Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sewing Diary: Red Frankentop (In Work)

Project Category: Wearable Muslin
Garment: Red Frankentop
Fabric: Lightweight red cotton print.
Pattern: Burda 7429. Sort of.

I packed away the drop-shouldered high-collared blouse pattern that I was whining about in the previous post. But then I started to think about it. In the pattern photos and drawings, the bodice and sleeves looked as if they might be a nice, comfortable, but not excessively shapeless core for a blouse. And there's no law that says that I have to keep that high collar. Or any collar.

So I pulled it back out again and started Frankenpatterning it. I started with View B and:
  • Added a little width to the waist and a lot to the hips, by sketching out from the original lines. I spent a while fussing with when to curve and when to straighten out; I need to hunt for some rules on this, for next time.
  • Eliminated the collar entirely and, with the help of some Web tutorials, redrew the neckline to be a fraction wider and a lot deeper, in...er...a keystone shape? You can see it above, where I have the muslin on the hanger over a black tee to highlight the neckline. I haven't yet drafted the associated facing pattern.
  • Changed the curved hemline to a straight one.
  • Eliminated the front band and then, when I realized that the new neckline allows me to just pull the whole thing over my head, the entire front opening--the front is now cut on the fold. The back always was. This is the point where I recategorized it from "blouse" to "top". Blouses open. Tops pull over. That's my terminology.
  • Eliminated the center pleat in the back.
  • Realized that in adding width and straightening the hemline I had somehow ended up with a front that was a full two inches longer than the back. Added the two inches to the back. Puzzled over how on earth that happened.
  • Theorized that that the removed back pleat, by releasing along the middle of the back, was perhaps intended to provide Stealth Bust Room. Considered whether it would be reasonable to make up for that lost shaping by adding inverted pleats in the front that start at the hem and release just below the bust line, and then realized that View A had exactly that. Oh. So I added them--well, in the physical muslin itself; I have yet to draw them on the pattern. 
  • Realized that the bust pleats, by going all the way down to the hem, were (of course) stealing hip room, and changed them to release above and below the waist.
  • Extended the hemline by two inches on a dead straight line so that I can (hopefully) easily do a nice deep perhaps-interfaced hem.
Still on this pattern's agenda:
  • Drawing those front pleats on the pattern.
  • Whether to replace that waistline pleat with a...er...you know, a diamond-shaped dart that releases above and below. A double-pointed dart?
  • Whether to replace the pleat that I removed from the back with two pleats at the back, stitched down from the shoulders all the way down and releasing where the front waistband pleats release, to echo the same shaping front and back. Because when I stand sideways the front looks pretty good, and the back looks skimpy. Of course, if I do the dart in front, there goes the echo.
  • Extending the sleeves by two inches, too, for a hem, eliminating the cuffs
  • I'll probably trace another copy of the sleeve, to make three-quarter-length sleeves as an option.
  • Whether a two-inch facing will have a cleaner edge than a two-inch hem, and whether it's worth the trouble if it does.
Whatever I do with darts and pleats, the pattern is much simpler now. No opening. No collar. No cuffs. If I really do like it and wear it, it could be a good subject for experimentation--binding, facing, piping, and so on. The front pleats also give it some flexibility in terms of wearing ease--I can make them deeper for less ease with heavier fabrics and shallower, or removed altogether, for lighter fabrics. In theory.

I think I'm pleased, but I can't be sure until I make a full-fledged wearable version. That may be this one, with a recut back, or I may move on to a third muslin. (The first one, in a heavier green fabric, didn't survive for a photo.)

Image: Mine.


  1. you just have to promise you will laugh maniacally when its all finished and say: it's alive! it's alive!

  2. Hee. I already wore it. I'll have to engage in a makeup maniacal laugh.