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(The Queen of Sew is a fictional character created by Shirley Cunningham. She calls upon the Court Fitter to provide answers to her sewing problems. If you would like the court fitter to address your particular sewing or fitting problem, contact For the Fit of It.)
Once Upon A Time the Queen of Sew was thinking ahead.
She had purchased a pattern with a bust dart. She had particularly chosen the pattern because she was wanting a silhouette that would fall closer to her body. She knew because of the bust dart that the cut of the design was contoured and not flat as it would be if the bust dart were left unstitched in the armhole. She was aware that this cut would give her a closer fit in the armhole with a more closely fitted sleeve as well.
She was excited about creating this new look. As she examined the pattern, she became aware that the back did not have a contouring shoulder dart. She remembered the Court Fitter warning her about something, but now she couldn't remember just what had been said.
At first she thought she would just go on with the project. After all the pattern was not cheap! Then she remembered other problems she had had in the past, that could have been solved had she asked first. So, she summoned the Court Fitter.
Showing off a bit for the court Fitter, she explained, "I noticed that the front bodice design has a bust dart, thus a contoured fitted armhole. As I examine the back, I see that the back bodice design is flat; no shoulder dart is present. Doesn't that mean that the back shoulder dart has been pivoted into the back armhole, creating a flat cut? Is this going to be a problem for me?"
The Court Fitter was indeed pleased that the Queen had been listening, and responded happily to her question. "I am so pleased that you recognized a potential problem before you cut. It is always so much easier to correct before you cut instead of after. The answer to your question is yes. The fitted front armhole stitched to the flat back armhole will cause the back armhole to hang with a bulge and effect the comfort and movement of the sleeve."
"But, I have already paid for this pattern and I would really like to use it," the Queen interrupted very sharply. She didn't want to go through the hassle of returning the pattern to the market place. "Is there anything that can be done to correct the problem?" This time in a much softer tone of voice.
The Court Fitter answered, "Yes" and reached for the bodice pieces.
A vertical cut was made on the Back Bodice from the center of the shoulder down 5 inches.
A dart was then folded out of the armhole, pointing to the end of the slash from the shoulder. This caused the shoulder of the pattern to open. The Court Fitter kept experimenting with depth of the armhole dart until the pattern's shoulder opened only 5/8 inch. Once this occurred, the tissue dart was taped flat out of the back armhole.
A cut was made on the back sleeve from the cap to the bottom of the sleeve. The pattern was overlapped to equal the amount removed by the tissue dart from the armhole the full length of the sleeve.
Once again, the Court Fitter praised the Queen for her alertness and left her chambers. The Queen was so proud of herself she had a smile on her face for the rest of the day!
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