Nope, it's not a cocktail for a thirsty sheep farmer, but the recipe for the perfect winter basics for me!
Do you remember I made the free downloadable, Tonic 2 by Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick? It was here in my "I'm so fussy" blogpost.
For that one I made shorter 3/4 sleeves 'cause that was all the fabric I had in that super cheap, knock out a trial run, orange stuff. It never occurred to me that sleeve length may be an important aspect of making a muslin. (you can see where this is going right?)
For my next one(s) what I did do was split the pattern vertically on each side and add a 6mm in width so that the shoulder was truly at my shoulders rather than being a bit narrow as above.
Then I decided, seeing as it was winter, I would have a few of them in merino, and perhaps I should raise the neckline about 4cm at the front and add a turtleneck....
I simply ran a tape measure around my new neckline, then cut a rectangle that was the same length as the neckline and twice the height I wanted my neckband to be. The SBCC pattern has you cut the narrow neckband on the bias. I figured that wasn't really necessary so the big neckband is cut on the same grain as the rest of the top, sewn into a loop then serged on and the seam stitched down.
But eeeek, the sleeves were so short! Even unhemmed they were a good four centimetres too short. I decided a cuff would suit the neckband so I cut a cuff that was as thick as I thought I could get away with and attached the cuff the same way as the neckband.
For the next one I added 5 cm to the sleeve length and left the neckline as per the original pattern
It looks like the sleeves are OK here, but when I do stuff (which, as much as I wish I could avoid it, is what I spend my days doing) they ride up a bit and still seem to short.
I'd already cut this third one with only 3cm added to the sleeve as I was planning cuffs again.
The neckband on this one was a bit lower as I didn't have as much of this fabric as the others. In fact , this fabric was pilfered from the kids sewing stash, whereas the other two has been purchased with sewing for me in mind. Once I started on my selfish-merino-base-layer-sewing ride there was no getting off!
There was another bit of stashed, not-meant-for-me merino that was large enough for another one:
This time I had the 5cm extra sleeve length AND I added a small cuff. Finally, a happy sleeve length. I must have monkey arms as I've decided I need about 8cm extra length in the sleeves. However the top length is straight from the pattern (size L) and is perfect. The pattern comes in two size groupings; XXS-L and XL-3X, and considering it's a free pattern you don't even have to choose. There must be a size there for everyone, surely.
Apologies for the dreadful photos. I have a terrible headcold, am exceedingly grouchy and kept getting distracted by kids. Almost every face was a sour one today. Still, I've been wearing these four tops almost non stop since I made them and just getting them all photographed and on the blog seemed important. It's the everyday basics that really make you feel like you know what you're doing, right?!