Monday, February 10, 2014

Two Shirts with Yellow

Hi kids!

I'm a little under the weather today - I think I've got a cold coming on.  But had a very productive sewing weekend, so I decided to get over myself and take some pictures while the sun is out.

I've been on a mini-mission to go back and adjust some of my favorite patterns, now that I have a slightly better handle on fitting.  One of these I mentioned last week in my plans for this month:  the Archer shirt.  I promised I'd only make a couple adjustments, but in the end, I did just one:  the forward shoulder adjustment.  After wearing one of my Archers last week, I felt that this was the one adjustment I needed above all others.  (Of course, I'd already adjusted the button spacing and graded out two sizes at the hip in my previous version, and I kept those adjustments.)  And I'm so glad I stopped there - I'm declaring this adjusted pattern perfect now.  I'm so happy with how the fit turned out:  it's comfortable and slightly slouchy, and the forward shoulder adjustment took care of the twisting of the sleeves I was getting, as well as the tendency of the shirt to drift toward the back.  Now that I've got this pattern the way I want it, I'm going to be making LOTS more of these.



Normally I wear shirts like this with the sleeves rolled up, but I'd done such a nice job ironing it, I didn't want to get it all wrinkly! 

You can see here that I've still got a tiny bit of pooling in the lower back, but it was interesting to me that the forward shoulder adjustment seemed to take some of it away with no swayback adjustment.  I think for the future I won't bother with the swayback - as I said, I like it now how it is, sort of slouchy.


One of the reasons I'd put off adjusting this pattern for a while is that the instructions in Fit for Real People didn't make a lot of sense to me.  The book recommends just moving the notch for the shoulder forward on your yoke piece.  On me, the yoke didn't even extend up and over the top of my shoulder, so I wasn't sure how well that would work.  I also wasn't looking forward to removing the seam allowance from the front of the sleeve and adding it to the back.  I stewed on it for a while, and googled around for some other methods.  I landed on this forward shoulder adjustment from Heather B, which also didn't make much sense to me - it seemed like it would angle the yoke forward too much, western-shirt style.  But I decided to give it a go, and it really worked well.  Also from Heather B, I learned this sleeve cap slide, so I was able to avoid the dreaded seam-allowance removal+addition.  So thanks, Heather B!

Here's a better look at the shirt itself - how lovely is this fabric?  I got it probably a year and a half ago from Fishman's, one of my local fabric stores.  It's a super-soft cotton lawn.  It just feels amazing against the skin.  And although it's grey, it's a very soft blue-grey, broken up by the light mustard yellow.  I just love it.


Encouraged by my Saturday success, yesterday I decided to do the same forward shoulder and sleeve cap adjustments on another old favorite, the Lisette Continental blouse (Simplicity 2059).  I've made this top three times before, and I wear all three of them often.  Again, a loose, slouchy, smock-like design - the type of top I reach for when I want to be cute but comfy.  My three older tops fit pretty well, but had the same problem of drifting toward the back, inching up my neck.  I'm happy to report that this adjustment has taken care of that, so this is another pattern I'll likely be making up again.


I found it very interesting  to see how the shoulder seam looks on the hanger:


It looks like it angles severely toward the front, but on my body, it exactly follows the line of my shoulder.  BTW:  on both these shirts I did a 1/2" forward adjustment.

This top was also made with a piece of fabric from Fishman's - a lovely remnant, bought at the same time as the fabric above.  It's a subtle plaid of the palest grey and almost acid yellow, another very soft cotton but slightly heavier than the Archer fabric.  Such a pleasure to wear. 


I didn't have enough of this piece to worry about matching the plaid, but it came out alright, and it's so subtle anyway that it doesn't really matter that it's not perfect.

Remember when I was talking about how I hang my mending on my dresser to get myself to do it?  Well, here's a little secret:  I also hang my most recent makes there, so I can admire them for a few days before they go into the closet :-)  I added a pretty vintage scarf in similar colors to the Continental blouse.


Do you guys admire your recent makes for a while before putting them into the closet?  I thought about wearing one of these today, but I have some messy work to do, so I'll just have to keep popping in to look at them.

62 comments:

  1. Oh my, I thought I was the only one. I have left gowns hanging on the picture molding just so I could wake up in the morning and have them be the first thing I see in the morning. Opps, I may have said too much ;)
    Great tops. Both look like the sun. Something we haven't seen enough of in far too long.

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    1. Hehehe! Great minds think alike, I guess!

      They do look sunshiny, don't they? That's exactly the reason yellow is my favorite color!

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  2. Looking good! My Archer does exactly the same thing and I'd chalked it up to boobiness but now I'm thinking I probably need to do the same adjustment, so thanks for the tip! Definitely being lined up for the next one..

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    1. Well, there's no boobiness going on around here ;-) It's all shoulders and back, all the time, LOL!

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  3. These are just lovely! I love the mix of sun and sky and I'll make a note of the adjustments you made. Isn't it amazing how much difference a half-inch adjustment can make??

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! It is amazing the difference just a small adjustment can make! I'm so intrigued by the effect it had on the sway back. It really brings home the instruction to do one adjustment at a time.

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  4. I appear to have bought a lot of yellow fabric on my latest installment of the stash binge...

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  5. Pretty! I'm so glad that little tweak will increaseyour wearing pleasure! I seem to find things that drift backwards very uncomfortable but I also wonder if I'd notice of I wasn't a sewer! These look great :)

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    1. I always noticed it, even before I was into sewing and fitting. Just never knew I could do something about it! And I'm so glad I can!

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  6. Swooon. Very gorgeous tops you made! That archer looks expertly sewn!!

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    1. Thank you! I will admit to being quite proud of my pocket placement, and I even carried the pattern across the front as much as I could, given that it's not a perfectly geometric print.

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  7. We could all use a little sunshine right now! These yellow shirts might be as close as we get to it for a couple more months. Both your blouses are lovely. I hope you feel better soon! I have been fighting with an intense cold for nearly a week. It's horrible. I wish you better luck fighting it off than I've had!

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    1. Thank you! Oh gosh - sounds like you have it much worse than I do! I hope you get better soon too!

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  8. Love both shirts! Yellow is my favorite color.

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    1. Thanks, Niema! Yellow is the best, isn't it?

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  9. My goodness, these are awesome. Thanks for the tip re. that forward shoulder adjustment from Hetaher B. I'll be reading about it pronto. And you know what? I think you need some yellow shoes...

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    1. Thank you! And of course, I already have yellow shoes ;-) Just not the right yellow for these two tops! D'oh!

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  10. These are both lovely Gail. Grey and yellow is one of my favourite colour combinations.

    I have trouble with tops creeping towards my back and strangling me - maybe I need to look into a forward shoulder adjustment.

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    1. Thanks, Sam! If you have your tops strangling you, I bet this adjustment will help. It's a pretty simple one to do too, especially with that sleeve cap slice and slide.

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  11. Very nice! Love the colour combination, and they'll be perfect for spring/summer too. Hope you feel better soon.

    My handmade dresses get hung up on the picture rail in the spare room (aka my dressing room!) and don't even make it to the wardrobe. That way, if someone comes to stay, they HAVE to admire my makes too ;)

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    1. Hahaha! These dressers are in my guest room (which doubles as my dressing room and sewing and knitting and spinning room), so when Andrea came to stay a couple months ago, she found things hanging from them! And she did admire! I usually put things away before we have a guest, but when you have a guest who sews, it's best to leave them out I think!

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  12. so funny you say that about admiring your new makes for a few days before closet-ing them... i totally do that as well!

    i love both of these makes, so sunny! i usually do a 1/4" FSA, but haven't on the archer yet. i'll check out Heather's method, i wasn't really sure how to deal with the yoke.

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    1. I am so glad to know there are others out there who do the same thing!

      You know, when I measure my body, I could do 5/8" or 3/4" FSA, but it just seems too extreme. I've done the 1/2" on a few things so far, and even though it doesn't bring the seam all the way to my shoulder point, it makes enough of a difference that I think I probably can stick with it.

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  13. I always leave my new finished projects where I can see them. It keeps them special for a little longer, especially since the finishing them usually involves an anticlimactic task like hemming! I hope having your cheery new yellow shirts in plain sight boosts your immune system - Vitamin C for the eyes :)

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    1. Hehehe - that's right! Vitamin C for the eyes - I love that! And you're also right that it keeps the new items special fora bit longer :-)

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  14. These shirts are so happy and springy, even if it's still full-blown winter outside! I love both of them! I leave new favorite projects up on my dress form so I can look at them for a while before wearing... that is, if my dress form isn't occupied with some sort of sad UFO...

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    1. And the sun was shining for the last 3 days, despite the low temps. So I was in full "pretending it's spring outside" mode! A dress form would be better - wish I had room for one!

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  15. I love the color yellow - you have no choice but to be happy when you're wearing it! The fit on these looks great. The Archer is on my wish list (I have the pdf, but not printed yet). I admit to hanging newly made things on my closet door or dress form just so that I can see them for a bit until they're put away.

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    1. Yes, the color of sunshine!

      You know, it took me a while to decide whether I liked the Archer enough to buy it, but I'm so glad I did - it's my favorite shirt pattern now, even more than the PR PBB!

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  16. Lovely fabrics. And thanks for reminding me that I really should do a forward shoulder adjustment on all my makes. Too bad I just finished sewing up an archer and didn't think to do it, again:(

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    1. Thank you! I love the selection at this fabric store - it's a small, independent store and they seem to cater to tailors, so they always have really nice quality stuff. Not inexpensive, but they have a good sale rack - I seem to remember paying about $10 for each of these pieces!

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  17. Very pretty tops. I love the first one the most!!!!

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  18. Very pretty tops. They fit you so well! Interesting that the the forward shoulder adjustment helped with all those problems. Congrats for figuring it out. :D

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    1. Thanks! I can't really take credit for figuring it out though - the lady who taught our fitting class "diagnosed" me! I was starting to suspect it, but was in denial :-)

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  19. Cute shirt and blouse. I like the freshness of the yellow.

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  20. Gail, I love, love, love your Archer! The fabric is to die for and it looks so soft and drapey for lawn. Love the mustard "dots". You are selling that pattern to me when it hasn't really appealed before. I especially like it with those dark jeans. Very chic! And yes, you know my preclusion for not just hanging makes and looking at them, but not wearing them for fear of ruining them. It's a disease I tell you :)

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    1. Thanks, Jillian! I realized I should have taken a close-up of the dots - they're very cool. They have raggedy edges, almost like a water ring left by a glass.

      I said above, this is now my favorite shirt pattern. I love the vaguely masculine look, and the clean lines are the perfect canvas for interesting fabrics. I will actually be wearing this, not just admiring it!

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  21. Thanks for the link to the forward shoulder adj., that's one I think I can use too. I have that same slow strangling thing happening with some tops.

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    1. Definitely worth a try then! I don't get so strangled with a button-up shirt, because I leave the top few buttons undone, but I get tired of having to pull it back down all the time!

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  22. I really love your yellow shirts, I love yellow and am about to make a yellow shirt too. I absolutely do admire my finished sewing projects for ages before they go into my closet. I hand them up on the doorknobs in my office/sewing room and look at them all day long. Sometimes for weeks. I wear them, then hang them up again so I can keep looking at them. Sometimes for weeks :)

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    1. I LOVE it that you admire your pieces for so long! Awesome!

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    1. You can! You just have to learn! ;-)

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  24. Ah, I envy your fitting mastery. I on the other hand am not even sure what my fitting issues are yet. I love your Archer shirt especially! I'm not a button-down shirt wearer (or a pdf-pattern-printer, since I don't own a printer and would have to do it on the sly at work ...) but this pattern is wearing me down. Maybe I'll embark on that journey one of these days

    PS -- I also have some of the fabric you used for the Archer shirt in the ol' stash. I think this is not the first time we've had duplicate fabrics!

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    1. Ha! It's been a long road, and aside from the obvious stuff like small bust, I had to be told by the class instructor what my issues were!

      I've heard that you can take the files of PDF patterns to a copy shop and have them printed out, but I'm not really sure how that works! But I think my love for this pattern is well documented! I think I will eventually end up with all of Jen's patterns.

      And so funny you have the same fabric! Do you have any idea what it is? It's so soft and has a bit of a sheen, so I wondered if there might even be a little silk in it. My bolt was unmarked.

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    2. I got mine from Fabric Mart ... I believe they listed it as a cotton voile. I see the shine too, but and I have a few other "designer" voiles that have it also, but I don't know what makes it so.

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    3. Ah, that's a source I haven't used. Will have to check it out!

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  25. I hope you are not down with a cold now, Gail. I just recovered from one, so I feel with you :) I really like the fit of your Archer. It looks great on you. I think you found the perfect balance between making a comfy but fitted shirt! Well done. And thanks a lot for linking the sleeve cap adjustment! I spent the last few days thinking about how I can solve this problem. I added and subtracted the moved amount from the sleeve side seams as suggested by Palmer and Pletsch, but now the sleeves hangs just horrible. So, I think Heathers adjustment might do the trick. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Ela! Yes, I think I found my perfect shirt fit, finally! I much prefer the way the sleeve hangs with this sleeve cap adjustment. I did the Palmer Pletsch way on my last shirt (the grey PR PBB) and still got twisting in the sleeve, but don't have it at all with this one. Give it a try! I also found it much easier to do!

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  26. While not sewing
    My knitting has been very satisfying lately
    Two completed cardigans
    That fit me
    Lessons learned with each project
    And still learning

    You are making great strides, gal!

    Stay warm
    Hugs
    Gerry

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    1. Your two new cardis are fantastic! Thank you!

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  27. I have that Lisette Continental top up in the queue. It's so cute, isn't it? Love your version. I will have to see if I need this adjustment. I've not made all that many tops yet, mostly skirts and dresses, but it does seem that many tops, depending on how loose they are, do tend to drift backwards. I always thought it was because I was small busted, but looks like I will have to move the shoulder seams forward.

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    1. Yes, this is one of my favorite casual top patterns! It's certainly worth a try with the FSA to see if it helps!

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  28. you are so smart for making these adjustements! and it's great that only one adjustment makes a real difference. How did you discover you needed a forward shoulder adjustement? love the fabrics - I have a thing for yellow :)

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    1. I had to be told by a fitting expert that I needed the forward shoulder adjustment! I was starting to suspect it, but unwilling to believe until she told me!

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  29. Both shirts are so pretty and your adjustments perfect!

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  30. So pretty, both tops. And I'm a little jealous that you can wear yellow so well. I leave my mending hanging out also, but I still ignore it!

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    1. Thank you so much! I do love yellow - so sunny!

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