I cut the self drafted sleeves and put them into the bodice. Looks alright….ish. We’re only looking at the upper part: shoulders and sleeve cap. Shoulder seam length seems ok. (the neck line still has 2 cm seam allowance so … Continue reading
A few muslins further and now I’ve got one that works and that I’d actually call a pattern:
I’ve been playing with sleeves a bit.
I’ve drafted and fitted on that I’m going to use. It’s on the left arm hole of this muslin. It has a biceps width of 35 cm and a sleeve cap matching the armhole exactly at 42,3 cm. It has little gussets at the sides.
On the right shoulder is an oblong sleeve. Just a straight piece of cloth, 42,3 cm in width and some 25 cm high. I wanted to learn how much arm movement it gives. I’ve been reading and rereading Ikatbag’s explanation of sleeves and I wanted to experience it.
Just a rectangle sewn into arm hole:
Excellent movement! Nice flair…
One day I’d like to take this sleeve (cap) and play with it. See if I can eliminate the flair, reduce the bulk at the underarm but still keep most of that nice room for movement. But not today. (I did start. I sewed some lines into the sleeve, as it was still attached, and see how that influenced fit. And I started to read up on medieval smocks and skirtles. But really, I should sew a blouse now.)
This is the sleeve I’ve drafted. It sits nice. But in unwashed cotton it’s still a bit restrictive. I’m hoping it will be alright in the lighter fashion fabric. If not it’ll be a learning experience.
Muslin looks nice though. See how close to the body the arm hole is. It’s not uncomfortable at all!
And it gives better movement than any other sleeve I’ve made before, in any of my grey blouses.
Here’s the pattern of this sleeve cap, with the dark thread indicating the sleeve cap but without gusset flares at both ends:
I also drafted front panel facings; a collar and a collar stand and plackets for the sleeves.
Now I’m ready to transfer markings to fashion fabric I think…
This is the fabric:
Knip Magazine looks innovated. The patternpaper is more sturdy, instructions are no longer staccato but in full sentences. With periods. What luxury!
I bought the April 2016 edition which is about vintage looks. I want to make a blouse with a standing collar and a side darts from it, blouse nr 23:
But first a muslin. I hope to transform this pattern into a pattern I can use and reuse again.
These are the steps I took:
- I compared my own measurements to the measurements Knip uses. I found I fit pretty much in a size 38, if I borrow the taille from size 40. I used my upperbust measurement as if it were my full bust measurement. I ignored my real bust measurements. Size 38 fits my frame.
- My breasts are not standard for size 38 and the pattern will need a Full Bust Adjustment. I will repeat the trick Lynda Maynard teaches in craftsycourse Sewing the Perfect Fit. It has brought me good things before.
- my back is shorter than any of the sizes of the Knip. It’s 3 cm shorter than size 38. I will hack horizontal into the pattern and move things up a bit.
- I probably want a longer model with less flare in the hips, I will cut the muslin generously and play with it.
- I want longer sleeves and probably less flarey. I’ll see to that once I’ve sorted out the armhole and the sleeve cap.
- Arm hole and sleeve cap. I will transfer the pattern as is onto paper but then I’m going to take a long hard look and change the armhole to a better fit. I’ve got my previous three grey blouses, I’ve got Ikatbag’s explanation and I’ve been doing a pattern drafting course for the past couple of months which has taught me a thing or two also. The sleeve (cap) will come after the armhole is sorted.
- closing. Still don’t do button holes. I’ve got souple zippers I can put in (no blind zipper foot for my antique foot treadle sewing machine alas) and I’ve got self fasting snaps I can put it. Either way: reserve fabric/seam allowances for this.
Now, before I go tracing size 38 (with waist 40) on the paper I’m going to find out if this is the kind of company that puts in seam allowances into the paper pattern or wants me to put them in myself.
Knip doesn’t offer seam allowances on the paper pattern. Excellent. This way I can compare their pattern with the ones I already have very easy.
And later on I can trace the sewing lines directly onto the muslin and can cut generous seam allowances that do not have to be tidy or neat or consistent. The stitching seam is right there on the fabric, clear as day. Just follow the line.
That way I can already cut more fabric at the top of the side seam. I suspect it will have to be raised considerably for a better fitting arm hole. Modern pattern companies still think that ease of movement requests more wearing ease. It does not.
