Tag Archives: fitting

Red-Leaf Clover

Colette Clover pants. You can see from the wrinkles that the waistband at the side isn't pulled as high as it can go.

Or, possibly the worst-photographed post ever.

Did I mention my camera charger didn’t come home with me after the holidays? So yeah, the last few posts have been iPhone photos. Painful, I know. I’m working to get the back-up camera functional again (battery issues, but at least it uses standard AA batteries), but as of this moment you get iPhone photos.

So, after making little jeans for everyone short in the family (or at least that’s what it feels like…), I was in the mood for some new pants myself. And frankly, I’m a little bored of Jalie 2908, although I do have fabric for another pair for myself planned.

So I pulled out this red stretch (?twill? Sometimes it looks like twill, other times not.)

After much hemming and hawing, I cut out the size 2, which is my actual hip size, grading to a size 4 (which is not quite my actual waist size) at the waist. The long view finished inseam is listed at 27″, designed to fall just above the ankle. Dear readers, 27″ is a longish capri length on me.  Since it’s winter and my desire to make a pair of pants that would look funny with socks is at absolute zero, I decided to lengthen them to a more normal, scrunch-around-the-ankle, skinny length. I added 6″ (15 cm.) I had some misgivings about the rise, which some people have reported as a bit high (and we all know I’m a low-rise kind of girl), but figured I would keep it as-is for now, as that’s something which can be tweaked after the pattern’s cut. The crotch-length was a little disconcerting, as the horizontal leg of the back L seemed really long, but the horizontal leg of the front L was really short, so I hoped it would even out. It’s different from most of the other crotch-curves I’ve seen, so I was kind of curious to try.

Clover crotch-curves

And then I took a deep, deep breath, and I cut into my precious* red twill.

It is my intention for these, eventually, to be a sort of wearable muslin. Uncharacteristically for me, I basted them together just to check the fit—I’m planning on completely re-stitching everything once I have them fitting how I like.

I didn’t get any full-length pictures. The legs are pretty much fine—skinny, long enough. I may take in the outseams above the knees about .5 cm on each side—enough to bring me down, basically, to a size 0; I think this fabric has a bit more stretch than the pattern may have been planned for (I wish it had a stretch guide, or at least listed %stretch rather than %Lycra.  % Lycra is not very useful at all in predicting how much a fabric stretches, in my experience.) Alternatively, I may just like my pants tighter than was originally meant. Which is probable, too.

Anyway. The rise in the back is good, although it does that dip-down thing at the middle of the back. I would not want it any lower, that’s for sure.

Front view. You can just barely see that my belly-button is immediately above the waistband.

The rise in the front is a full 5cm (almost 2″) higher than I’d like. The pin in the front shows where I’d like the bottom of the waistband to fall in order to get the rise right.

The size of the waistband seems good as long as I don’t interface all stretch out of the waistband. (Though I suppose this will be different once I change the rise, anyway.) There is not much gaping at the CB, which is a common problem for me, so that’s good.

Unfortunately, the crappy zipper I threw in self-destructed within about 30 seconds of me putting the pants on, so I’m frantically pinching the one hip together in the pictures.

The front crotch seems a bit odd, I think because the curve is so shallow, but I’m hesitant to mess with it at this point. Maybe later. If any of you know what these wrinkles mean (left side of the photo, the right side is being pulled off by the issues with the zipper) please let me know! 😉

Anyway, I think I’ll be able to make some quite nice pants out of these, once I have them tweaked a bit. But some tweaking is definitely required.

And unpicking. And, y’know, reading the actual instructions.

*in the sense that I have been looking for a fabric like this for ages, not in the sense that it was expensive—it was definitely not.

49 Comments

Filed under Sewing

Syo Sews

Syo sewed so well. Also she's wearing a shirt I made her.

While I’ve been dithering over the hubs’ coat, Syo seized the opportunity to sneak onto an unattended machine and whip up a little purse. Her being extremely proud of her creation, she asked me to blog about it. Me being putty in her cute little fingers, immediately snapped some photos and set to.

Look! It opens!

Look! Not only does it have a strap (thankfully using up the last of that trim!), but there’s even something approaching a seam-finish on the end of the fold-over flap!

Ok, so I may be a little bit exuberant. Here’s the thing. She sewed this on her own. The only thing she asked me was whether she could use the machine (yes, dear, just don’t sew through your fingers, k?). No hovering, no planning, no supervising every seam-allowance and pivot and backtack.

People, this is how I learnt to sew (when I was probably right around Syo’s age, maybe a smidge older). Grab fabric, think (or don’t), and go. Doesn’t work? Try again. Something you never thought of goes wrong? Oops, that was a learning experience!

I’m not knocking anyone who learnt to sew properly—it’s probably a much faster, more efficient way to learn. But it’s not how I learnt, and trying to teach my kids feels… forced. Weird. Stressful.

This wasn’t stressful. This was great.

Shot with tree.

In other news, I traced out the size F(2, but in length G/3) and size H(4) of the Jalie 2908 jeans, to make up for my nieces, possibly even for Christmas. I’m still in limbo over a shirt for my Dad… I have the fabric picked out, but the Negroni pattern I ordered at the beginning of the month (yes, I caved, finally) still hasn’t arrived. I have printed out a custom size (as far as I can figure going on my mom’s recollection of his measurements and some gentle prodding over the phone) of this pattern, but I’m a little worried that it’s going to fit like a tent, which is not really what I want to create. I’m planning a backup gift on that front, either way. On the subject of Mr. Isis (every time I type that I think I should just put “Osiris”)’s jacket, I did a second muslin, with a much fuller back and wider sleeves, after he very instructively flexed while wearing the first muslin and ripped the back seam open clear to the waist. We are having some issues over fit vs. freedom of motion; like many hard-to-fit people, he’s used to wearing knits or vastly oversized wovens. Anyway, the second muslin had a very curved back seam, a lot of ease rotated into the shoulders (basically I rotated some of the curve from the neck into a shoulder-dart, but I don’t plan on sewing the dart, just easing the fabric in), and has some big folds under the arm, all of which disappear completely when he crosses his arms. I tried to suggest (as I seem to recall reading somewhere) that a suit-jacket should lie smooth when the hands are clasped in front. He doesn’t consider this adequate. I think he’s on glue. The debate continues. Anyway, I think I can shave off a bit of the excess and get something that doesn’t look completely grotesque when he’s standing naturally.  Fitting muscles is weird. It’s almost like an FBA for the back, in an area that doesn’t happen to have any darts. (Boy has a drop of almost 12″ from chest to waist right now. That’s not only more than mine, that’s more than twice mine. The jerk.). At least widening the sleeves went well. I’d be tempted to try a larger size, but the shoulders fit beautifully.

Now if I could just find my roll of craft paper to make the rest of the pattern pieces… (I’m trying to save the wrapping paper for the presents…)

35 Comments

Filed under Sewing

On the Vogue Front

The next stage of fitting…

Sleevage. Fitting.

So, I slapped some sleeves onto my bodice-muslin of the Zoe coat, Vogue 7448, to see what they did to the floopyness around the front armscye. And also where the shoulders actually sit and things like that. Oh, and I added facings and the collar.

I think I should just suck it up and do the square shoulder adjustment.

I also think I’ve decided the front floopyness really boils down to my SBA being insufficiently agressive. If I stuff a fist in the side in front of my breast, it fills out the space quite nicely and the wrinkles disappear. (Incidentally, I took this photo wearing my padded bra, which does bring my bust measurement up to a proper size 12—34″. And it’s still floopy.

The only other thing (which doesn’t show in these photos) is how much the low armscye makes the arms bind when I put my hands on my hips. I’ve been trying to talk myself out of fixing it, but I just don’t think I can. Even the front floopyness doesn’t annoy me as much as that binding at the arms. I promise I’ll only raise it a centimetre or so. I’m sure I’ll still be able to get most of my sweaters underneath.

And the wearable muslin…

Vogue 7448 Sweater

Despite the fact that the fit is so-so and the internal finishing is abysmal, I really wanted to get something usable out of this. So, I grabbed some cream rib-knit that just happens to match the cream sweatshirt knit, cut a 3″ wide band (doubled), and added it to the bottom and made cuffs for the sleeves.

Buttons

Although I often really like cropped jackets, something about the position of the band has me not entirely convinced that it’s terribly flattering (maybe I’m just feeling muffin-top-conscious due to winter slothfulness and the depressing length of time since I’ve done a pretty, glamorous basement photo shoot. Oh, well. At least the jeans look good.)

