Sunday, December 18, 2011

Can This Shirt Be Saved?

In a word, no, probably not. Not that I didn't work this 5 ways from Sunday either. I did.

A first run through on a pattern for me can be a thing of joy, and usually is pretty successful. The worst thing about this is, I could have fixed it in the pattern piece stage so easily if I had checked a few things a bit more closely. 10 demerits at least for laziness since it was nice fabric I grabbed from stash.

The problem is the armhole. Too low, too big and it won't allow for easy arm movement. More fabric was needed between armhole and bust point to make for a well fitting garment. Simple as that. I've taken a few pics for you can see on like pieces. One is the vest pattern I just finished (tan tissue) and the other the same piece from this Camp Shirt pattern. Remember that smaller armhole will fit closer to the body and gives more fabric to the bust area. Quite a difference really.

And on Rhonda, you can see how nice and close to the body the arm hole is on the vest and how much bunching there is on the shirt sleeve going through it.

Since this pattern was traced from a master pattern I can easily redraft the armhole and sleeve using the Simplicity pattern and a french curve. I like many things about this little camp shirt pattern. Enough to do it.

I have also taken the measurements from bust point to the arm hole, depth etc. so I can get a better idea on future patterns what the minimums are for comfort and fit.
They recommend taking your measurements in quarters, NOW I understand why. Too often designers think as we go up in size, our shoulders become football player proportions, our arms longer and lower. It isn't a matter of increasing things over all, it's knowing where we tend to get fluffy and draft up for those areas while blending areas that don't increase. Thankfully, there are ways to fix it depending on the style and cut of the garment.

Most of this beautiful fabric will be recycled into cute little coin purses or possibly enough might be salvaged for trim on something.

At last here is the lovely fabric Benita sent. If I can get this camp shirt fitting well, I would like one made in this. How fun!

Parting shots: Do You Hear What I hear?

Do You Smell What I Smell?


  1. Theresa, This analysis of armhole size is so helpful to me. Smaller armhole=more fabric to cover body...right? I am self taught and also struggle with 3D geometry. I know you will make this pattern work for you and yes-please show us what you do with that cool fabric. I too see it as a camp shirt.

    Thanks for the visiting my blog and to answer your question re:Simplicity pattern, yes, it suggests fleece. I have been looking at it on my dress form and realizing what a GOOD design it is. I think it would be very nice in boiled wool. It runs very large and I have taken in almost every fitting seam I can find (blog post later)but the overall proportions are lovely.

    Cute pictures of your jrt's!

  2. I learn something every time I read your blog! Doggies are in heaven where you live, it must be something good!

  3. Mary, thanks for stopping by and hopefully you got the e-mail I sent to flesh out my reply. Of course a FBA (full bust adjustment) would have improved things too, but I'm not very good with them on princess seams.

    LOTL, how nice to hear from you!!! Yes, it is dog heaven as far as smells and such go. I think they were hot on the trail of one of the skunks who frequent ( and likely live) on the acreage. Or maybe the grey fox? In any event they had a grand time and those noses got quite a workout!

  4. I'm not a sewer so can't comment on the problem blouse, but I have run into the same problem when shopping!

    Blouses that have the arm hole out too close to the bust dart lines and so the whole thing pulls and the arm has difficulty with movement.
    So there is a crummy pattern maker out there in the clothing industry and they are making thousands of wrongly shaped garments.

    I'm a big gal and so fit and finish is what makes a top for me that has style and flare.
    I admire your ability to adjust your patterns to suit you!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  5. interesting about the armhole issue. I wouldn't have thought it either. I am going to construct some clothes this winter and will keep this in mind!

    i marvel at the scent given animals. The bitty things thrill them for minutes!

  6. Ok, is this weird? What about removing the sleeves altogether and making it into a frisky vest? Sort of WWRD....what would rizzo do summer thing?

  7. Arm holes can be tricky....but it looks like you're on to a solution. Terriers really love to let loose on a scent....gotta love it! They're just too much fun to watch!!!

  8. Susan, I too have this problem with RTW clothing and you're right, fit and finish for those of us a little more fluffy than others is extremely important. There are a lot of crummy pattern makers out there! ;) One of the nicest things about sewing is you get to pick and choose the elements of style that work for you because lord knows, it isn't cheaper than buying RTW in most cases.

    Nancy, How fun! Have you got your patterns and such picked out or do you design your own? I hope you'll share with us. Yes, dogs have amazing noses and I always feel jealous of what ambroisiac (sp) scent they can smell. Then again, I don't think I'd look too dignified rolling in it so maybe it's a good thing.
    Prttynpnk. hmmmm maybe just a sleeveless blouse. Not always the most flattering for me, but in summer here around the farm, certainly something I'd wear. I might have a go at the other armhole with some binding and see if it's workable. Good idea!!!!

    LA, Tricky they are for sure! Let's hope my adjustment on this pattern works.
    The terriers are lots of fun, every one of them. The little world around our house becomes so much more interesting when you're walking one or two of them!

  9. Maybe you need a visit to my sewing room to be draped and a master pattern drafted so this never happens again?

  10. Seems a shame to wasted it. What about if you made the pieces that are missing, sewed em to the front and topstiched, turning it into a design element? Would you need to change the sleeve cap too?

  11. Rainbows in Wool, Welcome and thank you for your comment. You've hit on the rub, this piece of fabric was a bolt end. I bought the whole 1.75yds and put it with another small piece of bolt end fabric I had. I would have gladly redone the two front sides and adjusted the sleeve cap had I the fabric to do so. It's still sitting close by in the sewing room though and may get more experiment time over the holiday week.