Fun with Fitting

Fun with Fitting

The title of this post is a bit tongue in cheek- does anyone really have FUN with FITTING?! Maybe those who fit the pattern right out of the envelope, or if your last name is Palmer or Pletsch.😉 For me fitting is the most time consuming part of garment sewing and I believe it’s the biggest hurdle for most. There’s an entire forum on PatternReview dedicated to it and it seems to be the make it or break it point for sewists. Case in point: My mom grew up in the generation where Home Economics was required in schools.  Her assignment was to sew a dress. Her confidence was shattered when it ended up being too tight! The entire experience caused her to never sew again. Why bother with fast fashion on the rise and you could just purchase RTW?!

Fitting though is so important. I feel like sometimes we get so focused on the final product that it’s easy to overlook and rush through. When it comes to fashion, there is nothing worse than an ill-fitting garment. There’s a reason why women in the fitting room always ask “DOES THIS FIT??!” to either her friend, the attendant or even a complete stranger. Don’t act like you never overheard this while you were trying on your stack of hangers, lol…or even asked it yourself!

Right now I am wrangling fit on the Cynthia Rowley dress. The two dart bodice is really poking at me. My self-draped one dart bodice on the Celebration Dress was difficult already, and now I’m dealing with two! So far, everything about this pattern is all wrong. Darts and shoulder seam in the wrong place, neckline and bust too big and waist too tight. (I blame the Christmas cookies.) What the heck?! I was tempted to scrap it and drape it on Mandy the Mannequin instead. Something about starting from scratch seems easier to me. But flat pattern adjustments are really a sewing fundamental, so I am spending extra time in the fitting stage.

Muslin #1- what I’ve done so far

Bodice: Lower armhole 1/2″

Removed 1″ wedge from center front

Move waist darts out 1″

Decrease dart width 3/8″

Rounded shoulder adjustment: 6/8″ removed from the front and added to the back shoulder

Back: shorten 1″

Shorten back darts: 6/8″

But then there’s an extra 1/4″ smidgeon excess above the bust line which could just be removed within the pattern itself.

If I stop here and cut the fashion fabric I’m sure it’ll look fine and be “good enough.”


BECAUSE I’M OBSESSED and my mind likes to think about sewing while I’m sleeping…..

….I am making muslin #2. There are “Many Roads to Rome” they say, but for some reason I seem to want to know all the different ways. I really can’t help it!!  Therefore I’m about to enter Week 3 on this project with muslin #2. I tried doing a SBA- small bust adjustment- for the first time. It looks good but still needs tweaking. They say FBA/SBA is life changing. Not sure if I can proclaim this yet but it certainly knocks out a lot of those adjustments that I made in muslin #1.

Pattern surgery.

As much as I would love to get going on the final product, I am fine with creating muslin #2. I can tell the SBA affected the placement on everything else. Digging into the weeds of flat pattern adjustments is actually pretty interesting. Just a minuscule change can make a world of difference, and I can tell the more I work on it the better it gets. (Dare I say I’m actually having FUN?! Lol)

I could also use all the dart practice I can get. Those pesky darts! I need to get better at sewing them, draping them, truing them, fitting them…basically everything about them. I don’t know if this is a common problem for sewists, but it sure is for me.

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