Thursday, May 29, 2008

Foundation, Schmoundation

Apologies, but the bra sewing is on the back burner. I just wasn't into it this week like I thought I'd be. I got all the pattern pieces cut out and even started sewing it, but then I just lost interest. So much so that I detoured and started cleaning the house. I know.

I will return to it, but what I really want to be sewing is new capris and a new top of some sort. You know, my old familiar casual sewing that's been neglected for all those dress-up clothes.

I'm in the process of tracing a pair of capris from a Diana Mode magazine. The pattern doesn't go up to Big Bootay size so I'm going to be grading it. I also will be scratching my head as I try to figure out the pieces I need to cut from measurements only (hem cuffs, pocket tabs, etc.), as the magazine is in German and I don't speak/read any. I'll take a pic of the pattern photo later. I just didn't feel like going up/down, up/down to get the camera and then take the pics. Lazy. (Which explains the Big Bootay.)

The interview this morning was ho-hum. Well, the interview was OK, but the place was drab and dreary. If I have to do this work stuff, it ain't gonna be in a dreary atmosphere. ;-) But nothing ventured, nothing gained and I have more interviews lined up so I'm not going to worry about this one. And man, I couldn't wait to get those pantyhose off.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Good Foundation

This is the back band of one of my favorite bras. Maybe you can see the rip near the hooks? One of wires popped out too. Sadly, none of its siblings are very much better these days and even sadder, this style has been discontinued. I had already bought a bunch more after I first fell in love, fearing their discontinuation. And now it's happened. Sigh. Stupid, stupid, stupid bra manufacturers. Grrrr.

You know, I think this is something that men will just never be able to relate to. It's not like their whole self-image would change if, say, their favorite jock strap was discontinued. Are there even any more than two jock strap manufacturers and styles anyway?? But I digress …

As you may recall, I did actually do some bra shopping over the past few weeks. While I found a few contenders, none of them are THIS bra. And so they sit, unworn and with tags still attached, in the bag on my dresser. I dread going through the bra trying-on process yet again so I've decided to try to clone this one. I've already got all the supplies I need, so what the heck. (And if it works, I'll be ahead $80 after I return those from my dresser top.)

As you can see, it's a relatively simple underwire with a diagonal cup seam. Since it's not a seamless cup (which don't do well on me anyway), taking it apart will yield flat pieces that I can trace off for a pattern.

I've taken apart half of the bra and will use the other half to check construction as I sew. The next step is to trace these pieces onto pattern paper, mark the direction of stretch for each, and then cut out my first trial.

Sewing bras isn't hard. The frustrating part is that you pretty much have to finish the whole thing before you can try it on for an accurate fit (or not). No such thing as a fast and ugly bra muslin. So that's what is on my agenda today.

Once I get the bra done, I'm going to move on to a new pair of summer capris. After all those work clothes, I think my heart is longing for some new casual wear. LOL! But, seriously, my best friend and her family are coming to Florida next week and I'd like to have something new to hang around in.

I've got two interviews (Thursday and Friday) with two more for early next week. I'm using all my time around those for sewing, while I can. Although I'll have to carve out some housework time too now that I know we'll be having company next week. Or I could hand one son a dust rag and the other the vacuum …

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mini Photo Session

No make-up, but at least the hair is clean, even if it is sticking out weird. ;-)

Here's the Butterick skirt with the Simplicity Project Runway jacket and the Ottobre-inspired vintage blouse. (I also see two little white paws sticking out behind me.) I think I should be walking around the house saying, "Honey, I'm home."

Just the blouse (still no buttons) and skirt.

The jacket buttoned. It only looks crooked because my arm is up in the air.

No pantyhose. ;-)

Now I'm going to catch up on a couple of reviews, and try to think of what fabric I can make another Butterick skirt from. I love this one!

Turtle Saturday

Yep, that's me, a sluggish turtle today. The brown skirt is such an easy project that it should be done by now, but it isn't. I've been in and out of the sewing room all day … sew a couple of seams, go flit about the house. Sew another seam, play with the dogs. And so on.