I do quite like it hanging open, which is unusual for a double-breasted garment. The way the front hangs open reminds me faintly of those floppy-front cardigans.

Facing and under-collar

The buttons are cream, leather-covered buttons from one of my old-button thrift store hauls. The leather is pretty dinged up and dingy, but the colour was nice and I was willing to go with it for this particular garment. I decided to bind the inside of the facing and the undercollar with some nice patterned bias binding, which would be a lovely touch if the rest of the seam-finishing wasn’t so godawful. (er, nonexistent.) (Erm, buttonholes in rib knit. Bad idea, basically. Some kind of stabilizer would’ve been a VERY good idea. I thought of it just after I started the first one.)

I’m glad I made the full collar, though. This is the first time I’ve tackled one of those collars with inner corners, and it was a bit brain-breaky and nerve-wracking. I had to actually read the instructions. Definitely worth practicing.

So I guess this is one of those “time will tell” garments. I’ll probably wear it a bit, because I do need sweaters, badly. I may fall thoroughly in love with it… who knows.

20 Comments

Filed under Sewing

The perils of tissue fitting

And other good ideas

Tissue-fitting

Baby steps continue on Vogue, 7448, henceforth to be known as the Zoe Coat. I am *this* close to convincing myself that I can splurge on some really nice wool and thinsulate to make an uber-winter version as my prezzie from Santa, although if I have to order anything online the time-frame is getting iffy. We’ll see.

So, I decided to try and tissue-fit my altered pattern pieces on my theoretically-me-shaped duct-tape double.

Now, I do not wish to completely malign duct-tape doubles. I suspect when done really well, and stuffed with a lot of attention to detail, and treated with appropriate respect thereafter, they can probably be pretty useful. Mine is a bit lacking. Another layer of duct-tape to stabilize would probably have not gone amiss. I should’ve been a little more careful in the stuffing, especially of the shoulder region. The fact that my kids think it’s the cat’s miaou and have had oodles more fun with it than I ever have doesn’t help, either. But it is still generally me-shaped.

So. I pinned my pattern pieces, noting centre front and centre back locations, and tried them on the double.  As you can see above (please ignore the awful background) the main issue seemed to be that the waist (which is supposed to be slightly raised—from past experience this is about 1/2″ above the natural waist) still appeared to be a couple of inches too low. There was also a lot of room in the bust (or rather, a lot more room in the bust than at the waist), so I added another tuck to shorten and did a modest Small Bust Adjustment. This is actually my first formal SBA with a dart, although I’ve smoothed down princess-seams in the bust area plenty. I tend to wear a bra with wovens, and my bras are all psychotically padded, so I’ve mostly been able to get away with the bust as drafted.

For good measure (considering all the height I’d taken out at this point), I shortened the bust dart by a centimetre or so.

Muslin---Stage 1

And moved on to muslin (stage 1). Apologies for the fuzzy photos, I am far too lazy to re-take them. This is what happens when you let your fingers or arm come between the camera and your photo-spot when setting up the self-timer. 😛

Several things became instantly obvious.

Firstly, I had taken out too much length. Obviously my duct-tape is not quite so double. (I suspect she’s compressed in length from being left standing from time to time.) I actually pretty much like where the bottom of the pieces is, but of course there needs to be a seam-allowance below that. /sigh. When I tried it on I thought the back was too short (remember I took 1 cm off the bottom of the back as part of my swayback adjustment), but actually as worn it hangs straight, so that’s a win.

There’s a lot of gaping in the back, at the neck and in the sway-back area.Fairly easy to fix by tweaking the back seam. I’m wondering if the neck-gaping is exacerbated by the need for a square-shoulder adjustment, though. I had hoped that since the pattern is designed for shoulder-pads, I wouldn’t need one, but it would probably have helped.

