Monday, May 8, 2017

FO: Crazy Daisy Shirt

After my not quite successful first try at the Boogie Retro Shirt (seen here), I was curious to try a few things to improve the pattern for me. I chatted with Andrea of The New Vintage Wardrobe on the Curvy Sewing Collective's Facebook wall about her successful shirts. She said that she never had luck with the gathered bodice, and also didn't love the placement of the pleats in the pattern. Instead she would make up the whole shirt, then pleat them as she liked and sew them down. I decided to give this method a try myself, plus a few other minor changes. The result is some good, some not quite, but it's another wearable item :)
Since this was another experiment, I wanted to use a fabric I wouldn't mind being without. A few years ago a friend of mine offered up a bag full of "ugly knit fabric". She was clearing things out, and these pieces had been given to her long before and she knew she would never use them, but thought I could use them for muslins. She was so right :) But proving ever that one woman's "ugly fabric" is another woman's "potentially wearable", I've always kind of liked this particular print, lol. I just have a thing for daisies. The knit itself is cotton interlock, and the daisies are a thick ink style printing on top. The daisies are slightly rough feeling, especially in contrast to how soft the fabric is itself. So it's not the highest quality, but it was perfect to use for a top I didn't know would be wearable or not. So thanks, Holly, for hating this fabric, lol. 
This time around I not only did the suggested "add pleats at the end", I also:
  • removed 1/2" scoop from bodice at front arm scye (to fix the pooling of fabric at my arm pit)
  • added 1" to the sides of the neckline (to fix the exposed garments issue)
  • added 1/2" out at the hip in a curve
  • shortened each neckband by 1"
  • started pleats lower down on bust (as before they felt too high)
I'm happy to say that the changes mostly worked, but some worked a bit too well, lol. Namely the neckline now has so much added at the side that it just looks like a scoop neck that is pulled down to a slight v. I was pretty bummed to realize this when I finished this top. It's still wearable, but this plus the little girl-ish print makes me feel a bit dorky, truth be told. I do like the bodice pleats in theory, but I don't like my application. I kept wondering if there was too much "cupping" going on under my boobs as I was pleating, but with how I wanted things to sit at the neckline it was what I needed to do. I realize now that I needed to almost have a bit more fabric to accomplish this in the way I was trying. My pleats pulled too much from the bottom of the shirt, making the front shorter than intended while also pulling fabric up between my boobs (creating the cupped effect). It was too late to do anything about it on this make, but I will note that next time. I have another love/hate with where the pleats sit. I do like where the pleats sit visually - it just looks "right" to have them centered between the boobs instead of slightly above them. I don't love that there is a good 1.5" - 2" of fabric above the pleats though. Due to my religious garments, I couldn't dip the neckline lower, but my brain knows that this style is supposed to dip lower so I keep thinking it doesn't look right. It's not bad - I think I wouldn't mind as much had the sides not been quite so wide. It definitely makes my boobs look a bit bigger, lol, so there's that.
You can see in the side photo that the added fabric at the hip is kid of pooling. I actually have slight wings of fabric sitting there, which is surprising. I think the curve I added was just more drastic then my body could fill right there, so I will be scooping that bit out next time. You can also see how the front is a bit shorter in the photo. This is a common problem for me that I always forget to adjust for, but the pleating exacerbated the issue here. Note to self: add more length to the front next time! I usually don't notice until the top is finished and I look at the side view photos. Oh well.
Things look good in the back. On my first version I was feeling a little gaping at the back neckline, which is why I decided to shorten the neckband this time. This alteration actually worked beautifully and the neck on this version feels much more secure. I also like the fit through the back on this one, and I was able to ease the gathers much nicer at the sleeve cap so there are no puckers this time :)
So now I have yet another Boogie Retro Shirt that is just not quite right, but it's a bit closer :) I am determined, folks. I will crack this pattern and make it work for me. Next time around I will remove a little at the neckline and maybe try to eliminate the center front seam (I'm never a fan of front seams on me for some reason, but I did it because of the design here). So expect to see more of this pattern soon. In the meantime at least I have a cute and extremely springy daisy top :)

Fabric: 1 yard daisy printed cotton interlock - free
Pattern: Boogie Retro Shirt by Cecelia Theresa Designs
Notions: clear elastic - $0.10, white thread - $0.50, woolly nylon thread - $0.25
Time: 2.5 hours
Total Cost: $0.85

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