Way back in April I decided to get a jumpstart on summer. I had this small piece of printed knit fabric. Not much stretch, it was kind of stiff. I went through my patterns and choose New Look 6865. I carefully laid out all my pieces, adding a seam to the back piece so I could fit it on the fabric and still have a decent length. I cut a 18 and added nothing for a FBA. It says the finished bust is 40 1/2", which gives 1/2" of ease. Why you'd want 1/2" of ease in a knit sundress, at the bust, I don't know. I was off to a great start in April, but got slowed down by other projects and the fact that Mother Nature forgot summer comes after spring.
I tried it on. Exciting! Almost done! Although the top of the front sort of ...drooped. Just like the problem I had with the low scoop neck t-shirts. My chest must be a little concave! I thought maybe the binding would fix that, but there was also excess fabric in the armpit! I added darts.
Then...I had an idea. This is quite a bare dress. Wouldn't a shelf bra be a great idea?! According to my own tank tops, and various blogs, it's just a couple pieces of lining, held in by the binding pieces around the edges. No sweat! I chose some Power Net because I had it, and if a little support was good, then some high strength control fabric would be even better. And, I also cut it a bit smaller. I really wanted it to hold the girls in, nice and controlled. I went to add the binding, and found out it's done totally different than I thought it would be. And it was a total pain, trying to sew on this narrow binding! It's a bit messy in places (where the front points meet the top edge, for example).
|I'm holding the straps behind my back LOL|
Big mistake. Between trying to fix the unevenness of the points, and the smaller size of the Power Net, it made the front top piece do weird things. The body fabric was being pulled in, but the top edge was not laying flat. I realized that my tank top with the built in shelf bra also sort of did this. Okay, so that's not entirely my fault. I unpicked the top edge and bindings, trimmed the dress a smidge and lowered the Power Net inside the top hem to give it a bit more slack. That wasn't enough.
Next, I inserted a piece of elastic in the hem across most of the front top (as well as the back top which was droopy). It was hard (especially on the back) to sew the hem/binding and not get the elastic. This seems to have worked to an acceptable level.
If I make this again, I need to do a FBA. On a "simple" knit dress. Maybe....if I had had a bigger piece of fabric so I didn't have to do piecing. Maybe if I don't add a shelf bra. Maybe if I don't mess up the binding. Maybe then it'll be simple enough that adding a FBA won't be complicated. I feel that I don't really need width across the front, I just need the shape realigned more to the side. But then the points won't be pointing to my shoulders. So I can just draw that difference. And I'll draw the front a little higher. Keep all the other shaping and even the darts.
Or, find another pattern.