Friday, May 3, 2013

1st Tshirt Try 2

I refuse to give up.  I know that most of the participants are going to post gorgeous garments.  I may spend the whole year getting a muslin that fits.

I took the Butterick 5215 pattern with my revised neckline and drafted a new pattern.  I added 1/2" on the center back and front and added 4" to the bottom of the length, making it essentially an XL Long.

I decided to not waste any more yardage and raided my husband's unworn t-shirts.  I have no idea why he had an XL fuschia San Francisco T in his collection.  (I'm guessing I bought it for myself in the 80's when we all wore things 2 sizes too big. ) The heavy paint does reduce the stretch some, and overall it has a 1:5 stretch compared to the 1:3 on the first prototype.

I was suitably appalled with the bridge placement when the photo was taken.   And please notice that the arm-pit bunching.

Interestingly, this triggered me to go check a measurement and I discovered something.

The circle with the + in the middle that I assume means nipple location, is 2.5" higher on the pattern than it is on my body.

So here is my question for you people who may know these things: How do I make my next adjustments?
1) I have very wide shoulders.  Does the seam placement seem too narrow for my shoulders, or will it be OK after I fix the bust?
2) I need to add length to the upper torso.  I SO, SO, SO don't want to have to also figure out a sleeve adjustment also.  Can I  splice the pattern just under the arm hole, add 2" of space and blend the curve?
3)  I am 5'10" tall, are there some type of "tall" adjustments I should know about? Most of my height is in my legs (35" inseam) and I've always considered myself to have an average sized torso.

Did anyone notice the neckline disaster?  I decided that I wasn't willing to give up the yardage for the bias that the pattern called for, and found a stretchy knit.  Sadly, it had a LOT of poly and the minute the hot iron got near it, there was melty weird things going on.  Next round I'm going to try a more traditional folded fabric neckline using the 15% smaller sizing technique.

I am open to suggestions!!!  PLEASE HELP ME!  Round 3 will happen Saturday.


  1. Don't give up Marjorie! We all have wadders no matter how long we have been sewing. I have a similar body type to yours so I will tell you what I would do with this muslin. I would add at least a 1/2 inch to the shoulder width or whatever puts the seam at the edge of your shoulder. If you don't change the armscye it shouldn't affect the sleeve. On a t-shirt I would add length in at the waist or even at the hem if it wasn't fitted. Fitted garments are more fussy for the alterations, but knits are more forgiving. I recently discovered Peggy Sager's webcasts on her Silouettes Pattern site I find them a valuable source of information. Good luck with your next'll get it...remember practice makes perfect!

  2. Hi Marjorie, First let me say that I have only been sewing for about a year and a half so am no expert by any means. I have been working on getting fit right for me and as Sewfast has said - have had many wadders along the way!!

    I can't quite see where your shoulder seams are - on the front on pic they seem okay if I am seeing right.

    What it looks like you may need is a FBA and sleeve adjustment as you have said.

    What I have found works really well for me for simple adjustments on tees and shift dresses is to extend the arm hole on both the body and the sleeve by how ever inches you need. I usually put an inch on each side and the "grade" it back down into the side or the sleeve. This gives a little extra room for the bust and the upper arms but then brings the pattern back into the correct sizing for you. It is also easy to do.

    As for the circle and cross. If you have a dart you will need to move it down to match your bust - mine goes down much more than 2.5 inches LOL.

    As said previously - disclaimer - I am a relatively new sewist.

    There are some great fitting books available - my favourite is the Palmer Pletsch "Fit for Real People" and Sewfast has given you a great link there to Peggy Sager's webcasts.

    Do you have a blog Marjorie? I would love to track your progress in more detail if you blog it.

    1. I'm a quilter moonlighting as a garment maker.

  3. P.S. - gotta love that bridge!!! ROFLOL

  4. Oh - and Carolyn from Handmade By Carolyn has a tutorial for neckbands here:

  5. Yes, certainly a well placed bridge, lol's.

    I think Sewfast and BeaJay have given you good advice - Unfortunately, I'm a petite girl, so can't help with these alterations. I have found that the book "The Perfect Fit" The classic guide to altering patterns, (400 how to photos) by Crative Publishing International very useful.

  6. Are you referring to (the "+" in the circle) the apex of a pattern? If that's the case, the apex is the point of a dart (so the fullness either to the side or above/below this point) with a knit pattern, you could try to add 2.5" to essentially move this point down. This would also add the length you need. I'm not sure how defined the waist is in the pattern, but it could then move the waist location. You could also do a full bust adjustment which will add fullness to the bust area, and possibly move the apex down.

    Good luck!