OSP, Sewing

The Wrap Dress Project – Fitting the Bodice Part 2

Soooo,  this post has been a long time coming. In fact I started this post back in September… 🙈 good thing I added photos and made some notes when I started the draft!

After the first muslin of the bodice there were a couple of things that needed altering before the second muslin. The number one priority was an adjustment to get rid of the gape in the neckline.

While I was wearing the first muslin I pinned neckline to get rid of the gape so I’d know how much I needed to adjust. It worked out at about 1/2 an inch on both sides.

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I used a tutorial I found on Craftsy to create a dart in the pattern piece, and then trued up the neckline curve. It does seem a little counter-intuitive to create a dart to reduce fabric, then adding more to true up the neckline, but it works. ✂️✂️

After I’d made the adjustment to the neckline I redrafted the bodice facing pattern piece so that it matched the shape of the adjusted neckline

Time for bodice muslin number two… this time complete with collar and facings… I followed the construction instructions for the pattern to make up the collar and facing. Fully lining it means that the construction sequence will be totally different, but the using the pattern sequence for this muslin version… and not bad… 👍🏻

Doing that adjustment has raised the neckline enough and eliminated the gape. Adding the facing and the collar seems to have resolved where the shoulder seams sits – which is good.

The only issue – is this pooling/ weird folding thing happening at the nape of my neck. I had this happen when I made the Lenox Shirtdress, and I kinda made up a fix, by scooping out the neckline on the yoke, and messing with the collar. This time I wanted to find out what the proper adjustment was, so consulted with the almighty Google.

Turns out what I needed was a square shoulder adjustment – and the blog post I found at that link gave me a slash/ pivot method for doing the adjustment rather than messing with the neckline. I pinned out the amount of pooling/ folding that I wanted to get rid of and used that as the amount to pivot – it was almost an inch!

I decided not too do a third muslin of the bodice, but to make the adjustments to the skirt pattern pieces, and to muslin the whole dress as the next step.

It’s not a secret anymore that these wrap dresses are going to be the bridesmaid dresses for my sister’s wedding in April. 👰I’m making mine at the moment, and will be starting the fittings for the other bridesmaids soon. 🎉

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Adjustments, OSP, Sewing

The Wrap Dress Project – Fitting the Bodice Part 1

Somewhere there is some saying about starting at the top and working down when making fit adjustments to patterns, so I started where I always start with adjustments when making clothes for myself – with a full bust adjustment (FBA).

As always seems to happen, my high bust adjustment matches to largest size in the pattern, so patterns usually fit my neck and shoulders nicely, but I need do a FBA to have the bodice fit properly. My measurements mean I needed to add 2.5 inches to both sides of the front.

I decided to do a ‘Y cut’ FBA on this pattern for two reasons:

  1. So that the bust dart didn’t end up ridiculously huge – a common issue when doing ‘large’ FBAs; and
  2. I figured that in this style of top I some extra width across the top of the bust wouldn’t hurt – we’re all about avoiding wardrobe malfunctions in my world!

I always carry the full width I add at the bust doing a FBA down to the waistline, as I usually need extra inches at the waist too. Once I’d added the width and taped the pattern up I worked out where my bust point needed to be – that black dot in the middle of the addition – far, far away from the bust point marked on the pattern. From there I measured and marked 2 inches below, and towards the side seam (no Madonna looking cones for me, 🙅🏼 thank you very much) these formed the point of my new darts.

The original pattern didn’t have a bust dart, only a waist dart. I added the bust dart – marking from the end point of the dart out to the edges of sections that were added during the FBA, folded the dart closed (I taped it up actually) and trued up the side seam.

While the bust dart was taped closed I did a bit of tissue fitting to work out what size the waist dart needed to be – you can see it’s significantly smaller than what it would have been if I’d just closed the original waist dart.

When making muslins I don’t usually make any adjustments to the back of the bodice, most of the time the fit is fine, so I followed my usual practices and left the back bodice pattern alone.

Cutting time!! ✂️✂️✂️

I marked, pressed and stitched all of the darts closed, then pressed them again before sewing up the side and shoulder seams – time to see how well this first round of adjustments worked… 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻

And, honestly, not bad for the first round of adjustments to a pattern style I haven’t tired before… I did have a minor heart attack when I first put it on – I thought that I’d made the bust darts too low!! But on closer inspection the shoulder seams were sitting too far forward, and when I pulled them up and pinned them where they should sit – magically the bust darts were in the right place!! I’m not too worried right now about the shoulder seams sitting that far forward – this shirt still has a collar and facing to go on, and there are seam allowances involved in attaching them that may well fix that issue, so for my next muslin I’m going to make up and attach the collar and facing as well to check on that.

