Bias can be soooo difficult!

V7751 (3)
the wind is blowing full in my face

Well, another top, and I don’t know what to think of this one.  I put a lot of effort into finishing it with the hopes that I can wear it for while (read years).  The hem is hand picked instead of machine stitched because I wanted it to be invisible on this silk; I practiced my hand-bound buttonholes again and went with self-covered buttons.  All the seams are left unfinished since they’re mostly on the bias and won’t fray.V7751 sleeve ventI was really looking forward to this shirt, truth be known. I really liked the pattern – Vogue 7751 – and was hoping that it would turn out significantly better than it has. I actually gave up sewing for years because I couldn’t make something fit my upper half properly once I grew out of my teens, and this shirt is making me feel like I’ve not learned a darn thing.  Mind you, it’s the first proper centre-front buttoned shirt with a collar and set-in sleeves that I’ve made since the no-fitting-required-big-shirt 80’s, so perhaps I should give myself a break.  But here’s the problems, and, please, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

V7751 back
there is a lot of ease along the hemline....

I honestly think the problems with this shirt stem from half of it being cut on the bias.  The sides are cut on the straight grain and join the front and back in princess seams.  Fine.  But as you can see from the picture above, the bias is pulling out of shape across my shoulders.  And this isn’t just because I’ve got one hand on my hip.  It just pulls.  Same problem across the front of the shoulders.

Now, I admit some of this may just be my stupidity.  As I was working on this, I let it hang – it’s bias, after all, right?  And the bias stretched out a good 5 inches through the front and back of the armholes.  I didn’t realize this until I had basted the sleeves in and taken a few pictures from the back to see how things were fitting.  I’m sorry I didn’t save the pictures to show you, but it looked like the shirt was three sizes too big through the shoulders.  It was awful.  Then it twigged that maybe the pieces had stretched out of shape.  So I pulled out the basting and compared front and back patterns to the actual garment and realized that I probably should have stabilized the armscyes on all pieces.  Too late to do that properly, so I measured each pattern piece along the sleeve opening, cut a corresponding length of remnant on the straight grain and eased it all back into it’s proper shape.  Then I patiently and gently steam shrunk the extra fabric back into it’s proper shape.

V7751 4
it’s perfectly balmy outside today – an incredible 14C!

It has made a huge difference, but it still pulls!  Then, because less than perfection in a shirt drives me goofy for some masochistic reason, I thought perhaps my fabric was too flimsy.  The pattern suggested everything from chambray to challis and handkerchief linen, so I thought this silk would be an appropriate choice.  It’s a beautiful crepe-weight textured silk.  It’s gorgeous.  And I was so looking forward to this silk shirt!  Here’s a lightened photo that makes all the things I’m unhappy about abundantly clear.

there is NO wind plastering the shirt in this pic

And looking at these pictures in the sunlight makes me think that it could be taken in across and below the waist, but do I really want it taken in so it pulls everywhere?  I’ve spent some time looking at the PR site for Vogue 8747 – another shirt pattern waiting in my cue – and it seems that every single review shows pictures of very snug-fitting shirts.  Maybe it’s my age, but I have a phobia of snug-fitting shirts.  I like mine with enough ease to skim over my body, not show everything.

That said, I really don’t know what to do with this one.

When I encountered these bias-related problems, I looked up the pattern on PR, and found that the bias back created fitting issues for others, too.  So what do you think?  Should I just leave it as is, or should I fit it a bit more at the risk of the bias pulling across the entire garment?

13 thoughts on “Bias can be soooo difficult!

  1. I see what you mean, but to be honest, the first thing I thought was how flattering the shirt was, not the fitting issues…. especially from the back.

    I know though, how tough it is to ignore something like that – you’ll always know, even if no one else does. If somehow the upper shoulder pulling in the back could be remedied, it would be awesome, as I think the ruching in the front disguises the pulling at the shoulder enough.

    I’m not experienced enough to tell what the fix might entail, but it looks like the upper back is being stretched upward to fit the sides/sleeves and isn’t fitting into the armscye quite right – perhaps the sleeves need to be reset, and the shoulder area stabilized? So hard to tell without seeing it, though, and honestly…. just a guess on my part as I’m really pretty new at this!! LOL

    I really hope you find a fix that you can live with; the silk is lovely and it would be a shame to waste all your hard work 🙂

  2. I agree, that it is a beautiful shirt, and the fit problems are nothing major. I’d never have noticed them if you hadn’t pointed them out. I’ve never tried sewing anything on the bias and this doesn’t make me want to try! lol
    The fabric is to die for, and a little time in the magic closet might make all the difference.

  3. I agree with the other comments. It’s a beautiful shirt, and any fit problems are very minor. The rushing in front is a lovely detail. The bias helps sculpt the garment to your body. Put it in the magic closet and let it rest for a week or so.

  4. Ah sorry to hear that this has been a huge pain in the derriere. m a beginner so can’t offer any advice. But all I can say when I saw your image I thought Ooo that’s a nice blouse.

  5. Oh, the pain! Seriously, though, the overall effect is gorgeous—as Seraphina says, it’s still better than most RTW is ever going to be. I actually think the overall amount of ease is pretty much perfect.

    I think most of your problems do stem from the bias. That being said, the only wrinkles that stand out to me are the ones at the upper back, which although I’m sure they’re caused by bias stretching at the CB seam remind me EVER so much of the ones I get if I neglect my square-shoulder adjustment. If you can bear to unpick the collar and square up the shoulders (I would try laying the pattern pieces over the stretched fabric and re-cutting, unless square shoulder is something you normally have to address) I think that would fix all the noticeable problems, leaving you to obsess about the other minor ones which no one will ever notice.

    That being said, I’m pretty darn sure no one sane will notice anyway. That is one gorgeous shirt! 🙂

  6. I think it is lovely, and while I noticed that there was some pulling, it appeared so minor that I dismissed it. The fit in the back is nice-if it was any more fitted it would look tortured. As is, it skims over your shape and is very flattering. If I were in your place, I’d wear the blouse with pride. You look terrific!

  7. It’s a beautiful shirt! We sewers are FAR too critical of what we create!! That being said, it looks like the side front is rippling, so I’m assuming it’s too big for the main front piece. The bias stretched?? As for the folds at the top of the shoulder/sleeve area, perhaps if you pull the shirt up at the shoulder it would help to alleviate this, as in a forward shoulder adjustment. Just guessing!! It still looks super.. so enjoy!!

  8. You know I love the colour and the fabric sounds divine, wish I could reach through the screen and feel the silk (oh, that sounds somewhat creepy which wasn’t quite what I meant!! sorry). I love the work that has gone into this blouse and it does show – wow.

    I am certainly a beginner sewer, in fact I’ve never sewn a real shirt with buttons etc but I have bought plenty (buttons and shirts!) and bemoaned fit issues. So, on that basis this lovely blouse is doing strange things as you pointed out. While I don’t know what the fix is, I’m sorry but I do think it needs some fixing. :o))

    1. Well, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one that’s not happy with this! I’m still thinking about what should be tweaked..

  9. I think it needs time in the magic closet. I see some of the wrinkles you’re talking about, but I don’t think they are that noticable until you point them out. It fits you better than any of my RTW button up shirts. I am in awe of all those buttons.


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