I will say one thing about this pattern, Who the HECK wrote the instructions?? While technically you will end up with a skirt that looks like the envelope, you might also end up with a few less hairs too. Well, not really, because none of the steps are hard no matter what method, but some of Butterick's are just plain bass-ackwards.

For example, the bottom section which is pleated. The instructions tell you to sew the sideseams together and *then* baste and press in the pleats. Why?? When it's so much easier to do the pleats when the two sections are still flat.

And the part I just finished … where the facing meets the center back zipper — which, BTW, I changed to an invisible zipper and am wondering why it wasn't an invisible zipper to begein with. I understand that some people actually *like* hand sewing and I have no problem with that. But hand sewing the facing to the zipper seam allowance is not the most efficient method, especially if you're in my camp of hand-sewing haters. ;-) And why waste hand sewing time in an area that is so inconsequential?

I'm not really grumpy today, although this post seems like it, doesn't it? ;-) I'm just scratching my head over the convoluted instructions and venting to other sewers. The skirt is actually coming together rather nicely and a quick try-on before I committed to permanent sideseams tells me the fit is going to be nice.

The skirt will be done before the day is over. And if the lighting cooperates, I'll get a photo. But right now, I've got to take the dogs out. Again. LOL!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Another "Vintage" Blouse

When I was cutting out the brown Butterick skirt, I also cut out another Ottobre-based "vintage" blouse, this time with short, non-gathered sleeves. I sewed it first because the serger was already threaded with ivory thread. But once again, I'm stalled at the buttons and need to make a trip to Joann's for those before I can finish it.

The fabric is really soft rayon with a woven-in micro stripe. It wrinkles as soon as you breathe on it, so I'm not sure how practical this will be for schlepping to/from work. I'll try some spray starch on it when I'm done and see if that helps.

For this one, I detoured from the Ottobre instructions and sewed the collar down at the back neckline "in the ditch" instead of …

…covering it with a bias strip per the instructions, which I did for the first blouse below. Oh, and these colors are actually pretty accurate for once.

I've started sewing the brown skirt and will finish that up by tomorrow since it should go together pretty quickly. A quick look at the instructions has told me I'll be winging this one since Butterick's order and methods leave a lot to be desired.

That's all I have for now. My days have been filled with sending out resumes and fielding telephone calls, around the sewing. No plans for the holiday weekend, except sleeping in and maybe a trip to the dog beach on Sunday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Testing Day

The knit for Simplicity 3506 is now a muslin/wadder, which isn't breaking my heart or anything. What you see here was to be the lining. I goofed when cutting so both lining and outer layer are trashed. I think I like the style overall, but it needs some tweaking. It's generally just too wide at the shoulders/neckline. I decided to let it percolate in my brain while I worked on the Butterick 4877 skirt instead.

For the skirt, I first made a muslin with no pattern alterations to see what was what. Two pieces to cut out and sew went very quickly. I left off the facings and bottom pleated section from the trials. The first muslin told me I'd need my usual fixes.

The back pattern piece is on the left, the front is on the right. The waist circumference fits perfectly but I needed to shorten the overall CF length for my tilted waist. If I just cut the pattern off at the top, I'd have to redo the darts and then adjust the facings to match. Instead, I slashed and overlapped below the darts and below where the facing will end (you can see the overlap just under the "3"). For the back, I had to do the opposite and spread the pattern to go over the extra caboose terrain (you can see that alteration under the "1"). I also decided that I wanted the upper section to be longer so it wouldn't cut me at mid-thigh and so I added 1" to both front and back at the lengthen lines. (That addition looks uneven in this photo but it isn't.)

I made a second muslin and I think it fits perfectly now. I'm waiting for the new brown fabric to dry so I can cut out the skirt.