I’ll also give the front and back of the armhole more seam allowance, I suspect it has to be narrowed.
Let me think, what else…. More length at the bottom. A little bit of width at the seam allowance should I need width as well as length after doing the Maynard trick.
So let’s start.
- trace pattern
- adjust paper pattern for length (shortht) of back
- cut from muslin fabric with generous seam allowance
- sew the muslin and do the FBA Maynard style
- start the fit: CB at CB; shoulder seams on the shoulder seam; shoulder length appropriate/ arm hole begins where arm hole should be; side seams vertical; no dragmarks anywhere; adjust arm hole.
- adjust pattern, invent a sleeve, make a new muslin, do a second fitting.
1. Trace pattern:
No sleeve yet since I’ll adjust it anyway.
2. adjust for height: draw a horizontal line at the waist marker and fold away 3 cm. Redraw vertical darts and side seam curve if needed. It’s just a millimeter for the dart and none for the sideseams since I have little waist accentuation as it is (as evidenced by going from size 38 at the arm pit to 40 at the waist to 38 at the bottom again).
Step 3: cut from muslin with generous seam allowances:
Euhhh… I better press the muslin fabric a bit. It’s really dumb otherwise. So much inaccuracy.
Now I’ll reposition the paper pieces again and check if my green lines are still accurate. Otherwise adjust them.
(I’d better press the tracing paper too I guess)
This is an old bed sheet. It probably grew during pressing which wasn’t propper pressing but ironing. Distorting the fabric and the grain. Anyway. Redrawing the sewing lines and proceeding to the next step.
4: sew the muslin. Bust darts first, then shoulder seams, then side seams. Skip the other darts. Wear it inside out. Pin Centre Front to Centre Front.
Now I’m ready for the FBA. First I’ll sew CF shut, it’s not too tight. (So Knip puts a lot of wearing ease in their patterns).
Sideseam looks ok. Bust dart points up a bit. Ready for that cut Maynard style, I need a bit more room for my bust.
Erm…. I better rewatch the craftsy course and relearn what I’m actually supposed to do. The Aha! moment didn’t happen this time…
I also feel this FBA doen not need (only) more length at the front edges but also a bit more width.
Ah, watching the course again I see I didn’t make the cut right.
n the mean time I cleaned up some of the extra wide seam allowances that I saw I didn’t need: shoulder seams, neck line and front edges.
I also already noted: sideseam needs to come up 1,5/2 fingers width; back armhole needs to extend a bit; neckline needs to come done a bit; shoulder seams need to go to the back a bit at the neck. It’s noted on the muslin, in black.
Now I make another small change to the shoulder seam first. Looking again I concluded there was no need to drop the front as much with the horizontal cut in the first place. The bust darts where already pointing to the good bits. Now they’re pointing a bit too low:
Rewatching lesson 6 from Maynard Craftsy course tells me what I didn’t do this right at all. I should have put in navigation lines that need to stay horizontal. (wow! lesson 9 is about armholes! I’m so glad I have this course.)
I think I better cut a new muslin… and put the changes I made into a new piece of paper.
– Putting in 2,5 cm extra length in the Centre Front. Hiding it into the side bust dart so the sideseam won’t get any longer and the side dart will stay at its place. I have lengthened the dart a bit towards the apex though, now that more fabric needs to be taken out.
– Bringing the sideseam of the front pieces 1,25 cm wider at the apex line. I need a bit more width at the front but I don’t need the vertical darts to change place. Due to wearing ease that’s supposed to be in the pattern I guess I can add a bit of width at the inner side of CF too.
On the right the original pattern, what a mess:
I don’t know what I’m doing!
On the left there’s the new paper pattern based on all the alteration. I’ve done some weird thing on the CF because I wanted extra width at the front but not at top. Wanted the grain preserved. I figured if I put in a zipper nobody is going to be surprised when it lies flat against my upperchest. As long as I don’t use a checkered fabric this might work.
On to a new muslin and that will be a new post.
Just cut one from the new paper pattern and try it on and go from there.
This time I’m working from pressed fabric and pressed paper.
Ahh, so much better:
- To play some more with the armhole: position, fit, ease.
- the original Burda sleeve does not have the grain centered, does this have a function?
- another collar.
