After I finished all the modications on the Darling Ranges bodice pattern pieces, it was time to try it out again. But this time, I decided to modify the pattern to make a shirt. I keep seeing chambray shirts every where, and as I conveniently had a mens chambray shirt in my stash to be refashioned, it must have been an omen (hopefully a good one and not The Damien kind).
I drafted new shirt pattern pieces from my recent versions of the Darling Ranges bodice, lengthening them and omitting the button placket as I’ll be keeping the original one from the shirt. Then, I de-constructed this shirt and it soon became the sum of it’s parts.
I cut the front shirt piece on the fold of the buttoned up shirt front and the sleeves and back from the reciprocating parts of the deconstructed shirt. The original shirt had flat felled seams on the outside like many denim garments, although after looking into this type of seams, the original ones weren’t true flat felled seams. I felt that this feature was one that showed the difference between an obviously homemade garment and a professionally made one. So I decided to give it a shot as, this year, I’m all about improving my skills as a sewer and hopefully making better looking garments. I started with the shoulder seams, then moved one to attaching the sleeves and this is where all the trouble began.
The flat felled seams on the shoulders went ok and I decided that I would try and sew the sleeves in flat, and not as set in as the original pattern called for, so I could continue with the flat feled seams. But after a couple of attempts at the sleeves I had to put it down and walk away. The sleeves and the armscye just didn’t match. The armscye was too large and I kept ending up with this.
I came to the conclusion that I would need to make the armscye smaller by making the seam allowance larger at the shoulder. I tried again, and seam ripping and pinning and sewing, and finally got the sleeve to fit. Then there were other issues and I decided this was a failed project.
I realised I didn’t give myself ease aroud the hips, and the all over fit wasn’t right. Later, I did a search on the internet for fit issues with the Darling Ranges sleeves and found that I wasn’t the only one. I’m so thankful for Roobeedoo’s posts on her two attempts at this dress. She had the same issues I had and in the end made almost all the same alterations to the bodice pattern that I did. Roobeedoo increased the shoulder seam to 2.5-3 cm to compensate for the larger armscye and that fixed her problem with the sleeve. So, although this was a failed project, I have learned alot. I’ll try and make another toile/muslin with all my alterations and the added seam allowance at the shoulder and see where we go from there.