If you are not interested in the technical description of how I combined the two patterns, scroll to the end to see the results!
I have planned to make this post for a while now. Often I feel that one pattern has a really nice fit and the other has very interesting details and that I’d like to have both in the same garment. Combining patterns may be easy if the patterns are very similar or when the mismatch can be easily corrected by adjusting something like gathers at the waistline. For instance, I tend to use the same A-line lining pattern for different skirts since the lining doesn’t have to have pleats or gathers that the actual garment has as long as it allows enough movement.
This time, however the situation was a little trickier. I have used a lot of time to make the Granville shirt by Sewaholic patterns fit me well. However, I’d like to have a fitted shirt with a similar kind of rounded collar and narrow rounded cuffs as the Mélilot shirt by Deer & Doe.
Deer&Doe’s Mélilot has dropped shoulders and a sloping shoulderline and the shoulderseam is at the shoulder height. The collar is quite tight and very close to my neck and I absolutely love the rounded shape of it.
The Sewaholic Granville has fitted silhouette, fitted sleeves and the shoulderseam has been drawn forward. This shirt has a classic collar that is slightly to big for me. Also I think that the shirt would look better on me with a less masculine cuff shape.
Laying the patterns on top of each other was the first thing I made when considering moving the collar from Mélilot to Granville. The pink pattern (see the image below) represents the (upper front bodice) Granville shirt and the white is the pattern for the Mélilot. The shoulderseams are overlapping due to the seam allowance of 1,5 cm in both of the patterns. Here the difference in the patterns is obvious. It is impossible to line the patterns so that the shoulders align while also aligning the center front and the center back. So, how exactly should the patterns be placed?
I did puzzled myself with this for a while and finally ended up aligning the center front seam and placing the shoulder lines together at the collar end of the shoulder. Of course the shoulder seams did not end up matching since the shoulder seam at the Granville was drawn forward. This meant that the center backs did not line up. This happens because the slant of the shoulders is different. However, I figured out that the alignment of the center back in this layout did not matter since the difference would disappear on a three-dimensional garment.
I wanted to keep the fitted shoulders, so the sleeve side of the back yoke remained the same. However, I had to change the neckline to be a bit more square shaped and bring it closer to the neck. You can also notice from the pictures that I kept the forward drawn shoulder seam meaning that I added a little piece of the Mélilot front neckline to the new back yoke.
After the changes the neckline of the new yoke matches the Mélilot neckline.
The front piece was modified similarly. The sleeve side was kept the same and the neckline was changed into a closely fitting one and shaped to fit to the Mélilot collar stand.
After these changes the new neckline matches the Mélilot neckline. It’s to be noted that the hidden button placket at the Mélilot blouse makes the front piece wider. Since I wanted a more traditional button band my new pattern is less wide. This is where the aligning of the center front becomes important.
The final check ensures that the new back yoke matches the front pattern piece!
After the neckline changes modifying the sleeve is easy. The Granville shirt (pink) has a straight and narrow sleeve and the Mélilot (not shown in the picture) a slightly wider one with some pleats at the cuff end. The only thing I had to do was to place the sleeve pattern pieces on top of each other and join the sleeve head of the Granville shirt to the sleeve end of the Mélilot sleeve. I kept the Granville shirt sleeve length so the final sleeve (yellow) is a bit longer than the Mélilot sleeve.
So, after all this work I took a risk and cut the new shirt pattern out of gorgeously soft Liberty cotton. (I figured out that the worst that could happen was to have a badly fitting collar and that I could always rip off and replace.) This was actually my first time using Liberty tana lawn and I can join to the online sewing community that is drooling after this fabric. This fabric is amazing! It is so light and soft that you don’t even realise you are wearing a fitted shirt.
All my work fiddling with the sewing pattern paid off and the collar looks great! The sleeves are looking good as well and the overall fit is OK. It is form fitting shirt but it allows me to move freely and that is an important property in a shirt meant for everyday use. I found some excellent red buttons that match the red flowers in the fabric. Beside the buttons I get extra happiness every time I see the inside of the shirt since I took the time to French seam the whole shirt.
After the liberty fabric I had to re-test the pattern and happened to have some white cotton stretch poplin in my stash. This fabric is stiffer but the shirt looks great. The only think that I regret is that for the photoshoot I wore a cotton top underneath that clung to the shirt and caused some unsightly wrinkling.
The good thing about this white stretch poplin is that the collar looks much crisper than with the floral Liberty lawn.
The final picture shows the same white shirt from the back.
These shirts have been waiting for a chance for me to take photos of them for a while. I have been busy learning to fit a perfect pair of trousers for me after a super-friendly professional couture sewer volunteered to teach me. I have made a lot of progress but there is still a lot to learn.
To finish, I can happily say that the spring seems to finally have arrived! Here is a photo of wood anemones I took with my mobile yesterday while walking in the forest: