It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A question, A Whimper, and some Shoulder/Sleeve Ease Notes

1.  The question:  I'm almost done with my second version of Katharine Tilton's fabulous zipper-collar T (V8793) (post coming soon).  In this pattern she calls for stabilizing the shoulder seams with fusible interfacing on the BACK shoulder seams.  I've always placed it on the front seam, with the theory that there's usually more pull on the front.   Any thoughts on this from the experienced knit sewists out there?  Does it really make any difference?


2.  The Whimper:  My clothes are starting to hang on me, because I've lost a bit of weight, even though I'm not trying to (for anyone who IS trying, I support you totally!  Don't hate on me, 'k?).  It's not that I can't afford to lose a few pounds, but dangit!!!   All those clothes I put SO much fitting time & energy into!   And this is coming at a time when I'm actually trying to make clothes more form-fitting, so everything that was "comfortably loose" before, is now being seen through my eyes as "uncomfortably baggy".  I usually lose a bit in the summertime anyway, and gain it back in the wintery months, but summer hasn't even started yet!  I really don't want to gain the weight back..... but dangit!


3.  The Sleeve Ease & Shoulder Adjustment Notes:  I'm consciously trying to perfect a basic knit T top TNT pattern, and I made a number of adjustments on the K Tilton pattern, working towards that end.  I thought I'd post what I've found so far -  Maybe someone out there will find this info helpful, and maybe someone will have some helpful tidbits to add.

My shoulders usually need the following 3 adjustments:  Forward, Narrow, Sloping.   I also have a slightly broad back.   And I really hate gathered sleeves (on me).  You will never.  ever.  see me wearing poofy sleeves.  Promise.

Some time ago this led me to Kathleen Fasinella's Sleeve cap ease is bogus principle, and I've been practicing it and applying it to patterns ever since.   I'm getting closer, and one of these days I'll get it right!

Here are my pattern pieces, laid on top of the original pattern,  with notes (because there's no way I can describe this without pictures!) (please biggify for the details)



I find that these adjustments nearly eliminate the wide baggy bit I often get under the arms of most knit patterns, put my shoulder seam at rest where it should be, and allow me full freedom of arm movement while still having a nice fit in the arms and at the bustline.   Oh, I didn't mention that my upper arms are usually WAY bigger than most skinny-minny patterns.  I used to have muscles, now I have....something else.   That could be another whine, but I've learned to accept it.   Sort of.  If I REALLY want to whine about something, all I need do is look at my neck!  But let's not go there.....

Any thoughts, suggestions, observations, experience, or general ramblings on any of the above are welcomed!

Here's another recent garden pic to leave you with - my favorite lily plus a cat :)


14 comments:

  1. That's pretty much the shoulder adjustments I need too. And I've been removing sleeve cap ease forever (since I was a teenager!) because I could never get sleeves to set in properly unless I did. However, I don't have your muscles...or something else. ;) Though I'm stronger now in my 60's than I've ever been. Go figure.

    Sorry you've been losing weight! Poor you. I have about 20 spare pounds you can have if we can figure out how to transfer it painlessly. I'd be willing to take in my clothes and yours too in gratitude!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm.....a personal alteration seamstress in exchange for 20 pounds? Tempting as it is, I think I'll pass, but thanks for the generous offer! ;D

      Delete
  2. Sorry to hear your clothes aren't fitting so well. My solution is just wait til next winter, when you put some of the weight back on! (Big help I am, huh?!)

    I always interface the shoulder seams of tops. I used to fuse it to the back, but since the seam allowances are pressed toward the back, I now fuse it on the front. That way it's not doubled over on itself.

    Good for you for figuring out your best sleeve head fit. My TNT tee pattern has ease-stitched, set-in sleeves, if you can imagine that! I lowered the head a bit to ease up on the amount of ease in the cap. I still ease stitch it, but I insert the sleeves before I sew the side seams. It's a Connnie Crawford pattern, so I expected better than that!

    So glad you're sewing again. Katherine's zipper trimmed top is so much fun. I can't wait to see yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah...big help, thanks! ;-D

      Aha, right! That's a good reason on its own to fuse the interfacing to the front, thanks!

      I'm still working on the whole sleeve fit thing. I think I'm really close on knits; we'll see how well it works on wovens....

      I'm just LOVING Katherine's zip tee! I have one finished, with pics taken, but I'm waiting to post until the other one is done as well. And I may even do a third right away :)

      Delete
  3. uhhh, sorry? about the weight loss...sure, yeah, I feel your pain. hahahaaaa

    Thank you for the great photos on your alterations; I will study them. I wish I had a fitting buddy. I am looking forward to trying out the zipper tee in the fall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So much wonderful empathy about the weight loss; thank you ;-)

      Wouldn't a fit buddy be great? I've kind of given up on my dress form. Her immovable bones are just far enough off from "me" that any sort of fine tuning on her is worthless :(

      Delete
  4. Even though I have joined Weight Watchers and going to the gym and trying to sweat my ass off, you have my sympathy. Really. No sarcasm at all. It is totally not fair to have the clothes you created with such care not fit you anymore. Which is why I joined WW etc before I started sewing a bunch of really cool clothes.

    I am no help with the fit, see above. No point in learning to fit the body I currently inhabit when it isn't going to be the same one in a few/many months. But you go girl!

    When I want to whine, I look at my chins. The plural is on purpose. 8-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YOU go girl! I'm behind you all the way in your goals :)

      Delete
  5. Jillian, whine away! Weight changes in either direction can be a PITA, depending on your perspective. A few years ago, pre-blog days, I self drafted a pattern for pants, then made a beautiful brown linen pair. High waisted, zipper up the side, full legs, just how I like 'em. I've worn them to death. I put them on to go out the other day, and was most distressed to find out they were uncomfortably snug in the waist. Ugh. I'd gladly donate also...I'll bet you get lots of offers!

    I recently discovered I need the same shoulder changes - narrow, forward, sloped. Truth be told, it has me sort of freaked out. I feel as though this has changed - perhaps not, but it's what I think anyway - due to aging, poor posture, etc. To that end, I've been focusing on upper body strengthening at the gym, and lots of stretching. Hopefully I will never get a dowager's hump like my gram had...

    As far as the interfacing goes, that is new to me. I stabilize the seams using the stuff on a roll made for that purpose, or sometimes clear elastic. Good to know, though, thanks.

    I am looking forward to seeing your new tops. No puffy sleeves here, either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've done a lot of potentially damaging repetitive tasks, so I'm always trying to be conscious of stretching & balancing. Many many years ago (yeah I know, I'm that old) I had the beginnings of carpal tunnel from too much typing (pre-computers) & I've been positively anal about wrist position ever since.

      Still, it's way too easy to relax into that forward-shoulder producing position when you spend too much time at the computer. Which I do :(

      There seem to be dozens of different stabilizers out there & people have their favorites - I just cut off a piece of whatever interfacing seems appropriate for the fabric & call it a day. I can be cheap that way ;-) (But I do use really good quality interfacing)

      Delete
  6. It is really frustrating to put time and effort into fitting and making clothes to have them not fit! Doesn't matter if the weight is going up or down. Thanks for sharing your adjustments, it helps me think about how patterns work and what I might do for myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment Karin. Nothing makes me feel better about blogging than hearing that something I've posted helps, inspires, or gives food for thought to another sewist. :-)

      Delete
  7. Hi Jilly, cannot help on the technical question but I love the lovely flower/cat photo x

    ReplyDelete