Refine My Line: Lilah Children pt.2

Following up from the first entry, many of you noted the same things I did. One reason I selected this line is because this situation may someday mirror your own experiences. Specifically, Diana is expanding the range of product types she produces. This is advantageous but problematic too in that one progresses through sometimes painful trial and error. Since Diana produces excellent knit wear, it will take a few tries to iron out all the kinks in the cut and sew side. Heaven forbid any of us would have to produce the nice knitwear she does right out of the chute.

Keeping the above in mind, one element that should be the same in knitwear and cut and sew is label placement. If you examine other pieces in the collection, it makes sense that labels should be attached offside owing to closure style. However, label placement shouldn’t necessarily be uniform across styles. If the style permits it, labels should be placed at center back. Ideally, the label should be visible and centered in the field of view. Below are examples of what I mean with respect to 4242 and 4263.


The remaining issues (in my opinion) are collar-neckline, the front sweep of 4242 and a discussion but not necessarily resolution of dominant seams.

collars comparedNeckline and collar:
Having been through this a time or three, I have a pretty good idea how it came to be that the collar edges are not aligned. The collar edge at CF on 4242 hangs farther down on the left side while the collar problem seems to be resolved with style 4263. However I’m certain the same pattern was used for each without changes.

Notice the left neckline of 4242, it’s scooped out farther than the right side. On 4263, the collar edges align but the turn point at neck edge is different and also the collar roll is a bit higher on the left side. This is why the collar appears to be bubbling on that side. I realize some will expect me to say interfacing would resolve bubbling but owing to the underlying problem, interfacing would only mask the problem. Which is not to say interfacing wouldn’t help the collar lay more nicely once the fit were repaired but I can’t say something like that because I don’t know.

The issue with both collars is the same, namely mirroring the necklines from right to left side. I also know how this issue happened in that it was intended to fix a problem you don’t see (so Diana gets points for that!), namely how the overlap from the one side crosses over the other (at center front closure) which sometimes causes the opposite collar to hike up a little due to the fabric thickness underneath.  The way to fix this is usually to go against what the pattern books say. Books will tell you to square off that CF line at the neck but sometimes you need to slope it the tiniest bit starting from the middle of the button stand over to finished edge.  This isn’t something anyone can determine without the certainty of having the pattern pieces available for a one to one comparison. Either way, it’s easy enough to fix if not a bit of a hassle.

4242 sweepThe sweep of 4242 appears to be peaking at center front but this isn’t something we know for certain because the coat is not on a child’s body. Toddlers have bellies; the extra length at front would be taken up by the tummy and then the hem could look straight across while on the body. Now, if it looked like this on the body, it is easily remedied. Now I’ll bet most of you would say to redraw the hem line to be slightly curved, yeah or nay? Well, that’s not always a great solution depending on the thickness of the goods. That would certainly be my first approach. However, if the goods were heavier, I’d square off the center front starting from a ways back.

One of the comments mentioned that the spacing of the pleats on 4263 needed some tweaking. I admit that something of the look of it also struck me but I’m at a loss to define what the issue is. Feel free to elaborate if you have ideas.

dominant seamsThe last issue for discussion is yeah or nay on the dominant seam thing. That this is a matter to mention is because the armhole seams are flattening at the bottom of the armhole. This is caused by sewing the sleeves in on the flat and then closing the sleeve and side seam in one pass.

Now, sewing the sleeve as a tube and setting into the already closed body is a more expensive process that is compounded by the difficulty of working with very small children’s pieces. Sure, you could be judgmental and say it should joined as two tubes but you have to consider price points of the line in question. Which inconveniently enough is not something I know. I do know that if you’re making children’s coats that cost several hundred dollars or more (which I suspect these are not), you should sew the sleeve and body into tubes and join them. A coat of such price points should also be lined.

I hope I caught everything I intended to… I’ve got workmen over here banging things and needing frequent consultation so I’m not as focused as I’d like to be and may end up amending this. As ever, I appreciate your opinions and eyes.

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  1. Diana says:

    Kathleen! Thank-you!!! I was out of town, came in last night late, so I just had a moment to check your comments. Thank-you again! I will print this right away and talk to production. I will keep you posted. What a great series RML!
    To all of the people that commented on Pt. 1, thank – you also for your comments!

  2. Marie-Christine says:

    I find those pleats very.. geometrically jarring too :-).
    You could try to rearrange the inside pleats so that the left one’s edge is aligned with the front closure. Or you could give an illusion of symmetry by stitching down the facing in a line parallel to the edge on the right at the same distance from the pleat (does that make any sense? sorry I feel aphasic here).

    But a larger issue is that I think the width and distribution of the pleats is not pleasant. Eyeballing it, it looks like the width of the under-the-arm panel is the same as the one of the right pleat to the front edge, leaving the ankward bit between the left pleat and the edge hanging. These 3 sections are too close to not be the same, yet far enough that it looks like a screw-up, do you see what I mean? The above suggestion of aligning the edge to the inside pleat would work better. Also the ratio of pleat depth to these wider sections is eecky. I’d do something like rethink them, trying to use the golden ratio as a guide. And not forgetting their relationship to the yoke/body ratio as well. These old hackneyed mathematical concepts do lead to more harmonious results with little effort..

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