For starters, the pattern is very good - well-drafted (and drafted differently than other patterns I've made, to accommodate flesh). I haven't really engaged with the instructions but they seem clear to the extent that I've reviewed them. If you are in the size range for this pattern, you should own it! It's a great sloper-base.
For comparison, here are my sloper pattern pieces (right-hand side of pic) next to my pre-muslin 1, altered size 12 Concord pieces:
|T Shirt Front Bodices|
|T Shirt Back Bodices|
I'd like to point out how similar these patterns are. Yes, you are viewing the Concord in a pre-muslined, modified size 12 (smaller than the pattern), but the proportions haven't really changed.
Pre-muslin Concord alterations:
- The back neck and upper back above the armscye were narrowed by @3 inches. Spoiler alert: It wasn't enough.
- I removed about 3 inches over all from the hips.
- I removed about 2 inches from the waist
- I removed about an inch from the bust.
- I removed @3 inches from the upper arm width. (Not shown.)
- I changed the sleeve cap to suit the slightly altered armscye (more about ensuring lengths of each would match rather than shape changes). (Not shown.)
- My sloper scoop neck is really similar to the Concord's. What makes the Concord neckline sit somewhat lower than mine is the longer shoulder span. Note: I like the lower neckline because, even though my skin is vaguely lined at the span of decollete, this is an attractive part of my body, IMO.
- The general, vertical proportions of the waist and hips are also similar. The Concord is longer than my sloper but they have the same basic silhouette. Sure, it's a T shirt, so how much variation is there likely to be, but still...
- The waist is high. It's designed for someone with a short waist (or padding at the narrowest point of the torso).
- The armscye isn't drastically different than mine, in shape.
Here's the thing: There's a fine line between making a new pattern and pre-altering one, such that it's just a version of one's original sloper. I don't know that I kept to the right side of that line...
In the end, my modified Concord muslin didn't work because:
- The upper back and neck were still a good inch too wide (the back neck drooped and folded).
- My latest alterations produce a back bodice that is more or less exactly that of my sloper - if larger at the side seams. BTW, this isn't a complex alteration but it is fussy. I actually cut the armscye segment from its original spot and moved it over towards the centre back, correcting the width at the underarm, to ensure that I'd maintained volume for the bust. This is where having a sloper came in very handy. Without it, I'd have been guessing or doing math.
- I overdid it slightly when down-sizing. I should have kept the side seams where the original pattern put them. Sure, it would have been a bit roomy, but I could have corrected that on the next go round. As it is, I had to go to the effort of adding back @ an inch of circumference at the waist and hips because, if I'm looking for skim I need an adequate amount of fabric! How can I say I want a better silhouette, for my current shape, while retaining my original pattern dimensions?
- Hilariously, my most erroneous alteration was in the armscye/sleeve. I didn't make it high enough or wide enough, though my version is certainly wearable on this account. I've now corrected this on the pattern by adding back @1.5" of width at the underarm tapering to @0.5 inches at the hem. I also raised the height by about 0.5". Gillian wondered why I didn't make the 12 E/F (rather than the C/D). (Reminder: these labels do not align with proper bra sizing!) I can't confirm this, without reprinting and reassembling the original pattern, but I suspect that my back narrowing / armscye alteration has resulted in the pattern's E/F bust volume, while respecting the narrowness of my frame.
Furthermore, if this allows me to make easy, stock adjustments to Cashmerette's other patterns (and future patterns) it will have been worth it. Alas, that remains to be seen. The back width issue may be a deal breaker because that's not always an easy alteration.
I've now cut out and prepped muslin 2. Regrettably, I am all but out of my good fabric. I actually cut muslin 1 out of a dress I made, that never worked. I had to cut the front bodice of muslin 2 (not yet assembled) on the cross grain. Yeah, it's a high-quality, 4-way modal, but I still think that cutting one piece opposite to all of the others is dicey (and maybe irritating). But my next version is yet another muslin so I'm going along for the ride.
At any rate, I hope to put together muslin 2 tomorrow. Note: Coverstitching a neck band below the seam is really tricky without a see-through foot. Any tips?
Update: OMG, people, I do have a see-through foot?! (I had to read back through the blog to remind myself that I'd bought and installed one when first I got my machine.) That bodes badly for my current skill (and maybe my short-term memory). Sometimes I concern myself. I've read everything that Debbie (Stitches and Seams) has written on this topic - twice at this point - but I guess that's no alternative for actually coverstitching to gain ability. Mind you, now I see that she often stitches on either side the neck seam. Didn't know that was an option! I've also decided that I like single line, machine stitching down the serged neckline more than coverstitching it. I'm not there yet with my coverstitching skills and when a neckline goes awry, it's nasty. FWIW, I've got better at pulling the front-side stitches out the back when I pull the work back / out of the machine at the end of a row. I'm also improving on my waist hems. Everything in time, I suppose...