Thursday, 8 December 2016

Simplicity 8523 changed to bias cut

This was a very interesting learning exercise: you can change a simple top from a straight fabric grain line (as intended by the pattern company) to one cut out on the bias.

It actually works!

I happened to come across an intriguing YouTube video (by Kair Bjordahl at National Sewing Circle) that discussed this, and even suggested Simplicity 8523 as an example. Which reminded me that I own this pattern and could go and have a look.

I did, I found it, and I had a go!  Nothing better than taking advantage of the sudden urge to sew. You have to go with the momentum of your sewing mojo. It would be criminal not to.

I did a full bust adjustment so it's interesting that the bias cut fabric does drag a bit at the bust. I reckon I used the wrong fabric: a polycotton that's a bit thicker than the usual thin polycottons.  I also didn't prewash the fabric so I have yet to see how the top looks after the first wash.

There is also a whole lot of bunching going on at the front of the upper arms: there are drag lines towards the apex. I often get this with pretty much everything I wear: whether shop bought or made myself. I have a feeling that I need a second dart.

I also want to see what difference another type of fabric makes.

I often have problems sewing the sleeves in. I managed a bit of puckering on the sleeve on the right.

Modern fabrics are not truly evenly woven so warp and weft behave slightly differently.  That's the reason why a bias-cut garment will not hang and drape completely symetrically. You can see this in the photo above.

Because of this bias-cut patterns often suggest a centre front and back seam, but you use up lots more fabric that way because the two pieces need to be laid so they form a V or chevron shape. That produces lots of fabric remnants in awkward shapes. You might be able to use them in applique or for patchwork.

I may also have cut the sleeve from the lower fabric layer at not quite the correct 45 degree angle. I have a feeling it may have shifted a bit. I really need to watch this more closely next time.  I lenghtened them by an inch to avoid that chicken wing look that I hate, but now realise that I could have gone with the original length.

I also had to adjust the point of the V-neck a little bit, it looked off by around 7-8 millimeter or so (just under a centimeter).  That was no problem because the pattern's V-neck was a little high and I wanted this to be lower.

The back doesn't look too bad but it is also slightly asymetrical.  I may want to cinch in the waist a touch more. I graded this out to a bigger size according to my measurements but think I overdid it a bit.

Oops, all bunched up

This was supposed to be a muslin to try this out and I will probably not wear it a lot because of the colour. I bought the fabric online with the intention of using it for patchwork but the colour is lots lighter than I expected.

This top is quite comfortbale despite the issues I described, so who knows.

I did not expect this pattern to fit me without adjustments but I had hoped it would be closer to a better fit. I knew that I might need a swayback adjustment but didn't want to bother at this stage.  It was an extremely useful learning exercise and I am pleased this fits as well as it does, even though that fit is not great.

Next time I want to use my own body block pattern to try another bias-cut top. In another fabric, hopefully something more drapey (it depends on my fabric stash: I have to use up what I've got as much as I can). And slightly shorter sleeves than these.

I will report my findings!

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