Speaking of the fabric, I think I'm going to pass on buying more since I don't need another brown jacket at the moment. I hope I don't kick myself later. ;-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Open Mouth/Wallet, Insert Foot

So, the mystery of what fabric actually is the EOS fabric is solved. It's what I thought all along — the brown jacket fabric. Which means, yes, the Joann's fabric I bought yesterday is NOT an exact match. The color is off. I guess I should've checked that before getting excited last night and sharing the "news." Sigh.

So, now what do I do?? Go back and buy enough to make a jacket that will match the intended skirt (but which I won't sew for a while) and have two brown jackets? Or just sew the skirt and again forget about a suit for a while? Or go back and buy enough for another jacket *and* pants, to have three coordinating pieces? (Carolyn, you don't get a vote! :grin:)

So, onto less brain taxing stuff. The RTW jackets (sets, actually) that I just bought. I'm almost embarrassed to say where I bought them, but what the heck. Sears!! Yes, Sears. I never shop for clothes at Sears but I dashed in there to buy vacuum bags and on the way to appliances, walked right past these two jackets which were out on the aisle. I loved the colors and when I looked at the price tags, I *really* loved the colors. LOL! They were marked down to $30 each. I tried them on right there and then, and they fit! And they're washable. And they go with things I already have. So, I'm over the Sears factor.

Number 1, a green jacket with coordinating lined skirt. I love the green and I love the print too. My colors. (I see you nodding your head, Belinda.) The skirt is elastic-waisted, but it's already cut with a tilted waist. How great is that? I'm half-tempted to cut out the lining — which matches the jacket exactly — to make a cami and just wear the skirt with a slip. I won't. But I'm tempted.

The jacket can also be worn with these paisley pieces. As usual lately, the colors in my pics are not true, so trust me on this.

I would like to change out the buttons, though. They are black and I think they are wrong for this jacket and the combos. I'd like to find some that are greenish or at least not black. The only other thing I could find wrong with the jacket is the huge thread hanging out from under the collar.

Number 2 is this jacket/lined dress combination. I'm not thrilled with the dress, but the jacket is worth tossing the dress for. These buttons are brown, and will be staying. The dress is OK, but the print doesn't feel like "me," if you know what I mean. Maybe I'd like it better as a skirt. The darker color in the print is brown, and the whole outfit is more coral than how pink it looks here. The other problem with the dress is that it's sleeveless and the princess-seamed bust and armhole hangs down too low. I could probably just take it up at the shoulder seams, if I decide to keep it as a dress I'd wear.

The jacket also matches this skirt perfectly, and the dark in this skirt print is also brown. Gah! I wish my camera and lighting would cooperate this week. But it's been cloudy outside and that makes the light in my sewing room wonky when color-matching.

Love the pockets! Mostly because they are actually (lined!) pockets, but also for the cute embellishment. Just a bias tube of jacket fabric threaded through a little ring which matches the buttons.

The loops hang free between pocket attachment stitching and a few stitches to hold the ring in place.

I really need to snoop shop with my camera and a firm resolve to not buy anything. I see lots of easy details like this in RTW that I always forget about later.

Switching gears again … On the cutting table is a fast top from Simplicity 3506:

I adjusted it this morning and have cut the fabrics. Plural. I'm making a lined knit shell. It will either be a wearable muslin or a wadder.

I have a few more days to keep working on the wardrobe. Interviews have been scheduled for next week. Gulp. (And I do have pantyhose now.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Suitably Confused No More

As I told Carolyn, one of the main reasons I haven't made a suit is because I didn't have enough of either jacket fabric to make a matching skirt. Well, I was in Joann's about an hour ago to pick up more muslin, some serger thread, and to trade a washaway marker I bought last week for one that actually works (grrrr, how frustrating!), and I looked through the fabric as I always do but didn't see anything new. Still, for whatever reason, today I really looked at the brown suiting fabric that's been there for months and like a lightning bolt had hit me between the eyes, I realized that THIS is my brown jacket fabric! I thought my fabric was the brown RPL that I bought from Emma One Sock a couple of years ago, but apparently I was wrong. (And now, besides feeling foolish — but thankful it wasn't real lightning — I'm wondering which stash entry actually is the EOS fabric.)

