Category Archives: Pattern Alterations

Pattern Review – New Look 6901

Pattern Description: Misses Six Sizes in One Just 4 Knits.  Includes one drape neck top and one mock wrap top plus skirt. I made the drape neck top as I have been coveting that kind of top for a long time.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 8-18, I made the size 12 with a cheater FBA from Debbie Cook’s blog after a disastrously ginormous muslin in a sz 16.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes I guess. It’s just an illustration, so you don’t get a real sense of how it fits.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were pretty easy to understand even for a beginner.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the drape neck but wonder if it really works for a c cup size or larger. I had difficulty making it work with my girls even after the FBA; it kept draping behind them. Hard to describe though.

Still a little tight at the bust, but acceptable

The pattern has a facing for the back neck which I found really hard to work with. Sewing it completely distorted the neckline on my muslin. So for my final version, I just folded the back neck over and sewed it done. Perfectly serviceable and minimal distortion.

Back neck

The sleeve cap ease is RIDICULOUS. My sewing teacher redrew the sleeve cap for me, but it was still too big when I made the final version. I still needed to ease it in.

Fabric Used: I used a cotton lycra knit from which I have made a dress in the past. I have so much left over that I am using it for knit muslins from now on. I bought it from Gorgeous Fabrics back in the beginning of my on-line fabric days when I didn’t know how much yardage I needed for any given project. Ahh learning curves, love ’em or hate ’em?

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: For my final iteration, I traced the sz 12 for the neck and torso but moved out 3 sizes at the armscye to a sz 18 for my cheater FBA on both the front and back pattern pieces. While this seemed to help the pulling at the bust in front, it didn’t quite eliminate it altogether.  The rest of the fit was much improved from the ginormous sz 16 muslin I made: much more fitted without being too hoochie mama. Although this top does require a fair amount of sucking in the tummy to maintain a good line.   😉 

front cheater FBA

I used a blind hem stitch on the sleeves (see picture above)  and should have done the same for the hem of the shirt, but instead tried out stitch witchery. What a mess that stuff is. Due to lack of planning, I had some SW scraps on my ironing board and accidentally adhered them to my iron. What a PITA!!!! Anyway, the hem is a little wavy, but seems secure. I don’t know if it will hold up in the wash though. Guess I will find out soon enough. I really need to get on the twin needle band wagon or see if I can find a used coverstitch machined on craigslist.

I already mentioned the sleeve cap alteration and the neck band change I made above.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? While I find my final version wearable, I don’t think I will make this again for myself. This drape top does not play well with c cups and above. I might try the mock wrap top version to see how that works though. I recommend this pattern to people with b cups or smaller and you will definitely need to go down 2 sizes from their printed measurement suggestions.  I don’t think this will become a TNT for me.  On to the next pattern…

Conclusion: Cute pattern for smaller busted women. Sizing is ginormous. But instructions are easy to read and understand.

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Researching

I have been procrastinating the start of my Knip Mode skirt a la Cidell by researching FBAs (Full Bust Adjustments).  There is a plethora of information out there on the interwebs and frankly, I’m drowning.  Each tutorial I read brings up more questions than answers for me.  (Is this sounding like a trend to you? Because it is to me.)  Karen’s probably going to say that I am thinking about it too much.  I have found two methods so far that are promising (i.e., I understand them).   But I still have some questions.  

Let me back up a bit and tell you how I came to the conclusion that I need to add an FBA to my tops.  Remember when I started my TNT (tried and true patterns) project a couple of months ago with the failed pencil skirt and drape neck top disaster

NL 6901 Muslin

 

NL 6807 Muslin

 

My teacher Thea saved the day with two of the muslins.  I really like the fit of my pencil skirt now (please don’t notice that it hasn’t yet been put into production yet though).  Tuesday night I tried on my NL 6901 muslin again and the pendulum has swung back into the hate territory.  This muslin is not salvageable.  Since I had to cut off the binding due to not being able to rip the stitches out, the neckline is too huge.  Overall the size is too big, yet too small in the bust.  The armscyes are huge.  I think I need to go down one maybe two sizes to get this to fit correctly.  However, since the bust area is already too small in this size, I now know that I need to do my first ever FBA.  

Which leads me to all the research I’ve been doing this week on FBAs.  I’ve found tons of tutorials for FBAs using darts for woven tops.  I even found a tutorial for wrap bodices.  Specifically I need an FBA tute that does NOT utilize a dart and is good for knits.  I found a cheater one on Debbie Cook’s site that I think my work, but I am wondering if it would make my armscye too big.  Hmmmm…  I guess I just have to put the big girl panties on and try it, right?  *big breath* 

One question that needs to be answered first though is, how much of an FBA should I make?  Most patterns are drafted for B cups.  I am well into C cup territory.  In all my research, I have yet to find the amount per cup you should add for going up one size.   Do any of you, my lovely readers, have any suggestions as to where I can find this information?  My newbie sewist intuition is 1 inch, but who knows, I could be off by a mile.  

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to.  What have you been up to?

FRUSTRATED!!!

In fact I am so frustrated that I am forced to eat my son’s easter basket candy to alleviate some of the negative feelings I am experiencing at this moment. 

So fresh off the euphoria of my recent border print dress and basking in the glow of Thor’s urbanized camp shirt, I thought I had this sewing thing in the bag!  I was getting all proud of myself and a little cocky to boot.

Well folks, I have plummeted down to earth.  My wax wings melted.  I am confounded with this mysterious ritual of which you more experienced sewists speak of with such nonchalance and ease, PATTERN ALTERATIONS. You all bandy about terms like “lengthen the bodice”, “slash and spread”, and “FBAs” like they’re just slicing up a pie and serving it.  Well, I’m here to tell you I am absolutely gob-smacked and mystified. 

I have come to the reluctant conclusion that I am not “an out of the envelope” kind of gal.  Not because I am being difficult and think I”m special.  No, no, no!  I’m just a little lumpy and when you’re lumpy like me, you need to adjust for the occasional lump.  I’ve started to work out more lately, but let’s be honest here — we all know how long it takes to lose weight.  I want to sew now.  I want to wear clothes now.  I have to figure out this whole fitting and adjusting the pattern thing.  PRONTO.

I was going to cut out my good fabric tonight.  But what am I doing instead?  I am spending hours searching the interwebs for tutorials.  Oh, I’ve found tons of tutorials, but none of them answer my specific questions.  Liesl has a great one, but her tute didn’t quite address my particular problem.  I asked my question on PatternReview.com and got a quick response and link to this very dress and the very change I want to make from Michelle, but of course, I still have questions.  As a matter of fact, I am hoping she’ll answer my questions real soon.   😉

Ok, I just got off the phone with Thea.  She talked me off the roof.  Oh and Michelle replied to me again at PatternReview, so I am done ranting this evening.  It’s late and I have to get to bed now.  It took me 3 hours to find what I needed to know (don’t worry, I will share later), and now I have to put it aside for another evening. 

Tomorrow is another day. 

I bid you happy pattern alterations.