The Stegosaurus Ruffle strikes again.

Blue long-sleeve top

Nothing like a me-made month to get me off the fluffies and back on track making practical clothing. Today’s version being rather more successful than yesterday’s.

I made a couple more tweaks to my ever-evolving “Pattern formerly known as Lydia“. Since at this point I’ve altered the waist curve, the shoulder angle, the sleeve-cap, sleeve length, sleeve shape, and the neckline, I should probably give up on calling it a “Lydia“, and just call it my “Knit top TNT” or something equally generic. This time, I tweaked the sleeve-cap again, removing a bit more height, and attempted a seam-free swayback alteration, which creates much the same change in the angle of the back shoulders as Sherry’s method, except that… well, I dunno, I like the funky pivot-and-slide stuff. I then decided, on a whim (actually to optimize my pattern layout) to cut the back on a seam, so I took the opportunity there to add a teeny bit of shaping as well. If I decide to make the CB seam a regular feature, I can do a much more thorough swayback fix in the future.

No-seam swayback alteration. Yes, it affects only the shoulder.


My previous Lydias have been scoop-necked and plain. I didn’t want to just make another version in blue, so I decided to try a boatneck and a back ruffle, a nifty little feature I am blatantly stealing from Heather of Feathertysews. Thanks! I was a little hesitant about trying it in such a heavy fabric, but it actually worked out really well. Yay!

Flatlocked seam (open)

So, back to that CB seam. I didn’t really have enough room to add a seam-allowance, so I decided to try flatlocking the seam. This is a trick you can do with a serger, where you basically turn the needle thread tension way down. That way, after you serge the seam, you can basically pull it open so the ends of the fabric butt up right against each other. One side looks “serged,” the other side has these horizontal loops of thread—actually quite decorative; I have a RTW tee that features it (and I thought it was a super-cool feature when I bought it). It works best with a fairly beefy fabric, and I gather is used a lot in active wear, for butting fleeces and things like that. Here’s a better overview than mine… Since my knit is a fairly sturdy athletic/winter knit, I thought it would work, and after a certain amount of messing around (my serger’s tension settings are wonky at the best of times) I got it to work. I wasn’t too concerned with it being super-even, as my next step was to cover it with my little stegosaurus ruffle.

Ruffle closeup

I cut a piece of clear elastic just a little bit longer than my shirt back, and a strip of

my fabric about twice as long. I was originally planning to be quite scientific and match my ends, halves, quarters, etc., but it seemed like that would require too much stretching of the elastic, not to mention require more precision than I’m truly capable of. So I just held the elastic as taut as was comfortable, and slowly let it out as I stitched (a narrow zigzag) along the middle of the fabric strip, though both elastic and fabric. The result is that the strip isn’t gathered as evenly as it could be, but it doesn’t really show (and even if it does, I can’t see it 😉 ). Then, using the same narrow zig-zag, I stitched the ruffle overtop of my flat-locked seam.

Stegosaurus ruffle!

I used Sherry’s binding method here for the neck, which I attached in a C (that is , after sewing one shoulder but with the other one still open). It’s a wee bit gapy but I’m hoping that will go away in the wash. I didn’t include any clear elastic this time as the fabric is already fairly bulky… we’ll see if I regret that in the long run.

You can see that, although an improvement, my swayback alteration attempt was not enough to remove folding at the small of my back (the fact that the shirt is riding up on my belt isn’t helping, but I promise even when tugged down the problem persists). I’m happy to say the change in shoulder-angle doesn’t seem to create a problem, which I was worried about. If I try a CB seam again, I’ll do a real swayback tuck.

The further reduction of the sleeve cap seems to have hit a sweet spot (finally!); it went in (flat) essentially flawlessly, even on the serger.

I have to say, beefy, stable knits are such a dream to work with. I twin-needled the hems without needing to stabilize, with no problem at all.

Whew, I needed that after yesterday’s fiasco.

These posts will also double as my Me-Made March day 6 🙂



Filed under Sewing

23 responses to “The Stegosaurus Ruffle strikes again.

  1. Great idea on the back – perfect way to save on seam allowances and make it pretty!

  2. CGCouture

    How fun! Love the ruffle detail, I never would have thought of that.

  3. Fabulous! I love this!!!

  4. ali

    I am always impressed with how quickly you whip up knits, and I love how u keep returning to the same patterns and tweaking them! This looks great, made for you!

    • Seriously, if they’re in a nice, stable fabric that doesn’t make me crazy cutting it, it takes less time to whip one of these up than it would to shop for it. Ok, less so with this one as the back ruffle took some time, but seriously, very little time.

  5. It’s your TNT T 😉
    Your top looks great, and the ruffle is fun. I think it looks good even without swayback tweaks. Pretty cool looking fabric too!

  6. I predict the stegosaurus ruffle will take the blogging world by storm and you’ll see it in RTW next year. Just wait, you will be in awe of my prescience!

  7. LOVE your ruffle! I’m so happy, I love it when a knockoff takes off!

  8. The Stegosaurus ruffle is very cute on you! Thank you for the comment you left on my blog, I, of course, have read the post for your skinny cargo right after your update, but I was damn too shy to leave a smart comment for it. (What I did was jumping and smiling in front of my computer to show the world that I was happy. Thank you for mentioning my pair.) You did great work on the pair!! By the way, your blog is my favorite. I love how you sew and how you experiment, I feel that you are enjoying to explore the world in sewing-way. Thanks so much for sharing it. I need train myself to make shorter comments…

  9. Fun ruffle!

    Maybe you could call the pattern the Lydia-Isis.

  10. Yay for a dino-sour shirt! I have a terrible time setting in sleeves with the serger. And I still have lots of rolly-rolly on the bottom hems of the knits that I’ve sewn. But me made march is making me realize that i need more – I wear my blue and white stripey shirt to death…

  11. I love this steggy detail. I once remember a friend of my brothers telling me that the back of your shirt should always been more interesting than the front. That way when someone watches you walk away, they be doubly bedazzled!

  12. That is a very cute idea to cover up the back seam! Now you just need one in black? 😉

  13. Very cool stegasaurous inspired top – love that blue on you too!

    Hey, re sway backs and seams and things, I found a knit tank top the other day that I had made years ago and forgotten all about, and I did the pattern with a 10cm wide side panel instead of a side seam, sort of like a princess seam but more lateral, and the front and back seams are shaped in at the waist and out at the hip. I mention it because it fits so great, and I actually thought of you when I put it on because I thought that shape would be great on you too! I should email you a pic, much easier than words!

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  15. ha ha, I keep altering my Lydia too. I keep removing fabric between the front and back armholes and moving the shoulders in and out. Sometimes I think it’s more to do with the different amounts of stretch in different knits, than the actual pattern. Whatevs, I love this top. Now I might try that raglan style.

  16. I love this top, especially the stegosaurus ruffle! Very nice addition.

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