May 4, 2012

Is this my punishment for being such a shameless copycat?

So here's the deal: I saw Lauren's chevron Renfrew and I immediately knew that I needed one of my own. I had recently procured a remnant of navy and red wide striped jersey and it was clearly destiny. Lauren made hers in February, but I was a little busy (and hugely pregnant), so I ordered the pattern and waited patiently for the right time. Baby comes, time passes, blah blah, fast forward to last week, and finally the time had come! I assembled my supplies and traced my pattern. Like Lauren, I found that the proportions weren't going to work in regards to my bustline, so I used her handy suggestion of blending sizes, rather than altering the pattern with a FBA. Worked like a charm! I traced a four everywhere except at the bustline on the front piece, where I blended out to an eight. I also made size eight sleeves. I used a much slinkier and stretchier knit than the pattern suggests, but I knew it would be okay since I was following in the footsteps of Lauren before me, and she totally rocked it.

Photo borrowed from Lladybird

I didn't pay much attention to how I cut my sleeves, but I decided to cut them off-grain with the stripes running down my arm instead of around. I thought that would be more flattering, as my arms are largish anyway. And I flipped my chevrons over, because I didn't want to be a total copycat, and I also thought maybe the V's would be slimming to the hip region. Anyway, enough set-up. Here's my top:

Renfrew the first

And it's not bad. But the sleeves! By not paying attention to the pattern matching, I inadvertently matched one side but not the other. And it's sort of jarring, isn't it? It's like a check mark or something, instead of having a nice pattern flow.

The offending sleeve.

It doesn't help that the red and blue stripes are slightly different widths. And actually, the red and blue meeting on my left shoulder is almost perfectly matched at the top of the stripe, which is nice, but the blue and blue meeting on my right shoulder is slightly skewed. Anyway, it annoyed me. And the thought of ripping all those serged seams didn't sound like my idea of a fun day, so I decided to just cut again. This time, I looked at Lauren's top again and decided that maybe I would try cutting the sleeves on-grain, and run my stripes around my arms like hers did. Her stripes don't match up perfectly, but it's not as distracting as the way mine line up, so I figured that would be the answer.

Renfrew the second
And... almost. Again, I didn't really try to match the stripes, and I figured that the mismatch would be okay. But it comes SO CLOSE to matching that I actually find it more distracting than if it didn't match at all. This time, it's the right shoulder that bothers me most:

The offending sleeve
It occurred to me that maybe the whole problem is the fact that my chevrons form V's instead of peaks. If they were the other way, the matching at the shoulder line wouldn't be so almost-achievable, and therefore less obnoxious, right? I don't know. I think Renfrew the second make me look super-wide on top thanks to the giant V running from shoulder to shoulder. And I don't know if that's a good thing (makes the waist look smaller in comparison?) or a bad thing (makes me look like a linebacker?).

So now, I'm nearly out of fabric. I have enough to recut the sleeve(s), and it looks like no matter what, I will have to rip some serged seams and fix something one way or another. I think the potential options are:

  1. Recut one sleeve for Renfrew the first. I'm actually leaning toward replacing the right sleeve, so that the red mismatch stripe appears on both sides. Or, I could replace the left one, and form a distinct "M" shape with the blue stripes.
  2. Open the right sleeve seam on Renfrew the second and try to ease the navy stripe (down on the sleeve, up on the body) to match more closely, forming a more accurate "V" shape. Deal with the appearance of wideness.
  3. Wear one or both of them as-is, and quit being such a whiner/perfectionist.
  4. Throw them both in the bin/chop them up for kid's clothes/donate them to Goodwill.
  5. Recut two new sleeves from the navy ribbing that I used for the back and bindings. There will be no more matching drama, but more ripping and resewing is required.
What would you do? Help me, please!! These will just languish forever unless I get some guidance from someone wiser.