Drafting a Styling Curve and Alterations

Making your own curve stylist or French curve

A French curve is a set of curves made from varying sturdy materials that are used to draft the curves in patterns of different slopes. The French curve is also an invaluable  resource for altering patterns.

 

Unfortunately I don’t have a French curve but I was really wanting to adjust my husbands t shirt pattern last week so I had to find a way to make it work. It was actually so easy! JK I bought one after writing this! Haha

All I had to do was to trace the armscye curve of his pattern piece marking where the side seam point and the shoulder point on the curve. Then I cut the curve out and traced this it onto some craft paper so it was a little bit more sturdy.

You can see here I just put a piece of printer paper behind the pattern piece to start and then traced the armscye curve. Most tops have a different curve for the front and back so you’ll have to do this twice. After you’ve drawn the line make sure to mark the top and the bottom, that’s where you’ll line up the new armscyes and shoulder lines and you can cut your curve out!

Forward Thrusting Shoulder Line Adjustment

(The one I use)

I have noticed that the forward thrusting shoulder is probably the most common adjustment needed on people now in the 21st century. With the amount of looking down that everyone is doing at phones, computers or keyboards the shoulder tends to rotate forward. Shockingly I noticed the other day in one of my husbands rtw shirts that they had adjusted for the forward shoulder and the shoulder seam was an inch or two more forward than the center point of the sleeve!

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What it is:

A forward thrusting shoulder is when your shoulder sits more forward than the rest of your body causing your shoulder seam line to feel like it is riding back. I have also noticed that this can manifest itself when your front delt is more developed than your back delt cough cough my husband haha. When your shoulder sits more forward it means your back sits wider and your chest is more narrow which leads to your less than ideal fitting garment.

What it looks like:

When this happens there is too much fabric in the front and not enough fabric across your back which can cause drag lines going across your upper shoulder and some pooling between your neck and shoulder. This is shown by having drag lines from the center out to the shoulder point. Luckily this is a super easy fix!

Solution:

All you need to do is bring your shoulder seam of your front pattern piece down the designated amount and raise your back shoulder seam (making the armscye appear taller) that same amount! I started with 1/2 an inch and went from there but the rtw shirt that fits my husband perfectly for his muscular build is about an inch difference.

Step 1:

The first thing you’re going to want to do is measure down from the shoulder seam on the FRONT bodice the amount that your forward shoulder sits. I did one inch for Travis. 

 

 

 

Step 2:

When you add to one side of the bodice you have to do the same but opposite to the other to keep the pattern even! So you need to add the amount you used in step 1 to the back bodice here. 

 

Step 3:

Now using your styling curve or freehand you can ease in the neck curve to the new addition to the back bodice shoulder.

 

YOU DID IT!!!

I really hope this helps,

Whitney

Forward Thrusting Shoulder Point Adjustment

What it is:

This alteration is if just the shoulder bone sits more forward than the rest of your body or in the un-ideal place. Unlike in the forward shoulder line adjustment just the bone is sitting forward so the neck point is going to remain the same.

What it looks like:

This is shown with drag lines extending from the center front neck out towards the shoulder.

Solution:

The first thing you’ll want to do is measure the amount you want to change down from the front bodice shoulder line, then connect the neck point to that new point with a straight line. Similar to what we did on the forward shoulder line adjustment but this time you’re only altering the outside point. This will have shortened the armscye of the front bodice so you’ll have to move the armscye down your designated amount just like to did in the forward shoulder line adjustment. Next we’ll move on to the back bodice, Since you shortened the front bodice shoulder you’re going to have to increase the height of the back bodice shoulder. You’ll do this the same way but opposite. Measure your designated amount up from the shoulder point and then connecting that point to the neck point. By connecting these two points you’ve created the new shoulder seam for the back bodice. You’ll then have to increase the height of the back bodice armscye just like we did in the forward shoulder line adjustment. 

