February 1, 2013

Wearable Muslin

If you've read me for any length of time, you'll know that I don't make wearable muslins. In fact, I daresay I have never made one. This time round though, I did. The interesting part about this classic button-up shirt is that the muslining part was more for the construction than for the fit. I used this awesome tutorial from MimiG (do you read her? you totally should) about using the measurements from a RTW item to make the fitting adjustments for a sewing pattern. What's even more interesting is that I actually own a RTW button-up shirt that I can actually take measurements from. I don't usually wear button-ups because my broad upper back makes finding RTW button-up shirts seem pretty much impossible. If it fits in the upper back and arms, then its drowning me in the waist or if it fits in the waist I can't put my arms out in front of me to, like, drive a car. You know, usual story. As you can clearly see here though, we've got the arms in front of me pretty good.

This is Simplicity 2339 - first time I've used one of those simply Amazing Fit patterns. I'm pretty impressed with this pattern, have to say. Its your standard button up beauty which actually includes a button placket, cuff and collar stand. The only thing it does not include is the sleeve placket or tower placket, as I've also heard it called. Lucky for me, there was a recent Threads article on just this thing, including a pattern for one of them so for my next version, I'll be adding it (which by the way, is almost finished!). These Amazing Fit patterns are pretty cool. This one in particular has different bust sizes and I love the dart shaping (you have the option to eliminate the vertical dart in the back and front too to make a more classic look - silk shirt here I come!) and like I said in my last post about pants resources I've had really great luck with helping others with various body types fit into the pants from this particular line.

Confession time: I'm now a different size on top. I was a 34" upper bust for a long time and now, wouldn't you know I'm a 36". (Note: I have not suddenly done anything cosmetically or other for this to happen, it just did) Crazy thing is I'm not any bigger anywhere else. Waist and hip stayed the same. Still, I thought I would point it out. This is now the second time that I can remember (there are loads of times I can't remember from teenage years) of changing sizes. Fresh out of college and on the brink of starvation I was a pattern size 10 in the bust (Big 4) then I moved into a 12 bust for some years and now I'm a straight up 14. Also, since I have the broad upper back thing, I went with the straight size 14 instead of sizing down for ease - this really really helped that. I actually didn't have to make my broad upper back alteration and am happy that the shirt is fitting quite well. Still need to tweak just a bit for the broad upper back thing (does it ever end?) but this shirt is totally wearable.

Oddly enough, this is one of the harder things I've sewn. I remember when I was in my teens and I was way into sewing in high school and my mom told me that my aunt had made a classic shirt before - this defined her skill as a sewer because you know, this kind of stuff is the big time. Peter might make this look easy as pie (I'm pretty sure he should be teaching a Craftsy or Creativebug course on shirtmaking and all of the different ways you can construct this baby), but I can tell you putting that stupid collar and collar stand together and then attaching it to the shirt is like precision sewing at its finest. Welt freaking pockets are easier than that! Bound buttonholes are easier! I'm sure it will be a miracle if I can do a sleeve placket. The cuffs only took me the better part of 2 hours.

All this to say that my sewing on this first jaunt is definitely not up to par. Hence wearable muslin status. There are many mistakes on this shirt - the collar stand extends out beyond the shirt front, the button placket was put on backwards, I didn't do flat fells (just serged that stuff, ha!) and even though my machine does fantastic buttonholes, this time round we did some serious fighting. I even inadvertently put the buttonholes on the men's side of the shirt and its really rather hard to button up and unbutton (you know for those steamy moments - Valentine's is just around the corner....) Definitely not my best, but I'm actually OK with this.

I have a bit of a tweak or two to do to the pattern - still battling a little with the broad upper back. Usually it does take about 2 or 3 tries to get the tweaks out of a pattern for me - is that the same with you? Do you make wearable muslins? What about wearable muslins only for the construction aspect?

In other news, January has been kind of a wash of glumliness (my own word, thank you). We've had sooooo much snow and cold weather here in SLC, Utah and what's worse is that I haven't actually seen blue sky and sunshine for over a month. I hate that! It gets me feeling down and dumpy, but I'm going to be OK, I guess. Groundhog Day is tomorrow and if there's one thing that I absolutely love, its Groundhog Day! Such a silly day, but so completely up my alley of ridiculousness! Phil better predict warm weather or I'll have his hide (which by the way, did I mention that I've acquired 4 beautifully wonderful lambskin hides for the Cordova?????). Also, my hair is awesome. Wait, let me say that again - My hair is awesome! It takes about 5 seconds to do everyday and actually, I could probably just skip the hair dryer for good. Oh and if you are dying to know, my skirt is from J.crew (bad bad girl am I, but its THE perfect color), my tights are old Anthropologie and my booties are terribly terribly comfortable and they are from Payless. Yup, that's right, I said Payless - Christian Siriano anyone?
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