Monday, April 28, 2008

Pattern Morph

Pictures of all the SWAPs are up at the Timmel Fabric site. Check them out. They are all wonderful!

One of the tops in my SWAP is a knit T-shirt with raglan sleeves. The pattern I listed as using to make it is a blouse pattern with set in sleeves. I thought I would explain how the blouse morphed to the T shirt. I learned a lot from the process. I purchased white cotton lycra knit fabric from Timmel Fabrics to use for my SWAP. But I had the hardest time coming up with what to make from it. After looking through web sites at T-shirts for inspiration, I found one on XOOP,

It was a raglan sleeve T shirt, with cutouts on the seam lines of the sleeves. This triggered memories of a favorite bathing suit pattern with similar cutouts on seams radiating from the neckline,Stretch and Sew 1383.(doesn’t the model in the drawing look like Princess Diana?)
The swimsuit had smaller, more esthetically pleasing, cutout shapes. And there were three of them. Thinking about seam lines radiating from necklines, I remembered Vogue 8476, the blouse pattern I made recently. It had 5 seam lines radiating from the neck. I thought the use of small cutouts on 5 seams would be an interesting effect. Though this blouse had set in sleeves, the bottom edge of the yoke in the front seemed to be located where a raglan sleeve seam would be. The blouse had a fairly close fit so I reasoned that if I made it in the knit fabric, and took generous seams, it would fit like a T shirt. I originally tried to draft a raglan sleeve pattern using the instruction on page 128 of Dorothy Moore’s Pattern Drafting and Dressmaking Book. But since I was using a pattern with build in ease rather than a sloper made from my measurements , the resulting pattern was goofy looking.

I did learn from the formulas in Moore’s book, that the front neckline is divided into 6 equal sections, with the sleeve seam starting 1/6th of the front neckline length from the shoulder. The yoke seam on the blouse pattern was exactly where a raglan sleeve seam would be located.
Since the pattern drafting did not go well, I went looking for a existing raglan sleeve pattern I could use. I had a New Look, raglan sleeve, turtle neck pattern in my stash. The pattern for the sleeve proved to be a very close to what I needed on the blouse. I pinned the blouse pattern bodice on my dress form and also the sleeve pattern. The front fit perfectly, On the back there were gaps between the bodice and the sleeve, so I added about an inch to the back sleeve piece. Part of this was probably needed to accommodate my prominent shoulder blades and forward shoulders. My next post will describe how I created the cutouts and used a cover stitch to emphasize the seams.


  1. I'm so glad you are showing this! That top was one of my favourites from your SWAP (which, by the way, is lovely).

  2. Your top was one of my favorite items shown. Thanks for sharing the process.

    I have the Dorothy Moore book. I did make a sloper. I had some "issues" with her measurement methods, mainly because I am a very narrow shoulder person with not so narrow chest. I managed to get the sloper to fit, but not without an extra armhole date also. I decided to ditch her method. I may revisit it later when I have more time to explore. Overall it is a great book and I am glad I got my hands on one.

  3. That is so instructive. Thank you for sharing the different steps of your t shirt construction with us. And congratulations for your SWAP, ,it's lovely!!!

  4. A very clever Tshirt! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wow! I learned a lot from this post! Thanks for letting us follow your process.