Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Further adventures in fitting (with help from the #sewcialists)

This week I have enlisted the help of the fabulous #sewcialists on Twitter (why did I resist Twitter for so long?  I am addicted!) to help with some fitting issues I have been having.

I am working on the bodice for my Mad Men Challenge dress, using NL 6000 as a base.  I started with a tissue fit to determine length adjustment (always! In this case 2" which is less than usual - I have heard this bodice runs long) and correct dart placement (fine).  No point on making a muslin that definitely won't fit, is there?

I also decreased the seam allowances to give myself an extra 1" at the waist, and here is the first result:

Pretty bad, right?  I thought the wrinkles above the bust were to do with my square shoulders and so I added those strange flaps of blue fabric you can see in the first pic to test the theory of changing the shoulder, but to no avail.  To say nothing of the gaping armscye and wibbly neckline.  So I turned to the ladies of Twitter for advice, and as ever they delivered!

I was shocked to find out (as I have always considered myself to be amongst the small-of-bust) that I needed a small (1/2") FBA!

Here's the results for round 2:

A massive improvement I think!  Those annoying wrinkles are gone and neckline is lying flat (in real life at least - holding up the camera makes it look off in the top pic). 

It's not perfect though - there's still a lot of gaping in the armscye which needs to be addressed.  I thought about increasing the FBA but think it would have been too loose around the bust.  I might try a slightly larger FBA another time.

Following more Twitter advice from the lovely Rachel at House of Pinheiro (that girl is great trying to explain the process to me in 140 characters from her holiday in Brazil to see her family!) I pinned a dart at the armhole, transferred to the pattern and rotated the excess into the bust dart.

Minimal gapeage! (it actually does lie flatter than it looks when I am holding up the camera!)

I even tried a square shoulder adjustment on this to see if it made a difference:

I don't think it changed much in this case although I will bear it in mind for future!

But what a difference some great advice and a few muslins made to the fit.  From this:

to this:

Thanks to all the #sewcialists who helped, especially Laura at A Make-it-Yourself Mom's Diary, Rachel, Maris at Sew Maris and Brooke at Custom Style!  You guys...

I'm ready to start drafting the skirt now!


  1. Lovely to have the sewing twitterati helping you out! Another reason I need a smartphone :)
    One teeny suggestion from me- the side seam looks like it's pulling to the front? You could maybe add an inch or so at the waist of the front/remove from the back side seams to make it perpendicular to the floor? You otherwise might not be happy when you add your skirt to it... I'm a FBA-er usually, and one of my breakthroughs was realising that my back bodice needs to be a smaller size to also account for my flatter ribcage at the back (halving the circumference just won't work for me).

    Looking forward to seeing the finished dress! NL6000 frockfest and Mad Men challenge merged! :)

    1. yes, i think you are right - i think i might add a bit more to the waist anyway as it's a tad on the tight side so great idea to add to the front rather than back. i think it could be a case of too many easter eggs tho! hadn't thought about back bodice needing to be a smaller size - i'm so used to thinking of myself with a large frame and broad/ square shoulders that i can't get my head round it. maybe i should do a sloper!

    2. I'm such a sloper advocate! Totally changed the way I view patterns and my body... Def would recommend :)

    3. You use yours to draft patterns too don't you? Tempted to take a class and learn it!

    4. I do- both drafting and also checking commercial patterns. Katy from Sleek Silhouette has been doing the sloper/blocks from Burda and it's going v well! Maybe try them if you're happy without a teacher?


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