Posted by: Lyon
I’ve been watching other sewers complete this garment and see the troubles they are having to avoid. The pattern came sized for a 34″ bust. Again WAY smaller than my measurements. So the first thing I had to do was size up by 4 inches to accommodate my frame. Next, because there was a high waist and a lot of gathers in the front right there as well, I decided to alter the garment lines while I also did the FBA to make room for the girls.
I did a bit more research for sizing up and for the FBA and here are the best tutorials I found:
A three-part blog tutorial for both grading up and down. I used the entry for grading up.
This is a tutorial for the FBA. Unfortunately, the links to the pattern they mention are no longer valid.
The next step was to drop the waist and remove the gathers there as well as create a princess seam in the bodice for a more flattering fit. I think the stylized drawing of the dress is for a very tall, very thin, small-busted woman. I am none of those things. No one will ever describe me as willowy. I’m more like the proverbial cherub.
So I began a hunt for a tutorial for princess seams. I ran into a bit of a snag since most of the lessons start with a darted bodice and just slash and twist to get the princess seamed pieces. This wasn’t going to work in this case because, a. there was all that gathering at the high waistline, and b. the bodice pattern was one piece for back, sleeve and front side panel. I was dreading having to drape the front pieces from scratch because my dress form is sized to my 20 yo self. Hardly helpful, if you know what I mean.
Then in my searches I came upon this AMAZING little bit of Excel marvelousness. You pop your measure into the purple boxes and the Excel sheet calculates the precise positioning for the princess seam. Of course, once I did the basic shapes, I had to them add them to the 4016 pattern and make adjustments to suit. I added my dropped waist at the same time I made the princess seaming alterations to the front of the bodice. If the back needs adjustment, I’ll add a small dart to the waist area to fit.
I’m now ready to cut my sizing muslin to work out the final fitting. Obviously, all the decorative welts and buttons will have to be repositioned from their pattern placement, but I can do that once I have fitted the dress.
In the mean time, I’ve been spending my evenings relaxing with the embroidered collar. I’ve discovered this as a guilty little pleasure. I LOVE making these eyelets so much I spent most of Saturday afternoon working on the collar. I’ll have to regulate myself from now on as I got nothing much else accomplished this weekend. It does take hours and hours to do all this handwork, but it relaxes me, so it’s a good way to end my days.
The marking and the beginning stitches of my outlining. Next time I think I will make the markings darker. The water-soluble pencil was difficult to see while working. At least I won’t have to worry about it showing on the finished collar.
My first eyelets on the center back of the collar. My spacing of the pattern seems to have left a lot to be desired, but for a first attempt, I’m pretty darn pleased with myself.
If I do another collar, I will be able to improve with knowing all the mistakes I made on this one.