For this post, I pick up where I left off in Part 1 — I had sewed the front and back pieces together and attached the collar.
Now I tried on the top to see how it fit. I was swimming in it. It was way too wide. I think I was overcompensating on the size because the instruction booklet says, “Colette Patterns have less ease than other patterns to provide a closer, more tailored fit.” I didn’t want the top to be too small so I opted for the larger size. It fit well in the shoulders but everything from the bust and below was too wide. I was swimming in it.
So I went back to the my machine to sew another seam about a half-inch from the current seam to see how that would work. I left the bust darts as is.
I made these adjustments on the fly. I didn’t mark where the new seam would go. I just looked in the mirror, pinched the fabric where I thought the seam should go and then went to the machine to sew the new seam.
I tried it on again and the fit was good. Then I looked at the top to see how this adjustment would affect the sleeves. I needed to adjust the sleeve width or the sleeve would be wider than the armhole.
My down-and-dirty adjustment? I basted the sleeve seam to match the width I adjusted on the top. Then I pinned that sleeve to the opening to see if that would fit and luckily it did.
My next step was to pin, baste, and sew the sleeves in place. (Note: The sleeves are slightly gathered at the top, a very nice detail.) Once the sleeves are attached, you hang the shirt up overnight. In a bias cut piece of clothing, you need to let the fabric settle so you’ll have a straight hem.
The following day — as you can see from the photo below — the hem really needed to be trimmed. I took my Gingher rotary cutter and sliced off the excess fabric. Then I was ready to iron and sew the hem!
The hemming instructions said to “[t]urn the lower edge under 1/4″ and press”; then “Turn again 3/8″ and stitch. ” With narrow hems, I like to baste them in place before sewing with a machine. This helps prevent the fabric from getting slightly off as you’re sewing and then you have either too much or too little fabric as you get to the end of the seam.
Though the pattern says that any lightweight fabric will work (silk crepe, silk twill, cotton shirting, etc.), the pattern likely works best with fabric that has a soft hand. The shirting I used didn’t drape very much, even with a bias cut — as a result, I felt like I needed to wear a belt with the shirt to make it work.