I did decide that there was just a little more gape in the front that I’d like – it’s not very obvious from the front, but it was from above… I pinned out about 5/8in on both sides.

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I’m pretty happy with how this round of adjustments has gone – it doesn’t matter how long I’ve been doing this or how many times I’ve adjusted patterns I’m always pleasantly surprised when the adjustments turn out the way I wanted them too… 😘😌

For the next muslin the plan is:

  • Fix that neckline gape issues – I found a tutorial on Craftsy which I’m going to give a whirl, it looks like it should do the trick
  • Test out the collar and facing as well as the main bodice pieces – this will tell me whether I need to do something about where the should seam is – also means I have to redraft the front facing as I’ve changed the length and am planning to change the shape a little with the neckline gape fix…
  • Think about whether I want to lengthen the front at all – I’m considering it, but I’m also conscious that adding the skirt (and the layers involved in the wrap and my planned lining) may add enough weight that it pulls the bodice down a bit… something to ponder… 🤔🤔

On to round two…

Muslins, Sewing

Most things don’t work perfectly the first time…

Unlike last week when my first go at the Varda Top worked perfectly, adjustments and all, I finished my first go the Style Arc Emily Skirt the other night, and I don't love it…

But then when I line it up with my other recent skirt makes I don't mind having a different shape skirt in my collection, so I don't exactly hate it either…

I made a straight size 24 with no alterations for this first time, and it's close enough to right that I'm calling it wearable (around the house at least 😉) but it could be better…

I'm going to make something else (maybe a couple of something elses) from my list and then come back to this skirt for another go.

I either need to go up a size or do a full tummy adjustment (that'll be interesting with all the origami pleats 😳) to stop the gape-y pocket that's going on at the moment.

I want to reduce the width (height) of the waistband to get it down away from my bust and back closer to my waist!

I also want to somehow make the skirt a couple of inches longer so that it finishes just below the knee. I think that will help with the tapered look it's supposed to have.

Finished Projects, Sewing

Finished Morris Blazer!

 

I’ve been on the hunt for a jacket to wear at the office during the day. I wear my lovely Luzerne Trench coats for my travel to and from the office but they’re a bit much for wearing around the office.

A couple of years ago I found and bought this RTW jacket – its from Jacqui-e – but my bust is bigger than it was designed for, so it’s never really fit quite right. I’ve worn it – a lot – but have always been looking for something that fit better.


Enter the Morris Blazer…

This pattern had been on my radar for a while but I’d somewhat dismissed it as a candidate because it was designed for ‘stretch’ fabrics, and to me that meant knits, which I knew wasn’t really the look I was going for.

Then Meg McCarthy posted about her cotton sateen version of the Morris Blazer, and this pattern immediately jumped to to very top of the possible contenders list – meaning I bought and printed the pattern the same day, and bought fabric for a tester version that weekend… 

I had a few things I needed to make before this Blazer (i.e. pajamas to replace the ones that pretty much disintegrated in front of my eyes) and I had planned to make pants this weekend not this jacket, but I left my pants pattern printouts in the print queue on Friday afternoon, so Morris Blazer it was!


I did a full bust adjustment straight off before cutting the fabric, but through the course of making the tester I had to do a full bicep adjustment (thank goodness for buying too much fabric – I had enough left over to recut the sleeves!) and quite a bit of messing around with the armscye to get it big enough.

Honestly, those sleeves must have gone on and off 3 times before the armscye fit right 😳😳, much time was spent with my friendly seam ripper!! 

However the persistence and the time was totally worth it. I have a wearable jacket in my absolute favourite colour, and I have an adjusted pattern for next time! Hurrah!!! 

And I already have some delicious floral cotton sateen from Spotlight that was earmarked for another project, but I think it may have found its destiny in becoming a Morris Blazer.


Now to decide what to make next from my list… maybe I should just collect those pants pattern printouts and embark on my biggest fitting challenge yet – dress pants…

Sewing

Progress on my Morris Blazer tester. 

I think I messed up the end point of my darts when I did the full bust adjustment and made them too low 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ which I’ve now fixed on my pattern pieces.


The sleeve is also very firm fitting – which I knew was possible from reading other people’s reviews. So I’ve done a full bicep adjustment on my pattern pieces and added an inch to the width of the sleeves. I may also tweak the armscye and and make it a bit bigger – this will also help reduce the amount of gathering at the top of the sleeve.


I’m going to finish this one as it will be wearable, just – and I don’t have enough of this fabric to recut the sleeves and/or front pieces again.

I’m also pondering fabric options – whether there just isn’t enough stretch in this sateen for this pattern…