The front waist seems about right, and shoulder and side-seams fall in pretty good places. The point of the bust dart is high, but I think not problematically so. The big issue in the front is that folding in the front armscye. Those of you who are fit-gurus, please comment! My Singer Sewing Reference Library volume “The Perfect Fit” suggests two fixes for this, a minor one which is basically the same as a sloping-shoulder adjustment on the front bodice piece only(which is pretty much the opposite of what I need), and a major one where you take a dart out of the pattern at the armscye and then kind of smush it flat so there’s no dart there on your final piece. This seems annoyingly imprecise, but would probably work. Of course, these armscye issues are also affected by the sleeve, so I’ll be setting in sleeves before I make a final decision. I find it particularly interesting that the “fold” doesn’t point to the bust, but rather beside it

EDIT: Just a random bit of life I can’t resist putting in. Yesterday our area was in the grip of a fierce chinook windstorm. The wind was breathtaking, but even more amazing was the temperature—even with all that wind, it was WARM (comparatively) outside. Being good Canadians, we promptly kicked the kids out of the house to enjoy the weather.

This morning we turned on the Weather Network and learned that our area had received hurricane-force winds yesterday and that people had been urged to stay inside and away from windows.

Oopsie.

Well, at least they were away from windows…

24 Comments

Filed under Sewing

Frock Coat Muslin

Coat muslin, finished

Once again, I’m not allowed to photograph Mr. Isis in the muslin—heck, I’m barely allowed to PUT him in the muslin, and then it’s off before I have a chance to really check the fit. Argh. Anyway, I shall attempt to write down some notes of the fit so I don’t forget.

So, the good:

  • shoulder breadth is spot on
  • waist length  is good (I shortened 3.5 cm after comparing his neck-waist back measurement to that of the pattern)
  • sleeve length (I lengthened 3 cm in the pattern). I need to remember to add the flap for sleeve vents!
  • overall length is good, although I have to nail him down on that issue (see below).
  • collar fits nicely
  • a nicely small amount of ease in the sleeve-cap.
The bad:
  • Too TIGHT! in select areas.  My well-muscled hubs needs, at minimum, a broad-back adjustment
  • Full biceps adjustment

    and a wide biceps adjustment. The shoulders are really binding—I’m hoping that the broad biceps adjustment, which shortens the sleeve-cap as well as widening the arm, will help with the shoulder binding as well. I may actually just widen the entire sleeve a bit, too—really narrow sleeves is a problem I’ve run into in Lekala patterns before, in Tyo’s coat.

New Inspiration---the Prophecy

The annoying:

  • Christopher Walken in The Prophecy

    the other night hubs comes up with another source of inspiration: the coat worn by Christopher Walken as Gabriel in the movie the Prophecy. Fortunately for my blood pressure, it turns out on research that aside from the buttons and length (Walken’s coat is above the knee, a bit shorter than this one) it’s for all intents and purposes the same coat. However, hubs does need to decide whether he wants a single buttonhole or a bunch down the front. I HATE it when people I’m sewing for try to change the design midway through the process.

Things I still have to check because I don’t have photographs to reference:
  • side-seam (is it straight?)
  • rear vent (does it gape—do I need to add more room in the bottom half?)
  • sleeve length (double-check)
  • how MUCH extra space across the back does he need?
What’s particularly amusing to me is that some of these changes, in particular the shortening of the body and lengthening of the sleeves, are ones that I typically do as well. Which means that our children are probably doomed in this department. Sorry, kids.
And now the ten-million-dollar question—second muslin or not? >_<

29 Comments

Filed under Sewing

The Last Gasp of Summer Dress (Part 1)

Lonsdale at last!

Last night, in a fit of madness, I finally cut out the bodice for the Lonsdale dress*. Boo-ya!

So, what’s up with this? Well, I had traced out the bodice pieces in a straight  Sewaholic size 6 back in July (Yes, I’m a tracer. Especially when it comes to almost $20 patterns). Tasia’s size 6 matches my bust measurement, and the waist is only an inch off, which puts it closer to my measurements than any other commercial pattern I’ve run across. Yay! The hip measurements are way, way of—the Sewaholic line caters to the more pear-shaped among us, which I am emphatically not—but that shouldn’t matter for a dress like this. Which is probably why she came out with a dress like this ;).

Anyway, on examining the pieces, I decided to shorten the waist by a LOT. I have a short waist to begin with, and the Pendrell blouse (presumably based on the same measurements) was reported to run long in the waist. Also, there’s the waist-band piece, which will sit below the bodice. Trial and error has taught me that if I must have a waistband on a dress, I’d rather have it start at my waist and extend above. Visual attempts to lengthen my waist don’t seem to help—I get better results with a slightly raised waist. Or I think I do, anyway (think this dress). I took out about 5cm (2″), I’d say. So it will probably end up a bit higher than Tasia intended, but hopefully at a place that looks good on me ;). Remember there’s a 5cm-wide band below the bodice, then the skirt starts.

