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.