Here’s the thing with my body and sewing. I fit standard patterns pretty well. My waist is thicker (thank you kids!) but that’s usually easy to take care of, either by grading between sizes or reducing the seam allowance at the waist area. No biggie. I fit a B-C cup so any pattern drafted for either doesn’t require much by way of adjustments. I still make muslins because well, you never know, right? Especially when you got some precious expensive wool for your Peony…
So I muslined my Peony. Even inserted an invisible zip! But wow, was that thing off. The smallest of the problems being the waist dart point that would not be steamed into submission. Extra fabric at the back. What? The upper front seamed to have some extra fabric happening too. Huh?
I asked for Mr. Mouse’s help and he tried. He really tried. He knows nothing about fitting so he did what he could. And I read all the fitting material I could get my hands on. Books and online. Stuff about Peony in particular. Lots and lots of blog posts. Lots. And we pinned that bodice. Try to make it fit right.
For my second attempt, I applied all the changes we’d noted. We’d shortened the upper bodice at the shoulder so I had to redraw the neckline. I changed the darts a little. Disaster. The fit was even worse. Back to the drawing board.
I took the original bodice pattern and moved the darts around, figuring I would deal with those first. Sewed up muslin #3 and tried it on. Had Mr. Mouse pin me up the back, nice and tight. The darts still weren’t good. I was about to move them around again when I decided to try the original muslin again.
Seriously? That original bodice? Still the best fit of the three I made. That pattern dart? It’s the one with the smallest bubble at the tip. The one I modified to be like Gertie’s gives me a better fit under the bust but more bubble action. Allow me to scream.
So what now? At this point, I’m not sure I can get a better fit. It isn’t bad as it is but I would really have liked it to be perfect, you know? However. Like I said, Mr. Mouse knows nothing about this and no one in my neighborhood sews. I don’t really have anyone who could help me with fitting. I think I’m going to give myself one more day to mess around with the darts and then get to work. After all, an okay fitting dress is better than no dress at all, right?
Right? Yeah, I’m going to go with that.
PS: Sorry about the lack of pictures. I’m just not doing the bathroom selfie thing. Just no.
I’ve always heard great things about Colette patterns, but lately I’ve been hearing a lot about them being poorly drafted. It honestly might be easier if you started with a different dress., but either way, good luck with the fitting!
But I want this one! Wah! Stomps foot. (I’ve been taking behavioral lessons from my 3 year old apparently.) If I had another bodice that fits me well, I would be tempted to mash it up with the Peony bodice. I think Peony is just particularly hard to fit. I had no issues with my Iris shorts and Juniper pants. But those are bottoms… My Crepe dress turned out well too. I can see now that it isn’t perfect but well, being a wrap, a lot depends on how I wrap it, you know? I think I may have to let go of the idea of an absolutely perfect fit on this one and go with “good enough” instead. It IS a learning experience, isn’t it?
It really is! I’ve decided to just improve my fit with every garment I make at it’s helped a lot! Of course, I make a lot of the same things, and draft a lot of them from my basic blocks, so if I have a change it transfers easily to all of my other patterns. =)
I really should get to work making myself some basic blocks to work from. I guess it goes back to just needing more experience working on a woman’s body, right?
For Peony, I’ve ended up deciding to keep the front bodice as is (though I may scoop out the neckline a smidge). The back needs to be taken in at the center seam. I’m just going to cut the pieces out as is and baste and rebaste the zipper to find the perfect spot for it.
Yeah, it usually does come back to that, but luckily the more you sew for yourself the more experience you have. =)
The first time I tried to make basic blocks I didn’t know enough about fitting to make them work, and I ended up really frustrated, but I tried again half a year later and they turned out pretty decently…. I think it makes a difference how clear the instructions are too. I used Dorothy Moore’s Pattern Drafting and Dressmaking Book, which I found on Amazon, but the instructions on this site look pretty good. http://www.leenas.com/English/draw_patterns.html
I’d recommend making the blocks when you don’t have a deadline, and you are feeling very relaxed. 😉
I’m looking forward to seeing how your Peony turns out. =)
[…] the ruching on the skirt underneath that’s showing through. I was dreading repeating the Peony experience but nope. Well almost nope. Do you see in that picture how it seems to be sticking up in the […]