A mitigated sewing disaster

Warning: this whole post is all about sewing.

When I started this blog I thought it would feature a lot of sewing, but then it didn’t, so now when I sneak in a sewing topic I fear I’ll alienate my non-sewing readers. (Go away, non-sewing readers! You’re not welcome here. WAIT, come back, I miss you!)

As a belated birthday present, yesterday my sister Mary watched all five of my kids at her house all afternoon. (AND she cooked us dinner. THANK YOU MARY!!!)

With my precious free time, first I taught myself about some features of my Pattern Master software that I hadn’t really understood how to use. I wanted to make a top out of some great Amy Butler fabric I got on clearance last week, and needed to adjust some of the measurements I’d used when I made my red ruffled blouse.

This is the Photoshop of my design. (In the original photo I was wearing my red ruffled shirt, so those flesh-colored blobs on my arms are to cover the ruffles.) At first I was thinking of making a yoked top with a loose-fitting bodice, but decided that would be a little frumpy, so I settled on a slightly more fitted empire waist with shoulder princess seams.

By late evening I had printed my pattern, glued it together, cut it out, ironed my fabric, cut out the pieces, marked them, and sewn the neckline and bodice.  I tried it on.  Oh, no.  What was this? The empire waistline was hitting me about mid-bust, with the curve of the princess seams several inches above that.

I went back to the Pattern Master program and scrutinized all my settings. Sure enough, somehow the bust height measurement had gotten changed to 4 inches higher than my actual bust line.

Disaster! Ruination! Precious sewing hours down the drain!

I couldn’t bring myself to give up, because I liked the fabric so much and had made so much progress. Last night I took apart the princess seams and straightened them out as much as I could, then today I trimmed another 1.5″ from the bodice to make it a yoke, and gathered what would have been the waist darts on the skirt when I sewed it to the top.

Today while it was in progress I showed it to Mabel and she said it looked like a shirt cut off with a nursing apron attached. Yup.  But after it was sewn she said it looked better.  And now I’m actually pretty happy with it. It’s very comfortable. I might even dare to wear it in public. (I’m about to post photos of it on a public blog, but that’s completely different).

I think it looks better in person than in these photos. (Today I apparently have the patience to refashion a ruined top, but not the patience to wait for good light to get good photos–let alone to put bunnies in the photos.)

In the end it was a good experience.  It got me into my sewing room, the fabric was a pleasure to work with–and next time I’ll know to double-check the bust height measurement.

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6 Responses to A mitigated sewing disaster

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I think it’s cute .

  2. the MomB says:

    Guess what? I like it! It turned out good!

  3. Mrs Organic says:

    I love that fabric and it looks great with your capris.

  4. grandma weight says:

    I spend alot of money years ago on a book that is suppose to help you alter patterns–I never really did understand it. I think it’s way cool that they have computerized versions now. And I think the blouse is darling! and the fabric is an awesome print!

    • zstitches says:

      Yes, it is so cool that such a thing exists. I have had a fair amount of grief with this program–earlier versions were buggy, it takes some effort to learn the program, and I’ve also had plenty of mess-ups from operator error–but I’m still always glad I have it. I actually remember fantasizing about such a thing a few years before this program came out, so when it became a reality, I had to have it.

      I also have a couple of fitting books (fortunately mine weren’t very expensive) but I’ve always been more interested in the actual sewing process than in pattern design. Still, the more open I am to understanding design, the better I am at using the software. In fact, the program includes a pattern editing/drafting program I haven’t even learned to use (I tend to use paper and pencil instead) but I do intend to learn to use and I think it will be a great tool.

  5. Jen says:

    I really like the fabric, too, and I think the shirt turned out very lovely.

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