PATTERN ALTERATIONS made on the Grey Winter Deer blouse pattern:
- bringing the armhole closer to the body in the front and back. Not taking in sideseam nor altering how it meets the sleeve. (my alterations widen the armhole… or not?)
- shortening the shoulderseam by 2 cm. Doing this at the princess seam point instead of the arm hole. Just to find out.
- taking off the integrated collar, inserting the collar from Deer & Doe instead.
- a little more pronounced shaping at the underbust on the side front panels
- not forgetting the horizontal dart in the front panels this time.
same alterations I made for the Grey Winter Deer when compared to the Stylish Cat Lady Blouse:
- extend the front panel towards the collar, don’t let it bend away so fast
using the front panel -free cut to extend the Center Front seam- for cutting the facings.
not the sleeve seam though. (sleeve cap yes)
NOW CHANGE TO RIGHT COLOUR THREAD.
horizontal one in the front panel and the cup darts at the side.
- sleeve seam
- zipper (new way, just like a lined zipper pouch.)
- long seams
- shoulder seams
2. Zipper sandwiched between front panel and facing. Having it’s end peak out so it’s hidden from the right side:
Precise cutting makes for precise positioning, front panel, zipper and facing line up beautifully:
Because I did the zipper before I sewed the princess lines I could work it like a zippered pouch. I used a tutorial.
3. Princess seams are quite curvy. Here’s one panel laying on top of its partner:
Pin it down, cut into the seam allowance and staystitching to make it work:
– the princess seams ended way too much to the side, they don’t run over the apex.
The zipper is not yet top stitched, that may draw in the princess seams a bit. Topstitch the zipper and see what’s what. Before the topstitching I pressed and pinned the fabric carefully. On the outside it covers the zipper, on the inside it lays back a bit, for easier operating of the zipper.
But somehow, no matter how well you pin and press, the upper layer will wrinkle because the dog teeth make the under layer go faster. There’s a lot of pulling and smoothing involved to make it look acceptable. Slow sewing.
– I need little darts at the side bust, before I put in the sleeves.
Zipper top stitched. Princess seams are still off the apex, 2 cm too much to the sides at least. I think I might have added some width to the front panels when I cut it? Perhaps because I wanted a button band and snap ons buttons. Then I changed it to a zipper but didn’t take out any fabric. Will do for a next time I use this pattern.
For now I think I’ll leave it like this. It was quite an effort to sew the princes seams, with their curves, I don’t look forward to resewing them. And I fear the armhole is already positioned enough towards the bust, it shouldn’t go any nearer.
Taking in the sideseams at the underarm makes up for the surplus of fabric. Took in a whole (2x)1 cm. Now it’s snug. Might be too snug.
The curve at the underbust -more curvy than the previous blouse- works well. But still horizontal folds.
I wonder if they’d be less if the closing CF was not as stiff as a zipper is.
Sewing in side darts.
pinned one and sewed it in with sleeve running close to the dog teeth and bodice on top. No trouble easing it in.
Fitting showed I had not enough room at the front. I’m going to take out the bust dart.
(sleeve cap seems to be too roomy at the front but this is the 2 cm seam allowance bulking things up. It’s not been graded yet.)
Shoulder seam is positioned a bit to the back:
(the collar is going to need some serious engineering. I know nothing about collars! Yet.)
took out the bust dart. While sewing the arm hole was now too big for the sleeve. As the shoulder seam was a bit too much to the back I took it apart and used it to take away some of the excess fabric of the armhole. (we’re talking maybe one cm here, exactly how much the side bust dart took up.)
looks awful. Sits even worse.
It looks like I moved the shoulder seam to the back instead of the front (??)
The arm hole is way too wide at the front top, the sleeve cap is too narrow over my upper arm. I can’t move one bit, it looks like I sewed a sloper, with no ease.
The whole arm hole sits awful. It should be nearer to my body. Higher in the sideseam, closer to the body in the front. The shoulder seam should even be shorter I think, but then the sleeve will move on top of my shoulder and that’s not good.
But the extra ease from the abandoned bust dart is good though. It’s on the right side in this picture:
Blouse thrown in corner. I’m done sewing for the day.
HOW TO PROCEED:
got no idea. The sleeves have to come off, that’s clear. I have enough fabric to draft new sleeves. But how? What?
Take the bodice -with bust darts- as a point of departure I guess. That one sits good and looks fine. But the arm hole is a bit wide at the front. How attach a sleeve to it without it becoming wings?
Maybe a gusset at the underarm…
The bustdarts do give the armhole a right angle. It’s no longer oblong.
The sleeves need some sort of wearing ease, at the sleeve cap. Even though Fashion-Incubator makes a good case that it’s nonsense.
Drape the sleeve in the hole?
I think I shouldn’t have matched up the seam of the sleeve with the side seam. Fashion-Incubator shows a rotated sleeve in her last picture.
I’m also thinking about sewing it in back side to front, just to see if that changes anything.
NEXT TIME I use this pattern:
– broaden the side front panels: make the arm hole smaller by bringing it closer to the arm pit. It’s about 2 to 4 cm out.
– more soupleness at the closing (CF) to see if the horizontal wrinkles at the underbust disappear. That rules out a zipper.
Burda 6909 with lots of alterations:
Among which: underbust shaping; horizontal dart at the waist; arm hole; sleeve; a lot less curve at the back princess seams and a shorter shoulder seam.
One of the things I left alone was the collar. Burda 6909 has an attached collar. I don’t understand it though. I haven’t figured out how to sew it neatly.
Must be my lack of experience again.
The instructions on the Burda leaflet were not enough for me, even though there are pictures. I did exactly what was prescribed, my sewing looked exactly like the pictures. Still the blouse looks wonky at the right angle the shoulder seam makes with the collar. Both blouses, on all four shoulders.
Next time I want a conventional collar. One you attach. One with four pieces.
By the way, I didn’t use fusing to strengthen the collar, I gave it an extra layer of fabric. It just sits between the outer fabric. I love collars, making them all neat. Turning them, pressing them, topstitching them.
That’s why I’d really like a nice collar stand and collar attachment to my blouses/dress shirt.
At the front the pattern has a long facing, running all the way up to and including the attached collar. After completing the blouse I sewed the facing to the inside of the horizontal dart to keep it into place:
I take it that on the original pattern, with button holes, it doesn’t flap. I used a zipper because I’m sewing on an antique foot treadle machine that only has a running stitch and I don’t feel like making x button holes by hand.
On the X-mas Deer Blouse I was so focused on getting the zipper done right, and I figured it had to be done at a different stage of the sewing, way before sewing the side seams, that I forgot to put in the dart in the front panels.
So at this blouse the facing flaps around and annoys. Nice blouse though. The zipper looks great! Totally level on both panels, really nice overlap. This is the best zip tutorial I know. It’s for a lapped zipper but it shows very clearly the steps in any zipper sewing. Thank you ScruffyBadger!:
I still need to do the hem on this one. And it has some minor faults in the sewing. But I’m not correcting these, this is a fun blouse, to be worn when feeling carefree and enjoying some winter company.
One of the sleeves has been put in annoyingly bad. I may be taking it out and resew it…
But for now I’m really happy with the zipper, the shaping, the upper back, the topstitching, the top part of the collar and the fabric.
To celebrate the end of a stressful period I bought two funny fabrics, for fun blouses. With it I bought the Burda pattern 6909.
Blouse with princess lines front and back, long sleeves and a collar.
WHAT SIZE? GRADING.
First I wanted to grade the pattern.
For this I had to re-acquaintance myself with wearing ease (and designer ease) that each pattern company incorporates in their sizes. Judging from the pattern cover I should be a 42 at the bust (+ do an FBA), a 38 at the waist and a 36 at the hip. But these are their fashion sizes, it says nothing about the actual measurements of the pattern.
I’ve been burned before, with my first dress ever, a Vogue pattern two years ago, that needed a whopping 4 inches/ 10 cm to be taken away. So I’m nowhere near marking a line on the pattern pieces, let alone cutting in fabric. Not until I find out more about how Burda works with ease.
Looking online, mainly at the sewists’ site Pattern Review.com, it seems that it’s mainly the big four pattern companies (Butterick, Vogue, Simplicity and that-other-one) which add ridiculous amounts of ease to their patterns.
Here’s a post by Glenda Sparling from Sure-Fit DesignsTM about what wearing ease actual should be and what designer ease often is:
The experienced people on the forum at PR say that Burda doesn’t add ridiculous amounts of wearing ease. Alright, I’ll mark the pattern pieces going from size 42 to 38 to 36 (bust – waist – hip) and I’ll put my measuring tape to these places to see what the resulting measurements will be from the garment.