By changing this you’ve also changed where the center point on the sleeve will hit. You’ll want to adjust your notch for the center sleeve. If you moved the shoulder point by 1/2 inch for instance you’ll want to move that notch forward 1/2 inch as well.

I hope to add photos to this too I just haven’t had the chance yet!

Sloped Shoulder Adjustment

What it is and what it looks like:

A sloped shoulder adjustment is really common and I had no idea about it until just a couple months ago! When your shoulders slope down from your neck out to the shoulder bone and the pattern isn’t altered for it, it causes drag lines that extend from the armpit up to the neckline. I have also noticed that overly big trap muscles can appear to cause this same thing and give the illusion of a sloped shoulder but it is really a higher neck base adjustment that you’ll need.

Solution:

Good news is that this is a super easy fix! All you have to do is pinch out on the edge of the shoulder to see how much you need to adjust for your particular sloped shoulder to make the drag lines disappear.

Once you have that measurement, for us it was 1/2 inch, you’re going to lower the shoulder seam on the outside by that measurement and then connect the neck point to that new shoulder point.

In order to keep the armscye the same size you’re going to have to mirror this same alteration at the bottom of the armscye. Again for us we did 1/2 inch. So you mark 1/2 inch down from the armscye and use your French curve or a mirror of the curve your shirt has to create a new armscye that ends at that point.

You’re going to mirror these same adjustments on the back bodice as well and you’re good to go!

A sloped shoulder adjustment is commonly paired with forward thrusting adjustment and a rounded back adjustment so be sure to check those out.

Hope this was helpful!

-Whitney

I hope to add photos to this later today but I just haven’t had the chance yet!

Titchy Threads Twisted Tank and HTV

A couple months ago I was on the mission for a new tank top for my son, while searching and trying a lot of different patterns I saw one similarity, bands! Yet every rtw one that I saw and liked didn’t have bands. Now, the twisted tank does have bands but I wondered how the fit would be if I left them off and that’s where I’m love affair with this quick sew blossomed. I have made tons in circular knit, rayon spandex and nylon spandex.

The tank top is pretty straight forward and I followed the instructions but when it came to bands, I just serged the neckline and armcye then folded under and topstitched. This one is made in white circular knit.

Easy breezy which leaves time to HTV!! So let’s discuss. I have stashed hologram HTV for a while and no clue what to use it for but I love it. The first image I cut was on regular pressure for iron-on vinyl, it wasn’t deep enough. Cut two, I used the glitter iron-on setting with high pressure, perfect! Remember that! I designed the image and started weeding. Most times I find myself cutting away the pieces as I’m peeling

This wedding tool is a life saver! I got it a while ago here

I apply after I cut the front shirt panel, use a layer of parchment paper, set up Cricut easy press at 350 for 30 seconds and do a cool peel. The easy press works great! My son is almost 4 and my biggest fear was him touching the huge heat press plates so when deciding on a heat press I chose this one. It has a base for it to rest on, easy to store and I don’t have to worry about any little fingers grabbing it.

and done within minutes.

Pattern Hack with Phee

I am back again with another pattern hack, this time is the Tammy from Annelaine Patterns! I decide to make W a cropped dance top and add a little something extra with the wrap around ties. For the bottoms I used the Deux Leggings from Lil Luxe Collection, I didn’t make any changes on those

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For this set I used Pinkalicious and Black Tricot from Phee Fabrics. I used tricot for a more of an athletic feel to her outfit, since she is only 5 they don’t dance too hard, but it is perfect for anything of the athletic nature, its moisture wicking, anti microbial, and has 4 way stretch. Tricot is a great choice for those older girls needing a cropped Tammy for dance!

Ok, on to hacking the Tammy! You are going to construct your Tammy bodice the same way from the tutorial, just skip cutting or attaching a skirt.

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We are now going to measure the bottom of the top.

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This is where we have to do some math. We are essentially making a band for the bottom of our top. If you know how to do this you can skip ahead, just for reference I make my band 5 inches wide so my finished band would be 2 inches wide.

