I’ve decided to take advantage of this long-weekend to find the perfect pattern to use for my treasured marsala merino, which I’d like to make the winter-layering-turtleneck-of-my-dreams from!
Since we’re in lockdown here in NZ and it’s not possible to print any new patterns out, this throwdown has been limited to patterns that I already have printed. Spoiler Alert: after making them, I’m still not sure which one should be the winner (or if I should keep looking), so I’d love to hear your opinions.
Tara has studied fashion design, and so is trained in pattern production so I’ve always found her patterns and instructions to be very exacting- no confusing instructions, no inexplicably shoddy finishes, notches always match, and I think she also does a great job for plus size bodies too (which is obviously an important consideration.
Size details: My current measurements are around 47″ bust 44″ waist, 56″ hip and between and 18-19″ bicep. I cut a size 22 neckline/bust and graded out to a size 26 at the waist and hip. The sleeves I cut in size 28 (the largest size).
The pattern had small amount of tapering in below the armpit, and the adjustments to the size basically meant that I cut straight down from the size 22 armscye and where I was supposed to turn in, I cut straight down, meeting up with the size 26 line. Oversized tops can end up looking less-than-optimal if you have to grade out too much from the bust (because your grading out can cause a kind of trapeze effect around the hem).
I’ve had the extended sizes of the Kabuki Tee from Paper Theory printed out for ages now, and it’s been in the back of my mind that I ought to find some lovely linen for this for ages now. A couple of weeks ago I tried to find some examples of plus-size bodies in the pattern, but found so few of them (which was very surprising since it was such a popular pattern when it first came out).
I rarely toile but have done so this time around (which is why I didn’t bother to finish the neckline). I’ve never sewn a right angle sleeve before, so I read the instructions before starting (very rare) and also watched this video that Tara put together on how she does it.
I haven’t pressed anything for these pictures (sorry), but the instructions were good and the sleeve will sit perfectly once I iron it out.
The reason I chose to toile this is that so many folks got in touch with me to tell me to be careful with the pattern because they’d ended up with something very oversized that they weren’t very happy with.
I chose my size based on my bust measurement and didn’t grade out at the hips (which, as you can see was a mistake)! I made a straight size 22 for my 47″ bust and 54-ish” hips (I was relying on positive ease in the hips for the size 22). I don’t mind oversized but thought it was best to play it safe based on the advice from the hive mind.
I’ve popped some pictures which show the sample garments from the Paper Theory socials- the area between the neckline and where the sleeve portion begins is much wider on my size 22 than it is on the samples in white.
Unfortunately, I have pretty narrow shoulders, so where the sleeve starts is practically already at the edge of my shoulders (as opposed to sitting quite close to the neckline as it does in the samples). I’m not sure if this is an issue that’s unique to me or if the extended sizes drafting presumed I got a bit broader in the shoulder or perhaps it was trying to make the top in similar proportions).
What do you think, is it worth moving the sleeve in, lengthening the sleeves and grading out at the hips before giving it another go?