Sunday, November 27, 2011

Au Bonheurs Asymmetric Tee and Thanksgiving Weekend Wrapup

Wow, I have been having way too much fun the last few days. Thanksgiving was lovely at a friend's house. I made the bread rolls and they also asked for an extra recipe of the bread dough so they could make cinnamon rolls over the weekend for their house guests. I was happy to comply and will, eventually, post the recipe over on my recipe blog (which is not very active in general).

Then, DD2 came to visit and we had fun cooking (made my first fudge of the season, also to be posted later), watching movies, walking, and driving. (She is about to get her driver's license and loves to just drive.) Then she went off Swing dancing so I even had some time to sew!! (Seriously, how many 16-year-olds love to Swing dance and play boogie woogie music?)

Since time was limited, I wanted to pick an easy pattern. I decided it was time to make the Au Bonheur asymmetric tee that The Amazing Dorothy made recently.


It's sad that this company is now out of business, but I know some folks do have their patterns. This one goes up to a size 46, though the finished bust measurement is 41". This is not nearly enough for my 48" bust. However, I have recently worked out that in stretchy tees, I like a finished bust of 44", or about 4" of negative ease.

I needed an FBA, as usual, and decided to try a new-to-me technique, the pivot-and-slide FBA. You can see it explained on the Sharon Sews blog. I pivoted the top 1.5". This worked well at the side seam, but had an undesired effect in the armsyce by making it too wide. I will explain how I fixed that in a bit.

As I traced off the size 46, I straightened out the extreme waist shaping, as I do not have a tiny waist, and I removed the extra hip width, as I have narrow hips.

The top features asymmetric cap sleeves, which are very cute, especially on Dorothy, but I do not wear cap sleeves. I decided to take the sleeves from the Style Arc Adele top that I recently made. This meant that I had to transfer the armscye from the Adele top to the Au Bonheur top. This took care of the unwanted width added from the pivot-and-slide FBA and also narrowed the shoulder by about 3/4". Another good alteration for me as I narrow the shoulders of most patterns.

The pivot-sand-slide FBA also did not add length to the front. I need additional length to get up and over the boobs (cause it's a mountain, not a rainbow!), so I used the same alteration that I used for the Adele top, where I sliced the top horizontally at the bust point and added 1" across the front. This extra length is eased back in at the side seam.

Finally, I shortened the sleeves by 2".

I will not kid you, it felt like the alterations went on and on and took several days to accomplish in time snippets. I think that the alterations took longer than it too to cut and sew the top. But it was totally worth it!

I raided my stash to make this top. The stripe is a fabric from Marcy Tilton, purchased long ago. The polka dot fabric is left over from this Sandra Betzina dress. The solid black is left over from the Debra Zebra top.

I have a slight aversion to raw edges, so I serged all of the exposed raw edges. The top was very fast to sew together and I was happy with the fit. I left off the overlay on the right front, for two reasons. First, I was not sure if it would lay nicely over my bust. But, I mostly left it off because there was so much going on that the top didn't need any additional visual noise.

One thing I want to point out. If you look at the pattern, it appears that the center front seam is on the diagonal. This is not the way the pattern is drafted. It is drafted with the seam straight up and down along center front.

I will definitely be making this again! Now that it's altered to fit me, I can use it over and over and may even cut it more conventionally for a regular tee.

Tomorrow I am taking my last vacation day of the year to hang with an internet friend whom I have never met in person. More on that later. :)

More Pictures

ETA. This is too funny! I just realized that the back was supposed to echo the front, with two pieces, seamed at the CB, with asymmetric hems and necklines. I somehow missed this and traced only the back with the deeper neckline and cut it on the fold. I will trace it off for next time.


Walking up the Mosaic Steps


The top of the hill.

Seam Allowance Ruler and Tablecloth Skirt Gallery

Here's a clever new tool! A woman named Claire Tharp had the idea of a french curve designed for adding seam allowances. It comes in two widths - 3/8" and 5/8". I have both widths and these rulers are very easy to use. Discounts are available if you are a member of ASG, Pattern Review, etc. The pricing and discounts are explained on her blog, SA Curve Ruler. There is also a video demonstration. Claire's Etsy site is ctharp1.

These rulers would fit perfectly into a Christmas stocking! ;) (And, no, I get nothing for this plug; mine were purchased and I think they are a useful product.)

I am currently working on a top that has no seam allowances included in the pattern so I am actually road testing the rulers.

Tablecloth Skirt Gallery

The pictures have been flooding in from folks who are making the Tablecloth Skirt. You guys are fast!

I am having fun seeing all of these versions of the skirt. If you look at the top of my blog, there is a permanent link to the Tablecloth Skirt Gallery. Drop me a line (email is in my profile) if you'd like me to include a photo your skirt! I also include a link to your blog, pattern review, or picture set, if you have something along those lines.