Peggy was highly enthused and gave excellent instructions. I really appreciated her cautioning that many of her measurements were her style choices. It wouldn’t matter if our measurements were somewhat off or if we used different measurements, fabric type or pattern bases. She used SP127, but specifically said 195 could be used as well. Having just finished fitting 195, I knew that was going to be my base.
My next thought was fabric. I loved her use of stripes and wanted to duplicate that. Actually, I wanted to duplicate the whole thing because she’d worked out the problems. Isn’t that why we buy patterns; because someone else has worked out the details that make for a good garment? So I hunted for knit stripes in the stash. I’ve picked up stripe after stripe for other projects and said “no” because I didn’t want to give the attention they needed. Now when I want to use a stripe, I can’t find one. Part of my issue was finding a stripe with an interesting reverse side. At best I could find stripes that were yarn dyed and therefore the same color on both sides instead of stripe one side glaring white the other. Mostly though I was finding 1-1/2″ yard cuts. Because I needed to cut 2 full fronts, I didn’t want to start with less than 2 yards. (I was right about this. When finished I had a 30″ wide by 35″ long left over. Not even enough for a tank top.) I finally decided if I couldn’t find a duo-sided fabric, I would make one. Out came the paints.
A short hunt thought the stencils and I had one I wanted to use. I spread out my fabric and spent a delightful 2 hours stenciling the bigger part of 2 yards of fabric.
When I finished stenciling, I pulled out the gold spray glitter
and had a go at it. I have used the bottle before and ran out of glitter before I ran out desire to bling. I unscrewed the top and started dribbling the remains. When the glitter was all gone
I let it dry over night. Which was OK since I also needed to hem and photo my last 195 plus I needed to do some housework and stuff. The next day (Day 2) I pulled the fabric off my cutting table and pressed it. There was a surprise in store. My painting ghosted.
From the right side, which I planned on being visible for most of the garment, the painting ghosted through. And I LIKED it! Maybe I wouldn’t want this for a different project or maybe a different color would have been objectionable. But this fabric, this color, this stencil, it was an interesting development. I pressed the fabric to heat set the paint. I always let my fabric painting dry 24 hours and then heat set it. That may not be necessary since I added fabric medium to acrylic craft paint. But it’s what I’ve always done because it’s always worked. My painting never fades or flakes so I keep letting it dry over night and heat setting. Of course, YMMV.
Then I started with the pattern alterations. I copied the front and started plotting points and drawing lines. As I said before, Peggy gave good instructions and I copied them down pretty well too:
I needed to rewatch only part of the video, the part where she shows how much of the neckline to duplicate. Although I’m sharing a schematic here I did not make a separate left front.
I’m running low or Aisle Runner, my favorite pattern tissue paper, and decided to conserve by marking the opposite with the two different lines. Besides the biggest difference was the bottom point is extended 7″ on the right front; 4″ on the left front which makes a huge difference as far as length and angle of the diagonal lines. I drew the new lines and then folded up the tissue when it was time to cut the left front.
I copied the back. The side would need to be shortened 3″ which I did not want to do to my now knit-sloper. I traced the back, then canted it out the recommended 3″ and traced the new shape. I needed to work on that curve since I didn’t hear Peggy give numbers just “establish a pretty curve”. It took me 3 tries but I got there.
No change to the sleeve. When finished my pieces looked like this (except on aisle runner paper.)
I trued the lines. Found that the dart legs had to be evened and the back to sides needed a little tweaking.
I laid out the fabric and shifted the pattern pieces around for a few minutes. Finally, thankful this was a 2-way stretch, polyester, knit I laid the pieces out cross grain and cut the back and 2 fronts. Peggy’s choice for finishing the garment is raw edges which I dislike. I have seen a few artful uses of raw edges but for the most part they look to me like you just gave up. Besides, I need more than just stay stitching to stabilize a neck edge. I can stretch out a stay stitched neck edge before I get the sleeves inserted! That’s why I usually cut and run to the ironing board to apply fusible stay tape. This time I cut. Stitched those french darts (noticed I’m not swearing at them) and then applied FOE. 3 times. The first time I applied the FOE to the side seam and hem of the right front. Ripped that out and applied to the neck edge and the flounce; repeat for left front. I carefully aligned and pinned the fronts before stitching them and then stitched the shoulder seams together. At that point, I eagerly took a peek in the mirror. Instead of delight, I said “OH MY GAWD”
That took me back to the time when I was late to church one Sunday and the only choir robe left was the XX XXL that was too big for the largest choir member we’d ever had. It swamped me. Worse yet was the chasuble? (not sure what that big white-collar like thing is called). That’s how the above pic looked to me,,, singing in the choir in robe too big. That’s all the congregation thought about that service.
LESSON LEARNED: Things made for Peggy’s 5’7″ frame may not be exactly right for my own 5’3″ frame.
I start trimming the long diagonal edges finally shortening the front 4″ and reducing the flounce 2″ in width. It wasn’t until I added soft pleats into the flounce at the neck that I was satisfied.
I called it a day and went upstairs. Next day, Day 3, I started by doing pattern work for my next project. I like to start the pattern work and let it sit over night allowing me to think a bit. AFterward I finished the neck edge. I was quite concered at how the front gapped:
Apparently the flouce, even trimmed was too heavy for the neck to support. I planned on using FOE to finish the neckline but wasn’t sure FOE would be enough support. So I fused 1-1/4″ interfacing along the front neck edge
That’s held in place only by the FOE application. I’m hoping it does not ‘come free’ and curl. You’ll see in the final pics that the neck needs this support.
I cut the sleeves, hemmed them and attached to the blouse; stitched the side seams and finally pinked all the raw edges. It was better than nothing but still I’m not satisfied with the edge finish. I may do something else with the edges or even something else to the blouse. See, I don’t have the enthusiasm for the finished blouse that Peggy did
The color is pretty. The fit is pretty good. That back is sweet. What an easy change to go from T-shirt style to Swing!
Even the sides look good. There’s very few and then they are small drag lines. It looks full and loose like the styles I’m seeing on TV, yet except for the back, I didn’t add any ease. Definitely is a high-lo hem but at a length I think is nice on me.
But my enthusiasm is definitely down a notch from Peggy’s level.
It may be the different color. Or the fact I have greater contrast between flounce and the rest of the garment than Peggy’s duo-sided stripe. I also did not create the asymmetrical hem that she did. Or it may just be a little too different for me. The telling question is “Will you make this again?” Well the sleeve is already ‘kept’. It is my slim, knit sleeve sloper. I plan to use it as a base for other knit sleeves. Heck I plan to use it and the armscye as my knit sleeve sloper. The back I love. The swing back and rounded hem really are lovely. I definitely will use that again and I’ve kept it. The front is questionable. OK I won’t make exactly this same garment again. For starters, I don’t have any more of that stripe fabric. But I’d also like to tweak the pattern to create Peggy’s asymmetry but at a length and width that are flattering for me in place of Peggy’s original dimensions. Also I can see really working that flounce. It doesn’t have to go all the way to the hem. It is entirely possible to stitch the front seam with a portion to the inside and the rest out there in public view. That flounce can change in other ways too. The 12″ horizontal can be moved up or down; changed from diagonal line to curve; meet the neck closer to CF or further away; can be gathered, pleated or even made from contrasting fabric. It has a lot of promise. So I will not create exactly the garment you see above a second time. I will not create another version for a few months, maybe not until the spring season. BUT I will be using these pattern pieces again. It will appear in my wardrobe in the future. I give Peggy 2 THUMBS UP for this version.