Saturday, August 14, 2010

Liverpool Shirt - in process

Not so hot and stick today, but that doesn't mean I'm in any mood for modeling. So, herewith, a work in process on the hanger:
This is the popular Amy Butler "Liverpool" shirt/tunic/dress pattern. Believe it or not, this is the shortest -- "shirt" -- length, with the 3/4 length sleeve option. It's not hemmed yet (or even pinned up) but even so. It's a long shirt.

It's either going to be awful or wonderful, and right now I'm close to hating it. On the other hand, it's a muslin, so marginal fit and questionable fabric choices aren't the end of the world at this stage.

You might think I''m nuts to use such a yummy fabric for a muslin, but it has been in my stash since the dawn of time, and for good reason: it's a tightly woven, super-crisp cotton, poorly suited for garment use. I got about 3 yards of it several eons ago at the Pierre Dieux store on Madison Ave. in Manhattan (I think that location closed long ago, but I could be wrong), where they used to sometimes put bolt ends and remnants on sale at normal-people-can-almost-afford-it prices. The print is "me" in that over-the-top way, and I love it enough that I was getting sick of seeing it in the stash. The urge to use it for something, anything, came over me while I was rooting around in the stash for a fabric to test this pattern with.

The contrast trim is a kooky quilting cotton, also of ancient vintage, with abstract football-ish shapes in blue-red-yellow on brown. I like that it almost has a leopardy look to it from afar. There's a good chance I'm the only person on the planet who thinks these two fabrics go together. On alternate minutes, when I'm not wondering what the *&%$#! I was thinking.

As you see it here, it's all done except for buttons/buttonholes and hemming. The front edges are pinned together, as it will look when buttoned. I left off the sash, BTW, and the cuff buttons.

You'd think 6 darts on the front would result in good shaping, but eeesh, the shape of this shirt is not matching up to my shape very well, in spite of great efforts taken with flat measurements and pattern adjustments. I cut a size L, but used the lower, XL, dart positions, because I need more length in the torso and the L darts were clearly too high. I also moved the waist down a half-inch.

Something about the waist is still not right: the widest part of the fish-eye darts is now at my waist, but it still looks like it's sitting a little high at the side seams. And I either need to open up the side seams and put in the sash I left out, or add a couple fish-eye darts to the back, which is schlumpy and shapeless compared to the front.

Usually a size L top is huge across the back on me (and too narrow across the front), but this one is too large (though not too wide) in front, and pulling across the shoulders if I move my arms. The armscye is way high, to the point that I almost have to wriggle into the sleeves, and couldn't possibly wear anything but a sleeveless T under this. Which is a problem, as at this point I'm thinking that getting a good fit buttoned up may be impossible, but it has possibilities if worn open as an overshirt.

This may sit in the UFO pile for a bit. I think it's salvageable if I:
1) Fiddle with the bust darts, which point straight in from the side seam (odd), and I think they need to be at an angle
2) Fiddle with the fisheye darts: I think there's too much nipping in at the waist for this fabric; slightly narrower darts might ease the poor draping (although this crisp fabric will never, ever drape well)
3) Experiment with adding small fisheye darts to the back, which is huge at the waist
4) Lower the armscye (no idea how to do that, but I've got several books that cover that kind of thing) enough so it doesn't pinch, without losing mobility

Ugh. None of those tasks is the kind of thing I feel at all enthusiastic about. On the other hand, I've come this far. And look what a nice job I did matching up the print on the L/R front pieces... abandoning it will feel like a loss.

I need to focus on sewing some clothes for my trip, and I don't think this one is going to make it. Unless I get around to muslining jeans out of the sky-blue stretch twill I got super-cheap for that purpose. In a perfect world this shirt, over a light blue pant, might end up feeling groovy.

Chances are slim, at best, that both "muslins" will turn out wearable, but I can dream, can't I?

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