One of the things that’s been missing in my life for many years is the time to regularly sew for myself. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s just that life has been full of too many other things to allow me the time and brain space to as creative with fabric as I’d like.
But as the kids get older, and I shed obligations that no longer work with our life, I’m hoping to change the sewing situation.
I’ll have to admit that there’s one other thing that’s kept me from sewing quite as much as I’d like, and that is fit.
I’m have not yet mastered fitting myself. This isn’t just down to time, I think it’s also due to my ridiculously fluctuating weight over the past few years. I think I just have to acknowledge that this may continue for a while and embrace the need to carry out alterations or pass clothes on.
It became very clear to me recently in my adventures with Newlook 6217 that I still don’t have a clear plan of what I need to do to a pattern to get a half decent fit without multiple toiles.
This top is so, so simple to make. Two pieces. Four seams. Five hems. Nothing to it.
But as with all simple garments, fit is key as it has nowhere to hide.
My original unblogged version of this had been worn to rags, but had needed a little more room in the bust and a little less in the neck. It had also needed the shoulder and side seams shifting.
So I carried out the changes (thankfully I’d noted these down!) and now have the side seam exactly where I want it. The black line helps you see it, as it’s well hidden in the fabric pattern. I know it looks odd but that’s due to me carrying all my excess weight to my front.
It does look like I need a small sway back adjustment in the photo, but I’m sure that’s the way I’m holding my arm up to take an iPhone photo. I’m going to monitor that situation with future makes as in real life it doesn’t look as pronounced.
So I’m happy with that.
Having moved the shoulders, I’m still not happy.
The seam is still rolling to the front. I have appalling posture. Thank goodness I’ve got a yoga teacher coming next week!
Ok…on a top like this it’s easy to adjust the shoulder, so, I’ve done another seam adjustment for the next iteration.
I added another 1″ to the FBA. I didn’t want to add a dart to this top so I followed the instructions for the Y-shaped FBA in Fit for Real People: Sew Great Clothes Using ANY Pattern. I removed the sleeve portion of the pattern before doing the alteration and it worked a treat.
As I’ve added a significant FBA to this top (a total of 6″), I’ve got some pooling above the bust.
I’ve pinched this out into wee darts to make this top wearable, and I’ve transferred this to the pattern.
I promise I’ve sewn them more evenly!
This second iteration is still very wearable.
Even with the fit flaws its still better than anything that I would buy off the shelf. And because of the FBA it fits around the bust but flatters across the tummy, rather than having too much fabric swimming about there.
The other joy is having a top that fits at hip level and actually covers the bits I want it to. At 5ft 7ins I have such trouble with RTW tops hitting too high and rising up in wear. This doesn’t do that!
I have another version cut out and ready to sew. It’s a knit fabric this time, which is really not the greatest idea when you’re perfecting fit, but was top of the fabric tub. I’ve also got another length of fabric washed and ready to go which will, hopefully, be the last wearable muslin to get me to my first Tried And Tested pattern.
Pattern: Newlook 6217
Fabric: Soft cotton lawn.
Purchased from: Preston market
Total cost: £4
Similar fabric can be found here: Croft Mill Fabrics*
*This is more spendy!
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