I seem to be on a roll with sewing at the moment. And trying my hand at several new (to me) patterns. Ones that I’ve had in my stash for quite a while, but never got around to opening. After the two success stories with the shirt pattern recently, I decided to open NewLook 6483
. . . another pattern that’s marked “easy” with promises of 1 hour sewing time. When will I learn to ignore that sort of info? I expect an experienced sewer would find this pattern easy, and would no doubt run it up in under 60 minutes. But surely, it’s the beginner sewer who is drawn to the “easy” patterns? In which case, a top like this will require several hours of patient sewing, and much head-scratching trying to understand some of the instructions.
Anyway . . . I picked a summery cotton print fabric from my stash (this is leftover from a huge piece I bought as backing fabric for my F2F quilt way back in 2017). And selected pattern pieces to make top C (the red version). I’m quite narrow shouldered so thought the way shoulders were shaped on this would be a better fit. As usual, I ummed and ahhed for ages, about what size to cut. Pattern didn’t give FINISHED bust measurement, only finished length so . . . since I’m rather busty (not meaning to get too personal, but the following proved to be a problem with this pattern: I’m a 40” bust and wear a 36 D-cup bra). I therefore cut the largest pattern size which was for a 38” bust . . . slightly worried that the top would be too tight, but deciding I’d take the chance.
Something I learned from this sewing experience is: check out other sewers pattern reviews on the internet before cutting or sewing!!!!! Because . . .
THIS is what I ended up with. Absolutely massive!!!! Now, I do have a tailor’s dummy, but I’ll admit, I don’t really know how to use it properly. I’ve got it set to my vital statistics, but I don’t really know enough about clothes making to make the necessary ajustments to a pattern to make a “fitted” garment. Besides, I have always felt I’m a fairly standard size. I can walk into any clothes shop and buy something that fits, off the rail. I’ve made quite a few tunics, and the recent 2 shirts, without having to modify the pattern in any way. In fact, I’ve used mainly NewLook patterns in the past so I had no reason to think there would be a problem with sizing. Although, on hindsight . . . I did end up with exactly the same problem with NewLook 6602 in July last year – which funnily enough was also a tunic with facings for neck & armholes.
Another view, to show you the gaping armholes
The above photos were after about 4 hours of sewing. I was not a happy bunny!
This is when I went looking on the internet for pattern reviews. And realised I should have started with that! Of the twenty or so reviews I read . . . a good 75% of sewers had made pattern changes along the way, or quite simply not really followed the pattern at all. Many chose not to bother with facings, and just added binding. And almost everyone said that the pattern sized up way too big.
So hmmmmffffff!!!! What to do? I couldn’t do a great deal about the gaping armholes because they were faced (and should have been cut smaller if I wanted a smaller size) but I did manage to make a few improvements. First . . . I unpicked side seams, and unpicked darts which were simply there, and miles away from my boobs. Redrew and sewed darts much lower and longer . . . which improved things somewhat, but not 100%.
And I scooped out the neckline, simply drawing a curve freehand and bringing it down quite a bit.
That doesn’t solve the too big armholes or the fact that shoulders are much wider than on the pattern picture because (as said above) I refused to unpick the arm facing and redo that part.
As long as I don’t walk about with my arms sticking out like that though, it doesn’t look too bad.
Since I scooped out the neckline, I’ve got a button fastening at the back which is purely decorative as, with the saggy baggy arms, and lower neckline, I can just slip it on over my head without undoing the button.
The big question is: will I use the pattern again? And to that I’ll say: I honestly don’t know! I do like to try the same pattern several times, in different fabrics, to get my money’s worth, so to speak. In fact, I had big plans of making all five of the different options this pattern offered. But that was before all the hassle with the first top.