Friday, October 8, 2010

Lady Grey Phase II: Pre-muslin tissue fit.

Oh lawrdy, how in the world does anyone fit themselves by themselves? It ties me up like a pretzel, and I am certain that my contortions limit an accurate fitting. But struggles aside, I am moving into the pattern adjustment phase of my Lady Grey. I know, I know, I'll admit it... I am woefully behind on my Lady Grey progress. But I am chuggin' along slowly but surely just the same, and I haven't lost any motivation.

So here is the tissue pattern pinned and on my bod for a basic tissue fitting. Looking at the fit, I can tell I needed some basic width across the back to bring the center seam to my center back. The side seam also looked too far back, letting me know I need more at the waist. However I did feel the arm opening was big enough. Or course the front was vastly small, but fitting the front comes after fitting the back.

I started from a point of mild confusing about adding width at the waist without adding too much extra width at the hip. I have what can kindly be called a protruding tummy. That tummy of mine is round, almost like a pregnant figure. Granted, I am not prego, and under normal circumstances, I am fairly embarrassed about my shape. But hey, in the name of both healthy body image and accurate pattern adjustments, I need to admit my shape and work with it. Considering my round belly, I considered doing and adjust like one might do for a maternity alteration. I saw an actual pregnant blogger do a wide waist adjustment on one of her Colette Patterns to accommodate her belly, you can see it here. It's basically a slash up the grain line near the side seam, rotated out to give more width around the belly (and the extra length added).

This inspired me to add width to my own pattern on both the side front and the side back pieces. However, I want to minimize additional width at the hips, since I have narrow hips. So this is what I did. I did a slash and spread to add 1" at the waist, then cut and opened a tiny dart at the waistline so I could bring the bottom of the pattern back down to its original hemline. This mini-dart basically eliminated the "dip" that contours the waistline in the pattern, and I added width where I need it without affecting the armhole or hemline. I have no idea if this is a legit alternation, but it made sense to me. I hope it works out in the fabric fitting.

Below is my second tissue fitting, brought to you after a good three hours of adjustments and taping and pinning. Oh my, but this is a time consuming process! What do you think?

Here are the adjustments you see in pink.

On the back:
  • 1/2 inch high round back adjustment, standard for me.
  • 1/2 inch in a broad back adjustment, trying to bring the center back to my center back.
  • 1 inch to the side back piece at the waist, ultimately eliminating the curve at the waist while retaining the same line and proportion at the hem.
On the front:
  • 1 1/2 inch Full Bust Adjustment (FBA)
  • 1 1/2 inch center front full bust adjustment, by slashing and spreading the piece open to add width across the bust and to the waist
  • 1 inch wide waist adjustment, using the same method as used for the back
I WISH WISH WISH I had followed my instinct and done a full three inch FBA at once, because in the second tissue fit the princess seam is still about an inch and a half outside of my apex. I plan to retrace the altered front patterns with their current changes to start afresh and conduct a second 1 1/2 inch FBA. Hopefully this will add the remaining width I need to get the wrap front across my wide waist. I also have a hunch I will be taking a tuck or two out of the lapels (as many have found a need for) both below and above the bust, to prevent gaping. I also speculate I will need a swayback to pull the hemline even over my flat derriere.

Current concerns are that the back is still not big enough, but I plan to wait until the fabric muslin to decide whether to add more room. I am also only cautiously optimistic that the second bust adjustments will do what it needs to do and move the seam to my apex. The 1 1/2 inches today worked wonders, so I have hope, but then again, this bust of mine has a history of giving me fits.

With that said, I am very optimistic. Stay tuned. I won't be sewing this weekend because I will be at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, but I plan to crank through these changes next week and move on to the fabric fitting. Wheeeee!

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