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Vogue 8151: The Gathered “Dart” Version

February 24th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I made this darted tee a little while ago in an attempt to get a better fit for my full bust.  Shams commented that she generally skipped the darts, and just eases them in.  I decided to try that when I recently needed a slew of tees.  First, here’s the pattern:

And here’s the finished tee, front view, made with the “darts” eased into the side seams:

And back view:

Looks more or less OK, right?  Not so fast, folks.  Something’s a bit wonky here.

For the first tee, I eased the dart’s fullness right where the dart was placed on the shirt.  Big mistake!  Somehow, this left me with a lot of extra fabric just below my bust.  It was a weird fit failure; kind of as if I’d located the dart point three inches below the “point” of my bust.   Amusing, but  not amusing enough for an immortalizing picture.

So I re-fit the thing, and placed the ease directly across the rather broad expanse of my full bust.  This meant that I began easing the extra fullness right at the armpit.  Strange, but it worked.  Sort of:

The ease covers a pretty broad territory, and the alteration is pretty obvious, isn’t it?  But I really couldn’t have bunched this up any more –not only does this represent the true height of my bust’s fullness, but if I’d crammed this “ease” into any smaller territory, we’d be calling it “gathers”.  It’s perilously close to gathering as it is.

See how the side seam pulls to the front a little across from the bust?  You can’t see it in the picture, but it straightens out so that, at the hem, it’s exactly where it should be.  Also weird; I guess that’s the proof that I really do need this extra space in the bust and not elsewhere.  But somehow this just doesn’t seem quite right.

Because I needed a bunch of shirts in a hurry, I whipped up four of these:

Good colors, no?  But these shirts are  flawed, deeply flawed.  They’re quite comfortable to wear, but that ease is just .  .  .  strange.

This is a much nicer shirt to wear than the darted tee.  Tee shirts just don’t want to be constrained the way darts long to be; the knit fabric wants to shift around a bit too much, conforming, as knits do, to the moving body.   The easing on these versions really does make the shirt feel more like a tee, and there is enough room here for my bust, but the alteration is just wrong.

Any advice, fellow sewists?  I do have a brand new copy of the Palmer DVD for the “Full Busted”.  I probably should have waited to make these until after it arrived (ya think?!?).  I’ll be checking out the DVD before I try the next knit top; it can’t hurt!

Reminder:  My duct tape dummy is larger than I am now, for what that’s worth.  It’s really obvious if you compare the fit my the darted tee (on me) and the fit of this one (on the dummy), but is, I think, irrelevant to these alteration issues.  It’s just easier to get fast photos using the dummy, even if the bod is not exactly mine any  more.

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  1. prachtstueckwerk
    March 21st, 2011 at 08:54 | #1

    Have you ever tried to make the red wrap-around style version? I have similar shop bought shirts and they are very comfy to wear and do fit nicely, wrapping around any bumps and rolls and gently hiding them – not that I was indicating you had any of them. I imagine – as due to serious lack of any I can´tell – the model would fit nicely around a bigger bust, too. Maybe the neckline could be made a little less reveiling in case you´d prefer this.

    • March 21st, 2011 at 09:52 | #2

      I haven’t made the wrap version, prachtsstueckwerk, out of a worry that the encircling might be a bit, well, too much, visually speaking! But maybe I should give it a try. The look (on the envelope!) is very nice, and it’s much more interesting than the plain tee.

  2. Cindy D.
    March 13th, 2011 at 21:43 | #3

    Noile…. I’ve had this pattern since last summer since I got inspired to make Ts and this pattern got decent reviews. Well, cutting and cutting and comparing to patterns for wovens and tearing out and resewing and wondering what on earth… I’m a triple D, and need a dart nearly all the time. I’m so glad to find your post. I ended up with two darts, one out of the arm and the other lower. Not what I expected even after measuring and measuring. With a kind of tweedy knit, it’s not awful, but not the picture. Thank you for the observations!

    • March 13th, 2011 at 22:32 | #4

      Thanks for your comment, Cindy. Good thing sewists are up for challenges — we really need to be enterprising!

  3. Marie-Christine
    March 11th, 2011 at 08:20 | #5

    Ahem. Let me try another suggestion: while Sandra Betzina’s fit is much superior to ordinary Vogue, it’s still often iffy. Most people seem happy with Jalie, which is truly designed for knits, with good and modern finishes (no facings and such idiocies commonly advocated in Vogue and Burda..). They seem to allow for a bit more of a bust too. Maybe it’d be a good idea to try one?

