I usually use about.com for sewing questions, but I have to say, I don't get much help with specific fitting questions. Like, last summer, when I posted about my dress with the wrap bodice that was showing too much cleavage...no one suggested a FBA, they just said it's hard to fit a wrap on a larger bust. I basically figured out how to do a FBA by slashing, moving, lengthening....
When I posted about this dress, someone did suggest comparing my bicep with the pattern and seeing what size my arm is and base the sizing on that. Everything I've done for myself so far has been sleeveless (except one dress that I never blogged about because it was at a sad time and the picture was terrible, and I didn't do a FBA so the whole thing was a baggy mess). She then suggested cutting the shoulder and upper sleeve for an 18 and taper to a 22 at the lower armhole and sides, and adding some length to the center front.
I pretty much did that after all, although I didn't take the armhole to the 22 line until the bottom of the armhole. But I think I need to be at that size by the time I get to the level of my bust point. Right?
Now, what about the back? I cut the shoulders and armhole to match the front, but what about the sides...I think if I cut it on the 22, the back will be baggy, as what has happened when I knit sweaters with the front and back the same width. I think I need to actually measure the front vs the back piece and see....Most of what I read about fitting, and grading from one size to the next keep the front and back the same, the sizing changes from say, bust to waist, not front to back.
And I'm worried about the sleeve head...cutting it to fit with the changes in the body. I realize that although the pattern has symmetrical sleeve heads, if my back is a 18/front a 22, then my sleeves will need to match this so I must flip the pattern over for one....I've forgotten to do this in the past!
A while ago (maybe during Christmas break), I read a sewing blog where the writer made a plain muslin, and wrote all over the picture, showing things like her sway back, and how the side seams move forward (like I complained about last summer), and other assorted stuff. It was an awesome lesson on getting good fit, but now I can't find where that was! I know which blogs it wasn't, but can't find which it WAS. Anyone know? I think it's a great idea to actually photograph yourself in the muslin, rather than just looking at it in the mirror (where you can pat and smooth and wiggle...).