Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Yesterday I decided to make this light and summery top, and I went full-steam ahead without a muslin. It's not perfect (as usual!), but I think the beauty of a simple, loose fit like this is that it doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, regardless of the fit dissection I'm about to delve into below, this might be the first piece I've made that could actually make it into regular wearing rotation. (Well, besides the pajamas.)
The fabric is some light-ish weight semi-sheer cotton I picked up at the Fabricana Canada Day sale. (Not sure what kind... heavier than voile, lighter than broadcloth/quilting cotton?) In addition to the fit changes, I added 1.5" to the length of the top and I'm quite glad I did. (I could see that this would be unnecessary if you were the type of person who enjoyed tucking things into high waists. I am not that person, however.)
Based on the measurements I cut the size 10, following Colette's advice to use the larger size if you fall between sizes. This didn't work out as well as it should have. The front was almost exactly the right size, but the back was huge and billowy and just way too large. Rather than pick out any seams, I decided to simply mimic the front by creating a 1" box pleat on the back piece. This ate up 2" of fabric and I'm now very happy with the fit through the body.
The only problem with this quick-fix pleat was that it messed up the fit of the shoulders. In the front, the shoulder straps sit a smidge too wide. In the back, after the pleat was put in, they sit a smidge too narrow. Neither of these problems is really noticeable on their own, but it means that when the straps attach at the shoulders they kind of want to tug each other in the wrong direction. As a result, the straps in the back look a bit like they're pulling (although they're not too tight) and the neckline in the front gapes a bit (from the straps being pulled in). (This isn't really visible in the photos.)
I think the solution on future versions would be simply to cut a smaller size and do an FBA. But ugh - between the loose fit and the fact that Colette cuts for a larger cup size, it seems silly. But I suppose using patterns drafted for a C-cup still isn't a perfect solution when one is an F-cup...
Regarding the bust, the only alteration I had to make was shortening and lowering the bust dart. I shortened it by 1" and lowered it by 0.5" and I think it's just about perfect. I've never made a darted front before, and after all my previous experiences messing around with princess seams and gathers, it seemed almost ridiculously simple. Love darts!
I'm definitely going to make new versions of this top and try to perfect the fit, because it's such a great base for embellishment. I'd love to have a whole collection of them around for summertime.