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My "Zara" shirt

The Christmas before last I got my dad a very cute Zara shirt, although - shock! it didn't fit. Suits me right for buying a size smaller. One thing led to another and in the end I didn't end up taking it back. It did not fit Mr T and by the end of August, when I knew I would be moving, decided it was time to do something with it.

You might remember me posting something about it circa September. After posting these photos, it stayed unfinished for a while longer, until I finally decided to make it up right before the craziness started.

The first few modifications were simple enough. Darts were the first thing I looked at. I toyed with the idea of taking fabric off where it was needed but in the end settled for bust darts only.

It became clear very soon that the back would need to be taken up a bit, which is what this seam does. 

I then thought carefully about making a sway back adjustment, however in the end decided against it. I also removed quite a lot from the shoulder width, although interestingly enough not that much at all from the side seams apart for what I lost when cutting the flat felled seams. For the sleeves I didn't do anything fancy, I just cut a bit from the top (similar to what I did with the shoulders).

In the end, I settled the sway back problem, as well as the bust dart, in a much mode convenient fashion - by reversing the front and the back. So I have a sort-of-button in the back (it's stitched down though!), and a nice empire waist in the front. I think the front could have been done better though, but I can live with it.

I finally took pictures of the finished product this week. I did a simple gathering job in the front, although as I said, I could have done better - I finally decided against a bust dart, but I think that might have been useful (although unclear if there was enough fabric?). The front is quite long, but I find I like it like that:

The sleeves can only really be work at 3 quarters length, because although they are long enough (barely) to be full sized, I did not rework them at all, so they are obviously too wide for me - I like the extra room in the biceps area though, so that's an area to consider for alterations in the future. This is what it looks like from the side.

At the back you can see I left a little "tail". I really like this feature but I'm now considering cutting down the small replacement buttons:

Here's a better view of the back, where you can see loads of excess fabric. I don't really mind this because it allows me freedom of movement. I think I do need a broad-back adjustment of some sort on most wovens, and plan to start working on figuring out exactly what that is soon (there are several ways to do one). You can also see the side towards the buttons is pulling slightly. I have this feeling that if I hadn't stitched it down one would see there's not enough room there.

This fact, combined with the fact that there's too much room in the front, makes me think that what would have been more successful would be to have created a side gusset (is that what you call them?). That would have allowed a bit more room in the back around the empire line - you can see where in the side picture above - it's lined up correctly at the top, towards the sleeve, and at the hem, but some type gusset would work in between.


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