Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend Project: The "Quick and Easy" Project Take 2

Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation.
~ Mark Twain

I had a couple of free hours and decided to try my "quick and easy" RTW-copy project a second time. There were 2 issues with my first attempt (here).

First was the neckline - I cut a neckline band the same length as the neckline, and got a rippled, lettuce leaf effect. The second was the sleeves - they had too much fabric that bunched up the arms.

I noted that the sleeve pattern I copied from my RTW top was very flat and some internet research suggested that a steeper sleeve cap would reduce the amount of underarm fabric. Although, Debbie pointed out that another important variable is the depth of the underarm seam. (She recommends 1/2 inch below the armpit - especially for knits - see here.)

So, I took the very flat sleeve pattern from my first attempt and a commercial sleeve pattern with a steep sleeve cap...

... and sketched an intermediate version:

I figured that I might need to modify the armholes a bit to fit these revised sleeves, so I took the same commercial pattern and overlaid it on my RTW copied pattern and, again, sketched a mid-way line:

Once the fabric was cut with my revised pattern, this knit top serged together in a heartbeat. My order of construction was: shoulder seams, sleeves, side seams (including underarm seams) and then coverstitch hems.

I always have a hard time getting my fabric edge to line up nicely with my coverstitch. This time I tried basting a guideline first:

I turned the fabric along the guideline as I fed it through my machine.

The result is okay - possibly better than my usual results, but still far from the perfection that I see on other blogs... :(

Finally, issue #2 - the neckline. Between advice from commenters and a couple of my sewing books, I saw a huge range of recommendations for how much to shorten the neckline band before attaching to the shirt. I (somewhat randomly) picked 20%.

The result is a nice-looking neckline - but unfortunately I lost the original shape - which was a boat neck.

Also, given that the cut of the neckline was for a boat neck, it isn't scooped enough for this style of collar and it kind of rubs against my neck in the front.

So, here are some comparison shots of attempt #1 and attempt #1. Blogger flipped this first picture and I can't figure out how to get it flipped back. But it's my first version - notice the wavy collar and the practically straight line from shoulder through sleeve...

And here is my second version. As you can see, the collar is much improved and there is a slight downward angle at the end of each shoulder for the sleeves.

Looks like my "quick and easy" project is going to require a third attempt! Oh well, I think I'm learning a lot on this project! And hopefully I'll end up with a TNT pattern for many knit tops. :)

I hope you had a wonderful sewing weekend and are ready for the work week to start. :)