Closeups

In the photo I had folded up the bottom edge to to approximately where the seam will be. Since you can’t really see my waist well in these pics, I’ll throw in a slightly more inclusive shot:

Distance shot

Unfortunately taking photos at night in my bedroom with the flash and my backup camera doesn’t make for the best photos ever, but you should get the idea.

I should really make a swayback adjustment, though. Note to self.

Pretty instructions!

I have to say, I love Tasia’s instructions! Look at all those gorgeous little diagrams—barely a word, because barely a word is needed. Kinda like Ikea instructions. 🙂

Now to find time to actually work on it…

*Bonus points to the person who sees my big booboo in this photo.

25 Comments

Filed under Sewing

Fitting Serena

Tailocat---Fabric and sketch

Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under Sewing

McCall’s 3415: Pride, fall, yadda, yadda

McCall's 3415

I am feeling summery-dressy.  What better way to move on to my next sundress triumph than to finally get around to the lovely McCall’s 3415? I love this pattern so much—the sleek line, empire waist, CF seam. The high, round-neck version is my favourite. And I just happened to have this fabric perfectly matching view C on the pattern envelope. I pulled out the pieces, did some quick tracing, pin-fitting, and even made up the bodice-lining as a kind of muslin to check the fit. Everything looked good.

What could go wrong?

Those of you with keen eyes may have noticed that this pattern is Misses’ size 10. Most of the 70s patterns I’ve made up to now have been a size 12.

Now technically both my bust and hip measurements are in between these two sizes, and I’ve read advice that when choosing a size from the big 4, if you’re between sizes, go with the smaller one. And with the few modern Big 4 patterns I’ve made for myself (hmm, that might actually only be one) I’ve ended up with the 10. But 12 seems to be a more common size in the single-size vintage patterns that have thrown themselves in my way, so I’ve often gone with that, and, at least for Simplicity, have my alterations pretty much worked out. The addition of a padded bra to bring my bust up to the official size-12 range, and I’m good to go.

I’m not nearly so clear for McCall’s patterns, having only made up one for myself, and that one being basically unfitted. And a size 12.

Pockets

Still, when you’re using $2/metre thrift store fabric, you can’t really justify much in the way of muslining. So off I went. I liked where the under-bust seam was falling, so I didn’t petite the bodice. I did do a small swayback alteration in the back, but that was all. I blithely added side-seam pockets, even remembering to interface the front side seam allowance (a tip from the Marcy Tilton book) so they don’t bag out. The bodice is intended to lined, with lining and shell cut from the same pattern piece. This is of course just asking for the lining edges to roll out, especially as it would be pretty near impossible to understitch those narrow parts around the neck, and I wasn’t feeling up to painstakingly making a lining piece taking into account turn of cloth, so I went with my old standby: piping. Yay! Is it possible for a wardrobe to have too much piping? We shall see…

Piping and button-loops

The pattern instructs you to use hooks and eyes for the non-overlapping closure at the back of the neck. I’m not a fan of hooks and eyes generally, and this definitely seemed a little flimsy (not to mention Becky Home-Ecky), so I made little tiny spaghettie strap button loops. I cut them on the bias, used the bobby-pin method to turn them, steamed and stretched and ironed the crap out of them until they were as skinny as I could get them, and I think I’m in love. I’m also a little astonished I was able to find a bobby-pin in my house, but anyway. The cute little buttons are from the stash, and probably are of a similar vintage to the pattern, if not older.

Zip

And then I got it all stitched up, minorly flubbing the invisible zip because I was too lazy in the zone to re-read Sherry’s tutorial. It’s okay, not great, and I did have to rip to re-position the waist seams so they matched.

And then I made my worst mistake yet. I tried it on.

hmm

Oops. Ok, so it’s not totally, totally awful. The bodice is pretty much perfect, barring a small amount of gaping at the sides that probably has more to do with my poor fabric-handling technique than anything else. But that is, ah, a wee bit MAJORLY tight through the hips. And there’s the wrinkling in the back. And a bit of gaping over the pockets, probably to do with the tightness in the hips (the Marcy Tilton book also discusses the amount of ease you need to have side-seam pockets in a skirt, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have it here. Also the side-seam swings back, suggesting I need a bit more booty room. This is, shall we say, a bit unusual for me.Hmm.So, depending on how you squint your eyes, I did one of two (possibly three things wrong. Arguably I should have shortened the upper part of the skirt to accommodate my short waist, which would basically bring up the wider part lower down to where the width is needed. Alternatively, slashing and spreading to widen the skirt from waist down would’ve done much the same thing. For fun, I took a tuck with a bunch of pins.

