Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Simplicity 2938, Pleat Neck Princess Seam Tank Top

S2938 Thumbnail

This wardrobe pattern has been getting a lot of love on Pattern Review, mostly for the tank, so last time Simplicity was on sale and I was able to get to Joann I picked up Simplicity 2938 so I could give it a try.

I used one of the stretch silk charmeuse fabrics I got in Vietnam at the Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City, so it was a great Special Fabric and Stashbusting (as I bought this fabric in 2008) project.

Broad Back Adjustment
When I posted my fail of a wrap blouse, Vogue 7876 that was so tight across the back under the arms I solicited advice about how to deal with this recurring problem. I spend a lot of time at the gym, and that band of muscles (trapezoids, deltoids, latissimus) are well-developed from lifting heavy weights. Searching for a solution had yielded several tutorials, like this one from Threads, that tell you to split the pattern in a straight line all the way from shoulder to hem and add width to the entire pattern. This does not make any sense for me, as I have narrower-than-average shoulders *and* a swayback, and adding extra fabric in both of those places would create way more problems than it would solve. Then Rachel kindly posted for me the scan at the left, which made so much sense! It gives me more room exactly where I need it, without adding more fabric where I don't.

Broad Back Adjustment So, based on the information Rachel supplied, I did my first broad back adjustment! I didn't know if I'd really need it, given the ease on this top and the fact that I haven't had much trouble with Simplicity's backs, but I wanted to break the seal. This top fits well, but I think the little bit of stretch in the fabric is necessary and I could actually use even more of an adjustment. How exciting to finally know how to deal with this problem!!!!

There is a misprint on the pattern tissue for the finished garment measurements--they switched the waist and hip finished measurements. I'm glad I took the time to puzzle this out. I looked at the finished hip measurement and saw the size 18 with a 41" finished hip measurement would probably be best. Although I do have large hips relative to the rest of my body, 18 is still a lot, especially as I was cutting a 10 at the bust and normally cut a 14 at the hip. But then I saw it said 8 1/2" of ease over body measurement. I grabbed the envelope and looked up the hip measurement for an 18--42 inches, so plus the 8 1/2 inches of ease it should have been 50 1/2 inches, not 41 inches. Math was not my best subject but something was not adding up here! So in fact, once you switch out the numbers, the finished waist for size 10 is 33 1/2" and the finished hip is 40 1/2". While I would normally cut a 12 at the waist and 14 at the hip, I decided to cut a 10 at the waist and a 12 at the hip, as the built in ease seemed like a lot. The finished top fits well. The only place I could possibly use more room is...the bust? I really don't see how that's possible, but the pleats are kind of pulling open above the bust. Weird. Maybe I will cut the center front in a size 12 when I make this again.

Inside View I made French seams. The side fronts of this thing got pretty beat up because, as I always do when I make French seams, I sewed the first pass right side to right side. Right side to right side is a very ingrained habit. As usual, I did the first pass with the serger so I carefully trimmed off the serger seam and then sewed it together wrong side to wrong side, which is the correct procedure for French seams. And then knifed into the side front. So then I had to trim it off *again*, recut, and resew. Goodness. Luckily, third time was the charm!

Right Side Stitching The instructions call for a facing for the neck and bias tape for the armscye. You all know how I feel about a facing: yuck. Since I was cutting bias tape anyway, I decided I'd bias bind the neckline as well. And then I thought it would look nice with the binding as a design feature rather than just a finish. To apply, I trimmed away most of the seam allowances and then bound the edges. I used the binding as I've been doing lately: first, sew to the wrong side, then fold over and topstitch on the right side. It ensures that the right side is perfect.

S2938 Because my fabric was a little slippery and hard to work with, I ended up cutting and making really wide double fold bias tape. I'm not sure if RTW is showing binding right now, and if so, what width it is, but I'm ok with the wide binding.

The love for this pattern is well justified. I am a bit wary of pullover woven tops as they can be really sacky, but this top has a nice shape (although I prefer it belted or tucked). It is summery and cool but works in my office as a nice tailored piece. I am definitely on the lookout for other fabrics to make this in, preferably with a little stretch as with this one. All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

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Voting is open in the Vintage Contest! I entered my Simplicity 2827 vintage 1950s dress. There are some really great entries so be sure to check it out!

31 comments:

Anne LO said...

Great that you figured this out. You know, you should really buy Fit for Real People - they address this issue and I would claim that you are so smart and good at this that you would have tried it out if you had read about it.

