Sunday, July 17, 2011

Game On!

In a supreme act of confidence or blatant self-delusion, I entered the "One Pattern, Many Looks" contest at As described in the constest thread, "The main focus of this contest is to see how you can make the same pattern look very different by using different fabric, trim and color combinations." So no major drafting changes, which is fine with me since I have, oh, zero drafting skillz.

I selected McCall's 2818, a Palmer/Pletsch, Classic Fit Pattern. My fabric is metallized quilting cotton purchased at Joann. I was hoping to end up with a wearable muslin. I selected my pattern size, 12, based on my high bust. After tissue fitting, I lowered the bust apex by 1" as always and cut my fabric. I encountered some difficulty during assembly easing the princess seams; there seemed to be quite a lot of fabric to ease. I'm surmising that the metallic finish on the cotton was the cause of the problem.

Anyway, once all the main pieces were assembled, complete with zipper I tried on the top. WOW, what a disappointment. There was quite a lot of excess fullness along the princess seam above the bust apex and the front seemed to be just a tad too wide above the bustline.

Being spatially challenged, I had no idea how the fabric I had pinned out of my top related to the flat pattern pieces so I decided to follow an excellent piece of advice from Belinda at
"Let the toile tell you how, what and where to alter."
My toile, or muslin in American-speak, certainly had a lot to say. I pinned out the extra fullness and marked my fabric. Then I took everything apart, altered my pattern pieces based on what the muslin was telling me. I was hesitant to recut because the new pattern pieces were dramatically different from the originals but I trusted my muslin, took the plunge and cut. And it fits!

There are still issues. First, my alteration radically changed the shape of the arm scye. I don't think I can alter my facings to match so I'm going to have to finish them with bias binding instead. Since the armhold facing was integrated with the neck facing, well, yeah...that's getting the bias binding treatment, too. Also, the upper chest is still just a tad too wide and I'm not sure how I'm going to fix that yet. I might just try a small, inverted box pleat at the center neckline edge. Not sure.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure my muslin will end up wearable, at least for knocking around the house and garden (good-bye farmer tan!) and I'm confident I can whip up a couple more of these before the contest deadline. So there you have it!


Mary said...

Hey, one down...many to go! Good job-now you have a "go to" top.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

The fit is a huge improvement on the second one. Awesome! If you want a facing rather than bias binding, pin the pattern together along the seam lines at the princess seam and trace from the underarm up (armscye, shoulder, neckline). Then add your preferred facing width inside the tracing and you have a custom facing.

Paula Gardner said...

That is exactly what I ended up doing to get my facing! I don't have it completely sewn in yet, but it seems to fit!