I have 2 classes left: tomorrow and then next week is the last one. So next week the shirt will be due, which means that if I need any guidance for it, I need to get it tomorrow. My plan is to finish the muslin shirt tonight and try it on and hopefully it will fit. I'm not sure if I'll have time to modify it even if it doesn't fit.
This is the pattern: Simplicity 8523, size 14, view A (centre bottom view).
So far, I've completed:
- front darts
- back seam
- sewn front to back at shoulders and sides
- neckline facing
- one sleeve
Still have to do:
- second sleeve
- closure at top back
- remove thread from needle
- place sleeve under the fabric as though you're going to sew in gathering stitches
- lower the presser foot
- set stitch length to 2.5
- place your finger behind the presser foot, tight against the foot and the plate. It should be directly in the way of the fabric coming out.
- sew (without thread in needle)
- fabric will gather into tiny folds against your finger. keep you finger there until you've "sewn" the whole curve of the sleeve.
- remove fabric from the machine and check the folds. If you feel it needs some more folds or, as often happens to me, there seems to be some areas that didn't crease as well, you can just go over those areas again.
- it will look like it's been crimped. This slightly gathers the fabric, allowing you to easily fit it to the sleeve opening in the top. It's also a lot faster and uses less materials than using gathering stitches.
- with top right side out and sleeve wrong side out, slide the the sleeve opening into the sleeve (right sides together and matching notches, dots, and seams). It's much easier if the sleeve is on the outside since it is the larger... piece of fabric and the one you are reducing in order to match it to the sleeve opening on the top. Pin, sew, (don't clip!) and serge all the way around.
I'm right in between size 12 and 14. (Note: Pattern sizes do NOT correspond to clothing sizes in stores!) Unfortunately, one pattern envelope has sizes 8, 10, and 12 and the one I had has sizes 14, 16, and 18. If 12 and 14 were on the same paper, I'd just cut out the pattern right in the middle.
With my skirt, I'm also between size 12 and 14 and got size 12 and had to enlarge it. Which was difficult - I pretty much had to draft my own pattern based loosely on the one I bought. This is why I decided to go to the larger size this time. I'd rather have it too large - it's much easier to shrink than to enlarge, and it's not strictly necessary to shrink it in order to be able to wear it. If the shirt's too small, I can't wear it - period. If it's too big, it might not look perfect but at least it's wearable. I can always use another laundry-day shirt ;) (and eventually I hope I'll get it right and it will fit AND look good :D )