I've had this skirt pattern near the top of the queue for a while (Butterick 4877), and I think it will become the skirt for my suit. View D, the skirt on the real model … who has actual hips and looks quite beautiful, I might add.

Whether I actually will wear it as a suit is still to be decided, but it will be nice to have that option if I need it. Right Carolyn? ;-) Oh, and a brown skirt will go nicely with the 2 new RTW jackets I bought over the weekend. Ahem.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

This Is All I Have

I thought I'd be able to take a few quick pics before heading out but that turned out to be a disaster. I kept tripping over the tripod and then cutting half of myself out of the frame and I forgot to turn off the flash on any of the shots where my eyes aren't looking in two different directions and, well, this is the best of the lot.

At least the colors are better in this one, even if my hair is still soaking wet and my mirror looks horrible.

This one, the colors are back to being off again (and I look half dead).

And guess what a stupid thing I did this morning? Sewed the buttonholes/buttons on the wrong sides of the blouse, even though I do know better. I just didn't doublecheck myself. Arghhh. It's only a problem when I try to button/unbutton it and feel completely uncoordinated. But still.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Blouse Progress

I love the collar of this blouse so I'm glad I decided to morph the Ottobre pieces with my PMB pieces and not just toss the whole Ottobre pattern. Of course since the blouse isn't done yet, it still needs a good pressing and the collar will look better than it does in this photo, but the shape is very nice on me. If I do say so myself. ;-) Collars give me fits in PMB. I never know what settings to use to get what I want without experimenting.

The fabric has been in my stash for a loooooong time. I really thought it was polyester. My first clue that it wasn't was that this fabric holds a crease like no one's business. Polyester doesn't do that. A burn test confirmed that it's not synthetic at all (no hard, melted, plastic-y remains). I believe it's rayon or mostly rayon, which could mean trouble in the future because I didn't pre-wash it thinking it was poly. But I have steamed and pressed the heck out of it along the way and everything is still lining up without any obvious shrinkage, so I'll keep my fingers crossed and the blouse out of the dryer.

Anyway … the fabric is very drapey. And the sleeves have gathered caps. Um, not by design, but I didn't test the Ottobre sleeve very well with my PMB armscye and it ended up with more cap length than I could gracefully ease. And hey, gathered sleeves are in so why not?

But then I tried it on and the sleeve caps immediately drooped. Rats! So I put on my Mother of Invention cap and fashioned (read: completely made up) a sleeve head out of some horsehair canvas I have in the interfacing stash. It does the trick perfectly, providing soft support so it doesn't look like I've got a Working Girl leftover or linebacker shoulders. Hopefully it will launder OK. (Note to self: test this before throwing blouse in washer.)

The blouse is done except for the bottom hem and buttons, but at least this time I already have buttons. They do really match the blouse but were uncooperative for photo/color matching today.

Here's a shot of the blouse with the skirt. Again, colors are off. The lighter color in the paisleys matches the skirt perfectly, although the skirt color isn't really this color either.

It's a very fitted blouse and does evoke the feminine look I was hoping for when I picked the original Ottobre pattern to begin with. I think it will be a great classic shape so I'll be keeping this morphed pattern. And one of these days I'll re-pad Zillie to match my curves, so my clothes don't hang like sacks on her in my photos.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I worked on fitting this Ottobre blouse yesterday and finally threw in the towel. Usually Ottobre patterns are drafted beautifully, but something is seriously wrong with this pattern. I wrote up a review for it on PR, here, as warning to others, and the details are in that review. But in a nutshell the problems are (1) darts are in the wrong place for larger sizes and (2) the division between front and back pieces is completely unbalanced.

Now that I'm looking again at the line drawing for the pattern pieces, I can see the problem with the front/back division, but the bust and front waist darts as printed on the pattern sheet are in reality positioned nothing like shown here. Instead, they are essentially in the armpit and do not even come close to the bust.

I tried to fix the Ottobre pattern. Three times. The Ottobre blouse is a very simple design and it should not take a lot of work to make it fit. Once I stepped away, it was obvious that it would be faster to just print a pattern from PMB and morph the collar and sleeve details I liked from the Ottobre design. So, that's what I did. And it was faster. A lot faster. And a much better fit.

Here's the progress so far. I've sewn the bust and shoulder darts and shoulder seams, and then I basted the sideseams to try it on. What a difference between this and my Ottobre muslin. What a lot of wasted time yesterday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Adding on to my earlier post today …

Here's the lime slinky cardigan:

I don't think I'll ever wear all 3 pieces together. That's a LOT of lime green slinky! But Zillie was already wearing the skirt so a triple dose is what I photographed.

This is the print for the Ottobre blouse:

Tammy/Izzie left a comment earlier about the weird dart placement for this blouse, and boy was she right. I had just finished altering the pattern when I came back downstairs and read her note. It's good to know that it wasn't just me scratching my head. But I've moved the dart (along with doing an FBA), and I think things will be OK now. I'll decide about waist darts after I've got a muslin sewn. I never match up with printed waist darts anyway so that won't be anything new.

And, finally for you Sherril, a pic of the inside of the tie blouse.

Clairee asked about sewing with this fabric since she has some too. I used the serger and CS machine for everything and just let the pleats fall where they wanted. On vertical seams (since I cut it crossgrain), the pleats were flat. On the only horizontal seam, the skirt hem, the did sort of stretch out a bit which is why the hem has a slight lettuce/flutter look to it.

More Office Sewing

I've been sending resumes out and now I play the wait game. While I'm waiting for the calls to pour in (getting up off floor now), I'm still sewing.

I finished a cardigan from the lime slinky, which takes care of the last of that fabric. I I used Jalie 2566, which I've made before. I'll take a pic of it later. I forgot to bring my camera upstairs. (I'll also try to remember to take a pic of the inside of the tie blouse neckline for you, Sherril.)

I just finished tracing a blouse pattern from the 05/2007 issue of Ottobre Woman. This one:

I have a blouse-y print fabric to use, which coordinates with the RTW khaki-colored trumpet skirt. But first, I'm sure I'll have to do some alterations, so a muslin will be the next sewing I do.

* * * * *

Also, completely off the track for my usual blog entries, but if you believe in prayers or just good thoughts, please send some along to the Pollock family in Brandon, Florida. Forrest Pollock is the pastor for the church we attend. We don't attend often anymore but that's not the point today. Rev. Pollock and his 13-year old son were killed early Monday morning when the small airplane Rev. Pollock was flying crashed in North Carolina while he was on his way to a church conference. He leaves behind a wife and five other children. The days ahead will be a very hard time for his family, and for the entire congregation.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Few Words on the Tie Front

A few of you asked in the comments for more details about the tie front top. It will be hard to show you without photos and I didn't take any along the way. But I'll try to explain it with just words.

I cut two strips selvedge-t0-selvedge, each 3" wide. I then sewed them with RS together at one short end and pinned the strip together with the seam allowance open. I didn't press with an iron only due to the pleats in the fabric. If there had been no pleating, I would've pressed the SA open.

Next, I folded the long strip in half lengthwise, WS together. (Again, I would've pressed it if this wasn't pleated fabric.)

I placed the joining seam of the strip at the CB of the top. I then pinned the strip around the neckline, stretching it as I went around so that the neckband would not flop over when finished. I don't have an exact method for this. I just do it by feel. It's between a 2/3 and 3/4 ratio of neckband to neckline.

I stopped pinning about 1" before the vee of the neckline.

