First off, today I am wearing a blouse I made from an old New Look pattern. I added some gentle ruffles to mimic a top I saw in an Eddie Bauer catalog. I love this fabric, and I love the way the top looks in the photograph and in the mirror. I’m not so happy about how it feels to wear the shirt.
I made this top after making a blousy, peasant top in a size (14) that should have fit me but did not. I realized all the knowledge I gained as a sewing youth was no good to me now! In the years when I sewed only quilts and purses (not garments), my body changed, and no longer could I simply make a garment straight from the envelope and have it fit.
Off to the world of pattern fitting I flew. Mentally, of course. Being quite impatient, I did not want to make a muslin for a simple blouse. So I tried Nancy Zieman’s method of fitting the shoulders and then the bust. Simply, you measure your body front from armpit to armpit in order get the base size, according to her chart. For me, that would still be an 8 or a 10.
Then she gives you a method for altering the bust if your measurements do not match the envelope’s. For me, that meant adding 6 inches. Ugh. Her “easy” method only works for changes up to 4 inches, so I had to flip to a different page and do a second alteration to add width to the sleeve and armscye. Blah.
Remembering that the Big 4 pattern companies usually have way to much ease anyway, I checked the pattern piece to determine that the bust measurement was already pretty close to mine on the size 10, so I just used that and did the easy alteration. I have to say, the process is much simpler than the typical Full Bust Adjustment which requires you to slash your pattern front like Freddie Krueger.
However, I am also unhappy with the placement of the armscye. Perhaps with the right width across the shoulders, the armscye would stay put at my, ya know, armpit, where it belongs. But I keep noticing the armscye is an inch over my bicep/shoulder area.
It makes reaching a painful operation. The little cuff cuts into my flesh, and I feel like I am going to rip the underarm sleeve out. It is so unpleasant, I don’t really enjoy wearing the blouse, despite loving the fabric and style.
I am not blaming the Zieman method, and in fact would try it again on a different blouse. I just think the whole blouse is too wide, displacing the sleeves. I will report back if I decide to try the method again, but in the meantime I bought a Palmer/Pletsch shirt pattern (“Amazing Fit”) that has the FBA slash lines already drawn on the pattern.
Ok, that’s a lot of talk about a shirt. More importantly in my life, I got some medical news about my son today. I’m not ready to share all the details with blogland, but it is Serious News which will require big life adjustments. He is almost 17, transitioning to adulthood, and we found out today after more than 9 months of waiting, that he has mutations on 3 genes amounting to a mitochondrial disorder that causes him significant symptoms that make him seem like forever 6 years old.
It is clear now that he will need a guardian into adulthood, and there are questions about housing, transportation, and employment. Such a serious topic for a silly blog about knitting and sewing and such, but this is on my mind now. If only I could do a Full Gene Adjustment with my pattern and ruler, or patch him up with a little scotch tape.
I am grateful that he is a happy boy, and that I have my creative outlets to keep me sane and full of Mommy Goodness.
Have you signed up for my Pay it Forward giveaway from a few days ago? Of course not, I don’t see a single comment there. Go now! I will make you something loverly.