Fitting the Saguaro Set Top
I was super chuffed with how my Saguaro Set trousers from the Friday Pattern Company turned out and so was really looking forward to making the matching top. I made a toile as usual as I had no idea how the fit would be on such a top. It also allowed me to see how much midriff and cleavage would show before making any modifications. Here I am proudly wearing the set on a trip to Barcelona 2 days after finishing it :)
This post is all about my fitting process. My full review of the top can be found here.
My measurements matched the chart on size S for the bust and M for the waist so this is what I cut. I use my upper bust measurement as this is larger than my full bust. My shoulders are fairly wide so I graded back to size M here.
Here was my toile, with safety pins attaching it to the elastic with the 1cm seam allowance.
I was pleased with how the front looked and the amount of crossover at the bust. The back had excess fabric that created large vertical folds at either side of the back.
Pinned out shoulder seam
Having realised from the Stella Hoodie project that I have sloping shoulders, I tried roughly pinning the excess at the shoulder to see if that improved things, which it did.
I had pinned out 5cm each on the front and back at the shoulder point so marked this with a blue Prym Aqua Trick Marker, indicated by the red arrow in the photo below.
New shoulder seam
From this point I drew a straight line to the seam at the neckline, and took an even 5cm down the sleeve, the new seam line indicated by the black arrows.
I sewed this on my right side only to check how it would look compared to the original. The view of the back shows the difference very clearly, there is much less excess fabric on the right side.
I decided at this point that I wanted the fit to be more accurate by sewing the waistband properly since the top wasn’t secured evenly all the way around. However, since I knew the only other thing needing adjustment was the shoulder seam, this would be fairly easy to do on the final garment and so decided to go ahead for the fabric fitting.
Adding to the length
I added 1cm to lengthen the front as it seemed to ride up a little. This seemed to be the case in a lot of the examples I saw online including the official photos so this may be how it's intended to be.
I preferred it to look more straight but this wasn’t a big deal so I just added 1cm. I didn’t use the adjustment line marked on the pattern in case this changed the fit around the bust, but added it to the bottom of the pattern piece, 1cm at the centreline going to nothing at the side seams.
I extended the straight line of the wrap front, then went vertically down to meet the new line representing where the waistband would be. The vertical line was 1cm, not because this was how much I wanted to lengthen it by, but because this is the seam allowance. If I wanted to lengthen it by 2cm, the vertical line would still be 1cm.
Here is the new pattern piece with centreline notch transferred.
I cut my fashion fabric as per my original pattern, except for adding the additional 1cm length at the front. I followed the construction process as normal until completing Step 18, having inserted the waistband but not yet sewing the opening shut. Since I knew the shoulder seam at the neck fitted OK, I was fine to complete the bias binding as normal before finalising the fit on the rest of the shoulder seam.
I did a quick try on at this stage to check it was going to plan so far. It looked as it did on my toile, and so again I pinched out the excess at the shoulder seam, marking the end of the shoulder where the sleeve would then fall down the arm. I pinched out the same 5cm here, with my upper arms raised to check I still had some wiggle room when wearing the top.
As on the toile, I marked a straight line from the neck to the marked point at the end of the shoulder, drawing a line from here parallel to the original shoulder seam and curved the join. I continued to finish the waistband and checked the fit once more by chainstitching (for easy removal) the shoulder seam on the right side only.
You can see the excess of fabric on the left compared to the right.
I was really happy with this and so proceeded to finish the garment.
I transferred the change to the shoulder seam to the pattern piece for future versions. The shoulder slope was fairly steep, so I kept the first 1cm horizontal for the bias binding to attach to. The photo below shows the back piece oriented for the left side, and the new seam line.
I drew the line on the back piece, cut it out, then flipped this over and placed it onto the front piece to copy it across. This would just make sure it matched up exactly.
Here are the adjusted pattern pieces for the front and back.
I copied the position of the seam line onto the pattern piece, forgetting to add the seam allowance. I’ve marked this on the pattern for future reference.
I believe this might be the first wrap top I’ve owned as I’ve never found a RTW one that fit me well. I was therefore not particularly versed in knowing when it might gape a bit. It’s not a problem when standing but opens slightly if bending forward, and more so when sitting. For future outings I’d consider sticking some breast tape on for security.
I’d also follow advice I’ve since read online to put stay tape along the front section of the wrap to prevent it stretching out over time since it is on the bias.