    • March 11th, 2011 at 21:25 | #6

      Jalie? That’s a great idea, Marie-Christine. I also picked up a couple of Kwik Sew tee patterns, but I’m thinking that your Jalie suggestion is probably most likely to be successful. We’ll see — thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Mary
    February 27th, 2011 at 00:32 | #7

    A couple of years ago I tried that t-shirt pattern because I read really good reviews on it. I am not large busted. I hated the darts, I hated the gathers (I tried that too), I hated the t-shirt and pitched it. It didn’t fit at all and looked awful on me. How can you go wrong with a t-shirt?!

    • February 27th, 2011 at 08:02 | #8

      Oh, Mary, I hear your pain! I hope you eventually found a pattern that worked for you; sometimes the only answer is to keep trying!

  5. Shari
    February 26th, 2011 at 13:37 | #9

    I’ve had good luck moving the dart ease to the front armscye.

    • February 26th, 2011 at 15:42 | #10

      Interesting idea, Shari. I like the fit, but wish the alteration weren’t so obvious. I’ll have to do some experimentation.

  6. Shams
    February 24th, 2011 at 22:23 | #11

    I far prefer a few gathers at the side seam over a dart, in a knit. And, yes, I put the fullness *at* the bust level, not below it. 😉

    I hadn’t pegged you for a busty girl, Noile!! 🙂

    • February 25th, 2011 at 11:36 | #12

      Shams said:

      “I hadn’t pegged you for a busty girl, Noile!!”

      Uhhh, neither had I! Let’s just say that time has rearranged things a bit. That out-of-the-envelope B bust somehow morphed into a C+/D- when I wasn’t looking. It’s been a bit of a shock to see how this has changed the fitting issues.

  7. Marie-Christine
    February 24th, 2011 at 14:12 | #13

    Not strange at all. Do you see how on the pattern the dart is angling UP? So if you leave off the actual dart to direct the fullness up, how do you expect it to find its way? If you wanted the gathering to be right where the dart ought to be, you should have started with a perfectly horizontal dart.
    Actually, I often spread that ease over more than just a dart width myself, and start kind of at the armhole. Much depends on the stretchiness of the fabric.
    In fact, in more stable knits I ease in about an inch right there, and then I add another inch to the front in the middle, tapering down from bust to zero at side seam. I’m a D, so 2″ extra, and that balances out nicely for me. Of course if I’ve got stretchy stripes, I can ease the whole 2″ in as dart.
    Confused yet :-)?

    • February 24th, 2011 at 14:24 | #14

      But wait, Marie-Christine, my own dart (as I made it in the original, darted tee) IS nearly horizontal! (Which is not to say that your points — is that a bad joke?? — are not good ones!) When I eased the dart for the first time, I’d forgotten that — with exactly the results you describe.

      As you say, when I moved the ease up, right across from the (nearly horizontal) dart, I got a much better result. (I love your sentence “how do you expect it to find its way?” Sometimes it really seems as if these garments DO have minds of their own!)

      That’s a very good point, too, about maybe spreading the ease over a bit more territory, based on stretchiness. These are good things to keep in mind for the next try.

  8. Meeka
    February 24th, 2011 at 13:53 | #15

    If you go to the third page of this PR thread…


    You will see where we discuss it in the Kwik Sew 3740 pattern.

    • February 24th, 2011 at 14:17 | #16

      I’m on it, Meeka! I’d looked at that pattern and decided against it because the cowl looked so floppy, but I see that the discussion suggests that it’s not only potentially a great tee pattern, but that I might have good luck with the cowl if I’m careful about the fabric. Thanks for the link.

  9. Meeka
    February 24th, 2011 at 12:15 | #17

    I bought that pattern and made a sleeveless version with the dart… not so hot. So I picked up a Kwik Sew pattern and found that it had gathered ease instead of the dart. The gathering started a mere 1 to 1.5 cm below the underarm seam and went for about 10 cm or so (I would imagine it would be longer the larger your cup size). It came out really really nice and I have a lovely shirt that looks great on!

    • February 24th, 2011 at 12:34 | #18

      Thanks, Meeka! I think I’ll go sleuthing for that Kwik Sew pattern. Maybe it’s the answer.

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