Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Jul 30, 2013

Sewing for Mother



Readers, one of my ongoing goals is to make my mother a blouse.  I say ongoing because it's been on the back burner for months.

I picked up Simplicity 2339 a while ago, and today I finally got around to cutting (most of) it out and pin-fitting the primary pieces on my mother, who came over for lunch today.



Today's goal was just to see if this pattern could work for her and I believe it can.  I'm not sure it wouldn't be easier to just make her a bodice sloper from scratch, but since I already own the pattern, I figured I might as well give it a shot.



I cut a Size 14, B cup (14 is the largest size in the pattern I purchased though she's really closer to a 16).

Straight out of the envelope, the fit was best in back.  Despite my mother being considerably stooped, the yoke lay relatively flat.



The back also seemed the correct width, or close to it.  It's too long, my mother being about 5'2", so at least an inch needs to be folded out, maybe two.

 

As you might expect, there were more issues in front.  I think I can solve a few of them by adding 1-2" to the top shoulder (i.e. lengthen it).  That will lower both the front armhole and the side dart.





She also needs more width in front --  particularly from the breastbone down, maybe an inch.  Hard to tell since she has a sweater on and the front button placket isn't pinned securely. 



I think I have enough information to make a muslin and then we'll take it from there.  Considering she wears a 38B bra, the 14 isn't bad; she's petite after all and it's a fitted garment.  She wants a band collar and plain front placket (the pattern includes a ruffle option), so once we get the fit taken care of this shouldn't take long to put together.

Could this work?  I think so.  Whatever her fit issues, it's much easier for me to fit another person than oneself.  Cross your fingers!

In closing, are you familiar with Simplicity 2339?  My mother isn't the frilly type and it's hard to find patterns that would suit her.  Most of the tops I see in print are too busy or too exposed.  She prefers simple styles and classic lines.

If you have any pattern recommendations for a somewhat stooped, petite, octogenarian I'm open to them.

Have a great day, everybody!



35 comments:

  1. I think it's a great idea to make something new for your mom!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Peter, Have you tried Connie Crawford's patterns. She has one with Butterick B5365 that I thought was a great pattern for fit.
    I'm also sewing for my Mom, making a dress for her, I'm encountering siminular fitting issues. But it is hugely rewarding none the less.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't made that one, but I made two Amazing Fit skirts (two of the same pattern, #2058). I'm a beginner, and these were the first items of clothing I've made (other than the obligatory aprons, of course!). I made the curvy fit ones, and I didn't have to adjust the fit at all. I did shorten the pattern, as I'm not quite 5'3". I'm hoping to make the shirt pattern you have in the future. I hope your mom will like it. I'm sure she will.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I guess I'd err on the side of a higher cap on the sleeve to crisp the shoulder and lower the armhole, definitely. Would she go for sharp knife or box pleats instead of the ruffle? It would be less frilly, but shjudge it up a bit. Depending on the fabric, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awww.....I'm such a sucker for sewing for Moms (especially octogenarian and nonagenarian types) :-). My Mom also liked the simple classic styles; I found that patterns from the 90's often filled the bill.

    I got rid of all my Mom-type patterns, otherwise I'd send them on to you (don't you love those "gee if I had only known" sort of promises?) ;-D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Peter, love your Mom's smile. Check out Kwik Sew patterns for her. They have simple classic styles that she might enjoy. Maybe Butterick 5760.
    A.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love her smile, too. (Yours is nice too, and Michael's) But she is positively BEAMING.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Peter, you need to learn to do the full bust adjustment! Google it! Even thought your Mom is wearing a 38B, she's probably more than a B, most women wear the wrong size bra, too big in the band and too small in the cup. If that's the problem, you'll really benefit by learning this adjustment. Palmer and Pletsch have a great video and book out.
    I made my mom a blouse years ago and she loved it, wore it to a rag.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could also cut the "C" cup size; maybe the fit would be better.

      Delete
    2. I was debating whether to comment on this, but since somebody else did: I'd be surprised if your mom is a B anything. I'm a C and, while I'm considerably taller than she is, I'm still less, um, endowed. I second the FBA suggestion, once you've got the bust point where it needs to be.

      Delete
    3. I want to jump in here, your mom doesn't look like she's a 38B to me either. I used to teach bra fitting back in my retail management days (I ran a lingerie department for years!). Most women have the wrong bra size. Getting Mom into the right size bra would be a great gift. Also bra sizing due to improvements in materials has changed over my lifetime.

      Getting the girls up where they belong will improve fit a lot(it can visually slim you too).

      The formula for bra fitting is take the under bust measurement and the full bust measurement (wearing a bra). It used to be that you added four inches to the underbust for the band number but you don't do that anymore. Use the actual underbust measurement rounding up for odd numbers. Now subtract underbust measurement from full bust measurement. For example if mom really measures 38 around the underbust and 40 for her full bust then she is a 38 B. If she measures 36 and 40 she is a 36D. Each inch difference equals a cup size, because it's a ratio thing.

      In the cups if you go down a band size but want the same cup size every band size you go down, you go up a cup size. 40A=38B=36C=34D=32DD=30E=28G.

      If the bra rides up when Mom raises her arms, the band is too big. If you can fit more than a finger between the band and her back, the band is too big.

      Plus, I think she probably needs to hike up her straps. Now not every bra fits the same nor achieves the same silhouette. Minimizers flatten and so do sports bras.

      Also as we change so does our bra size. So combining changes in the bra construction with everything else, she probably is wearing the wrong bra size, just like some 75 to 85% of all women.

      regards,
      Theresa

      Delete
    4. Glad others brought this up! Fitting in a good lingerie shop/department is best but this online calculator can be a good place to start: http://www.sophisticatedpair.com/bracalculator.htm
      Your mum doesn't look like a 16 to me, remember you can't choose a size by full bust measurement if she's more than a B cup.