If I think it sounds reasonable I’ll cut the fabric. There still will be fitting and pinning afterwards anyway.
The lines I followed on the paper pieces and blended from one to the next:
- size 38 at the waist
- size 36 at the hips
- size 36 at the upper back
- size 42 at the front bust
- size 36 at the upper front/”shoulder straps” (but with the length/height of size 42)
added 1,5 cm seam allowance since Burda doesn’t do those.
added 4 cm seam allowance at the hem and cuffs
Before cutting I shorted the bodice by 4 cm because the pattern is for 41 cm from nape neck to waist and I only run 37 cm. However, Burda self says there’s only two cm difference between a person of 1.68 cm and 1.60 cm.They advice to take out 7 mm at the upper part and 13 mm at the waist.
I’ll have to see if my 4 cm is too much… if it is I cannot magically grow more fabric…
CUTTING THE FABRIC
The fabric has been washed to deal with shrinking. I didn’t iron it because it dried on the washing line outside and ironing might stretch the fabric. You might also think I’m lazy and I confess that is in my nature (although I prefer the term “efficient”) but that’s not the case here. Instead of laziness it was perfectionism preventing me from ironing.
Had I ironed this fabric things would have gotten too serious and I’d grown ambitious, wanting to sew a perfect blouse. With this funny fabric remaining un-ironed things stayed playful. Fact is that I have been sewing the blouse for days now with many things getting unpicked and re-sewn without it ever getting really frustrating.
I cut the fabric. Precisely.
– Had the grain of the fabric run the same as the lines on the pattern pieces.
– Took care that no cats or dots were positioned right at the apex.
– Made sure all pattern pieces have cats going the right side up.
(For the collar this means cutting one piece right side up and the other one right side down OR sewing both pieces the same way up. I need to see them interacting first before I know for sure. Leave some fabric to cut another collar if I have it wrong.)
staystitching: 1 cm from the edge (per Tilly and the Buttons’ advice)
1 cm = 3/8″
1,5 cm = 5/8″
Run the machine of the fabric and allow for some thread:
Don’t forget to even out the stitches after you’ve sewn a line (that’s where that extra thread at the corners is for). The sewed line must be as relaxed as the fabric. No crumpling allowed of either allowed:
Here’s a good overall tutorial about the why and how of staystitching: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/36859/sew-better-with-staystitching-fundamentals/page/all
staystitched everything, with black thread.
Sewed together all princesslines and the sideseams. Shoulderseams too.
Didn’t press, cut or treat the seam allowances.
I reaped benefit from having cut the fabric very precisely. I inserted my seam ripper to show you how neat the two pieces line up. Much easy sewing.
I also used the distance-tool my sewing machine has. First I used it for the 1 cm staystitching and now for the 1,5 cm seam. You just glide the edge of the fabric along the guide.
First fitting: not bad!
The pattern has quite a bit of ease around the torso but the shoulders are ok and the bust too. There’s a lack of shaping under the bust and in the back.
I pin this and sew new lines over the old ones. Looking good. Added a little bustdart too, sideways towards the sleeve. This will shorten the armhole (armscye) a bit.
But the silhouet from the front is so much better with those extra creases tucked away!
I transferred all changes to the paper pattern pieces, to use for the next blouse. The one with the funny winter deer.
Confident that I’ve brought the bodice to its best fit for me I now sewed in the sleeves.
Bad result. It was way too tight over the biceps! I couldn’t raise my arm at all.
What does Burda expect me to do, stand around all day with my arms hanging down? Well… that is what the models are doing in the picture… looking more closely at it, she’s actually not able to raise her arms any higher than this:
I was so disgusted with how it all felt that I didn’t even take a picture. Instead I delved into the internet and learned that the problem of tightness over the biceps is more a question of the position of the armhole and how it’s shaped than it is of ease at the sleeve or ease at the shoulder cap. Pattern makers could do so much better. Very interesting stuff I read.
A BETTER ARMHOLE/ ARMSCYE
Based on the new knowledge I followed a new line in the armhole to stitch my sleeve to, here traced in orange.
