Friday, November 5, 2010

Sencha Blouse: "Sway Chest" Adjustment question

To fill in the space or not to fill in the space, that is the question... or rather... To trim off the excess wedge or not to trim off the excess wedge, maybe THAT is the question. Bad Shakespeare puns aside, I do question how to finish my "hollow chest" adjustment, or what I am thinking of as my "sway chest" adjustment. I haven't really found an answer online or in my books.

That there above is a two inch tuck taken along my upper bust line, exactly where my breast curve stops and my chest begins. This is where the tissue wanted to be folded, so this is where I folded it. It indeed took me a bit of pondering and staring to figure out to fold this at all. During my fitting, I originally thought the center waist was not big enough, because the center front seam was sweeping out toward my side. As I played with the tissue, I realized the center front was swinging out because the upper chest was too long. If I tucked out some inches from the upper chest, it pulled the center waist into the correct position. Viola. Solution found. Almost...

Now I just need to figure out how to finish off this adjustment to keep things on grain.

This is my first sway chest attempt, although I have high, high hopes for it. You see, I have come to realize that I am indeed short in the upper chest. Too often in ready to wear, especially in blazers and jackets, my shoulder and neckline try to "stand up" off of my shoulders when I sit or relax. Lapels are always gaping away from my upper chest. Even in my fitted t-shirts, I get wrinkles and "puddles" of fabric over my bust. It's because my clothing is too long up there!!! I never thought much of it, but now I am starting to understand that I am wearing clothing that has been graded in length, not just width, to match my size. And I don't need extra length in my upper chest and shoulder area. I am short there.

Hence comes in the question. The "sway chest" tuck left an inverted curve in the center front chest area. So, do I fill it in? Or do I trim off the little wedge the is poking over the majority of the center front line. Both options are demonstrated below.

The "Trim off" Method:

See that extra wedge of pattern? I could trim that off to true the center front on a consistent grain line. But this will diminish the overall width at the center front a little bit.

The "Fill in" Method:
See that triangle gap in the pattern? I could fill that in to true the center front on a consistent grain line. This will add some width to the center front.

Being fairly new to sewing, I am a bit concerned what all these alterations are doing to the potential grain lines in my fabric. Heaven knows I don't want things stretching all wonky along the bias because I shifted the lines. But hey, trial and error is a great way to learn!


Cynthia said...

I have no advice but I fascinated to see the adjustments you are making.

Unknown said...

Try putting the muslin on inside out and mark a dot where your nipple is. Use that mark as the dart point but stop about 1" to 1 1/2" before you get to the point.(I am guessing you may need the 1 and 1/2". The dart should point to your nipple from the side or below. Hope this helps! I love your blog and am learning from it too. Patti