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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jolijou Shelly Sew-Along: Picking Your Size

Hi, Shelly Sew-alongers!  Do you have your muslin fabric all ready?  We all know not to cut into our bestest, most favorite fabric yet, right?  good.

As you probably already know, this pattern has a handy little measurement chart to tell you what size to cut based on your personal body measurements.  For many of us, this part is no fun because we don't really enjoy putting that measuring tape around us and discovering that the number was much bigger.... or smaller.... than we expected.  Please, I implore you, ignore whatever you think those numbers mean or the feelings you associate with them, because guess what?  Every body looks it's best dressed in something that fits well.  You are stuck with what you have at the moment, so lets put the best fitting Shelly on it that we can, ok?

Now here's where this sew-along may just become much more valuable to you than you thought, because I might save you a step.  If you just go by the measurements for the chest, I fear with this pattern, you may end up with a too-tight shirt up top and that is no fun to wear.  Let me show you what I'm talking about.
I cut an xsmall and tapered out to a small at the hips.
Here it is after the neckband has been sewn on.

See those lines pulling from the collar to my armpit?  Thatsa no comfy.
I suspected when I cut the pattern that there might not be enough armpit room, but I'm not going to go changing a pattern I've never sewn, just on a suspicion. 
I had already cut it out in a sweater knit in exactly the same size, so I tried an experiment.
Here it is without the gathering and without the neck band.
(sorry for the low-quality pics here)

There's no pulling at the armpits, nice and relaxed.  While I was standing there like that, I pinched a couple inches of the front together to simulate the effect of gathers and didn't notice any pulling.  New hypothesis: The size and armpits are fine, but there is too much gathering.
Here is this same top with about 4" slightly gathered and the neck band sewn on.

There are those drag lines again!!
So here's where we end up in today's post, my recommendation for the easiest possible fix is to cut a bigger size than your measurements at the bust and don't be very aggressive with your gathering at the neck line.
One step up from that: If you like a multitude of gathers (as in the actual pattern design) then cut a size larger than your bust measurements AND put the "fold" line of the pattern piece a couple inches away from the actual fold of your fabric, giving you more width in the front to gather without sacrificing armpit space.
Lastly and most involvedly: You can get a tee that you like the fit of on you and redraw your Shelly armpit based on the armpit of the tee.
Then go to your sleeve pieces and extend the side by approximately the same amount as you extended your arm opening.


I will be back with my THIRD muslin.

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