I won’t give this pattern, or this top, a name. It’s an Icarus. I use that term for projects which over-reach my abilities with unwearable results. However, the term carries positive connotations because I can evaluate what went wrong and how to fix it.
I saw this top- Roses in Rain from Anthropologie- in a thread at PR and decided it looked like a fun drafting problem. I played it safe with Mirabilis and the Plus Fours, as they required no major dart movements. I like the idea of using interesting seams and drapery in knits to disguise shaping, since a darted t-shirt would look… weird…
I started by making a pattern for a cut-on sleeve front and back. Then I moved the vertical darts to the side seam. Basically, I knew my dart at the waist measures 3cm so I took that off the side seam and smoothed the line. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s ok for knits. That left the horizontal bust dart. On the PR thread, someone suggested it was a cowl sewn into a neck dart, which is how I approached the problem.
After a false start, I marked the CF at 6″ down from the neck and drew a deep V from either side- the way to set up a cowl neck. On the right side, I rotated the horizontal bust dart to the neck. I cut off the far right side to cowl the left side. My proportions were 2:7, which was more or less random. Pepin suggests thirds and halves are visually boring, so I decided to be bold.
Then I drew the cowl lines based on another vintage drafting manual I had on hand. I forgot I was dealing with the body and the sleeve in one, and that was my first mistake.
See how low I made the third slash? Second mistake. I should have drafted the body from the regular dress sloper and added the cut on sleeves last. That would have been less ambiguous for me while following the book, and I wouldn’t have a mad puffy drape below my boob.
If you imagine I’m standing in front of a normal hedge, I might be Thumbelina’s stroppy sister. Note the yellow-green, a different green from the pine/oak forests I rambled as a child. Greens here are golder.
The back is ok, I’m not expecting much from an experimental muslin carried out in the world’s most disgusting rayon slub knit which pills after two washes.
I learned! I’ll probably wear the top around the house until it falls apart, I don’t hate it and it’s comfy. The second it pills or falls apart, I won’t have any qualms about cutting it up for rags. I don’t like the original enough to draft once more, though I may revisit it in the future. This exercise taught me a great deal, I’m not upset with the result, and I’m feeling confident about my next challenge:
In a plum bamboo/spandex with long tight sleeves… Yes, please- though not for a while. I want to take a few weeks to focus on quilting, home dec, finishing ufos, sewing a laptop bag, and sewing for the other people in my household. It’s kind of boring sewing for just myself and I’ve had quite a streak of that lately.