Monday, May 4, 2009

Summer Tops

Wow, two posts in two days. Don't think I'm starting a trend or anything. I've been struggling to find a pattern for woven summer fabrics. Since menopause, I'm have some slight personal summers, not bad mind you, just hot. Because of this I'm going to try to avoid poly knit tops this season. I've got my heart set on cotton and rayon woven tops for the summer but can't seem to get a pattern to fit.

I started with Simplicity 2705, put the center front on the fold and stitched up a muslin. The front neckline is cut on the seam line. I already put in a FBA which is rotated to gathers above the bust, eliminating the pleats. I also did a sloping shoulder adjustment. I thought it looked pretty great, until I tried to move my arms.

The cut on cap sleeve restricted my movement. To get some ideas on how to fix this, I started a thread on There were several really great ideas, but I decided that Belinda was right. This wasn't going to work with my bustline and short above bust length.

I'm not one to give up so easily so I decided to cut an armhole and put a cap sleeve that I borrowed from another pattern.

While I think my solution did work, it still doesn't feel right on and probably needs more of a FBA. Since I didn't want to put even more gathers in, I'm thinking I should remove the added gathers, go back to the pleats, and do a side dart. Unfortunately, I cut my original pattern up so now I have to go buy a new pattern. I think Simplicity patterns are going to be on sale, if they aren't already.

I forgot to mention that the back has problems I still have to work out as well. Instead of spending more time right now on this pattern, I'm going to switch patterns and work on these two tops:

I've already done the FBA on S2697, on a traced copy of course. I'll be making the one with the short cuffed sleeves sans the cuff. I'm ready to cut the first muslin. I have the pattern tissue for New Look 6179 already cut out and it needs a muslin made as well. I think I'll skip the FBA for the pesant blouse for the first muslin. I've just cut it a couple of sizes larger. I hope I have some elastic since both patterns call for it. I may be running into some trouble getting these tops made so I'll get the muslins cut right away. Dtwinsis wants her machine back. Mine is ready so this morning I'm going to go get it. Yea! Then it'll be muslin city around here, at least until I run out of the 10 yards I just I bought.


  1. Have you tried the tee shirt from Butterick 5053? It's one of the Connie Crawford patterns. I didn't even do an FBA for it.

    I did, however, take the side seams in because her block is designed for a pear shape with a ten inch increase from bust to hip. I'm a fat hourglass, so that just doesn't fly.

  2. Good luck with your muslin quest. I always find it so hard to find a summer top pattern I like. One that isn't hot, covers the arms, and is flattering without looking pregnant. All the current patterns are so 'maternity'. I'll be watching with interest to see if you find such a pattern. :)

    Btw, I think the first pattern looks much nicer with the cap sleeve.

  3. This is the reason I like TNT patterns. I have a difficult to fit figure, and when I get a good fit in a pattern, I like to use it over and over, changing design lines to create different looks. Good luck finding exactly what you're looking for. You're a good sewer--you'll get it.

  4. Interesting study on cap sleeves, thanks for sharing this and Belinda's input. It's so hard to lose or gain weight and sew for our new bodies. Very surprising stuff happens to the patterns and proportions. Now that I've gained my weight back I understand why my pants made over the past 2 years look so strange: they fit *at the time* I made them and that weight changed between fitting and sewing! Your weight loss is looking slow and steady and you'll probably have many more fitting discoveries ahead (good?? or maybe bad??). I hope you keep posting the muslin trials.

  5. I really like the gathers in your muslin; it's cute and flattering. I don't think you should give up on it yet!

  6. Just found your blog and signed up as a follower.


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