Note: For those of you who have any interest in KS3115 yoga pants: Don't worry, you'll have lots of opportunity, very soon, to hear all about them - how I slightly modified the pattern (yet again), how they turned out (well, but they'll be better next go around, on the weekend, one hopes, since I've made more changes still). Fear not.
Anyway, my version of off-road is not exactly extreme skiing (a propos of which: watch this doc. It's fascinating and I could give a shit about extreme skiing). My version involves looking at a pattern envelope next to an extra half-yard of fabric and thinking: hmmmm, I could totally make that exercise top to match those yoga pants which would totally spice up my fall capsule collection. And by that exercise top, I mean the one in View B, with the v-neck:
So out came the scissors.
Remember, my goal is fun and not complicated and I suppose, for the most part I succeeded. I mean, I made a top on a Monday night. Note: That's largely because my headache took a vacation and my kid banished me from the room with the TV as she had a friend over. (On that topic, my child feels that I am a terrible embarrassment and will not bring friends to the house. So, the fact that she had a sleep-over here for a change, even if it means I had to put 20 dollars on the table for pizza and stay off the main floor, seems like a step in the right direction. Yes, I have become this bedraggled shell of a parent.) But back to the story...
I opted to cut the shoulders in a small, grading to a medium at the underarm. I never do this kind of alteration but everyone else does, and it seems to work for them. On the plus side, the shoulders fit perfectly.
Other pluses include:
- The top is totally wearable for exercise, or for real life (when made in work-appropriate fabric).
- The instructions are excellent, as are those for the pants.
- You can actually make a top on a Monday night, even if you don't sew quickly.
Did I mention that, when you create darts of that width (it wasn't a long dart, happily, or I can imagine what kind of a disaster that might have been) ON THE FLY, some pretty scary things can occur. Like one dart can end slightly higher than the other. Or, both darts can be, say, an inch too high. Then there's the fact that, unless you want to cut the darts - which is something I avoid unless there's a lining to protect the cut fabric from the wrong side - you have to deal with a freakin' 2.5 inch armscye dart - the armscye you will shortly thereafter have to bias bind around. But wait - there's more: How many stretchy exercise shells have you seen with armscye darts, pointing to the boob??
Let's leave all that for a moment. Let's wonder how it is that I managed, while making a size medium (the bust measurement for which is 38 inches sewn, mine is 37.5 inches), to have 2.5 inches of extra fabric to remove from the side of the armhole. Does it have something to do with the fact that I graded from a smaller to a larger size? I really don't think so. Does it have something to do with the fact that I should have made the small? I mean, with negative ease, that theory is a possibility. But I assume the finished sizing accounts for that. I should say, this extra armscye fabric thing does happen to me when I make woven garments, but never with stretchy knits that aren't particularly tight anywhere. This top fits, not loosely, but certainly not super closely.
I do love the fact that I made a top that fits (albeit with weird bust darts) and that I averted near disaster, as said disaster emerged, with nary a moment of fear. I kept my wits and actually drew the dart onto the paper pattern (to the best of my ability given that I was working with a half-constructed garment). See, even at that point, I knew I'd want to try to make this top again, on the weekend, when I make the next pair of yoga pants. (Oooh, more coordinated outfits!)
Then I realized that I can't rotate a dart at the best of times - this theory defies the laws of physics, people! - so, this morning, I called S, my fitting friend (whom I haven't spoken of recently, but with whom I have many meaningful sewing and other conversations).
In five seconds, she was able to explain that, to remove the dart from the armscye area, aka correct the fit by rotating the dart, I need to:
a) draw a vertical line from the hem to the bust apex, then
b) close the armscye dart, then
c) cut the vertical line from hem to the bust, to re-flatten the pattern, and create a dart there (to the extent that it's necessary. I sense it might not require a lot of spread from the hem as my armscye dart is quite short in as much as it's wide...)
d) In as much as I will not close the new, vertical dart (cuz darts on exercise wear are weird), I will have to remove any excess fabric, which will have collected at the bodice front as a result of not closing that the vertical dart, from the side seams.
FWIW, I'll also have to cut about an inch of length from the armhole binding next time, because I cut the binding in size medium and my armscye is actually a morph of small and medium. The extra binding length, plus the dart, has made that section of the bodice a bit less firm and fitted than I'd like.
This actually seems straight-forward from where I sit now. In front of my computer with a snack. Can't wait to see what the weekend brings!
Today's questions: Have you made this top and, if yes, what do you think? Have you encountered the extra armscye fabric dilemma when working with knits? How did you fix it? To what do you attribute it? Let's talk!