This is the Odgen Cami by True Bias.
You may be looking at this picture and thinking, well, what was all the fuss? Let me ‘splain.
I have a tendency to make things more complicated than they really need to be. It happens when I make mistakes and overanalyze. In this case, I did both.
My first mistake was choosing the wrong size. (Sewing 101: measure yourself, write it down and then do it again, and then again.) I cut a size 8 when I should have cut a size 10. The pattern instructions are very clear, listing both size and finished measurements. I just messed up and made my muslin too small.
When I tried on the size 8, I noticed that the side seams were skewed, pulling to the front at the top. I tried the muslin on, looked in the mirror, took it off, and then tried it on again, looking several times before realizing my error. The cami was riding up in the front causing the back to drape at an angle toward my waist. Basically, I didn’t have enough room in the front.
And that’s when the analytic took over… The pattern has one piece for the front and another for the back. Simple enough! But my concern was that even though the front was small, I felt like I had enough fabric at the back. I thought that if I cut a size 10, I’d still have a skewed side seam because the front and back pieces are very similar in width. I thought that maybe I needed a bust adjustment to allow for more room in the front while keeping the same size in the back. In the end, this was the correct solution for me but it took some trial and error to implement.
I was also curious about how to do a bust adjustment with and without a dart. So I tried both.
I did the adjustment with darts first. Why add darts to a pattern that doesn’t have them?Well, again…”a tendency to make things more complicated than they really need to be”…but I saw this as an opportunity to learn a technique on a simple pattern. This would have worked well, if I had done the adjustment to the right size. But instead, I did the adjustment to a size 6. What?!
Lesson learned: if you’re going to do a full bust adjustment, understand how the rest of the pattern will fit first.
The instructions for a full adjustment with darts were very clear starting with how to select your size based upon your HIGH bust measurement. When I made the size 6 (with the dart adjustment), the cami was tight across my upper back and high bust. So again, I picked the wrong size. If I had chosen the size correctly, confirming that it would fit across my high bust, I would have ended up with a cami that fit.
The adjustment with no darts worked out well in the end but only because I learned a bit from the first. I also did this adjustment to a size 6. But unlike the version with the darts, this adjustment allowed for a better fit across the high bust by adding 1.5″. My high bust measures 35″. If I assume that the finished measurement of the high bust of size 6 is 33″ (36″ (chest) – 3″ (c cup) = 33″), then the added 1.5″ would still only equal 34.5″, short of the full 36″ (35″ + 1″ ease) that I really needed. So, instead of using a size 6 back piece, I used a size 8. This gave me a high bust finished measurement of 35″ (33″+1.5″ + 0.5″ (from size 8 back). Even though this indicated no ease whatsoever, I went for it.
So what you see in the photos is a finished garment using a size 8 back piece and an adjusted size 6 front, no darts. From what I gather, strictly from the tables in the pattern instructions and what I added, my finished garment has a 35″ high bust and 38″ bust. This allowed for zero ease in both places. On paper this doesn’t seem like it would fit me but it does.
There are a couple of other things to consider. First, the fabric I used is thin and slinky. Also, the adjustment allows for more room for my bust adding more fabric horizontally, “allowing” the shirt to ride up, as needed. And then there are the straps. I shortened my size 8 strap by 1-1/8″ to lift the back up so that it hung from the widest part of my back. So, in the end, I don’t really know exactly where the true high bust and bust are falling BUT who cares! It worked!
I am still curious to see how the size 10 fits. I will probably make one just to learn a bit more about the fit. I fear that I made up a problem, i.e. that the side seams might skew forward at the top even with a bigger size. Nonetheless, this is a great pattern to experiment with because it’s quick to sew up.
The finished look is really lovely. The facing adds such a clean finish. I can’t tell without looking carefully (and once I have it on) which side is the front but that’s nothing a tag can’t fix. I should also mention that I asked Kelli from True Bias to help with fit and she was kind enough to offer to take a look at pictures. I was already deep into my shenanigans to really makes sense of what I was doing, so I didn’t follow through. As a beginner, it’s nice to find this type of support!
I’m already planning my next Odgen Cami!