I brought the armhole more to the front, shortened the shoulder seam and at the back I stitched as close to the edge as I dared. I also took out even more curve in the back princess line.
Then I sewed in the sleeve following the orange stitching lines, swerving in and out of the seam allowance. The result was good
Still not much allowance for movement but much better than it was. This is almost acceptable for daily wear. I started telling myself I can get used to this (annoyance).
So I sewed in the second sleeve the same as the first. Not so well:
A strange pucker at the top. Not the nice pleat the other shoulder has. Fold in the front.
Caused by my lack of experience of easing in a sleeve.
I took it apart and sewed it back in. A bit better.
I took it apart again and sewed it back in. Worse! Should have kept it the way it was.
Then it was time for bed, it was the second or third day of sewing.
The next morning I woke up and tried on the blouse. I then knew that even if I managed to sew in the second sleeve as ok-ish as the first, I would never wear this shirt with pleasure, the sleeves would always be restricting and annoying me throughout out the day.
I would never use Burda 6909 to sew something with sleeves again either.
So I took the pattern pieces to the table and set out to redesign the armhole and the sleeve. I’ll show you the how and what in a next post but here’s the end result after I redesigned the sleeve for Burda 6909 and put it in the existing armhole (following the orange threaded sewing line):
On the right the original ok-ish sleeve, on the left my new sleeve:
Nicer lines, better silhouet, no straining around the arms.
Here are two new sleeves and where the blouse is now:
This is ok. I’ll wear this.
Now it’s time to press the seams, grade them, notch and clip them,pink them. Put in the facing and the closing of the front. Add collar. Sew hems.
Then I should have a new blouse!
Then I’ll go and cut the deer fabric with the totally amended pattern for Blouse 6909 I have now.:
My lines in yellow with black. Explanation about the armhole and sleeve in a new post or you can go read this excellent post by Ikat Bag
———-Dutch tutorial for sewing a neat collar: https://pionikko.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/kraag-met-staander-naaien/
waiting for the patterns to arrive:
Depart USPS Sort Facility
April 19, 2013
KANSAS CITY, MO 64121
I once had this shirt I really liked. It was made of a very thin cotton with blue flowers and after a few years of wear the fabric started to tear. This shirt was done.
I studied how it came apart. The cuffs, the collar, which seam in the arm hole was done after which. I jotted it down on a piece of paper.
When I had everything in bits I placed them on an old sheet we got when we purchased this cabin. It is decades old and it has yellow butterflies on it! I love it.
I cut a copy of the pieces in the butterfly fabric. The sheet was fairly flat but the shirt pieces weren’t. I was not yet aware at how often a seamstress nowadays uses her iron… (I only learned that last week, while reading the internet). I also didn’t think to pin them down. If I remember correct I held them down with one hand and cut around it with my scissors with the other. I did use fabric scissors. I’m not a total newbie! (ahum!)
I could not face making button holes by hand and when I went to the sewing shop for advice they sold me a zipper. This may have been a special sort of zipper, you can cut it to length. I knew nothing about zippers and that’s why it’s hanging loose at the bottom and is not lined on the inside. This zipper is the reason I cannot wear this shirt over a simple top, it hurts against the skin.
I don’t care if it is not perfect. This shirt is about the butterflies, about making something by myself. And I made it in a time I was severely brain fogged. And it was all done on an antique sewing machine to boot! This shirt is about giving myself a smile (and wear it)
I love this shirt. It makes me look ill and grey because of the colour but I love it! The butterflies are so much fun!
Feeling encouraged I tried to make this shirt a couple of times more. This time with Real Fabric. From the Real Fabric shop. Alas. I chose the wrong fabrics. I did have the sense to stay within woven, cotton like, fabrics. But one had all kinds of band sewed on it, making cutting and sewing a nightmare. Another one was way to smooth, it slipped away all the time. The third one was good old fashioned cotton but with such a sweet little dumb flowery print that I could not muster up the spirit after cutting and starting. It looked like a clown had sneezed all over it. I don’t like clowns. I don’t like rainbow coloured clothes.
Such a waste of money. But now, feeling that original shirt with its soft soft fabric and seeing the butterflies again, I might be tempted to try another one! Providing I learn a bit more about fabrics first.
This project also taught me about direction. I did manage to make the butterflies fly away from me at the cuffs.