Love the print and the tank - and your new hair looks great.

beangirl said...

LOVE that top!

Adelaide B said...

The bias binding on this top looks great. It's a nice touch.

Birgitte said...

What a gorgeous top, love it!

Uta said...

Oh, I hate it when you sew something great and it isn't a Burda pattern! (I'm too cheap to buy other patterns.) What I'm trying to say: Lovely top! And stretch silk charmeuse... I'm jealous!

Angela said...

Fabulous print! I like the wide bias trim.. it looks great!

McVal said...

I have that Threads dvd set that shows you how to fit. I need to watch it! and figure this out for my figure too. Thanks for the inspiration! Very cute top!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Trena this is a cute top and I really like it with the skirt!

Lori said...

This is a very cute top, I have looked at that pattern several times, now I will have to buy it.

Vicki said...

Very cue top. I think the binding you did is perfect. And congrats on the broard back adjustment!

AllisonC said...

Your top looks great and the fabric is lovely too - looks like it will go with a lot of different pieces. I have nearly done that so many times with french seams too, I have to chant "wrong sides together" while I am doing them!

gwensews said...

That's a terrific top. I know you're glad to find out how to solve your back fitting issue. I like that top made into a dress also.

arnysews said...

Love the top and it goes so well with the skirt. Thanks for the heads up on the ease.

Kathi said...

The top looks cute and appears to match your new skirt very well!!
I am impressed with the effort you have put into fitting the top!

Adriana B. said...

I like it and I love your hair!

Noile said...

Cute top! But I'm really commenting because I saw your comment on Vacuuming the Lawn about PR Weekend. I posted about the embellishment for the KK class, and included a photo of the trims I found:

http://www.noile.net/2010/04/embellishments/

The packing/sacking needle comes with the standard "repair needles" pack that Dritz sells. Hope this helps -- and, of course, there's a lot of information on the relevant board pages on PR.

I don't think you'll need to be strictly an observer; several people have offered to pick up extra stuff for other participants, and I'm sure they would for you, too.

This kind of embellishment isn't really my thing, but hey, it's an adventure! If I wanted the same old, same old, I'd stay home and feed the cats. I hope you'll have fun playing, too, when we all get together. (The cats can deal with kibble for one weekend.)

kbenco said...

Ooh, pretty. I am thinking a lot about woven summer tops at the moment, thinking they would dry quicker than knits for travel. This pattern looks like an excellent contender.

Trudy Callan said...

What a gorgeous top.

Marie-Christine said...

Great fabric, perfect for DC summer :-). I've sewn for a swimmer with that 'big lat' problem, and all I had to do was extend the back armhole seam half an inch further, taper back down to the side seam before the waist. I highly recommend the old Singer book 'perfect fit' I think - it shows you pictures of what they mean by 'big butt' and 'really big butt' etc, and then it shows you a simple and easy adjustment for the fist before you get into slashing the pattern for the second. The only book I've ever seen with a sensible approach for most adjustments needed..

Marie-Christine said...

PS: you see that skirt can work perfectly well :-).

Rachel said...

The top looks great, and I'm so glad I could help! That was a pesky problem for me, so I was happy to be able to find a solution. The scan is from the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing (http://www.amazon.com/Readers-Digest-Complete-Guide-Sewing/dp/0895770261), which I recommend buying especially for the fitting problems section. Used copies are cheap, too.

senaSews said...

Cute top. The print is very you!

Little Hunting Creek said...

I love this top! Very pretty

Isabelle said...

Love your top, and your whole outfit, shoes included. These colours look great on you.

Your new haircut is adorable!! I bet it's even prettier in person.

Anonymous said...

Any idea why I can't see the photos on this post? annioneill at yahoo dot ca I love the solution for the broad back alteration. I've been looking for one for a while. I had to look at your blog at work to see the photos

Eugenia said...

Fabulous top! It's a great style and I love the colours in that print - they really suit you. As I was admiring your top I suddenly realised that I have got this pattern - I really want to make it now!

sewabeginner said...

Love this top on you and your new do! I love your make it work mentality as well. Can't wait to see you next week!

j.kaori said...

Great top! The print is fabulous and the pattern is cool too. I'll have to find that pattern!

Kristy said...

I love your green skirt with this colour top too - your skirt is amazingly versatile for such a strong colour.

Display Name said...

Did you use the side zipper, or did you get rid of it?

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Display Name: No zipper--it's easy to pull on and off.