A crazy comfortable sleeve in a small armhole.

I traced the weird thing I draped yesterday and cut a new sleeve from it. That’s one weird looking sleeve pattern:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
With the sideseams closed it is distorted:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

This is because I matched the points where the ends of the sleeve cap should meet each other, at the underarm. And sleeve seams are perpendicular to the vertical centre line running down from High Point (which is no longer the highest point in my sleeve cap). Width at biceps is 35 cm, at elbow 30 cm.

(I’ll have to do second trial after this one with horizontal lines running horizontal. Letting the guide line around the biceps meet itself at the seam. Or change the direction from the central vertical line, based on where the sleeve cap edges now meet. But first run this trial.)

Into the bodice and onto the mannequin. It fits into the armhole like a glove. It’s nice not having to ease in extra fabric. Still using lots of pins and sewing over them slowly.
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

On me:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Lots of crumpled fabric in the armpit. Uncomfortable. But very easy to lift my arm. The ease of wearing is amazing.

Front shows vertical line running down from High Point (shoulder) to the front. This sleeve is rotating around my arm:

Untitled

I pin away the extra fabric at the arm pit and mark where the biceps guide line now is. Also where the sleeve thinks the vertical line from High Point should run, where it to run straight down instead of coming to the front.

Picture of the sleeve cap with the pinned fabric, the new vertical line coming in diagonally and my biceps guide line which is half moon shaped. Crazy sleeve.

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Opening it up again and drafting a new cap sleeve based on the pinning. Take away fabric in the left “mouse ear”, the cap part that meets the arm hole at the front:

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

I keep the rest the same. There’s the vertical guide line from High Point (HP) at a diagonal angle.

Trying to match the seam points of the sleeve cap for sewing the side seam:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

This will be sleeve one (1), based on the pinnings from the previous fit. Throwing grain and common sense into the wind.

I’ll make another one (2) based on the draft from the start but now with new sideseams based on how the new vertical line running from the Highest Point runs:

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Sleeve 2: I’ve cut fabric away at the left part of the sleeve, adding it to the right. So width of sleeve is 35 cm at (strange half moon shaped) biceps guide line and 30 cm at elbow guide line. At a right angle to the vertical guide line from HP. If this fits at all this pattern should be redrawn on a new piece of cloth, obeying the grain of the fabric.

Fitting:

Sleeve 2, it’s on my right:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Sleeve 1, based on previous fit, it’s on my left:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Crazy amount of movement possible! It doesn’t drag up the shirt. I like it!

Fitting conclusions:
Sleeve 2 sits awful. Lots of fabric in my arm pit yet still there’s tightness there. My wrist doesn’t level out.
Sleeve 1, distorted as it may be, actually sits really nice. So much movement possible!
Still a few tweaks needed though. (is there more ease because it’s a bit on the bias?)

I’ll cut a new sleeve, on the grain, and put it in the bodice of my fashion fabric shirt. Just cleaning up the lines a bit, having high point and its line in check with grain.
The little tweaks I had to do where in the sleeve cap (just a little less drama in the wave at the front and just a little less flair near the end point back). They cause the perimeter of the sleeve cap to be the exact dimension of the arm hole. 20 cm from front to High Point, 21,6 cm from High Point to back.
This fills me with excitement! This sleeve will fit this arm hole perfectly. Have I drafted a sleeve that, while looking ridiculous, might work?

I’m sewing up my new version into the fashion shirt. (My muslin has been so tortured that it won’t hold another sleeve.)

Premature conclusions:
1. I may have DRAPED a sleeve, not drafted on. This method may work for me.
2. I may have forced myself into this ridiculous need because my arm hole is a bit weird (too tight).

Last fit, on the fashion fabric: nice. I can rotate my arm all around without distorting the bodice fabric.

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Needs less width on the biceps. I can live with a sleeve like this and be seen in public. I’m sure sewists will cringe when they see how my seam rotates around the sleeve.

Ideas for next time: lower the arm hole at the underside with 0,5 cm. Also 0,5 cm more inward at the front. I need a little more space to tuck all the sleeve folds away.

