Thursday, January 24, 2008


I finished the Burda WOF Plus shirred top this morning. It's now my muslin. Yeah. Sigh. It's still wearable and fits better than most RTW tees but it doesn't fit nearly as well as I'm used to which means it won't ever be a favorite. I've had the fabric for a long time so I'm not upset about that, and chose it specificially because it could be expendable.

I should've listened to myself and morphed my TNT Ottobre 02/2007 tee into this one because there are some definite fit problems. It may not be immediately apparent in this pic, but look at the close-ups below.

The front of the armholes are wonky on me. Too inwardly curved and right on the line of being too narrow, and I didn't even narrow the shoulders as I usually have to do. I traced a straight 46 at the shoulder, neck, and underam (with a square shoulder adjustment) and morphed out to the 50 at the bottom of the underarm and down to the hem. I measured the resulting armhole and traced a "51" for the sleeve. This is very similar to how I morphed between sizes with the Ottobre tee. Except that one turned out perfect and this one, not so much. Part of the problem, for me, is that the cap for this sleeve is much too high for a tee. A lower cap fits my square shoulders better. You can see the cap sorta poking up in the first pic above.

There's also much too much fabric under my arms. Batwings anyone? Clearly morphing out to the 50 at underarm level was not necessary.

To fix this pattern, I would need to start with a "47" at the shoulder, reshape the sleevecap and front armhole and then not morph to the 50 until waist level. It wouldn't be hard to do, but I think it would still be easier to just spread the Ottobre tee neckline to incorporate the Burda shirring.

To improve (I can't fix it completely) the sewn shirt means I'll have to frogstitch the sleeves. I don't know yet if I'm willing to do it so this might become a Goodwill donation.

On the bright side … The shirring went rather well. I did one practice run and decided that was quite enough to be ready to go for real.

This is the neckline of the pattern. The black ink is the marking for the shirring placement. The blue marks are the measured intervals. There are 5 rows of shirring but you'll see 6 blue dots below. That's because I decided that the instructed placement was just too high to be able to bind on my CS machine, so I marked one more row down and skipped the top mark.

I folded the pattern piece so my marks were on an edge and then walked it around the neckline using the dots to mark my fabric about every inch or so.

Here's the neckline marked. Those two lines in the upper left corner are just the fabric folded back on itself after I laid it on the table for this pic.

I used my 7-hole cording foot and threaded the elastic thread through the middle hole. This foot held the elastic perfectly in place as I zigzagged over it. I just moved from dot to dot, eyeballing the placement. It came out pretty even this way. Love those specialty presser feet!

Here are the 5 finished rows of shirring from the wrong side (and before pulling them into the gathers):

And from the right side:

This is where the instructions lost me. I think I figured out that they wanted me to straight stitch a strip of narrow satin ribbon over each end of the rows to anchor and stabilize the shirring stitches and elastic So, that's what I did. With pink ribbon because it was handy. I imagine this will fray like crazy in the laundry. We'll see.

Here's the finished neckline. The shirring gets lost in the print in this photo but it does actually show up in real life one me.

This fabric was a BEAR to run through the binder and you can see that it most decidedly did not turn out perfectly. The fabric is polyester Lurex. Those metallic stripes run throughout the fabric and they acted like Velcro on top of each other … the binding strip wanted to catch on the bodice edge and stay put. Oh well. It looks a lot worse in this close-up than it does when worn so if this top stays in my wardrobe, I won't fret the binding too much.

Overall, I like the style. I just am not thrilled with the fit of the pattern yet.

And my cooktop? Still not fixed! The guy came (5 minutes before the appointment window ended) and without even looking at it, said that he needed to order two boards. They should be here by next Tuesday, at which time he'll also return. Looks like the crockpot will be getting a workout until then. At least I'm not paying for the repair. Extended warranties for major appliances are the *only* extended warranties I ever buy. And they've always been worth it. ;-)


  1. Pity about your tee. :( I do like the shirred neckline though. It's a nice feature. Thanks for all the detailed photos showing how you did it. As for the batwings....sigh! Don't you hate that! It wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to also re-do the hems.

  2. What a shame about the tee. I agree with Belinda about the shirring. It does look nice. Thanks for trying it out and including all the notes and photos.

  3. Yes, it's a pity for the tee, the fabric is very nice.
    Thanks for showing the use of this presser foot for adding elastic, this is really helpful. Something for my wishlist!

  4. Pity about the tee. The shirred neckline is cool, though. I know what you mean about the not-quite-perfect garment never becoming a favorite. I've made those, too.

  5. Thanks for the details on the shirring. I'm planning to sew this top. I never would have thought to mark the dots at intervals around the neckline. I don't know what I would have done! I wish it had turned out better for you. Are you going to make another one?

  6. I think it looks pretty good, especially the shirring -- such a nice touch and fun to do. I think the last time I tried it, I just tied off the elastic ends and left them free. I know what you mean about never being happy with it. . .

  7. Thank you so much for all the details on that tee - I was planning on trying it out myself this weekend and you have saved me a great deal of agony!

  8. Darn, you beat me to this top pattern. I just finished tracing it and read the instructions. I'm glad I wasn't the only one confused about that ribbon. Sorry your top is being such a PITA. I sure hope mine turns out.



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