Too much flare at the hem

oh and the humongous bust dart continue to occupy my mind. I do like a tent top but I don’t want every top I wear to stick out at the hem.  I decided to leave the bust dart alone, after all it is working and turned my attention to reducing the flare at the hem.  I aligned my hip curve by the waist and pivoted back and forth until I could remove about 1.5″ from the hem


Which creased a nice smooth side seam


At the same time, I tweaked my sleeve


I like to change the ease of the sleeve on the fly (so to speak) and folded out the excess. This sleeve makes a cylinder shape on my arm.


Could be a little tighter at the wrist or I may have stretched the wrist when I cover-stitched the hem. Basically it’s a nice sleeve neither too tight nor too loose.

I added a V-shaped embroidery


Not wanting to use FOE or a ribbing, I created facings, both front and back ..

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… using a light-weight, white knit which I interfaced with nylon tricot.

I’m not thrilled with the finished garment:

The ridge is from my back support.

For starters, this was forgotten in the closet whilst I was ill. After being ill for so long, I’m noticing that I have to deliberately get up and straighten my posture or I will walk about hunched over. No doubt my wonky posture is affecting the look.  The fabric has about 200% stretch, (I exaggerate) while my pattern was fit for about 30%. About half way through construction, I remembered why this particular fabric has been marinating in the stash for so long (about 25 years).  It’s mostly cotton. Not sure there’s any poly or nylon or other fiber.  Interestingly,  it recovers quickly the first few times it is stretched. But after that, it doesn’t recover as quickly or completely.  I remember that the longer I wore the first garment (made from this exact same fabric), the further it drooped. The scooped neckline was below my bra shortly after noon.  Also it tends to reveal rather than conceal as seen by the ridge in the pic above which is my back support (also needed more since my illness).

It’s one of those fabrics that has me asking, “Did I fit this pattern at all?”

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Sigh. Unfortunately I changed the pattern so even though fabric is clearly an issue, I can’t be sure I don’t have a pattern problem.

You know, sometimes I think I need to remove every elderly fabric from my stash. Even the 100% wools and silks. Modern fabrics are so much kinder to my figure. And easier to sew with.




Issues with CS1201 Knit Block

ETA: I wore this T-shirt half a morning and decided the sleeves were too tight. I turned them into quarter sleeves; laundered and placed my new summer T in with the other summer clothes. It is not a loss; a wadder; a big mistake. I still have a pretty, wearable garment. I just can’t wear it until late Spring. The pattern absolutely needs to altered with ease added from elbow to wrist. 

The biggest issue by far, is the rounding of my back and increased shoulder slope. They go hand in hand or at least correcting one seems to affect the other. I knew I needed to increase the back shoulder slope. Unfortunately it needs to be different amounts for each shoulder. (3/4″ right shoulder; 1/2″ left shoulder).  More critically is that the slope cannot be increased evenly.  I mean I can’t make a mark 1/2″ and then draw a line up to the shoulder point.  My shoulders have distinct angles and have double angles:


Maintaining the 1/2″ seam allowance, I tried offsetting the back shoulder 3/4″ at the armscye zeroing at about half way. Did the same on the right except it was offset 3/4″.

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Above: shoulders basted after offsetting for shoulder slope.

While the remaining diagonals and scoops disappeared across the back and below the shoulders, the back crept upward, easily visible from the front on both sides


as well as the side views;


My first thought, well was that I didn’t smooth everything into place. When that didn’t work, I thought maybe that 1/4″ tuck on the tissue removed too much ease.  I let out the center back seam as far as possible. Nope. Didn’t help. Not one iota.

Letting out the shoulder seams was a dumb idea and didn’t work either.  So I look around and think, ” where can I sew a wedge that will remove those drag lines?”    A few of the drag lines are just below the bust most are higher.  I didn’t think a wedge below the waist would help. Didn’t think just above the waist would help either.  Between underarm and bust dart did occur to me, but I really don’t have much length in that area.  The only logical place to me was the armscye. I opted to make a wedge 1″ above the cross back. Which worked perfectly  (the shoulders hug my own) but looked wonky.


I’ve never seen a dart in a back armscye.  Seen lots of yokes but just a dart? No. Never that I can recall.  I decided to stitch the wedges (one for each side) permanently and join them with a very narrow tuck (less than 1/8″). The result:


I dislike adding prominent lines on-the-fly like this.  I prefer to make such things on the tissue and cut while the fabric is flat. I’m pretty sure that I made the right amount of adjustment, but because I was fussing, trying to smooth out fabric, the right wedge was placed lower than the left. Which resulted in the slanted line above.

I may still have an issue lower down where drag lines typical of needed RBA have developed:


I question that because the lines were not there before hemming:


Also, I made a 1/4″, then 1/2″ and finally 3/4″ RBA on the woven sloper. The woven sloper showed no improvement with the 3/4″ RBA; only the 1/4 and 1/2″. Seemed at the time, that a 1/2″ RBA was the right choice. I made the RBA on the cross back line. Should it have been made further down?

Further considering the wedges, I wonder if the issue at the shoulder seam/back neck was due to the 1/2″ seam allowance.  I know for a fact that I can easily join 1/4″ seam allowances where a 1/2″ in the same place would have been a struggle.  I was reluctant to trim the shoulder seam allowances to 1/4″.  Maybe I should have been bolder.