Last play for the day: just a little more cutting and pasting at that ridiculous shape. Try and put it into a grain grid.
3 versions of the same sleeve.
1. the sleeve I found, with the rotating sleeve seam.
2. the same but straight on the grain. Versie “A”
3. version “B” that has everything transferred onto a proper grain grid.

The found pattern, crazy and comfortable:
crazy sleeve pattern with maximum wearing comfort

Version A = previous version but cut on grain:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Version B, trying to match the side seams in length. Having som sort of straight line going from sleeve cap to wrist; cleaning up more lines:

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

end result version B::
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

What do yo know, version B doesn’t look that unlike a conventional sleeve pattern after all. A sleeve block with a fairly squarish sleeve cap. (Back is left, Front is at the right of the picture).

Will have to sew these three up and try them for (final) fit. And then dare to sport crazy sleeves on my fabric shirt.

 

 

some residual notes in dutch for me:
3 versies:
1- m’n gevonden vorm. Met verdraaide achternaad. “versie krulletje”
2. deze vorm maar dan recht op de grain met z’n naad en de voornaad reechtgemaat van pols naar oksel. Wat weggeknipt is is aan de zijkant/andere naad erbij geleged en een beetje opgeschoond en ervoor gezorgd dat beide naden 59 cm lang zijn, net als de rechtgeknipte naad. “versie A”
3 “versie B” heeft de HP-polslijn recht op de grain liggen en een grid dat de grain volgt. Het voorpunt v d oksel is recht naar beneden/de pols geknipt en aan de achternaad is ruimte bijgemaakt zodat de ellebeoog 30 cm breedte krijgt en de pols 25 cm. Dit is een papieren oplossing waarvan je nog maar moet zien of het in 3D mooi wordt.

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Well fitting sleeves that allow for movement: angle of set in.

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

Grey little flowers blouse: tripping over arm hole.

AIM:

  1. To play some more with the armhole: position, fit, ease.
  2. the original Burda sleeve does not have the grain centered, does this have a function?
  3. 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

CUTTING:
using the front panel -free cut to extend the Center Front seam- for cutting the facings.

STAYSTITCHING:
not the sleeve seam though. (sleeve cap yes)

NOW CHANGE TO RIGHT COLOUR THREAD.

DARTS:
horizontal one in the front panel and the cup darts at the side.

SEWING:

  1. sleeve seam
  2. zipper (new way, just like a lined zipper pouch.)
  3. long seams
  4. 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:

FITTING:
– 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.

FITTING 2:

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.

SLEEVES:
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.)

SLEEVE 2:
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.)

FITTING 3:
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?

UPDATE
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.

Stylish Cat Lady Shirt (Burda 6909)

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:

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 16.24.05

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
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.

SEWING

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
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.

SLEEVES
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:


Ugh.

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.

Front:

Back:

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/

Bantam dress in linen.

Finished:
Started as Bantam shift dress.
backside:
Started as Bantam shift dress.

Two days ago I managed to prepare for yesterday’s sewing:

  • measurements of dress: bust 106; waist 98; hip 106 cm. Backpanel perhaps a bit less wide. Use green cotton shift dress as a template.
  • cut pockets right onto the panels
  • in the evening I made 8 m of biais band, following this tutorial that merely visualises The Dread Pirate Rodgers’ genius.

 
Making biaisband by hand

Yesterday morning I started with inspecting the biais band and fixing the last details.
Then I read through the pattern for Bantam Dress carefully, it’s in Merchant & Mills Workbook.
1. staystitching
2. hem
3. French seams
4. bind the edges
Oh how I love that measurements are in centimetres! Instructions are very clear, both in text and image. I especially appreciate that reasons are given for directions.
I live so much better when I understand the why.

Planned modifications: altered outline of the pattern pieces (add some shaping, a different neckline because I like my bra bands covered and add pockets); sew some back darts after stay stitching and before hem.

Then I read this page about sewing with linen written by Carolyn from Sewing Fanatic
– remember to press linen with a cloth, otherwise it will shine.

