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.I 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!
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.
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.
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?