Of course I’m still working on muslins! You didn’t think I was ready to make an actual garment, did you? Oh well, it will all be worth it when I have a sloper to help me see what changes I need to make to other patterns. Warm weather is just about here in Texas, and I would like to have some nice-fitting dresses and skirts to wear, not things that are embarrassing.
I broke down and ordered two new physical sewing books- Vogue Sewing: Revised and Updated and Clotilde’s Sew Smart. I have high hopes for Sew Smart. But, now I’ll have to get rid of two other books to avoid clutter. I wish more books were available as ebooks…
You can see that there are still a lot of issues here- the drawn-on balance lines are supposed to be hanging straight. There is bagginess above my bust, a strong fold or wrinkle heading from my bust to my back, wrinkles on my back, and the balance line under my bust heads down at the sides. On the plus side, it seems to be hitting at the waist.
I fiddled with this endlessly. To do this, I undid one side seam and both front darts on that side, and played around with getting a good fit while the bodice was on my body. I tried to lower the front side dart and move the vertical side dart out a bit, so that the darts point to the fullest part of the bust.
I made another major change in order to try to get a slimmer fit below my bust and get rid of some back wrinkles- instead of simply pinching out the excess evenly, I tried wrapping the sides according to this method. I think armhole balance is the source of some of my back fitting problems. I focused on getting the balance lines that weren’t altered by the different darts straight and keeping the very front waist at the waist. This method really shows the difference in length between the front and the back (the waist is marked by the lowest blue line; the very large seam allowance exaggerates the difference:
This method enlarged the armscye quite a bit- (maybe too much? I’ll deal with it later), so the distance between my armpit is reduced quite a bit- about 2 inches. I drew in a new waistline and side seam. I also ended up taking a vertical wedge out of the back to reduce the width a bit.
I traced the changes from the muslin using my wax tracing paper from Richard the Thread. This stuff is so much better than the terrible wax-free tracing paper they sell in stores. It’s large enough to actually work with, and doesn’t leave a oh-so-annoying colored chalk stain on your fabric.
Here’s the third muslin. It isn’t perfect, but it is more form-fitting on front torso below the bust. The strong diagonal wrinkle or fold heading from my underbust to my side is mostly gone, and the bust horizontal balance line is essentially level.
It might be a little overfitted- I think this is causing the wrinkles on the lower bodice. I plan on letting out the front vertical darts a bit to correct this. But, I could be wrong.
I have to admit, I was a little surprised by the placement of the front vertical darts- I wanted them to be further apart, but instead they start closer to my center, and curve out as they head up. I can’t tell if they look like a nice style detail, or just make my torso look wider. I’ll try to fix them on my next muslin. I changed the side seams quite a bit, so I need to check if they are going straight up and down- right now, they seem to be good…but maybe they are creeping forward a bit?
I have several goals for my next muslin:
1) Now I can see that the shoulder seams are too far back. I’m going to move them forward so that they are nicely centered.
2) I think the shoulder straps need to be a bit narrower.
3) The front neckline has some ripples that I need to get rid of.
4) I need to see about getting rid of the wrinkles on the front of the bodice. Letting out the front vertical darts a bit might take care of this. Or, the wrinkles could just be caused by being worn on the body. At this point, I can’t tell.
5) Move the front vertical darts outward, and make sure they are actually vertical
6) Possibly move the front horizontal darts down a bit. I hate to mess with them because I’ve already spent so much time on them…but, I think they might be a bit high on me?
7) Take care of the bagginess above my bust. I’m not sure if I need to adjust the shoulder slope and length to do this, or need to actually pin out a wedge of fabric in this area Or, I could be misinterpreting the problem entirely. What do you guys think?:
8) Get rid of more back wrinkles! I think this might be a length issue (still!), but pinning out a horizontal wedge seems to raise the waist too much. I know the waist is dipping down by the zipper- that is my fault for drawing it on incorrectly. Do I just need to shorten the back some more? Or, it there a better solution?
The bodice seems to feel nice on my body, so I don’t think I need more width. BUT, I could be wrong- maybe these are horizontal strain lines from not enough width? What do you guys think? I don’t want to look like a stuffed sausage!