I thought I was almost there, folks, I really did. I figured this would be the one.
Instead, here I am (once again) questioning my validity as a sewist and my ability to produce anything resembling a wearable garment.
After the last Lydia, which was really gapy around the neck and seemed to ride up, I took a tuck in the neckline (to reduce gapiness) and altered the side-curve, which was really a little too long for my rather short waist. I also raised the neckline by a good inch. I really thought that would do it, folks. I thought I was there.
Well, this version (which admittedly is out of a different fabric) has the exact same problems! Still bulging in front above the bust (unless I pull it down, but it comes up again as soon as I raise my arms), still too low-cut. (Incidentally, when it rides up to where it seems to want to sit, the neckline is perfect). It feels like the whole front shoulder (between bust and shoulder seam) is too long. Yet when it’s in it’s “comfy position” the bottom of the armscye is way up in my armpit. It’s not uncomfortable (quite the opposite), but it seems unusual.
I wonder if maybe I’m trying to get this pattern to be something it wasn’t meant to, though. I want a close-fitting shirt I can layer under other stuff (see today’s SSS outfit below)—but the pattern itself seems to have a lot more ease and maybe be intended for a looser kind of garment? I feel like the sleeve cap and armscye are not the right shape for what I’m wanting—it seems to bind and pull up. I’m guessing I need a shorter armscye and shorter (maybe wider?) sleeve-head.
It didn’t help that I experimented with setting the sleeves in before the sideseams, which is a quicker and easier way to install it a) if there isn’t too much sleeve-head ease and b) if you’re better at keeping your stretch tension even than I am. So I’m going to ignore the ripply parts of the shoulder seam as being a problem with my stitching. When it’s “sitting comfy” the shoulder seam is in about the right place (but very loose due to the front pouffing) but when it’s tucked down the shoulder seam seems to fall a bit to the back.
On the other hand, it’s comfy, warm (which I really need today, despite the bright sun in the photos below, it is NIPPY), the sleeves are deliciously over-long (I added a good 3″ in length), and the waist curve seems to sit in a better place than the last one. I think it will be great for layering, assuming I can wrap my head around layering something warm under something chilly (usually I do the other way around). The pictures don’t look too awful, partly because you can hardly see anything .
And, I have enough fabric left to give it another go…
Also, I experimented with a different technique for finishing the hems: incorporating a clear elastic. This is supposed to prevent stretching-out and tunnelling of your twin-needle stitches. I am not totally sold. When I tried to attach the elastic first (with a triple zig-zag) and then fold it under and topstitch with the twin needle, it was impossible to get the elastic to feed at the same rate as the shirt fabric (and I’m not up for sandwiching tissue paper into the mix just for a hem finish) When I just tucked the elastic inside a fold and double-stitched, it worked a bit better but I still didn’t have much control of the elastic tension, and there still seems to be a fair bit of tunneling. We’ll see how it holds up after a few washing, but for the most part I don’t think I’ll bother next time.
On the other hand I’m getting almost good at incorporating the elastic into the neck binding, which looks almost store-bought, at least from the outside.
Self-Stitched September, Day 6:
Two pieces that I didn’t have at the beginning of the month!
Now, if I can just make a topper and maybe another pair of jeans… Oh yeah, and that winter coat.