Saturday, January 29, 2011

This used to be much easier....

..when I was a teenager. Like most women of my generation, I learned how to sew in 7th grade home ec. I sewed through most of my teenage years-I've always been tall and RTW has always been a problem. However, the teenage me could sew a pattern right out of the envelope with almost no adjustments, except for length.. The 49 yr old me can no longer do that.. First up, the Butterick pencil skirt I talked about yesterday. It's huge on me. I had carefully taken my measurements from a few months ago, measured the pattern and added to it based on those measurements. Yes, I've been doing weight watchers, but I haven't lost that much weight. Most, if not all, that I added to the pattern will be coming back off. I have 2 nice pieces of wool that I bought at G St Fabrics that will eventually become that skirt....

Now onto the Crepe dress. I made the 2nd muslin yesterday. I can breathe in this one, the length is better and the bust darts are basically in the right place. However, there is weird extra fabric above my bust and I think the problem is that the front needs more width for me. I also looked at where the side seams fall and they are not lined up right-where I think they need to be are in red on my pics, the actual side seams are in black. There are still wrinkles in the back, not sure if that is fixable or if it's because I have rolls, or because the sheet I'm using for a muslin just doesn't drape well. I am DETERMINED to get this dress to fit as I really like the design and it will be a great work dress for spring and summer.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated...


Kate said...

Karen -

A few pieces of advice from my muslin redrafting:

First of all, you know what they say, fit the back first. Your back looks pretty good, although perhaps a tiny bit too tight, which might be causing those wrinkles around your waist...? If you loosen where you have it pinned by an inch or so do they go away?

Moving on to the front, here is what I think (and remember I am not expert, I am pretty new to this too):

1) look at the shoulder slope. The original pattern has quite a "dome" at the shoulder that peaks up and then is supposed to curve around the shoulder, but I had to straighten mine out to eliminate much of the excess I was finding over the bust. You might try pinning the shoulder seem up and straighter on your fabric muslin and see if a deeper seam and/or a straighter seam across the shoulder helps with some of the excess and the fit.

2)I have a wide/thick waist, but I still found I needed to curve the waist darts for a more fitted look under the bust. Try shortening your waist darts by about two inches and curving them (tutorial on Gertie's blog)

3) You definitely need to work on the side seams. Try adding about 1 1/2 inches to the front, and subtracting that same amount from the back. When I do this, I cut a line parallel with the grain line very close to the side seam, with a tiny "hinge at the armpit", then I open up that space (it will look like a dart shape) so that I get the 1 1/2 extra inches at the waist, which tapers to nothing in the armpit. I would make a similar cut on the back and instead of opening the space, I would overlap and inch and a half to take that same length off.

Also, don't forget that as you take length of the shoulder, or pinch a tuck out of the upper bust (which I also had to do), you will need to deepen your armpit curve with the same length, or maybe even a bit more, too keep the armpit from binding.

Good luck and stick with it. This will be a really cute dress!

Cassie said...

Hi Karen,
I've yet to sew the Crepe dress but you and I have a somewhat similar figure. Perhaps I can help you with your fitting woes?

It's a bit tricky to see the fabric that's bunching up above your bust from your photos. Is this because the sleeve is pulling the whole top upwards?

The side seams are definately pulling forward - your tummy doesn't have quite enough fabric without borrowing from the back bodice.

To fix for that you could try and draft in a wedge from bust point (it looks like you're fitted well through that section to me) down the center to the waist. Or you could just add in some extra at the front bodice side seams, you might want to move the vertical darts towards the sides a bit if you were to do that.

You'll get there!

Karen in VA said...

Thanks for the comments....was planning on working on this taday and through the weekend, but have a terrible cold and no energy.....

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