Pin-tucked

I didn’t do as good a job pinning up the back (it’s tricky with the zipper) but I think that’s a definitely improvement in the front. The side-seams are still pulling back a bit, though, which I think means that more booty-ease is still needed in the back.

All of which is fascinating, but doesn’t help me save the dress’s current incarnation. At this point I’m considering removing the pockets and just making the side-seam as small as I can, but since I already serged the seam this won’t increase it by much. Maybe enough to at least lose the worst of that stuffed-sausage look, though… Alternatively I could try an add a godet at each side-seam, but that seems risky, too…

19 Comments

Filed under Sewing

To SBA or not to SBA

All y’all* are a bunch of enablers, you know.

So against my better judgment (and to my hubby’s dismay) I spent the latter part of yesterday evening whipping up a very quick muslin of the Colette Ceylon pattern rather than snuggling on the couch with him watching the last of Mrs. Doubtfire.

Altered bodice pattern pieces

The nice thing about the Ceylon  bodice is that the pieces are all itty-bitty, so you can squeeze them out of pretty small scraps. I really didn’t think I’d get anything else out of the last few bits of that blue flannel duvet, but I got it all, quite handily. Well, not the sleeves, yet.

Oh, dear. I’m going to have to show you fitting pictures again. Darn it.

Yes, I know this one really provides no fitting information at all. Be patient.

Now, I started slow, with just the midriff-band pieces. I initially traced them in a size 2, grading up to a size 4 at the waist. (According to the Colette size charts, my waist is a size 6 while the rest of my measurements suggest a size 0. However, even with the astounding amount of waist-innish-ness on these pieces, going from a 0 to a 6 would’ve given me a convex, rather than concave waistline. 2 to 4 seemed like a reasonable compromise). I also added a CB seam and did a pre-emptive swayback alteration. The resulting piece turned out just right in the lower back, a little loose above the waist, and a bit big across the front. So I gleefully graded the front down by 1/4″, and the back similarly above the waist. I guess that means my front waist piece grades from size 0 at the top and bottom to size 2 at the waist, while the back goes 0-4-2 top-waist-bottom. Plus whatever distortion the swayback throws in there.

It’s well-known that Colette drafts for a generous C cup, while I am more in the “small

Ceylon muslin 1, front view

end of B but loudly refusing to consider myself an A” territory. Obviously an SBA was going to be in order. Previous experience suggests that some shortening in the upper bodice would be appropriate, as well.

So I started with a horizontal tuck around the bust and mid-back pieces of the bodice, taking out about 2cm of height. This may have been a bit much in the front, but anyway. I played around with a second, angled vertical tuck in the front bust piece, pinned the pieces on my duct-tape double and decided to give it a whirl.

Ceylon, muslin 1, side view

On aesthetic rather than fitting grounds, I also messed with the curve of the front yoke (which seems to stick out a little high on the smaller sizes at least). I cut the upper pieces a size 0 before alteration, by the way.

As you can see, the SBA was a bit, ah, enthusiastic. It still fits, but there’s a certain blousiness to the back that seems to be missing from the front, and I’m pretty sure when buttoned it would end up gapey. Assuming ambition does not desert me, I’ll try a version tonight with the vertical tuck removed, and see where that leaves me.

I like the new shape of the front yoke pieces. I still think the neckline (those gaping, angled pieces of the bodice) needs to come down 1/2″ or so. Some of the gapeyness doubtless comes from carelessly stretching on the bias, but I will have to watch for that in the final construction. Having adequate bust space should help with it, too, I would think.

I’m torn on the horizontal tuck. The front length seems good to perhaps a wee bit

Ceylon muslin 1, back view, slack.

short, the back length still looks a little long. And there are still a few wrinkles in the back midriff piece that I’m not sure what to do about. I’m reluctant to increase the swayback alteration, as it’s already at Sherry’s recommended maximum before you should start looking for other fitting causes (like, oh, a short upper body). Would shortening the upper back pull the midriff pieces higher and let them fit my waist a bit better?

