Monday, September 29, 2008

Could It Be More Frumpy?

I think this top turned out perfectly. It turned out just like I imagined it would. It's pretty and it fits beautifully. However, I'm hoping that a few weeks in the magic wardrobe will make me love it because right now I'm not feeling the love. This picture makes it look pretty good, right?

It even looks great on the hanger. In fact, it looks better on the hanger. It is weird how the pleats I put in the sleeves shortened them so much, though. I don't think it looks weird while I'm wearing it, but it looks strange on the hanger. I tried to get a close up of the sleeve pleats, but I only got a washed out white image, no detailed showed at all. They do look great from the side of the sleeve though. You'll have to take my word for it.

My problem is that when I look in the mirror, all I see is the problems that are very obvious in this picture.

Boobs! They look enormous. While I'm not small busted by any means, I only wear a C-cup. I think that maybe it's the shiny fabric, or the way it swags between my breasts, or I added too much fullness/ease. I don't know. I never wear shiny fabric. I think it adds inches to fat girls. I asked some ladies at work, but they only gushed about how great it is that I can sew. They loved this top on me. Maybe it's the pleats that puff out right at bust level giving me more visual width. Maybe it's the color, which I don't think is very flattering on me. I look better in jewel or bright colors. Debbie cook made a pattern similar but in a dress and her muslin turned out looking very much like a nightgown. Maybe I'm visualizing that image while wearing this top. I don't know why, but I really don't like this top on me so into the magic wardrobe it goes. I'll revisit it again when the temperatures drop into the low 80s. It's a poly silky I think I got at JoAnn's about 10 years ago and raises my temperature 10 degrees every time I put it on. It's going to be perfect for the fall. Maybe I should make a jacket to go over it. What do you think about my new top? Brutal honesty is what I'm looking for here. All comments appreciated.

Besides finishing this top, I got my rust jeans completed. They turned out great--love those TNT patterns! Of course something had to go wrong. It's the fabric. I washed them before taking the photo and they came out of the washing machine very wrinkled. Interesting that the yardage had some wrinkles, but no where near the amount the finished garment got. These might not get much wear if they have to be ironed before wearing. Just look at the wrinkles I got from bending over to pick up my shoes. Terrible.

It's too bad the fabric, which I got at JoAnn's, is so bad. They are the perfect color for my 3-3-4 Wardrobe. My favorite thing about the pants is the pocket. I did a great job decorating them. I'm trying to get more comfortable with my embroidery machine. I've had it for about 6 years and haven't used it much at all. It's now obsolete but since I don't use it much, I'm certainly not going to replace it.

Here's a close-up. I forgot to rotate the picture, sorry about that.

Maybe I'll have more success on my next garment. I traced out the new Ottobre raglan t-shirt pattern. I'll try it in muslin first, of course. I'm happy to hear that many of you appreciate the fit I get because of muslins. I really think they are the greatest fitting invention ever!

To close, I just wanted to thank Mary Beth for the award. I'm very honored that you thought of me and my blog. It surprises me every day that people want to read what I have to say about fit. I'm very glad that others can benefit from my less than perfect shape and the alterations I have to do to fit it. I'll follow the rules regarding the award later in the week. It will take time to think of what I want to say to fulfill the rules.


  1. I think it's the fact that the pleats are facing outwards, which visually broaden you. Shiny fabric will also broaden/accentuate those lines. With a jacket it will be OK - do you usually need a jacket in the classroom? In a more matte/darker fabric I think the style is good for you, with the pleats or gathering facing more inwards.

  2. "Brutal honesty is what I'm looking for" ETA

  3. And I left all these comments before looking at your jeans. Wow, they fit beautifully! The color is superb for you. But I totally hear you on the ironing thing. I finished a pair of tencel slacks, review TBD on PR, and dang, those things are going to need to be ironed every time before wearing! That is so NOT my thing. And yours have such cute details - love the embroidery on the pockets.

  4. I love the jeans: the color, fit, and embroidery is great. Regarding the white top: I don't see very much I don't see very much in the design that defines your waist: I see the fabric falling straight down from your bustline (compare to the top that you are wearing with the jeans). Is it possible to add some vertical darts (and maybe a zipper in the side seam, so you can get into it?) create some definition to your waist and hips. Or maybe altering the side seams with a slight indentation? Can you pin in some darts and see how it looks?

    I'm also wondering if contrasting piping around the collar piece and the hems of the sleeves (or something that would break up the blocks of color) and create more visual interest. LuckyLilibet is right--shiny white fabric can be brutal.

    I admire your perseverance--i have a number of UFOs that are in ziploc bags, they are usually made from woven fabrics, not knits. And I'm adding a lot of info, only because you asked.

  5. Gee, I kinda like the top. Maybe you will to after some time in the magic closet. The jeans fit perfectly! I never like to look at the backs of my pants! You've given me something to strive for.

  6. Gorgeous fit on the slacks, and the embroidery is the perfect touch. I think you'll like the top better if it's impact is diluted with a jacket or vest. It must be the fabric 'cuz the musln looked so good.

  7. love the pants, the color, the pocket decorations, the fit! great job.

    the top, I'm thinking you need more color near your face and the white needs to be broken up a bit. Piping is a good idea, or some sort of embellishment to the band. Also, looking at your rust top, I like the color band/ribbon under your bust, can you add something like that to the white top? And I'm not sure that necklace style goes....
    sue v

  8. You said brutal honesty, right?

    I agree with everything luckylibbett already said.

    The pleats radiate in a way that adds width. The shiny fabric and color add volume (and poly jacquard screams 1980s and/or drapes to me).

