Flutter Fun, and an observation

Fluttery & Clover

Ever since Steph of 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World first mentioned her plan for a flutter-sleeve hack of her Blank Canvas Tee pattern, I was on board. Totally. For realz. I waited patiently for her to come out with the hack, and read through her tute carefully.

Diagram of my flutter-sleeve pattern changes.

And, of course, predictably, went my own way. I took a protractor, made a line 45Β° up from the edge of the shoulder (or, if it’s easier, at 135Β° from the line of the shoulder), and then measured a length from the edge of the neck that roughly corresponded with how long I thought the sleeve should be. Using the edge of the shoulder point as the centre of my circle, I made a partial arc of the circle down towards the rest of the sleeve (a compass would’ve been perfect for this but, being too lazy to head upstairs for the rest of the geometry kit, I just measured with my tape measure in several places.) Then I sort of free-handed, sort of used my French Curve, to approximate the rest of the sleeve. Oh, and I rounded the spot where I had drawn in my first angle. Steph’s method is probably a lot more precise.

Unfortunately, then I got cold feet. The sleeve looked too short, I thought. I lengthened it, re-drawing the curve, and cut out a trial version in my scrap jersey—the old knit bedsheet I bought at Hallowe’en for making Tyo a shirt. It doesn’t have the best drape, but it was available and cheap and not earmarked for any other projects at the moment.

Flutter sleeve: too long (original size), too short (cut line), just right (click to zoom in to see the "just right" line)

Predictably, the sleeve was too long. I stuck a pin in where I thought it “ought” to go, shortened, and cut again.

Now, I think they’re a bit short, at least at the very top of the shoulder. I actually think my original curve would’ve been pretty much perfect. So there you go. At least the angle seems pretty good.

Frikking finnicky flutter sleeves. At least they’re easy-ish to tweak going from longer to shorter.

I paired my trial, not-really-opaque-enough-for-public version of the tee with my red clovers, cuffed to a high-ankle length, for the purposes of the photos. I think I’m liking this length better, and they are *much* more comfortable with belt-loops, although the belt doesn’t help with the front-sag, since the belt wants to sit exactly where the waistband wants to sit. Anyway, we’ll see. The weather is a long way from ready for this look, anyway.

An interesting observation

Steph recently came out with the updated and finalized version of her BCT pattern, considerably refined from the early draft I used around Christmastime to make my versions. Curious, I eagerly printed off a new version. And then compared it to my version of the pattern.

The results were very interesting indeed.

Pattern comparison. Click to see larger version.

For one thing, the pattern I had printed out (original size 35), whether through some quirk of the early drafting or scanning or my own ineptitude (always a possibility), was considerably smaller than the new size 35. Actually, it’s somewhat smaller than the new size 30 (for a 30″ bust). Which goes a long way towards explaining why my versions of the tee are so, well, fitted.

The shoulders on the old pattern were quite a bit wider (even in my shrunken print-out), as was the neck opening on the back, and the angle from shoulder to sleeve was more extreme. I suspect Steph was bang on in altering those for her new version :).

The original draft was quite short (Steph wears her trousers a lot higher than I do πŸ˜‰ ) and I had added a lot of length to the bottom. The length of the new, longer draft is pretty much *exactly* the same as my lengthened version of the original. Win!

So, for the moment, I’m gong to keep on working with my old version (as I like how it fits), with maybe a few tweaks around the shoulder. But since I have thrown my versions out there of examples of what you may get from a Blank Canvas Tee, I thought I should also point out that I apparently printed mine considerably smaller than intended. If you want a tee that fits like mine—go down a size. πŸ™‚



Filed under Sewing

31 responses to “Flutter Fun, and an observation

  1. Very pretty -this has potential. I like the flutter sleeves

  2. Oh, I *like* your angles and etc. πŸ™‚ I like to use a protractor too, but mostly I draft sleeve shapes and that kind of thing by intuition and fill in the blanks with words and photos of what I do…. Probably using a protractor is the more logical approach… heh.

    Your top looks great!! Gentle, sweet flutters! (Though I have to say, I’m still a huge fan of ridicu-big ones… )

    Well- the first first BCT was before I realized my scanner was shrinking everything slightly, both width and length. This one is exactly the size and shape I drafted them. πŸ™‚

    • LOL… well, there’s logic and then there’s logic. There was definitely plenty of jiggly intuition in the curve of the sleeve part.