CUTTING
I folded the fabric twice so the sideseams would be mirrors. I took the bust measurements (106 cm) as a guide. The fabric is four layers and 51,5 cm wide + a little extra for seam allowance.
Started as Bantam shift dress.

I put an odd item at the point where I have to stop following the template and have to cut a pocket.
Started as Bantam shift dress.
Started as Bantam shift dress.

Two panels cut. Only room for pocket on one side.
Started as Bantam shift dress.

STAYSTITCHING
Started as Bantam shift dress.

PUT IN DARTS in the back. Freehand (after measuring and marking important points with red pins)
Started as Bantam shift dress.

CHECKING MEASUREMENTS before putting in FRENCH SEAMS. I have 1 cm seam allowance. That’s not much.
I pin precisely. Because I have cut precisely I can probably sew the two 0,5 cm seams.
Started as Bantam shift dress.

FIRST PART FRENCH SEAM. Following the last steps of Deborag Moebes’ tutorial about the pocket.
Started as Bantam shift dress.
trim where necessary and clip corners
Started as Bantam shift dress.

At the bottom of the side seams I leave a vent. I fold the edge under and again.
Started as Bantam shift dress.

FOLD HEM UNDER. First part. The fabric is already starting to fray, even though I do not handle it much.

PRESS ALL THE SEAMS. Trim and grade where neccessary.
Started as Bantam shift dress.

LAST PART FRENCH SEAM and HEM.
This happens so often with my French seams: bristles escaping from the finished seams. I ought to take my final seam allowance a little better. Or trim better before hand.
It’s because I work on an antique foot treadle machine: I can work slow and precise. That lures me towards too small a seam.
Started as Bantam shift dress.

SHOULDER SEAM and try it on for FIT
Ugh. Way too tent like. I’ll shorten the shoulder straps. Add more dart in the back. And a small dart at the bust because the armhole is flaring unflattering. The pocket is too deep, I’ll stitch it smaller (but won’t cut away the excess fabric because it lays nice and flat now).

I do get that free flowing feeling that shift dresses provide. I feel elegant and fluid.

Now I’ve amended the darts in the back, see how much extra I needed to take them in, I pointed both stitch lines out with my tools:
Started as Bantam shift dress.
These are not darts anymore, they are princess lines. They could even go deeper but I’m worried it will make the waist too small and I won’t be able to slip the dress over my bust.

BINDING neck- and armholes.
2 helpful tutorials on sewing bias binding by The Haby Goddess.
Make sure you catch the back.
Follow the curve.
Victorypatterns.com shows how important pressing is.

pinning the biais band around the neck hole. It’s very tempting to just stitch it on in one go. But this step is meant to determine the length and to close the loop.
For sewing on I want to press it properly, so it will lay flat.
Started as Bantam shift dress.

This is how far I got yesterday. All done except for the second arm hole. I just finished binding that.
How fast a finishing with biais band is! I really like that I made my own.

I still don’t understand biais band though. You cannot stitch in the fold of the back and then turn it over and expect the front to catch the back, if you like neat stitch lines close to the edge. Quilters promote to “stitch in the ditch” but how that catches both sides of the band is still a mystery to me.

I tried to solve it in the neckline with two lines but it makes the finishing look T-shirt like. Oh well.
Started as Bantam shift dress.

The split at the sides. Maximum usability.
Started as Bantam shift dress.

I still need to finish it properly: tuck away loose threads and give it one more press. But pretty soon the heat will be here so I’m slipping it on instead and enjoy my new Summer dress!

Shift dress based on Bantam dress
Shift dress based on Bantam dress

The measurements work really well, I only have to raise my arms and the dress glides right over my body. It wears very comfortable too, no need to tuck in my stomach (or keep a good posture… shift dresses might not be good for humanity after all)
I still look fatter than I am in it but who cares, you’re meant to move in a dress like this and the movement will flatter your body shape.

