Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pattern Challenge - Green crossover top finished

I did it!  I actually finished one of my planned out shirts - McCalls 5809.  Here's the plan I started with:

And here's the result: 

Pattern:  McCalls 5809
View:  B
Size:  I took body measurements and compared them to the pattern pieces and cut different pieces different sizes, anywhere from 12 to 18, plus I did an FBA. 
Fabric:  Free solid color stretch knit

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  I'm not sure it really did, but what shirt does look the same on a size 4 model as on a size 14? 

Were the instructions easy to follow?  I thought the pattern instructions were fairly easy to follow.  I made some modifications because I was sewing with a knit fabric, but I was never sitting there scratching my head over the directions on the sheet.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I think (and saw the same thing mentioned on that the upper back piece is very oddly sized.  I cut the upper back piece smallest of all the pieces, and the shoulder width at the back is still easily 2" too much for me.  You can see in the pictures how this made the neck back sag (that and I should have stretched the binding a little bit 'cause it's a knit - I don't think it's worth fixing now, though).  The side seam between the top front and top back is displaced toward the front by about 1" on each side, but the side seams for the band and bottom are in the correct place.  It could be partially insufficient FBA but I think the pattern was also a bit whack to begin with. 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  The only style change that I made was to shorten the height of the middle band because the bottom edge of it fell at an uncomfortable position initially.  Well, the only intentional change.  Looking at it now I see that I reversed the wrap orientation also.
The instructions indicate to gather the bottom of the bodice and then sew the sides together, but after trying that three times I decided to sew the pieces together first and then gather them. 
I also disregarded the pattern instruction to topstitch the hems and did them by hand.  I need to level up my hemming a bit more, but I think it looks ok. 
As far as altering the pattern, as I mentioned I cut different sizes of each piece and had some fiddling getting them together.  I didn't think through the FBA completely and I cut the side of the front piece about 2" longer than it was supposed to be, so I added gathers at the side front to take up the extra inches.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I probably will make this pattern again, or at least a variation on this pattern.  I decided from wearing this that the crossover bodice is not a good style for me because it moves around too much.  Every time I turn around, it's gone from prim and proper (or at least somewhere near that) to... not.  But I've also been pondering fit issues, and I'm wondering whether it's easier to buy a new pattern for every style and then make all of the required modifications to make it fit, or if it's better to have just a few patterns that I've fitted and then modify them to change the style.  I certainly know what would be cheaper...

Would you recommend it to others?   I don't think I would recommend this pattern to someone else because there are a lot of similarly styled tops that hopefully would not have the same issue with the top back pattern piece.

Conclusion: I feel it's a little sad that I consider the construction of this shirt to have been one of the smoothest in my career.  Counting seams that I ripped apart and resewed and pattern pieces that I recut, I estimate that overall I sewed at least twice as many seams as there are in the garment.    Overall I'd say that it's a wearable muslin - the fit is not perfect and the fabric is pretty boring.  I very much welcome any suggestions to remedy the following, because I am likely to see them again: 

- Pulls under the bust (more FBA?)
- Wrinkles across the back
- Sagging neck in the back (I do know how to fix this one)
 - Extra material in the lower front that swings out
- Sleeve pulls at the front and wrinkles in the back (that might just be how I was standing for the picture) 

Do you see anything else?  I seriously DO want you to point out more flaws...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Let the people decide...

Not really, ha!  Like I would let you guys decide what I'm going to do with my precious sewing time.  But I'll at least consider your advice. 

This fabric... do we think it's right for this jacket?

'Cause someone will ask, fabric is from Fashion Fabrics Club and pattern is McCalls 5759.