Wednesday, June 15, 2011


So, I finally finished my "muslin" of Simplicity 5189.  I made my first version last summer when I had to go to a funeral, but it turned out too big...even though I had made the right sized based on chest measurements.  It wasn't until the next month when I was trying to make a sundress did I learn about a "full bust adjustment" and why my sewing attempts were failing (patterns are based on an average frame, with a B cup bust, so because I was a D cup, to get it to fit my bust, the rest of the body was too big).  I never showed a picture of it, as the only picture was blurry, over exposed, and my hair was in a towel, LOL.

I decided to give it another try, since I had found a tutorial on how to do a FBA on princess seams.  Well, as I posted a little while ago, it wasn't as easy as the tutorial showed.  I started by taking an inch out of the upper bodice, but I still ended up taking another inch out!  The bust curves were too sharp, there was too much material in the center panel over the upper chest.  I took the sides in quite a bit too. 
 The weather turned warm finally, so I ditched the plan to add the sleeves...I figured with the adjustments I was making, the sleeves would never fit right.

I had to get Rob to mark the bottom to hem it, as all the panels ended up a different length. 
I decided I'd try making my own bias binding.  Well, that  This is a light, gauzy, woven material that I don't think is 100% cotton going by the sound the fabric made when I pressed too much with a hot iron.  I had issues making the tape...the rotary cutter made the edges open up, not fray exactly, but splay.  When I seamed the first piece, it didn't line up right so I had to figure out that it's the sewing line you have to match up.  The folded tape is really gadget was for 1/2" tape, so it was really fiddly to sew it on.  I wasn't happy with the first sewing on job, and I noticed I needed to shorten the upper bodice more on one side, so I took the trim off the arms (hadn't done the neck), and re-did it, much better.  I had to cut a new neckline.  Trimming it went better than the armholes.  There still seems to be too much width in the upper chest, but I don't know how to fix that.

Oops, the continuous mode on self-timer didn't give me enough time to "suck it in" LOL.
It is a nice, light dress, even with a slip on it was still comfy.  I do have to watch what bra I wear, some show under the arms.

Edit to add:  I forgot to mention that I sewed a little strip of elastic across the back waist, to pull it in a little but still let me get it over my head without a zipper.  It's a nice little touch that I might do on other items; I like it better than sewing long ties into the side seams (too maternity dress-ish).

I had planned to use this as a muslin, but I made so many adjustments, I don't think I could transpose those changes onto the paper pattern, and now that it's summer, the fabric I was planning on isn't appropriate.  Next time, if there is, I will try using smaller shoulders as the adjustment...


Jemajo said...

You certainly got the fit just right!
It's a pity that you can't transfer the adjustments, but maybe it would work to take this one apart and use that as the pattern.
After all that work to get the perfect fit, it would be such a pity to waste it!

If the different sections of the skirt started out the same length, only to change a bit under sewing, I would recommend using a walking-foot. It'll feed the top fabric at the same pace as the lower fabric giving you even seam lengths. Marvelous little contraptions altogether!

TracyKM said...

I'd consider taking it apart, however, the fabric frays, and with the print, it's hard to mark. I'm always wanting to make a "wearable" muslin cause I don't have a lot of sewing time...and once it's done, I don't want to take it apart, LOL. I need to get some really ugly fabric for making muslins, LOL.
The skirt pieces ended up different lengths from the alterations I made--adding extra length at the bust. Some day I'll have a walking foot though, it's on the wish list!

Jemajo said...

I'm in the same predicament at the moment with The Sorbetto Top from Collette Patterns. It is simply lovely but I cut it a size too big! Now I have to alter my top but the challis frays as you look at it. No hope of undoing my seams either. Live and learn, eh?

You do however, have one perfect dress that you are going to wear until it falls apart - that's real value for money, and it's not often I can say that of RTW dresses!

Tanya said...

I recently ordered a video called Full Busted: Sew Clothes that Fit off of Amazon for about $15. It's really helped me adjust patterns to accommodate 'the girls'. I normally hate to spend money on a dvd when there are so many online tutorials, but this was $ well spent and has saved me time and effort.