Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Starting at the top!

Well, after studying all of the pictures and reading a lot about fitting, the decision is to start at the top and work my way down. We are all familiar with the prospect of doing one alteration and finding something else has gone wrong somewhere else in the garment, so if I start at the top, by the time I get to the bottom, I'm hoping each quirk will have been worked out. 

I did waste time by make a very valuable chart of all of the minimum ease requirement as copied here from The Perfect Fit.

MINIMUM EASE ala “The Perfect Fit” by Creative Publishing International

Minimum Bust Ease

Blouse, Dress, jumpsuit                                              2.5 to 3” (6.5 to 7.5 cm)
Unlined jacket                                                             3 to 4” (7.5 to 10 cm)
Lined Jacket                                                                3.5 to 4.5” (9 to 11.5 cm)
Coat                                                                            4 to 5” (10 to 12.5 cm)

Minimum Back Ease

Blouse, dress, sleeveless jumpsuit                              .5 to 1” (1.3 to 2.5 cm)
Jumpsuit with sleeves                                                 1” (2.5 cm)
Jacket                                                                          1 to 1.5” (2.5 to 3.8 cm)
Coat                                                                            1 to 2” (2.5 to 5 cm)

Minimum Sleeve Ease

Blouse                                                                        1 to 1.5” (2.5 to 3.8 cm)
Dress, jumpsuit                                                           1.5 to 2” (3.8 to 5 cm)
Unlined jacket                                                             3 to 4” (7.5 to 10 cm)
Lined jacket                                                                3 to 4.5” (7.5 to 11.5 cm)
Coat                                                                            4 to 5.5” (10 to 14 cm)

Minimum Waistband Ease                             

Up to size 16                                                                ½” to ¾” (1.3 to 2 cm)
Size 16 or over                                                            1” or more (2.5 cm or more)

Minimum Hip Ease for skirts

Up to size 16                                                                2” (5 cm)
Size 16 or over                                                            2.5” (6.5 cm)

Minimum Ease for pants

Crotch depth sizes 4-10                                              ½” (1.3 cm)
                        Sizes 12-16                                          ¾” (2 cm)
                        Sizes 18 and over                                1” (2.5 cm)
Crotch length                                                               1 to 2” (2.5 to 5 cm)
Waist                                                                           ¾ to 1” (2 to 2.5 cm)
Hips                                                                             2 to 2.5” (t to 6.5 cm)
Thighs                                                                          2” (5 cm)

Sorry the formatting is kind of wonky, but it didn't copy right from my Word document, which was of course perfect! :P}}

Perhaps I didn't need to actually copy every single area, but it is going into the binder where I keep measurements and drafting notes, and such. I think it is a tremendously valuable resource to have this where I can check it whenever I'm doing a pattern. 

So from the top. My first adjustment was to increase the seam allowance at the neck edge by 1" making a total of 1 1/4" seam allowance, curving down in a slight arc to about 9" down from the neck edge. I'll insert pictures as I go so you can see what's what. 

OMG, I FINALLY figured out how to do a self timed photo with my camera. Isn't it amazing that all I had to do was pull out the CD and read the "manual!" LOL

Okay. These pictures are not great, but give us something to work with. WOW... what a difference that made in just taking in the back neckline to fit my actual neck! 

Looking at this, I can see that the armholes at the shoulder are still too high. It also looks like there isn't quite enough room at the bust for me, and the princess seams still run between my boobs and the side seam.

Next back: 

My first observation is that I need to press this really well to see what's from where I was sitting while I was trying to figure out the self timer on the camera and what's an issue. This fabric is really light weight and creases like crazy evidently. 

The shoulder width remains a problem as does the width across my high back above the armpits. I can see lines from my shoulders running down to my waist, and still the huge wads of fabric in the underarm area. 

Next right side view: 

Again, I can see way too much fabric at the rear princess seam from the armhole down to the waist. That interesting fold from the waist area towards the center back is something I don't think I saw before. This armhole doesn't look nearly as bad now that it's been pulled up on my body. There are folds from the bust point towards the waist also, but it appears the pulling up has been eliminated at the center front.

Left side: 

As I anticipated, the armhole on this side is larger than the other and it is more apparent that the shoulder needs to be pulled up a bit. Same folds from bust to waist and armhole princess seam in back to waist. 

Overall, I'm quite pleased that just pulling that back neckline seam in did so much positive work on fitting. 

Next up, I'm going to work on those shoulders and try to get them even, the right depth, and the right width. 

More later! 


  1. What a difference. I would be curious to see what would happen if you took the 1.5" almost to the waist. You have may a great start.

  2. You are going to end up with a fabulous fit. I had to laugh - yes reading the manual always helps!!