B5503 – Sewing

Following the instructions from the pattern, I sewed the shoulder seams, attached the facings and sewed the front on. The shirt was starting to take shape, but I could see there was going to be some fitting issues. Instead of sewing the sleeves in next, I stitched the side seams up so I could try the shirt on before I sewed any more of it. I am glad that I did this. Upon trying the shirt on, I confirmed that the shoulder seams were way too long for me. The shoulders hung down my arms almost as long as most of my sleeves do, but it fit well underneath my arm. I could have just skipped the sleeves altogether and hemmed the existing shoulder and it would have been long and full enough to cover my arms. But I wanted the sleeves on this shirt. I only needed to adjust the armscye at the top, so I tapered the cut to just the top of the armscye.  Not wanting to cut off too much, I cut 1 & 1/2 inch off first. After trying in on again, I cut another 1/2 inch off. This was still longer than I would have liked but it was much better than before. Luckily, I was working with a knit and knew I could work the sleeve into the new armscye without cutting the sleeve differently. I believe I would have had to make adjustments to the sleeve if I had been working with a cotton fabric.

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The next thing was, it was far too long on me, almost as long as I wear my shirts, and I still had the contrasting bottom band to add to it. With the band attached, that would have brought the bottom length to just above my knees. You would have thought I was making view C instead of B of the pattern. I ended up cutting two inches off the bodice length. I would have cut more, but because of the way the bottom band was attached, the slits of the bottom band where reaching my wait line already, so I decided to take the rest of the extra length off the band instead. I cut one inch off the band. I wanted to cut more but I did not want to lose the contrasting look totally. After removing the 3 inches, the length was better but I still would have preferred it shorter. I took a very generous hem in both the sleeves and the band to help with the length issues.

Since the shirt only has one button, I made a trip to the store to look for a nice, unique button. I found one I liked but when I saw the price at $6.25, I decided to pick again. That was more money than I had in the fabric of the shirt. The button I picked was only $1.50 and I think it looks good. Thank you, mom, for giving me so many buttons from your stash. I did not realize just how much buttons cost. I’d bet that I start watching sales on buttons more closely from now on.

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Although I have a completed and very wearable garment, that I very much like the design of, I am not truly happy with the fit. What I am happy with though is the fit of my basic sloper, so it finally dawns on me: “Why am I not using my slopers as a guide to fit this shirt?” I could match shoulder seams, sleeves and length to my sloper and then sew from there. Now I am excited to get another shirt under way. I can apply all I have learned for this first construction and use my new ideas to make and fit just what I want.

BURDA STYLE

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