Hi readers! I have a new sewing adventure this week. Isabelle’s classmate from high school, the lovely Rosario, is getting married! I’ve know her since she was a tween, and boy does time fly, doesn’t it? Rosario already bought a dress at BHLDN in Beverly Hills but after that, she realized she didn’t like it after all. It’s a lovely dress, but she feels very constricted in it due to the high illusion neckline and tight armhole. She loves the skirt, but wants something different on top.
She also didn’t like the way the buttons were just tacked on the zipper which is tacked onto the English net in back. I have to agree the zipper is very obvious looking. She sent me this photo of a bodice with a lace overlay. She likes the sleeves and the V front.
And she wants a deep plunging back neckline with buttons in back. To keep that back from gaping will take some serious pattern work, slashing and drafting out the natural gaping that occurs with such a low back. She made some very good sketches for me. So we decided to start working on the left view from her sketch.
First, I got out my basic block for a size 6 which I drafted a few years ago. I made a muslin of it and realized a few tweaks needed to be made. It was too long at the waist. I hadn’t been very precise when I made it. Now that I see it, I also think I made the armscye a little too wide.
After adjusting it, I traced it and drew the new front and back neckline. I knew I would have to contour the front and back neck lines quite a bit to stop the gaping that occurs with lowered necklines. I slashed little bits and overlapped them by 1/4 inch.
I then had to draw a sleeve pattern since I don’t have one for size 6. Lots of fun, but now I have a nice size 6 sleeve sloper. I used my pattern making book by Connnie Crawford.
The sleeve had almost two inches of ease at the sleeve cap. I removed an inch of ease by slashing the sleeve and overlapping it at the center and sides of sleeve cap. I will readjust my amscyes today and recheck my arm pattern and see it they come out better. There should be only about an inch to an inch and a half.
After sewing this first muslin, I could see I had to remove even more gaping, so I sewed small darts. On my pattern I made a slash from the darted area to the apex and cut up the center of the waist dart to meet the slashed line from the neck I made. I closed the amount I needed to remove at the neck and that naturally transferred opened up my waist dart. But now it’s too wide. I have to now create two darts from that dart. One at the side and the original one which will be half the width and give a smoother look.
Because wide darts look ugly as hell. See below.
I slashed and closed the cap by 1/4 inch amounts in three spots on the sleeve for the second muslin to remove an inch of ease. I’m going to trash this sleeve and start over after I adjust my basic bodice. It’s too tall and pointy and narrow.
This was the first muslin for the bustier I tried on Rosario last week. I made it from my basic size 6 strapless bustier pattern pattern block I made last month for Lily’s dress. You can see the new style lines we made and lots of fitting changes. I’m going to add padding too. I recently read this sew along on Pattern Review that shows how to add custom padding cups to a bustier.After our first fitting, I realized that while Rosario’s measurements are almost the same as my form, her body is actually very different. Of course it is! She’s a human and not a molded creature…
Fitting someone besides yourself is chellenging. Its hard enough learning our own issues, but then we have to think quickly when learning about new bodies and also with a time crunch! My work on play costumes in the past has helped a bit for sure. After analyzing these photos, I’ve come to the conclusion that she needs a forward shoulder adjustment, square shoulder adjustment, but also a narrow shoulder adjustment, too. Any of you who have these issues or see something I don’t please leave a comment! Happy sewing!