Converting the wedges to a yoke has lots of possibilities since a yoke could be placed anywhere along the armscye although I probably should adjust the sleeve cap as well. (I didn’t this time. I eased the sleeve into the armscye. 1/4″ seam allowances helped with that.) Not sure that I want the yoke to be as low or lower than the front bust. I’m afraid that would require adjusting the side seams and hem.   I wonder if the wedges can be combined with the RBA.  Fit for Art recommends making the RBA and rotating to the neckline. That works, but I’d rather sew a single back seam than 2 darts.  I’d also prefer a single yoke seam to the 4-square thingy I’ve got up above.  I wonder if the wedges which are already noted on the pattern:


could be slashed 2″ (the length needed for the shoulder) and overlapped?  No the slash would have to go all the way across the back or I would have bubble. But I don’t want it to go all the way across because it would offset the RBA some.

The FRONT caused me only slight concern and that was the bust dart. Bit by the issue on the woven sloper, I cut a big box along the side seam at the end of the dart instead of cutting exactly on the lines. During fitting I carefully draped the bust dart; trimmed the seam allowances to 1/2″ and transferred the change to the pattern. Glad I did that because I added a bunch of fabric.  See the purple ink below:


All added fabric during fitting.  I’m just a mess at folding out a nice bust dart on tissue!

Ah, time to think.


********** I may update this post as I find other options.



CS1201: The Knit Block

I copied the final fitting changes back to my original tracing of size 16, CS1201.  After copying the changes, I folded the bust darts and adjusted the side seam. Spent an hour adjusting the bust dart depth and lines. Then I trued the seams and had to completely revise the bust dart. What a pain. But this block is now a wealth of information. It is showing a dart every place where I needed to make depth changes.  It’s possible I could move some of the darts to seams or merge with other darts. If I had the figure of 12-year-old boy (1) I could move the darts anywhere and (2) I probably wouldn’t need most of those darts. But I have a roly poly figure otherwise known as the mature-female body and there’s no question in my mind that some darts will not be able to move or not move in their entirety while retaining the fit I desire and have worked so hard to achieve.

Finally satisfied I labeled the original tracing ‘WOVEN 20170128″ on all pieces and proceeded to develop a Knit block/sloper. First up, make a clean copy with all final notations. I have several references for converting a woven block to knit block. I’m not a fan of the ‘cut one size smaller’ theory. Neither did I care for “Thousand Teeny Changes” two of my sources recommended.  I sorted through them and realized that (1) there is no standard; no reliable set of steps that will guarantee a fitted knit sloper. Whatever I do, the next step will be “make a test garment and adjust as desired”.  Once that realization struck me, I did some fast calculations and opted to take a 1/4″ tuck at cross back and cross front; and another 1/4″ tuck from shoulder through hem.  I took a 1/4″ tuck across the cap of the sleeve and then had to redraw the cap slightly.  This will be my basis. I plan to update it with needed fitting changes. But like the original tracing of CS1201, I don’t want to lose or mess-up this clean copy and so made a 2nd working copy.  On the working copy  starting with the BACK

(Back) move neckline darts to the center back. I will plan on always using a center back seam when using this back.  Move half the shoulder dart width to the armscye; the other half to the neckline.  Move 1/2″ the back waist dart to the center dart. Redraw the center back seam to include the new curvature.  I’d like to move the other 1/2″ of the waist dart to the side seam, but I’m worried the back side seam won’t match and work well with the front side seam  because….

Front mark the armscye dart as unsewn. Retain 1-3/4″ (7/8 deep dart); rotate the rest of the bust dart to the hem. I’m hoping that will add a little tummy room.  I realize I’m creating a bit of a ‘swing’ hem. For now, I’m just accepting that. Later I will consider how and how much of the swing to remove.   My front doesn’t need a waist dart. So nothing to move to the side seam.  Which is why I hesitated to move any portion of the back waist dart to the side seam.  This will be reconsidered in future garments.

I chose a rayon knit with 30% stretch. I actually purchased a few knits recently. I realized I didn’t have knit fabrics that would make good test garments. They were either too dark or didn’t have the right stretch or I didn’t have enough yardage for a front, back, plus long sleeve.   Hope for wearable test garments (I’m tired of throwing fabric into the trash), I looked specifically for busy prints that would hide fitting issues. I gave my fabric a whiff of starch as I was pressing; laid it out and cut only the front and back.

I used all-purpose thread in the bobbin and needle for stay stitching and the bust dart.  Switched to water-soluble thread for the seams.  I was really pleased with the first fitting. I think I have only 1 issue that I will correct (there’s another I’m ignoring) but I’ll write about that tomorrow.   It’s an issue that I need to think through. Considering, my actions and the results as well as possible options and then writing it all out will help me do the needed thinking…. and planning.  So with minimal fitting, I was done. The 1/4″ tucks were perfect. The sleeve cap was good.  Rotating a portion of the bust dart worked as expected.


I finished the neckline with FOE; hemmed by top stitching. Another goof, I like my sleeves marked with minimum ease. I made it too little. I opted to create a vent in the cuff but my T-shirt may be a candidate for half or 3/4 sleeves later on.

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Not surprising, my left side is smoother and looks better than the right. I did work on the uneven shoulder issue, but it needs more consideration. As you can see, the drag lines from the bust are nothing like they were on the finished woven sloper. I’m not entirely sure if I removed too much ease from the front or if I need to take up more in the bust darts and then of course rotate to the hem. I did hate those big honkin’ nearly 3″ bust darts the woven sloper ended up having. Over all, to me, this looks good. Better than any RTW, I can buy.


In only one fitting, I’m in the tweaking stage. I’ll talk more about the back tomorrow but today just let me say, I’m not terribly unhappy with the back but I do see that a drag line formed starting at the shoulder. This is a typical line that says “Add an RBA ” or make it bigger.

Again, things I’ll think about when I write tomorrows post.  For now, I’m just terribly, terribly pleased with myself and my new sloper.