Sunday, 12 January 2014

New Year, New Fitting

One of my goals this year was to use more tried and true patterns, to circumvent the fitting issues I have with every pattern I make. 
So naturally, here I am, attempting to fit a new pattern!



No, but I do feel I have a good reason. I bought Sew the Perfect Fit on Craftsy for 80 % off while back, which is such a great deal! I would never have bought it without the discount. I wish they they'd have specials that good more often, as my sewing budget is low, soon to be lower. Heh.


I've largely muddled through fitting on my own so far, because I didn't want to spend any money on books and classes. In hindsight I should have sacrificed a few fabric purchases for fitting resources- I'd probably be a lot better off by now.

I do have a princess seamed bodice that Maryanne helped me fit, but I thought a basic darted bodice would be fabulous to have as well, and great to modify to lots of cool styles. Ooh, the possibilities of dart rotation eh??  
Plus, I guess I'm a masochist, and wanted to make this my own personal challenge. It's a satisfying yet tough road to learn to do it yourself.


What can I report? Well, I debated whether to do this, but I'm going to let you in on my unflattering muslin shots. You're welcome! 
I feel a bit exposed, but, well, I appreciate when others share the less shiny aspects of their sewing.

One thing I've learned recently in my fitting journey is the usefulness of HBLs- "horizontal balance lines". You mark the crossgrain in several places on your pattern and muslin.
Sarah Veblen uses them in her book "the Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting", and so does Linda Maynard in her Craftsy class. I'm a convert- they give you additional visual clues to work with.

I decided to make my muslin as the class advised- pick the size off the bust measurement. There were things I knew I'd need to do but I cut it in a straight size 10.
I knew for certain I'd need to let out the waist as well as shorten it an inch or so, but opted to start with a  completely unaltered pattern. 
So this is what a pattern looks like "straight out of the envelope" for me:
Just soak in the horror.





Here are the things I think I see:
-shoulder seam sits too far back. I have a forward shoulder I believe...
-too much length in waist 
-too small in waist hence unable to pin it properly closed
-HBLs are raised at centre front and low at centre back at the waist 
-side seam tilts towards front at waist
-excess width in front shoulder causing vertical wrinkles
-waist darts at back are too short
-gaping back armhole (I have this all the time- it's because of my curved upper back/prominent shoulder blades)

The good news is, at least this is consistent! I've had these issues with pretty much every dress bodice.
And, I know how to fix at least SOME of them.

The number one issue which has stumped me has been the darn tilting waistline and side seam! Everything seems so off balance, ugh, and I've never been able to fix it to my satisfaction. 

I've had these issues with The Anna dress (whose fit I'm still not satisfied with), New Look 6799, Butterick 4443, and a UFO stuck in muslin form, Gertie's Shirtwaist Dress (stuck due to these exact issues actually).
Therefore surely once I crack these issues, I can apply this to many different patterns- now wouldn't that be a dream!! Almost seems too good to be true...


I've examined these issues as well as getting some advice from the class teacher, and have made some changes to my pattern. I'm ready to make my next muslin now.
I'm slightly scared but hopeful and I will let you in on my progress and thoughts as I go. Wish me luck guys :)

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