Fine, I Caved

I just can’t stand it.  I’m looking at the pics of myself and realizing why I hadn’t made clothes for myself using a commercial pattern since I learned pattern drafting!

I’m not entirely happy with the fit of the shell or the torso of the dresses I’m making,  Not surprising. My cup size is somewhere around an E, if I got a proper bra that actually fit right, and patterns are drafted for a B-cup.

Also, large size patterns are merely graded up from smaller size. This can cause all sorts of fit problems in the ribcage, torso and across the shoulders.  While the jacket I’m making, being a kimono style jacket, isn’t meant to be fitted, loose and gappy looks terrible in a simple sheath dress.  (The simpler a garment is, the more proper fit matters).

I’m redrafting the damn thing and making muslin of the shell before I go any further. I need different bust darts (I’m 40 and commercial patterns are designed for perky breasts which I don’t have any more), less fabric in the ribcage, and added waist darts.  The armholes are way too big and the adjustments I’m making, while okay, don’t look as good as a properly drafted torso for an individual.  They either interfere with the neckline or change the fit over the bust in ways that don’t thrill me.  I’ll use the pattern I bought for a basic neckline, as I like it well enough.  I’m also keeping the skirt, cause that works well enough.  In fact, I’ll likely use it as a template to redraft the dress.  I’ve extrapolated the formula one needs to use for the bias facing, and it’s not really hard.

I have this sinking feeling if I don’t do a muslin of the pants I’m gonna regret it.

I’d meant this to be a quick-n-dirty wardrobe, but if I feel like a slob in the outfit, I’m defeating the purpose.  I’ve already invested way the fuck too much in fabric to do that.  I like the basic garments, yes, but if I’m gonna sew ’em, anyway, a good fit is a better idea.  A basic straight skirt with an elastic waistband is hard to go wrong with, but the torso is another matter entirely.  And dammit, I deserve a sheath dress that fits my curves right.  I like my shape, dammit, and don’t particularly wanna hide it with drapery.  Which is more or less why I learned to sew in the first place.  This is also why I tend to make my clothes rather than buy them.  I rarely find something in a store that’s even as close to as flattering as I can make myself.  This would not be true if I had not learned to draft patterns.

I have a princess seam torso I could use, sure.  But even that needs a lot of tweaking now that I’ve started lifting weights (I haven’t tweaked it in probably three or four years).  My shoulders and back are broader, I’m narrower in the ribs and waist, the broad point in my hips is in a different place and my butt  is rounder, so the curve of my back is a different shape, too.   For that level of fit, I’d wanna make a custom dress form and do a draped muslin from which to make a pattern. Any local seamstresses wanna get together and have a dress form making party?  I know a couple of methods that aren’t too expensive or time-consuming.  Just never had any sewing partners to make one with.

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