marked my apex.  Combined with photos of the left side


I think increasing the dart nearly solves the drag lines beneath the bust lines.  I also give some leeway to the pics above because darts, tucks are more accurate if indicated on the tissue and transferred before all the sewing and pressing.

Labeled my tissues with a big “Day 2” , marked the following changes

  • Back neckline and shoulder darts stay the same
  • Move back armscye   just under the shoulder seam and folded  out  which will  changing the back shoulder slope but not length.
  • Redraw back shoulder dart.
  • Add 3/8 tuck across back just above waist
  • Redraw back waist darts
  • Adding 1/4″ to the back and front side seams from hem up to 1″ above the waist.
  • Add 3/8″ front armscye dart
  • Increase bust dart 3/4″

and then created a new back and front with the changes.  Over and over I’ve seen that alterations made to the muslin then transferred to the tissue don’t carry through to future garments.  Pants are the best example of this. I’ve made the fish dart everyone says is the solution. Pinched it out. Stitched in. Transferred to tissue. Cut a new test from the altered tissue. Guess what?  Big ol’ drag lines. Bold as ever. I am hoping the alteration I’ve made work well. But just in case I want to preserve the original and keep track of the changes.

My favorite this time is a 100% cotton purchased to make a blouse. I love the print. It has an old, lace type feel due to the print. But I never made the planned blouse. I grew up in cottons. Started my working career in cottons. I just know this cotton is going to be a wrinkled mess in only a few hours. So, I’m using it as my next muslin. Unfortunately, it does have the same hand as the previous fabric. Like the other, it doesn’t stretch. But it is not crisp. It’s softer without being a drapey fabric. So hard to describe. I expect not only atrocious wrinkles after a few hours of wear, but additional drooping. In some styles this droop would be a feminine touch. As a sloper, not so desirable.

I was relieved when looking at the 2″ screen of my camera, that I didn’t see I needed to start over. (That’s what happened with the moulage.  Every new moulage was as if the previous one hadn’t existed let alone cost me hours and hours of work.)  For the first time, I made a slight adjustment for my right shoulder.  I stitched the right shoulder seam 1/8″ deeper.  I’ll share the pics from the shoulder tweak.


Start with the front because I think it looks quite nice.  I don’t think most people would see anything wrong. The slight change to my right shoulder has made both sides of the front look equally nice.  I may increase the shoulder offset from 1/8″ to 1/4″.  Not sure just yet, because it may be better to remove all extra length from one side or the other. There is a slight hint of the lower bodice diagonals that used to be between waist dart and side seam both right and left. I’m sure these wouldn’t be visible had I still be using the more crisp fabric.  The solution previously was increasing the bust dart width, which BTW leaves the front length that I need for a level hem


The camera always distorts straight lines that run around a globe. So I think this is level and I’m unwilling to do anything that would change it.  But back to the diagonals, my bust dart is 2-3/4″ deep.  I’m not sure I want a 3″ or larger dart. That’s a whopping amount of fabric in the side seam and very unusual for a barely B cup. Another option could be a tuck across the upper bodice but then the front length would be short and my front hem would rise like a bird.  I would need to add length somewhere.  I never trust alterations which result in other alterations. My gut feeling is “I’m fixing the wrong thing.” And I’ve seen the time when I fixed A. Which created B. Correct B. Holy cow, I now have error C. Fix C and guess what? A is back.  I don’t trust alterations that produce the need for more alterations.  I’m Ok with alterations that only partially correct. Like the 3/8″ front armscye dart fixed the armscye length for the left side and helped the right side. A 2nd alteration was needed to completely lower the right side shoulder down onto my physical shoulder.  So the 3/8″ dart didn’t fix everything but all of one side and most of the other. I trust those kinds of alterations.

Despite my comments,  I would wear this front. I might be wondering about further corrections, but I would wear it. Moral of the story:  My Front gets 2 Thumps Up!!

To the back:


For this tissue, I moved the back armscye dart up just below the shoulder. Sliced across the back and then overlapped 1/2″. I then needed to true the shoulder, shoulder dart and the armscye. Slicing across the back and not just the 4″ of the dart was needed so the pattern would lie flat. Unfortunately, it shortened the back length about 1/8″; and so I’m seeing once again diagonals starting at the cross back, angling across the back towards the seam above the bust and maybe 1 above the bust.  Interestingly, the left shoulder is still gaping. The right shoulder with its deeper seam allowance is riding nicely where it should. Also there are fewer and less deep drag lines below the right shoulder than the left. I looked at the front and back shoulders enlarged 200%. Right and left front are just brilliant. Back shoulders are showing the anomaly and of course the wrinklers below.

My thought is I need to do the tissue alteration differently. I’m thinking either move the dart all the way up to the shoulder and slice it off. Which would entail changing the shoulder length back to 4.5″ (5″ with dart); rebalancing the dart and redrawing the armscye.  All doable. (I really did learn from the drafting class.) 2nd alternative might be rotating the dart to the shoulder dart i.e. closing the dart where it was originally taken (3″ down from the shoulder point on the back armscye),  while allowing the shoulder dart to open.  The dart would increase in size. The shoulder length stay the same.  I’d need to tweak the armscye (there’s always a smidgen of difference).   The dart would need to be redrawn and trued.  Seeing the gaping above, I should/could increase the amount of the armscye dart at the same time. Confusing? This dart


That would not take care of all the wrinklers

These wrinklers


which extend to the sides

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I decreased the back length above the waist 3/4″ (added it back at the hem to maintain overall length).  I increased the bust dart 3/4″ to remove most of the diagonals forming from apex to side seam.  While these aren’t as bad, telling me I did something right, I’m not sure if I should repeat the process i.e. reduce back length above waist/ reduce front side length by increasing bust dart.

I’ve reduced the armscye length 7/8″ over all (1.25″ on the right side). I wonder if the armscye should be restored.  Didn’t immediately do so because 1) the underarm sits 1″ below my armpit and 2)the side seam at the underarm has sufficient ease.

I’m wondering if the back is too wide.  I look and think it is; then think “no when I put the sleeve in I’ll be happy with the armscye the way it is.

Ummm. Suggestions?


3 thoughts on “Day 3

  1. How does the back look without the back vertical darts? Appears to me they are distorting the back somehow. Curve seems too severe to my eye Or perhaps clipping them would relieve the stress. I don’t know really but that seems to be what I’m seeing. Good luck.


    1. I need the back darts. Not sure if it’s depth of the dart (which I increased to 5/8″) or if it’s the Water Soluble Thread shrinking. Either way, you’re right. That needs some attention


  2. How does the back look without the back vertical darts? Appears to me they are distorting the back somehow. Curve seems too severe to my eye Or perhaps clipping them would relieve the stress. I don’t know really but that seems to be what I’m seeing. Good luck.



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