The bottom of my top laying flat is 12 inches. So from there you want to double that measurement, which makes it 24 inches. From there we want to make the band slightly smaller than the bottom of our top so we will multiply that 24 by 85% or .85

24 * .85 = 20.4

We still need to add in the seam allowance. Which means a 1/4″ on each side of the band or a total of 1/2″

20.4 + .5 = 20.9

When I have an odd measurement like 20.9 I will just round up to 21 to make cutting my band easier. So for the band on my size 5 Tammy I will cut a 5″ by 21″.

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We will also cut our ties. How long the ties are, is up to you. I found that between 30 and 35 inches for W. Her waist is 22 inches and this allowed for them to be wrapped around and tied. You will need to cut 2 ties. So for me I cut 2 ties 5″ by 35″.

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Now we are going to sew our ties. You will fold long edges, right sides together and then sew (with a stretch stitch) the long edge and one of the short edges. I used contrasting thread for the purposes of this tutorial. You will end with one of the short ends left open.

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Turn your straps right side out.

Grab your bottom band and find the middle of the short end and mark with a clip/pin.

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Place your ties on the right side of your bottom band with the seams of the ties towards the middle mark you made on your band.

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Now bring the other short edge of your band and match up the edges, right sides together.

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Your ties should not go all the way to the bottom of the band, this is the seam allowance of where you will be attaching it to your bodice.

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Sew your band and ties, making them one piece. Then fold the band wrong sides together. You should now have a circle with the ties coming out of one end.DO9A2666

Now we are going to quarter your bottom band and your Tammy bodice. The side seams are quarter points so you don’t need to mark those if you don’t want to.

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Match your quarter points on your bodice and band, making sure the ties are in the back.

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Sew the band to the bodice stretching slightly between your quarter points.

All done! With your cropped tie Tammy from Annelaine Patterns!

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A Fabric Fit for All

Today is a big day…my first blog post! Taking my social media sewing ramblings to new heights, lol!

Truthfully, I am excited for this challenge and next step in my sewing journey. I could not think of a better first topic than the one that brought me to sewing in the first place, my family. I began sewing when my son was around 8 months old. There were so many baby items that I found myself buying and thinking, “I could make this!” So I dusted off the 10 year old sewing machine I had never used before and tried. A few classes, 3 new machines and waaaaaay too much fabric later I find myself sewing daily and can’t imagine life without it.

About the fabric – finding fabric for myself has never been a challenge.

Exhibit A: (this is not all of it, we always find places to hide more )

But finding fabric for my husband and son has been a challenge for me. I tend to gravitate towards solids and neutral prints for them, and when I saw the Oatmeal Rayon Spandex from Phee Fabrics, I knew I had a winner for my two guys!

Not all fabric is created equal, and to that, not all Rayon Spandex is created equal. The rayon spandex from Phee Fabrics is an impressive 13 oz’s! It has a great textured pattern that adds to the look and gives more coverage than other light colored fabrics, a plus for my husband who doesn’t want to wear an undershirt in the hot, summer months.

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I know there are several Mommy-and-Me sets and with Father’s Day around the corner, I wanted a Papa-and-Me set for my guys. I chose a tank top for my son. This time I used the Neverland Tee, which just got an update, to try out how this rayon spandex would work for bands. Major success! The weight gives it the stability I like from traditional Cotton Lycra bands but it is much softer and had plenty of stretch and great recovery. For Papa, a V-Neck was the request and I found the Berlin Tee from Toby K. Patterns. This one is loaded with options and turned out great as a V-Neck in the Oatmeal Rayon Spandex.

And of course mama had to have something…

The Open Back Pullover from Greenstyle is the layering piece I had been hoping for and the White Rayon Spandex gives enough coverage but is light enough for sweaty post workout wear. And since there is an open back, why not add another Phee fabric?!? Some White and Navy stripes in the latest pattern from Petite Stitchery & Co., the women’ Starbird Suit!

Just one big happy fabric family!