      Since you put out your first version, I’ve been noticing the big swishy flutter sleeves on lots of 70s patterns. So there’s definitely something to it :).

      I thought I remembered some issue with your scanning early on—obviously it didn’t make the pattern unworkable! πŸ™‚

  3. Man, I need to sew more with knits. It’s amazing what you and Steph are doing with them! Granted, I need to sew more, period.

    You and Steph are hilarious to watch, enabling, copying, and playfully one-upping eachother. It fun (and educational!) to watch!

    • You know, once you have a good pattern and a teeny bit of experience, sewing up a knit top is probably faster than shopping for one. Especially the flutter sleeves because you don’t usually finish the sleeve edge! πŸ˜‰

  4. Who would not think that you do not need geometry in real life? As a geometry teacher I truly appreciate this.

    It’s quite unfortunate that “Home Economics” is no longer in high school curricula. You top looks fabulous in your self-drafted top and thanks for sharing your methods.

    • Happy to oblige. I love getting a chance to pull out my geometry kit—and pattern drafting gives plenty of opportunity!

      I might actually have taken Home Ec if I’d known there was a sewing component… Although given how crammed my courseload already was, I’m just as happy I skipped it.

  5. That’s fascinating info about the 2 slopers. I’m impressed that you feel comfortable altering patterns. It’s a very artistic way to sew.

  6. Hey looks like the Clover pants are at the shorter length or are they not finished and just a test? They look even better today!

  7. Sufiya

    I was thinking about what you said about that side zip on the pants and it sticking out…I saw an article in an old Threads magazine which featured a pair of pants with elastic v-inserts on the sides instead of a zipper. I thought you might take out the zip and insert some wide elastic instead; it would be so different!

    • That’s a neat idea! I don’t think I’m up for any more futzing with these—I’m ready to throw them in the bin as it is—but I’ll keep it in mind for the future. πŸ˜€

  8. This is very cute and thanks for the notes. I do really like those clovers and hope you wear them when the weather permits anyway. I have to get onto the flutter T and have some lovely soft merino/cotton and a modal it would work with I think. Hmmm.

  9. katherine

    The sleeves look dute! Another pattern to try.

  10. The flutter sleeve variation looks great. I may have to try that sometime too.

  11. The sleeves look great! I think the length is perfect, any longer and you run the risk of looking like your upper arms are heavy. Your method of altering is easy to understand, I always get bogged down in the math myself.

    The Clovers are definitely improved at the shorter length. I guess whether or not you wear them will depend on how you feel about the waistline once warm weather rolls around. I’ve noticed that I am more likely to wear clothes that don’t force me to readjust them frequently, but YMMV.

    • The visual length of the sleeves is good—the problem is the length at the shoulder seam itself is actually less than the impression you get in the pictures (the seam is hidden between folds). The middle “just right” length solves that problem. Finicky frikkin’ curves.

  12. I’m liking the clovers at this shorter length. It’s always fun reading your pattern alteration posts with technical details. I could never write about the technical jabberwocky that goes on in my thought processes, but I love reading about how other people think through and tweak a pattern. Serious shoe envy around that black trimmed pair….

    • I love the technical jabberwocky ;)… if only so I can keep track of what I’ve done!

      Thanks for noticing the shoes! They’re Nine West and came from Value Village a few weeks back and I’ve been dying for a chance to “introduce” them here. /sigh. Is it sad that I mostly buy heels to wear for blog photos?

  13. LOVE this idea, there are now flutter sleeve shirts in my future. I don’t know if I should be grateful you shared or annoyed you added to my “to do” list.

  14. You always have great diagrams. I have a rtw shirt with flutter sleeves i want to copy so this is awesome info. Love it.

  15. Pingback: Status Update on Sisters of Edwardia, and A Weird-As Sizing Inquiry « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  16. I’ve been excited by the idea of a flutter sleeve BCT for a while, but didn’t have any suitable knit fabric lying around…hmmm, might have to be on the lookout for jersey sheets.

  17. So loving the flutter sleeves! πŸ™‚ I would love to make one myself, but I’m a little insecure, when it comes to the sizing of this pattern. my full bust measurement is 92 cm, so it seems that a 35 is too small and the next size is waaaay too big. Could you maybe offer some advise on the sizing of this pattern? Thanks! Anna πŸ™‚

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