Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finally the touch of cloth, scissors and some machine time...

I have had a lovely week-end apart from a lousy head cold. I tidied up my sewing stuff and got to it...
I have gone totally off track with my basics theme... nhahhh! I have a skirt pattern and fabric chosen but it is hard to get excited about so I have let my sewing mind wander to other things... Summer holiday at the beach.
We have booked a week's break at the beach so I thought it would be timely to make some summery, beachy stuff. I have a lovely soft olive green crinkle cotton bought at Gorgeous Fabrics so decided it should be used for a cool floaty top. I have this McCall's pattern 5931 bought previously.
I started cutting the tissue and as I was doing that realised that for a size 14 - bust size 36" that the finished size is 38 1/2"...hunh?? ... that would swim around the bust and the picture doesn't look like it is swimming so I cut the size 12 (finished size 36 1/2").
I did decide to muslin the fit of the top. I only cut the under pieces of the top and found it pretty good but slightly tight looking on the bust and across the back. The bust darts were in the wrong place as well. I have added back 1/2" to the front bodice and to the back and decided to use the darts marked for size 16-18 as they look more in the correct position. It is not a real problem as it is only the under piece and they won't be seen. I have also taken 3" off the length of the top. The cutting layout however looked challenging so I left that for another day after this head cold eases.

Would I have been better off cutting a size up and fitting it down or did I do this the right way? I suppose the proof will be in the pudding.

I have wondered about this for a while. I am full bust 36" and high bust 35" so have used a size 14 in the big 4 patterns. However I always find that they are too big, generally in the underarm area I have to take it in heaps and then trim if inserting a sleeve. I don't have a large difference in high bust to full bust but under bust there is a difference (which I think explains why I have to take it in so much in the side seams under the arms), so I am going to take a different tack and try size 12 and then fit and add if needed.

I then started on Vogue 8138...
I have cut the dress out of the following fabric bought in March this year...
And I cut out the pant and the jacket from a dark brown Cavelli jersey that was gifted to me. I am hopeful that these pieces will make easy holiday gear (as well as after work gear). I did shorten the pattern pieces but apart from that cut size 12 again. I am working on the theory that these Big 4 patterns are on the large side (as noted by the bust size of the McCall's top). These pieces were easy to cut so I have bagged them up ready to try and sew the 30 minutes a week challenge. These should be good for that and rewarding for not spending much time per day sewing. I am hoping to teach myself to sew through the week so it won't be so long between spending some time at my machine.
I hope everyone else had a successful sewing week-end!


  1. I have a 34 high bust and 35 1/2 full bust, and I cut a size 8 for shoulders and armholes and then go out to a size 12 at the bust. Just thought I give you something to compare with :-)

  2. I always have issues with McCalls and Butterick bust and back. I find their backs to be incredibly broad, even when I use the high bust measurement and do an FBA, I find myself taking out significant amounts under the arms and recutting the armscyes. So I don't think you did anything wrong in what you did. I quit doing FBAs on McCalls patterns and now I do like Lisette, only I start at about a 14 at the the shoulder and armhole and go out to an 18-20 at the bust.

  3. Boy, you have been extremely busy. Can't wait to see your finished products.

  4. I totally hear you. I started out doing a month of basics, didn't finish a single basic before I got distracted by more exciting offerings.

    My theory is that sewing is between an art and a craft. It's an art in that you have a vision of something exciting to make, it's a craft in that you get to use it at the end. The most satisfying projects have aspects of both.

    I've come to the conclusion it's perfectly OK to buy stuff that's too boring to make!

  5. You were very busy, despite being sick! I generally do cut a size smaller in the Big 3 than recommended. I often have problems with the armscyes being too tight, but they are too tight by more than one size (i generally have to cut them down by an inch).

  6. That is a lovely top and looking forward to your version and also your Vogue 8138 ensemble. I find it really helps me get most of my sewing done by sewing in increments throughout the week.


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