      Delete
  9. I agree about the cup size. (For years I wore a 36B instead of 34DD. Changing to the correct size was a revelation.)

    I trust this blouse is to go with the black skirt you almost made for Mother a while back ;)

    Spud

    ReplyDelete
  10. I own this pattern but haven't made it yet. Can't wait to see what you do with it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Michael has your Mother's smile!
    What fabric will you use for your Mother's blouse?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your Mom is a bona fide cutie pie :).

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love your mom's smile so much-- always nice to see her beaming in this corner of the internet! I'm so excited to see what you make her!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your Mom is adorable!! The way I understand it, in sewing terms, cup size is determined by the difference between high bust and full bust; 1 letter per inch. Bras use the difference between rib cage (band length) and full bust (also one letter per inch). I would suggest choosing the pattern size based on high bust plus the corresponding cup front. FFRP has lots of helpful information for troubleshooting fit. Post your challenges along the way; you'll get all the help you need .... and then some ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. what about a tunic, maybe that shearwater ?? what she is wearing in that lovely photo made me think of it. I'm inspired to think about my own tiny octogenarian Mum.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm always impressed by your blog. Your sewing skills are beyond amazing, and your writing is engaging. But this. This is even more than what I expect from you.

    While Project Runway "designers" are crying, whining and whinging about sewing for anyone who's not a size 00 and 6' tall, you're taking on the "regular person challenge" out of love and affection.

    My respect for you, already great, grew three sizes today. SunGold

    ReplyDelete
  17. It really is easier to sew for someone else. Especially if it's your Mum and she's fixed on what she wears. That keeps the options to a minimum.
    Who knows, she might want a shirt with a frill for a one-off occasion and your the sewer she'll call.

    ReplyDelete
  18. http://www.brownpaperpatterns.com/
    I don't know if this pattern set is too basic, but I really like the frill-less look myself and since the patterns are very basic, you can get creative with fabric choice and even design a few of you own options. good luck and have fun, your mom will love anything you do. and she does have a killer smile.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Gosh your mom is just so adorable! Looking forward to seeing your (her) muslin.

    And, guilt? Hahahaha!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've used this pattern twice and liked the fit so much I've marked it as a TNT. It's the best basic button-up shirt pattern I've tried. I made it with the collar and no ruffle in the size 12 C cup (I am a C). You could try the C and take in a little here and there if needed. I've also made it with a solid back piece by combining the yoke and back. As many shirts as you've made, I'm sure you won't have any trouble with it!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Isn't this one of those moments for leaving behind ready-made patterns for the moment and creating a shirt/blouse draft?

    Drafting from scratch is a whole lot easier than nipping, tucking, folding, cutting and spreading and all the rest of the dilly-dallying about required to try and make a ready-made pattern fit someone it isn't suited for.

    I'm certain you can do this.

    ReplyDelete
  22. A very quiet, but sorely missed, blogger is probably shocked at all this sewing for others that you are up to! I concur with everyone here that your delightfulness is clearly genetic. Can't wait to see how this turns out.

    ReplyDelete
  23. How great to sew for your Mum. I have just bought this pattern too, plus the "Sew Busted?" DVD that I think has just about saved my (sewing) life. I am going to leave the ruffle off? Really looking forwards to seeing the results.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's really sweet of you to sew for your mom. I will tell you that she looks like she has a high rounded back. I know that the yoke laid flat, but it wasn't attached to anything else! Also, from looking at her figure I'd say that her bust is probably lower than the bust shaping on the pattern will be.
    She's slim and doesn't have a large bust, so the fitting challenges look like they will be confined to the upper back and shoulders. You will probably also have to shorten the sleeves since she's petite. I would check the circumference of the armscye and compare it to the sleeve cap. There is often way too much ease in women's patterns. The sleeve cap is generally a lot higher than it is in men's shirts as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - I'm new to your blog! You may already be done with alterations, but to add to Nancy K's point, you may want to increase the height at the back shoulder instead of the front. You may also need more width across the back and less across the front. (Fill back armhole and scoop out front about 5" down from shoulder)

      Also, from the way you're holding the pattern to her, it looks like the shoulder slope is too shallow since she is slightly stooped. You may benefit from adding height at the neck edge and blending to the armhole edge of the shoulder seam. It will give you more height in your armhole without actually changing the shape.

      Best of luck!

      Delete
  25. Just wanted to add my admiration for your kindness and sweetness with your mom. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Good luck with such a loving project.

    ReplyDelete
  26. My favorite blouse patterns:

    McCall's 6076. It has princess seams, no placket and a pointed collar. It has fitting adjustment lines printed on the pattern pieces.

    New Look 6598 has waist darts but no bust darts. Also no placket and a choice of pointed collar or no collar.

    New Look 6078 has both waist darts and bust darts, a placket (which I have issues with) and a Peter Pan collar. It also has three sleeve options and a view with pin tucks.

    ReplyDelete
  27. If I use my underbust measurement and I subtract my full bust, I get 28E! How can that be right? On topic, your mum is adorable and I love her smile too. You are so sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Peter, My mom used to participate in a sewing circle with septagenarians. Most of them would move the dart 1-1.5" closer to the waist. They redrew the sideseam and dart. Essentially it's both slash the pattern above the dart to add length and slash it below the dart to subtract the same length. ... on a related note, I can't imagine my own mom giving up her comfortable droopy bra to get a perky profile. ... Some geriatrics find their skin becomes more sensitive to abrasion as they age. My mom loves soft fabric and prefers flat-felled or French seams over scratchy serged seam allowances.

    Regards, Beth

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails