Monday, June 14, 2010

Even Genius Takes a Holiday Every Once In A While

You know how sometimes you think "Damn!  I look good!"?  And then some evil person shows you a picture of yourself?  And you realize that you are hopelessly delusional?  I just did that to myself.

I was hoping this second draft of my Perfect T-Shirt Pattern would come out, well, perfectly.  And when I put it on, it certainly felt perfect.  Silky-soft cotton jersey? Check.  My bestest color, hot pink? Check. Low-but-not-too-low neckline? Check.  Perfect fit? Che-- uh.  Well...

Not so perfect.  This shirt is the perfect example of how choice of fabric really does make a drastic difference in overall fit.  I was hoping that this fabric wouldn't be as clingy and unflattering as I suspected it would be.  My hopes were, alas, dashed to the ground like so many shattering crystal vases flung from the hands of distraught and frustrated housewives.

Sorry.  I've been ready trashy romance novels this week.

Anyway, here is the second version of my Perfect T-Shirt Pattern.  I decided to rotate the dart up into the neckline and then convert the dart to smocked gathers. (I have a BWOF top- that I have literally worn to pieces- that has this same treatment, so I foresee making this version in about twenty different fabrics.)


For those of you playing along at home who aren't so up on your drafting techniques, here's how you do the dart-to-smocking conversion (I totally made this up myself, so if it doesn't work for you I take absolutely no responsibility for it):

original draft with side bust dart

1) rotate the dart up to the neckline (see various sewing books on how to rotate a dart)

2) measure the total width of the dart at the widest point (distance x)

3) multiply distance x times the amount needed to make up the difference in width when gathered (I didn't do a test strip on this, I just guessed that the gathering would need to be about two times the width of the dart... this ended up being slightly too little gathering, so I'm going to try 2.5 times on the next one).  This is distance y.

4) measure distance y from the center front and draw a vertical line parallel to the center front

5) draw a horizontal line (perpendicular to the center front) down from the neckline equal to about 2/3 to 3/4 of the length of the dart

6) draw in your stitch lines for the smocking/gathering (I chose to do five lines of smocking)

 second draft with rotated dart

Here's the end result (warning! giant boob picture ahead):


Everything else in the pattern is the same as my first version

And here it is, in all it's unflattering, clingy glory.   Absolutely enhanced by my half-wet hair, of course.  And the fact that I should have pulled the top down at least an inch in the front  before I took the pictures.

front view, ugly tummy bump and bad bra side, ugly tummy bump

back, not pulled forward enough and good grief



Why the hell my husband let me walk out of the house like this, I have no idea.  The only explanation is that my husband's version of a "good look" for me is exclusively one that he can see down the front of.  And hence he probably thought this top was... perfect.


  1. The fit in the back looks nice, but you do have a bit of a uni-boob going on in front. Whenever I make something that is comfy, but I know I'll never wear it out of the house, I just call it PJs. (No really, I meant to do that!) And hey, if hubby likes it...

  2. Well I'm just going to be my normal difficult self and say I kinda like it. So there.

  3. But it looks so comfy, and the color delicious! I'm with KID, MD: call it PJs and enjoy wearing it around the house if you don't want to wear it in public.

  4. Right, the back looks very nice, and the front fits exactly like a top of this style should fit. The sleeve legnth is perfect. If you don't mind me saying it appears the shoulders are too wide, they flop off the shoulder a bit and stretch the neckline. So you need a smaller size :) For me I think the tunic length is too low, it would be better cut higher; tunics in general don't look great on petite women. What's more, my nursing tops are all tunic length and they spotlight my post-partum fluff.

  5. I truly don't think it's as bad as you do! I love the color and the style. I know what you mean about clingy fabric. I wonder what would happen with a tank under it, or spraying it with one of those anti cling sprays.

  6. But hey, the dart rotation/smocking tut IS very good.

    I avoid the clingy stuff esp with a style that lays away from the neck. Uni-boob is accented.

    This tee would change quite a bit if you added a collar to fill in the space between your neck and shoulder point. Might be something to think about for the next version

  7. If you felt like serious suck in and smooth out undergarments it'd be perfect. Otherwise just wear it and enjoy the fact that your husband likes it ;-)

  8. I like it. I agree with the commentor who said it looks a bit long - I would shorten this puppy up, and bring the shoulders in a bit.

    Thanks for the info on doing the smocking - it's a great look. g

  9. Even if it wasn't an all out WIN-WIN, you gotta love it that it was a tiny marital win!

  10. Love that smocking treatment! I am no expert on fit so I can't help.


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