I turned the unpinned tie strip sections (one for each side of the neckline) RS together and sewed them together along the bottom and long sides, stopping about 1" before where they'd meet the neckline. I sewed along the bottom edge diagonally so the ties would end in a point. I trimmed the corner seam allowances and used a tube turner to turn these parts of the ties RS out. I did it this way (with the neckband already pinned in place) because I was doing this "on the fly," not taking the time to take measurements, etc. I know one could do this in a less haphazard manner, but I was winging it.

Next, I clipped the vee of the neckline just up to the seam allowance. If you feel more comfortable with stay-stitching in this area, you should do that *before* you pin the tie to the neckline. I didn't staystitch.

I sewed the tie onto the neckline as I had it pinned, stretching as I sewed so that neckline and tie met up flat. (Remember, I left ease in the neckline when I was pinning.)

I stopped 1" before the vee on either side. You don't sew all the way to the point of the vee because you need some room for the knot you'll make when tying the ties.

The last step was to "finger press" the seam allowance toward the bodice and coverstitch around. (You can edgestitch with a single or double needle if you do not have a CS machine.) The seam allowances at the point were also "finger pressed" down and coverstitched. I just opened and sorta slid/folded the vee until it was in a straight line going under the foot as I used my CS machine, because you can't really pivot with twin needles. (Very much like you see here.)

The end result is that there is about 1" of the tie section below the vee of the neckline that isn't sewn together. This is OK because (1) it's a knit and does't ravel, and (2) tying the strips into a bow takes up that length and hides the opening. If this was a woven, I'd use Steam-a-Seam to close the opening.

* * * * *

From recent comments:
Mrs. Moos mentioned finding lime slinky at Joann's. Just thought I'd mention that mine came from Nancy's Notions and it's still in stock. Along with a bunch of other colors.

Carolyn was still plugging a navy or black suit. I don't wear either color. I *would* wear a brown suit but they're hard to find in RTW and I just don't have the fabric right now to make one. Really, if I had had enough of the either jacket fabric to make a skirt, I'd have a suit. But I didn't, so I'm going to just dazzle them with my well-coordinated outfits, resume/skills, and shining personality. LOL! Yeah, you can wipe off the keyboard now. But seriously, if this was NYC or Washington, D.C., I'd be more diligent about a suit. But it's Tampa, Florida. We're a bit less uptight here. ;-) Even on interviews. In fact, I'm guessing I'll actually be overdressed compared to most other interviewees.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Being a mother is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I love my wonderful sons so very much! But today will be a low-key Mother's Day for us as I really just want to be a homebody as long as possible before I'm out in the big, mean working world. ;-) We'll do a raincheck dinner on a less busy restaurant day and I'll enjoy it more then. But don't let that stop YOU! Best wishes for a wonderful day with your own moms and/or kids.

* * * * *

Yesterday I worked on a couple of pieces to coordinate with items already made. First up is my "Inspired by Carolyn" top. She's been sewing a few tie-neck shells and after seeing the first one, I was hooked and knew I'd be stealing borrowing the idea.

After sewing the skirt, I had just enough of the paisley print left to eek out a simple top. I used my TNT Ottobre Woman tee pattern, #5, the one with the the shaped vee neckband. Instead of using the neckband/facing, I cut two 3" strips selvedge-to-selvedge (yes, the pleats really run horizontally) and seamed them together at what would be the center back, and attached the tie to the neckband. There's a few more steps than that, of course, but the end result is a pretty top that's as comfortable as a tee without looking like it *is* a tee.

I left the bottom and sleeve edges unfinished. This fabric is a knit — with no stretch — and doesn't ravel. Hemming this stuff makes for a wavy edge (see the skirt) and while I love it for the skirt, I didn't want that for the top. It's a good thing too, because I didn't have enough fabric left to cut with a bottom hem allowance anyway.

Next up was another fast BWOF skirt (04/2008 #131) from the same lime slinky as the BWOF shirred-neckline top.

On the horizon will be a jacket from this fabric. I don't know what or when yet, and this won't be an interview jacket, but I'd like to have it for summer. The fabric goes with various greens and corals which are already clothes in my closet and to-be-made clothes waiting in the stash.