There is a lot of blousiness at the back, some of which is necessary, but it seems a bit excessive. Again, I’m wondering if there isn’t too much length in this section; the width seems good, as it goes comfortably taut when I move my arms forward.

So that’s where I am. I think tonight I’ll re-cut my front bust pieces and mess with the length of the back piece. But now, I must get back to work on the wondrous intricacies of phylogenetic analysis…

*Lest I besmirch the reputation of my fellow Canucks, I would like to point out that I learnt that lovely bit of English in Texas a couple of years ago. We don’t really talk like that up here, eh.

16 Comments

Filed under Sewing

A little goes a long way…

A small lengthening adjustment

I took Steph (and several other peoples’) advice and lengthened the CF by rotating the bottom of the bust piece down 1/2″. (thanks for your thoughts, everyone!)

This seemingly-insignificant alteration had some major consequences. On the up-side, it achieved its intended goal of allowing the midriff piece to sit a little lower, bringing the seam-line down to the vicinity of my waist. On the downside, now the bust feels a little too full and wide (odd since if anything the piece is narrower than before). I assume this is because it’s under less vertical tension or something. Also the neck feels a bit gapy—always a risk in a V-neck like this, the correction for which is the exact opposite of the alteration I just made :P. I’m hoping that the weight of the skirt

Simplicity 5728, v. 2, with sleeves!

keeping the bodice in place will keep this from being a problem. In today’s photos I’m wearing the Bullet Proof Bra, which brings my bust measurement up in line with the pattern’s intended 34″; it succeeds in filling in most of the extra fullness, but it still feels a little bulky/loose under the arm.

(To bra or not to bra… that is the question. On a daily basis I tend to go without—a knit top offers enough support to get me through my daily routines, and indeed most exercise except for jogging. On the other hand, a bit of support is nice for when I’m wearing wovens, and if I must wear an annoying band around my ribs, I might as well get some, ah, enhancement, from it, which is where the Bullet Proof Bra comes in. Which will I be more likely to wear with this dress? Well, whichever ends up fitting under it better, I guess…)

Arm-lift---uh oh

Then, of course, I added the sleeves.

Can I just say that woven sleeves are a pain in the arse? These particular ones have a little pouf at the top, which is achieved by lengthening, rather than widening, the sleeve cap. So they look gorgeous with my arms down, but ride up mightily the moment I lift my arms. Now, I’m not expecting to be able to do jumping jacks, but it would be nice to able to put my hands on my hips without the entire bodice pulling up around my ears. And then the neckline goes totally wonky, too. Grr.

Side view, arm raised.

On the up side, I’m no longer wondering if the armscye is too high. With the sleeve on, it feels not nearly high enough.

Incidentally, I lengthened the sleeve pattern by a full two inches to bring it to this point, which is about where I’d like a finished sleeve to end. I’m not totally sure if I want the fold-back cuffs that came with the pattern or not (do they make sense without the collar?) so I’ll have to think on that. Maybe I don’t want long sleeves at all (but I’m having a hard time thinking about anything short sleeved right now, as I’ve said).

Back, with sleeves

But, the back looks pretty good with the sleeves—I wouldn’t want to take any ease out of it, I think.

Back with arms raised

It handles the arm-raising much better than the front.

I think I’m satisfied with the bodice for now—side seam ease is something I can

Side view, with sleeves

always tweak in my final fabric (whatever that may be), so the issue that remains is the sleeve. What do you think? Keep with restrictions? Attempt to alter the cap (I seem to recall the Sewista Fashionista taking a stab at something similar not that long ago…)? Swap in a different sleeve I like better? (I haven’t done a long-sleeve in a woven for me yet, so I don’t really have any candidates. I could do a short sleeve—I’d probably like a short cap sleeve better than a puff anyway, or there’s always the lure of a pleated sleeve cap. Again, though, I don’t have a preferred pattern for any of these.

This is my first elbow dart, by the way. it does make for a nice fit.

So what do you think? Short sleeve or long? This sleeve or other? I have a feeling I’m going to go with the long skirt option. Cuz, well, I love me a long skirt.

The pattern girls, to remind you

13 Comments

Filed under Sewing