Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Perfectly Fitting Shirt - Part II

The first draft of the pattern with the modifications I talked about in my previous post is done, and I have some good news and some bad news.  The good news is that the shoulder seams now follow my shoulder line perfectly, the sleeves are a better length, and the pointy darts don't seem to be that much of a problem.

The bad news is that the bust darts ended up WAY too low on this second attempt. When I drafted the new front pattern piece, I lowered the dart by first tracing the CF, neckline, shoulder and armhole, then I slid the tracing paper up 5/8". Next, I traced the bust dart, using the endpoint of the size L dart, and connecting to the ends of the M dart legs at the side seam. On the original pattern, the L and XL darts ended quite a bit further away from the bust point than the XS-S-M darts did.  (This made absolutely no sense to me, as I was working with a D/DD cup front piece - all of those smaller sizes should have had their darts end further away from the bust point based on the cup size.) When I tried on the second muslin, I could immediately see that the darts were too low. I pinned out about an inch on each of the shoulder seam allowances, which moved the darts up to where they should be, and also made me realize...that I really needed to petite the upper back.  Sigh.

So what I need to do for Version 3 (god, but that's depressing to write) is take a 7/8" tuck in the upper front and upper back pattern pieces, then lower the armhole by about 7/16" (I want a slightly closer fitting armhole), re-draft the front neckline edge and, finally, re-draft the sleeve to take out some of the now excess sleeve cap ease. (I'm thinking of folding a long vertical dart in the center of the sleeve so the cap height remains more or less the same.)

Also, I noticed an error on the original pattern when I measured the sleeve width at the bicep while I was drafting the new, longer sleeve.  Although the width printed on the pattern for the size M said 16 1/4", my measurement (through the crosshatch mark and not including the 5/8" seam allowances) was only 15 3/4".  To me, a half inch difference is a significant one, and something that should have been caught during the drafting process.
So I'm back to the drawing (drafting) board this afternoon, and on to muslin #3...stay tuned!

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