Friday, May 2, 2014

What a difference a day makes!

Here's the next set of photos. Remember, this is a process and I'm starting at the top first. I wanted to get the diameter of the garment closer before I start fine tuning the fit and doing final alterations to the pattern.

Alterations made since the initial shirt with a 1 1/2" sway back and 3/4" shoulder width reduction:

Neck width at center back is reduced by 1" each side, 2" total.
Outside shoulder seam has been dropped by 3/4" front and back totaling 1 1/2" reduction.
Side back princess seams taken in by 7/8" on both the side back and center back, tapering to zero 13 1/2" down from armhole edge.
Revised back armhole from shoulder seam, creating an arc of fabric removed from the top down  to the new underarm princess seam.

So this is what it looks like now.
Going to need an FBA and the princess seam moved towards CF

More apparent that the FBA is needed. 

Back still has way too much fabric almost everwhere except the posterior!

Side backs, center back, waistline, etc. still too big.

After I had made the listed corrections, I got a wonderful note from my friend and mentor, Jo Ann, asking if I'd like her to give me some input. Yes, Please! As is her usual, I sent the pictures last night before I went to bed, and had a response before I got to my computer this morning. This woman is one of the most generous people I've ever met and never sleeps! 

If you're wondering, I do know there will be changes made to the back, and haven't redrafted that until I'm closer with the diameter adjustments. At the current time, I'm leaving the odd looking upper back until I have the balance corrected. Once they are closer, I will redraft the back for fine tuning, and have that center back seam nice and straight. But in the meantime:

Jo Ann suggested slashing and spreading the upper back by 1" which will allow the neckline to slide forward to the right location for me. 

As you've probably surmised as it is apparent to almost all of us, she suggested I take in the majority of the back because there is still too much fabric at the back princess seams and the upper center back above the waist. Not sure yet, but I may have to increase my 1 1/2" sway back adjustment even more if the other changes don't correct for that. 

I haven't adjusted the princess seams yet, but look what adding that 1" piece has done to the fit of the back! It's almost as much of a wow as happened when I pulled the neck edge in. 

I am truly fascinated at the difference in the look of the shirt and my body as each adjustment brings it closer to the right fit for me. 
Side view with the strip installed:

I have always read that you look better in clothing that actually fits your body instead of the over-sized tent like things we may chose to hide in, but this is really bringing that point home in a big way!

Tonight I'll be taking in the back princess seams from the top to the hip area, and check to see if/how much the sway back adjustment is affected and what additional alterations need to be completed in that area. Once that is done, I'll redraft the back pattern pieces and start on the front. 

The front is also going to require multiple adjustments, and I will be documenting as I go along. My bust point distance is quite narrow, especially for someone the size I currently am. The front needs to be altered so the princess seam runs across the bust and then down. It appears there will be at least a slight FBA required in width and length. 

Once we get all of these items completed, I'll be cutting a new muslin to look at it before I actually go into fashion fabric. I'm 99.9% sure once all the other adjustments have been completed, I'll have to raise the armhole at least 1/2" to 1" so I don't show off my bra when I'm jacket-less. 

I prefer a "French binding" on my armholes to facings or bias tape, and the way I do that is to attach it without eliminating any seam allowances. In that way, the sleeves will be finished at the same place as they are in the muslin. I think that will make it easier on my poor brain to comprehend the look the changes have made to the fit of my shirt.

Who would have thought that it would take so much work to get a simple sleeveless blouse to fit? Not me for sure! I think going through this process is making me see that each and every one of us who has thought "it fits better than anything in RTW" can actually, with time, practice, LOTS of patience, and input from knowledgeable friends with good eyes, have clothes that go way beyond "better than RTW" and come out the other side as "great fit!"

Virginia... Good eye. That adjustment did need to go all the way to the waist! 
And BeaJay, who would have thought the manual would be on a CD? I want my hard copy so I can look at it. The CD is never where I want to know how to do things! Guess I really need to move into the "teens" as my Grands would say! LOL. 

More later,


  1. All I can say is Wow!!! What a difference adding the additional inch. It was such a surprise to see the change in the fit. I can tell I will need to purchase some gingham before trying to fit my SFD bodice. I think I have the pants almost there but sewing has been on hold for a few months and probably will be for another month or two. Thanks for posting/sharing your fitting progress.

    1. Be sure to get a heavier weight gingham. This one is really light weight (what I could find!) and as you can see from the front neck, isn't holding up it's end of the bargain as well. Isn't it fun to see how each change makes things better! A few minutes a day makes a huge difference if that's all you have. :P}}

  2. "I have always read that you look better in clothing that actually fits your body". I was thinking when I saw the last picture, 'she looks like she's lost weight since her last post', then I read your next sentence. All I can say is WOW. A good fit makes all the difference. What a great visual I'm seeing in your pics. I usually like loose (usually frumpy) tops because 'they're comfortable'. Now I see that good fit is possible and worth the effort. Thanks Lynda!

    1. I was pretty surprised at the visual too, Robin. I'm enjoying my process and especially seeing what each adjustment does to the fit and the look! It will be interesting to see your process. Hope this helps you too!

  3. Lynda, thanks for sharing. The gingham is such a useful fabric for fitting. I'm learning from your posts, so keep them coming! Thanks SueC