I’m really glad with the pocket (keeping earplugs and cortisone pills handy) and my alterations. It wears so pleasant!
The fabric is very cool too. I wonder if this is actually linen… it doesn’t wrinkle much. Was I a gullible costumer?

the size of Gnomes…

I measured me, my sloper, the pattern V8648 without seam allowance and took note of Vogue pattern sizes, the amount of wearing ease they add and the circumferences noted in the pattern pieces of V8648.

measurements chart

Quite a difference between the measurements Vogue follows for their size 12 and the numbers they state on the pattern. Here’s where the 3″ to 4″ wearing ease they add to all their “fitted” patterns comes into play.

But I also noted a difference between the measurements they state on the pattern pieces and the measurements that I found by measuring the actual paper pieces.

getting a head ache from all this talk about ease?

perhaps your gnome hat is too tight!

I will be following the pattern pieces but adjusting to my own measurements. Because the pattern already includes a 1,5 cm seam allowance I can grade up easily while for the hip I can keep it down. Now I have to decide how much wearing ease I prefer. I know from previous experience that the 4″ the big pattern compagnies add is way too much for me.

I may make a muslin without any ease and decide while I fit how much I want.

NB. I need to correct in height, I only need 36,5 cm from the back neck to the waist. The pattern is much longer.

let me think on it for a bit

UPDATE: I remembered this post where I gathered recommended ease, at the bottom of that post. Based on that information I will sew a muslin with

bust 97 cm + 7,5 cm ease (2.5″)

waist 76 cm + 2,5 cm ease (1″)

hip 96 cm + 5 cm ease (2″)

Now I’ll Just grade the vogue pattern to these sizes. I’ll take size 12 as a guideline, using the seam allowance to find the right line. This will become my stitch line. Then cut generously. Stitch stitchline for visibility. Sew together muslin.

 

Wriggle Dress: fitting one, two, three

I basted the side seams together on the biggest stitch my machine can do and tried it on.
Untitled
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The fitting taught me much:

– should try this is size 12 all around, no extra fabric needed at the bust. Even go to 10. Hips at size 8.

– the darts in the back need to be lots more tight, there’s way too much room there.

– the shoulder straps in the back need to be shortened. (They weren’t sewn yet. I attached one to the right front part with a pin. The other had no partner so I pinned it to my bra strap. Very elegant.)

– hand stitched pleats for the right front will look good.

– this is a linnen dress for Summer so a bit of wearing ease will heighten the wearablity

So I did that. Basted it together again and tried it on for the second time. This time I also added the left shoulder part. The sizing was fine now so I focussed on the shoulder part.

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It’s too wide. Even when the armhole will take away some more of the fabric in its seam.

but it looks good with the facing underneath it. Crisp and white.

I folded it in a bit, just to see how it would look off centre. I liked what I saw, it sets off the right shoulder part nicely. It does no longer compete with it.
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seam ripper, yum!

I pinned the shoulders better. I was surprised to see how ‘crooked’ it had to be to be straight on me. Here you see the back part on the right and the front part on the left. The front part already has the facing attached, the back part has it lying under it as I had to make the dart in the back go all the way up to the shoulder seam. Because I have a hunchback. Or perhaps something called ‘a sway back’?
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Anyway, to avoid a big gaping hole between the top of the zipper and my neck I had to fold the backparts outwards. Into a dart. This makes the shoulder seam more narrow which is fine because I wanted to make the left front part more narrow too. I narrowed the left front piece, making sure it attached to the armhole line of size 12 of the pattern.
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See how much I had to alter the angle of the shoulder seam to have it sit straight on me! Hmm. Am I slouching on these pictures??

Anyway: on to fitting nr. 3:
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looks alright! (the noticeable bias on the front view is an optical illusion, I have my hips slainted and my right knee forward, pulling the fabric forward)
The back is better now, not so roomy. Still a bit though…
The back view seems to suggest I carry one shoulder higher than the other. This might well be the case or again, I’m not standing straight up. Will try and notice in the future.

