02 June 2011

Last Completed Project for May 2011: Simplicity 2614

May was definitely a productive sewing month. I completed a total of nine (!!!) garments, with the ninth being Simplicity 2614. I made a hoodie, five activewear tops, yoga pants, a pair of jeans, and a top. I probably did this much wearable sewing in all of 2006. But I digress...

I started and nearly completed a skirt, Colette Patterns 1005, but I didn't get to finish before the end of the month. All that's left to do is understitch the facing, finish the hem, and do twelve buttonholes. I am determined to wear this skirt on Monday, so this has to get done this weekend!

Fitting S2614 wasn't too bad. I had some prior knowledge about the fit before tackling it myself. I had the opportunity to try on two versions of the top made by two different people. For starters, I cut a number of sizes:
  • neckline: 14
  • shoulders: 14
  • armhole: 16
  • bust & waist: 18 and the D cup pattern piece
  • sleeve band: 22 (decided after making a muslin)
It's no secret that 99% of the time, I make a muslin. Even though I already sampled two versions of this top, I still needed to make sure the sizes I selected would work. Additionally, muslins not only give information about fit, they also provide a chance to test out the instructions as well as construction techniques used in the garment. This muslin revealed a few things:
  1. the empire waist seam was way too high
  2. the sleeve cap has a pouf (not noticeable on the model or line drawings)
  3. there is no defined seamline at the natural shoulder
  4. no FBA needed
  5. the top has a lot of gathers (empire waist, dropped shoulder, & sleeve band)
I lowered the empire waist seam 2" so that the seam fell below my bust. To compensate for the extra length, I removed 2" from the lower front.

Even though my intended fabric had crosswise stretch, I wanted to make sure I had enough room across the upper back. So I made a small broad-back adjustment by drawing an "L" around the armhole, slashing across and up to the back shoulder seamline, and pivoting out about 5/8". The pattern is cut in a single layer and I made the adjustment on both sides. There are probably slight differences on each side. A better, more efficient way to do this adjustment is to make the adjustment on one side and then trace the other half from the adjusted piece.

I am not at all a fan of pouf-y sleeves. I lopped off an inch of height, tapering to nothing at the front and back notches. While this alteration did remove some of the poof, the cap could stand to lose another inch or so. If I make this this top again, I will find another sleeve to use instead. The adjusted sleeve piece is on top.

In my quest to get some FLOTUS Obama arms, I've increased my upper body strength training and it's starting to show. Initially, I used a size 16 band and found it to be too tight. So I cut the sleeve band in the largest size and took advantage of my fabric's stretch. Now the band is quite comfortable. I didn't need to cut a larger size in the sleeve/cuff seam; instead I just reduced the amount of gathers. It worked out perfectly.

Finally, I added 1" to the hem.

Nothing fancy here. I finished all the seams on my serger.

I still have to get better at sewing v-neck openings. I know that Sandra Betzina discusses how to do this accurately Power Sewing. I just forgot to refer to it before tackling this project.

Hopefully I'll get some pictures of the top with my finished Beignet skirt soon!

Up Next:
For the first two weeks of June, I'll be concentrating on McCall's 5847 as part of Faye's Summer Dress Challenge. I've made some progress on the pattern alterations and have the first muslin ready to sew.

I am in the middle of writing the blog post. Until then...

Be well!



  1. Wow Lynn! Congrats on all of your productive sewing! I'm in the middle of thinking about making some swimsuit bottoms that I desperately need and some workout wear. I joined Fayes challenge as well, but i'm not sure how much i'm going to get done with that. unless I make the super easy sack dress/cover up (design 113?) from this months Burda.


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