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Drafting (again)

When a pattern you draft does not give the result you want, you may get discouraged and think “why draft, I’ll use and change commercial patterns”. That’s what happens to me, until I realize that I have lots of fitting problems then too or when a garment comes along that I want to copy urgently. That’s what happened when I saw this thread on PatternReview discussing this top (which costs $ 400! I’ll never spend that much on a top):

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Quite simple looking, yet elegant. Very much a summer top, but also wearable under a jacket. Couldn’t help myself and tried to draft it. This is my muslin, based on my sloper drafted in Suzy Furrer’s Craftsy class.

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In her class on neckline variations Suzy Furrer shows how to draft a funnel neckline and an opera neckline but both in variations that stand away from the neck. I could use the information to draft this neckline hugging version.

My observations:

  • funnel neckline close to the neck
  • curved v-neck
  • 1 to 2 inched seam below lowest point of v-neckline, opening into a small pleat
  • seam in the back neckline
  • center back seam
  • no darts

For my version I chose to have a bust dart: removing all darts in the waist dart is too much on my figure and I think that being full busted that is just fitting better. I did not use a seam in the back neckline.

Hope the next drawings are clear in how I got to this pattern. I use inches in this description as I’m quite used to doing those now, having followed so many of Suzy Furrer’s classes. I use an inch ruler too when I do these markings.

The starting point: sloper draft of the front, shoulder and armhole dart closed and the space “dumped” into the bust dart. (alternative could be a blouse/shirt pattern with not too much ease).

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I went 1/4 inch in for the shoulder seam
(for those having done this sloper too: this is the 1/4 inch you remove from the moulage to get extra space around the neckline. I started using this point but it was too wide, so I went back to the original moulage point)

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From that shoulder point 1 1/4 inch up, perpendicular to the center front

Draw the curve, ending around the middle of the shoulder seam.

Decide where you want the v-neckline to end and draw a curved line to that point.

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I decided to have the center seam 1/2 inch below the bust line. If the pleat would start too high, it would open up which at bust level, not so nice probably. The pleat is 1 inch deep (you could make it less or more, it’s just what I thought would be about right), so the amount of fabric for the pleat is 2 inches. The front can be cut on the fold. As I’m used to I marked the darts as “not using them”.

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As last step I removed 3/4 inch from the shoulder width.

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The back: starting point the sloper again.

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Basically this is the same change: 1/4 inch into the neckline, 1 1/4 inch up, draft the curve and the neckline.

Remove 3/4 inch from the shoulder width and center the back dart again (I prefer to keep this dart too for better fit).

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The final pattern pieces. The orange dotted line is the line for facings. For the back I will remove the dart from the facing by folding it away. Or I could change my mind and make separate facings for neckline and armhole. First to decide which fabric to use for the top.

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NB: I folded out a little bit (about 1/2 inch) from the curved neckline to make sure the neckline doesn’t gape. This is more necessary for fuller busted women if I remember it right.

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Hope this helps some of you interested in drafting in general or this top specifically. It’s my interpretation of doing this. If you do this I do advice to make a muslin as I’m not a teacher and can’t guarantee this works for you too.

Comments

  1. Thank you very much for posting these details- that isn't very favorite neckline! I can't wait to try this technique.

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  2. Thanks for such a great step by step.

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  3. That's a gorgeous design. I'm with you on learning to draft patterns. I find it so much easier to start with a block that fits and make changes to it - especially for pants

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  4. What a coincidence! I have been working on the same draft since Christmas. I have finally cracked the look. I haven't published a post but you can see some snaps on my Instagram feed https://www.instagram.com/silviasewingprincess/
    When drafting mine in the end I didn't need to curve the CF because the neckline dart took away some width.
    Certainly my drafting process was more trial and error than yours...especially to get to the close neck fit. So thanks for sharing your more professional insights!

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  5. Thank you for posting this! I love this neckline and have wondered how it's drafted.

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  6. So glad you drafted this and posted it all! Simple but elegant and as you've shown, pretty easy to draft! Thanks Sigrid.

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  7. Thanks for sharing. Really lovely neckline.

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  8. Thank you for showing how you did this. Looking good.

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  9. Thank you for the detail and great explanations, you make it look logical showing each step. You did a great job.
    Marie

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  10. This was well worth the effort you put into the drafting. I'll be looking forward to seeing the final result!

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  11. Thanks for sharing - this is inspiring!

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  12. Thank you for taking the time to share this. I really want to try it. I love your version.

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  13. Love the lines of this top and I really appreciate you sharing your drafting. I am not full busted but hollow and that tuck in the neckline is necessary.

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Comments are very much appreciated! I read all of them, try to answer the questions but don't always have time to react to comments.

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