    I also think the length of the sleeves is on the frumpy side. The shorter sleeve of the top in the other pics is much more 2008 and fun looking.

    Possible ways to improve this: Curve the hem, take in the sideseams for "essence of waist" and shorten the sleeves. Or ... make a pair of elastic waisted shorts from the same fabric and call it Pajamas. ;-)

    I hope that wasn't too brutal!

  9. When you popped up in bloglines, I thought it looked like a night gown top, but as soon as I scrolled down and the color of your pants showed, the whole picture looked better.

    I think the color and shiny-ness of the fabric do not work for you. This same top with some color in a matte fabric would be transformed.

    Trust your instincts. You're too cute for this!

  10. Alana, I was going to send it to you! LOL

  11. Love your jeans! Great colour, great fit and I like the back pocket.

    The top, you asked for brutal honesty, so here goes. Please don't hate me. :/

    I'm a D-cup girl who is conscious about my girls. I don't like putting them out there so I can sort of relate. :) My image consultant told me four things to avoid (among other things).
    1. High necklines;
    2. Pleats or gathers above the girls;
    3. Shiny fabrics; and
    4. Colours that reflect light and make you look larger (such as white).

    All these things will highlight the girls, drawing attention to them. Your top ticks all four boxes. :)

    I do want to say, I think it's a pretty top and it fits well (you did a great job on the fit!), however by your own standards I think you can do better. We all have clothes in our wardrobe like this. It doesn't mean we shouldn't wear them, just that they aren't a favourite.

  12. I love your jeans. They fit so well and look great that they are worth a trip to the ironing board.

    Trust your instincts. I agree with Belinda's comments. If you want to save the top - slice it down the center front add some lace trim and wear it for a bedjacket when the nights are cool. If you have enough fabric to lengthen the sleeves add another piece of lace to join the two sleeve pieces. If you are like me, you will never wear this top out of the house because of your doubts.

  13. I love the jeans and agree that they're worth a trip to the ironing board for! If I end up with a TNT jeans pattern out of the one that I'm working on now, I'm going to have to take your lead and hand the back pockets over to my mom (and her embroidery machine) to liven them up a bit.

  14. I would add a contrasting string of beads or silver chains to dilute the impact of the off-white expanse. I have the same figure shape and coloring as you do and I definitely think that you need a long necklace or long silk scarf to create a vertical line for your body. The blouse fits you beautifully but it is not in your color palette as I believe that you are a Winter.

  15. Like everyone else, I have to agree that the jeans are great - and definitely worth the ironing.

    As for the top, I think that Debbie and Belinda covered everything between them, but I have to add that as much as anything else, it's the color that doesn't work for me. The white just doesn't do you justice when you can carry off such wonderful bright colors. But the fit is perfect, so I wouldn't ditch the pattern, just try it again in a more flattering fabric and maybe tweak the pleats a little so that the girls are a little de-emphasized.

    Great jeans. Great.

  16. Sherrill, the pants are wonderful. I love the color and you have the fit down pat.

    Now for my comments on the blouse. White is a very difficult color to wear. Not many people can pull it off. You strike me as someone whose coloring would be more enhanced by the warmer tones, like your fabulous jeans. So a beige tone of the same fabric I think would give a better effect.

    I like the way it fits. I think the necklace hanging between the babes kind of divides the look. The piping idea is spot on. A contrasting piping on the yoke or a necklace with a closer to the neck look would bring the emphasis more to your face and off the boobs.

    My last issue on the top is the pleated sleeves. I just don't think the pleats work here. The little puff out of the pleat is right at the bust level and making things wider.

    Bottom line - I like the way this hangs on you. I think with a shorter necklace bringing the emphasis to your face, and under a jacket for work it will be a really nice addition to your wardrobe. JMHO.

    Sherril, I so love coming to your site and so so admire the honesty with which you approach your sewing....Bunny

  17. Tip for avoiding wrinkles out of the washer and dryer for those beautiful jeans (you probably already know this, but here's a reminder!)- When you pull any denim from the washer, give it a good popping shakeout. Any wrinkles that have appeared from the spin cycle begin to straighten out and they go away better in the dryer. (I learned this after washing and drying several denim chair bags for my kids' 3rd and 4th grade classrooms--new school--no desks, just tables and chairs that year. Nowhere to put school stuff.) Do the shake out from the washer and pull the jeans from the dryer a little damp, hang them from the hem to finish drying and smooth out any left over wrinkles. I'm telling you this and yet had to resort to wrinkle release spray for my jeans this morning cause I forgot them in the dryer overnight!

    I think you have an amazing TNT pattern for your jeans. Awesome fit every time.

  18. In my opinion, it's the fabric.... I saw the muslin in your previous entry and it looked so nice on you. If I were you, I'd wear it with a jacket (gray, brown, or black) and it shouldn't give you any problems. Finish off with cute accessories, and you're set. :):):):)

    Gosh, I'm dying to make my own jeans! Yours came out so nicely, and the embroidery is beautiful. Awesome job!


  19. Wow, the jeans are fabulous! My goal is to make a nice fitting pair of pants. The blouse fits well. I think that Sew4fun's points make a lot of sense.

  20. Sherril - I'm late to the party. Wonder if you'll even see my comments and you've probably already thrown out these garments.

    I agree that the jeans and the top with the jeans are fabulouse.

    All comments on the white blouse are interesting and maybe helpful. What no one pointed out though is that proportions are very important. In particular sleeve proportions. Look at the blouse with the jeans and compare to the white blouse. I think you would do better with a cap sleeve, elbow or 3/4 sleeve. Next time, try changing the sleeve length


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