Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Frankenpattern and Hothouse Flowers

Yesterday, having finished the Tweed jacket and the cheapo cotton jersey princess t, I decided I *was* going to at least cut out the Hot House Flowers fabric, if only to get it out of the stew pot. At first, I thought I'd just go with my original intention...the Sandra Betzina top, which I traced and cut out. But, while moving some patterns around, I came across Butterick 4604 and a lightbulb went off...I could morph the too-low neckline with my TNT Vogue 7799 (which I had morphed with the shoulders/sleeves of the Loes Hinse Cowl top right from the beginning). So, beset with enthusiastic inspriation, I put the nicely traced Betzina pattern away and began morphing.

First, I matched the CF and the waistline of the altered Vogue pattern to the left front (underlap side) of the Butterick pattern and discovered that the shoulders of the Butterick pattern extended a long way (about 1 1/2") above the shoulders on the Vogue pattern. That kind of shook me for a moment, but, hey, the Vogue is a TNT so I took a deep breath and traced the armsceye, shoulder and neckline of the Vogue, then cut away the extra. I did one of the back pieces next, again, matching the CB and the waistline mark on the old pattern and the new pattern; the shoulders were a little higher on the Butterick, but not as much as on the front (first hint that there may have been a drafting error in the Butterick pattern). Then, I traced the new back piece off onto the other side of the back, matched the seam lines and taped the two pattern pieces together to eliminate the back seam and the zipper. Finally, I traced the left front armsceye/shoulder/neckline onto the right front armsceye/shoulder/neckline, and found out that the center front mark on the right front is not vertical; it's not on a 45 degree angle to the marked grainline (the garment is intended to be made from a lightweight woven fabric, with the fronts cut on the bias). I really think that's a boo-boo; I pretended it was vertical and matched it up to the underlap layer as if it were. I made an actual pattern for the neckline band I've used on 7799 (normally, I just use my straightedge ruler and cut it to just a little less length than the foldover collar) and finally I just traced another copy of my Cowl Top cap sleeve to put in the envelope with the new whacked up Butterick pattern; put the fabric on the table and began cutting (after noting which side of the fabric should be up...the palm trees need to be upright!).

Except for the gathering on the side, this went together pretty much just like I would assemble the 7799 top. I used clear elastic to gather the side up; I thought it would give me more even gathers than the baste-and-pull-thread method. And, because the fabric was so lofty it did NOT want to press, so I hand basted all the hems down before I double needle top stitched them.

But...when sewing the sideseams, I found that the back was an inch longer than the front! Somehow, the weirdness at the shoulder seams threw the length off. There was nothing for it but to whack the back to match the front, and my top is shorter than the ones pictured on the front of the envelope.

The gathers on the side of my top (and, I think, the one photographed on the front of the Butterick pattern) are not as pronounced as the pattern illustrations or the line drawings show; it just looks sort of fluffy along the short side. This may be because there aren't enough gathers, or because the fabric is a little too light and lofty. But, it'll do for the purpose for which I need it. Orangey tones are not particularly good for me anyway, but I need Orange Stuff for choir next month so I'll wear it at least a little!

And I will remember to walk the seam lines of all morphed patterns before cutting anything... ;)


  1. I like it (even though it took some doing to get cut out!) and you look great in it, even if you don't think orange is "your color". I've been curious how this fabric looks made up, and I'm sure others are, too. Send a picture to Ann and see if she'll post it in the gallery!

  2. You know, you're more than 3/4 the way there to simply taking a pic and changing the design lines on your TNT to make it look like you want it to.

    Looks great! At least in the picture the orange looks fine on you.