It sits very comfortably. Of which the crinkles are evidence since I wore the dress as is for a bit.
Now I’m ready to take apart this dress one last time. Press it. Use the parts to alter the paper pattern. Use the parts to cut a lining. Then the final sewing will begin. With lots of pressing along the way.

Detecting Ease in the woods

on the search to find the correct amount of ease!

for this pattern, Butterick 5603, I chose size 16 per instruction by Butterick.

because me:  Butterick 16:

chest 36″            36″

bust 38″             38″

waist 30″            30″

hip 38″              40″

we are made for each other! Just slim the hip down to a size 14 and you’re ready to twirl in that dress!

yeah.

well.

Butterick is carrying an invisible little bug inside it called “ease”. Each pattern’s got some. You need a little bit of ease at least, otherwise you couldn’t move in a garment. This is called wearing ease. I have not yet figured out what the required minimum is.

I know with knitting you can work with negative ease because knitting stretches.

Woven fabric doesn’t stretch so negative ease won’t work. Unless you have the Hulk’s sense of fashion:

Hulk smashes negative ease!

Besides ‘wearing ease’ there’s something called ‘designers ease’. This is the amount of ease the designer added to get a certain look. There’s the “fitted look” which follows the body forms and there’s “loose fitted look” which hides them pretty much.

A burlap sack has a lot of designers ease:

“loose fitted silhouette designer foot fashion insures easy victory”

somewhere hidden on the site Butterick mentions the ease they standard add to their patterns. You have to find it by yourself, they do not point to it when they guide you through the size determining process.

They have decided that a “fitted silhouette” needs about 4″ of ease. That statement reminds me a lot of squirrel poo….

I like nuts! I love nuts! I poop nuts!

4″ is the difference between a 12 and a 16! Between a European 40 and a 44! That’s not a “fitted silhouette” that’s the difference between a “Whoa there, foxy lady!” and “Hello there, gnome lady”:

“Hello there.”

I love wearing size 44, don’t get me wrong. As a matter of fact, I’m wearing the sweater on the above picture right now. A nice big handknit sweater. With bustdarts. It looks fine and is very comfortable. But when sewing a retro dress that has “hot mama” written all over it, I would like to know in advance how nutty the designers breakfast was when he decided the amount of ease.

On the pattern pieces there are little gems of ease knowledge hidden away. At the waist and bust area small circles occur with a cross in them. Nearby are measurements. There’s one on pattern piece 10 that reads:

waist.

size 14 = 29,5″ 75cm

size 16 = 31,5″ 80 cm

and one on piece number 5 that reads:

hip.

size 14 = 38″ 96cm

size 16 = 40″ 101 cm

That’s the ease right there! for a 30″ waist (real body) they give you a dress with a 31,5″ waist (wearing ease + designer ease)

And for a 38″ hip you get a 38″ hip! How stupid is tha…hey…..wait a minute! How come the hip on my dress is so much more than 38″?

I better remeasure one or two things….

And after that I’m off to raid the closet to find out what the ease is on some of my favorite dresses. But first let me do some detecting….


art by Bruno

Minimum wearing ease in a fitted garment is approximately 2,5 cm (1″) at the wasitline (to allow for large lunches!), 5 cm over the hip to allow for sitting, 7,5 cm at the bust and 3,5 cm over the upper arms for arm and torso movement.”

quote from The Design Manual

wearing ease bust = 2,5 “; waist = 1″ and hip = 3”

from getcreativeshow

bullet Bodices have 1 1/2″ – 2″ wearing ease at the bust
bullet Dresses have 3/4″ – 1″ wearing ease at the waistline
bullet Skirts and pants have 1/2″ – 3/4″ ease at the waistline
bullet All garments have 2″ – 2 3/4″ wearing ease at the hips

from Scott R. Robinson

and Kenneth King’s Wearing Ease Minimums for Torso:
Bust -3 inches 
Waist – 2 inches
Full hip -2 inches
Armhole- 1 -1/2 inches
Bicep- 1 1/2 inches

from Threads

conclusion: you need a little bit of ease on your patterns but how much exactly is only known by squirrels.

what shall I have for breakfast today?