Last week was a non-starter as far as sewing was concerned. Routines were interrupted and we no longer weather interruptions to the routines well.
But I finally took a look at the princess shirt muslin. I separated the back from the front and started looking at the changes to be made when I realized that never recorded, either here or in my little notebook the changes that had already been made. I do want to reproduce what I have learned and although I have the final version of the pattern, understanding how I got there is also beneficial.
Generally, my initial choices with cutting the pattern were not a bad start, and the changes to be made were minor. To re-iterate, I cut a size 16 at the neckline, a 12 at the shoulders and back armscye, and an 8 through the front upper chest and armsyce tapering back to a 12 at the shoulder and side seam. I did not do an FBA even though I knew I would need it, and I did not add extra fabric at the hips although I needed that as well.
Next for the changes I have made, and those I need to make, beginning with the back.
The initial changes that Kenneth King made to my first muslin were pretty simple.
The neckline was too low in the back, so I raised it 3/4" at the center, tapering to nothing at the armscye seam. I realize that all shirts, blouses, tees, and tops ride too low, and I guess I knew that in my head, just as I know that my neck is forward compared to the "ideal" but I never thought about adding the extra fabric. Previous fitting seminars have had me lengthen the shoulder seam from the base of the neckline, but not raise the entire upper back and shoulders. I think this may work better and be more accurate. In order to do this I had to change the center back line which was to be cut on the fold to a seamline, which of course now has a curve in it. We did flatten that curve somewhat as I didn't need quite as much curve as the 3/4" provided by I did need some to accommodate the forward neck. The upper part of the back seam acts as a kind of dart, shaping the back to the body.
I also made the side back piece wider at the lower armscye, increasing it about 3/8 of an inch. If you click on the photo above you can see the paper added below the pattern to increase the length to the neck, as well as the redrawn armscye seam. I am sorry that I did not take pictures of this as I went along, and these photos do not show great detail, but I think you get the idea. I also added about 1/2" at the hip where the side back meets the center back piece (although not in the center back seam) and 1 1/4 inch at the side seam on the back piece. I did not widen the front side seam by the same amount, only 1/2 inch at the hips on the front side seam. I needed the extra fabric in the rear, not the front.
I've tried to explain these markings directly on the photo, and if you click on the picture it should enlarge enough for you to see the changes to be made.
First, I need to take 3/4" of length out at the center back tapering to the nothing at the sides. Wait. Didn't I just add 3/4"?
Ahh, but it is not in the same place. I needed 3/4" at the neckline, in the upper back, to have the neckline fall at the proper place. But I had excess fabric lower down, below the bra-line but above the waist. This is not surprising, as I have learned to take this amount out of the back of my sweaters, using a short-row dart technique to remove extra length from the center back without changing the side seams. So I am not actually adding length to the pattern, I am just repositioning its distribution.
Then the fun begins. Please click on the photo as I think it will be much more clear. My shirt twists on my torso. I am going to cut the back on the black line, cutting all the way across. Then I am going to move the upper piece to the left and the lower piece to the right by the amount marked by the two vertical lines with the arrows between them. After everything is lined up I am going to redraw and true up my seam lines creating 4 new back pattern pieces.
At the moment my pattern pieces are symmetrical and are cut double. I will need to trace off two more pattern pieces before I do this, as the final result will yield pattern pieces that are no longer symmetrical on paper, but they will look symmetrical on me.
Tomorrow I will show you the front pattern pieces.