Speaking of Carolyn (Hi Carolyn!), she asked in a recent comment if I had at least one suit (i.e., matching top and bottom) for interviews. I don't. And I won't, because I just haven't been stashing fabric in long enough lengths for an entire suit. I could probably buy something (and have to alter it!) but I don't think it's necessary. Looking professional, yes. Looking like a banker, not here in Florida. Unless you're a banker. I do have plans to make a solid brown skirt to wear with the taupe jacket; however, it won't match the brown jacket, so more conservative but still no suit. I wish I had more of either fabric. From now on, I'll know to buy twice as much. LOL!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tents Are for Camping

This is the white shirt I bought at Walmart a couple of weeks ago. I liked the fabric, the fit not so much. But it's actually pretty well made for a Walmart shirt so I brought it home to think about.

I never buy clothes thinking I can "fix" them, but I decided to just go ahead and fix this one today so I would actually wear it. I need a plain white shirt. Yes, I could make it myself but I don't have any white shirt fabric in the stash (really!) and, like I mentioned, I like *this* fabric. It's a very soft stretch cotton with a subtle woven-in stripe. It took a couple of hours, but that's still faster than making one from scratch. It turned out pretty well, so I'm glad I broke my own rule.

I put the shirt on and evaluated the changes I'd need. When I first brought it home I thought it fit (not great, but OK) in the shoulders and all I'd have to do was shorten sleeves and hem. I should've known better. No RTW fitted shirt ever fits me in the shoulder if it fits across my bust and butt. And the armhole is always too low. This one was no exception. Why I didn't see that at first, I don't know. But I'm stubborn so I couldn't let that stop me. ;-)

I started pinning. I made a tuck at the shoulder seam on the shoulder side, making no changes to the sleeve. I ripped out the top part of the armhole seam and pinned the sleeve further into the armhole to see how it was going to fit. It seemed like it was going to work great. So I basted it and tried it on again. The shoulders were still too wide. I ripped the first basting and tried it again deeper. This time, it looked good so I went ahead and marked a cutting line and then cut a big wedge out of the armhole.

This is what was cut out of the top 2/3 of the armhole. I could start ranting about RTW and pattern manufacturers and linebacker shoulders for women whose bones have not grown since high school. But I'll save that since I know I'd be preaching to the choir.

This is the sleeve pinned into the new armhole. I made no changes to the sleeve cap and sewed on its original stitching line. I pinned starting at each end and working my way to the middle in case I ended up with extra fabric to ease in, but I didn't.

Next it was time to deal with the droopy armhole. The sleeve circumference was also too big so I just sewed a deeper underarm and side seam, tapering to nothing at waist level. Doing this was like sewing the sleeve in flat and then sewing up the sideseam last, which is how the shirt was originally constructed. If it had been a set-in sleeve, I might have re-set it properly. Or maybe not. This is a Walmart shirt after all. ;-)

After serging the armhole and sideseams, I hemmed the sleeves shorter. If you look carefully at the photo above, you should be able to see that the original hem is not really a hem. It's a facing, topstitched and edgestitched. I didn't want to rip all that stitching so I was lazy and just turned the facing up once and then edgestitched and topstitched that.

Then the bottom hem. I cut off 1-1/2" and then pressed up a narrow double fold hem and topstitched that.

The last thing was to sew two more waist darts in the back. I figured I might as well do all the tweaks at this point, since I was on a roll. They look horrible here but Zillie has no butt. I do. The back fits me so much better with the darts. What you can't see are the original two waist darts. They are set very close to the sideseam. Why they are there, I have no idea. But I left them. With all the seaming and darts (there are 2 waist darts in the front too), what's another couple of darts.

So here it is again, Before …

… and After.

ETA: I forgot the best part. This sticker was on the front of the shirt when it was hanging on the rack.

Um, I think not. Unless you have a sewing machine. ;-)