Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Perfect Fit

As a beginner in the sewing world I have been very intimidated by pattern alterations! The thought of potentially ruining the pattern or spending so much time tracing, drafting, and making muslins that a finished garment never sees the light day - was scary!

Initially I also thought of a pattern much like a ready to wear garment. Pick your size (sew it up for the sewers) and ready to wear! Then I realized how many items I try on only to put back due to fit issues and just not looking right on my body. So, why would I accept the notion of sewing as if I am making ready to wear clothing? Why would I need take the time to ensure the item fit me just right?

So, off I went with my next Fall Challenge pattern the Peony from Colette's in hand.

I had to get accurate measurements first which I did by using a tape measure and standing in front of my full length mirror. You can find a great guide on taking your measurements over on the Sewaholic blog as part of the Pendrell Sew Along (http://sewaholic.net/pendrell-sew-along-measuring-and-choosing-your-size/).

I found for Colette's patterns I fit in a 10 for the bust and a 14 for both waist and hips! I also realized that due to my high bust measurements I am actually a C cup. I have heard that most women are wearing the wrong bra size I didn't realize this statistic actually included me. But this was good news since Colette's patterns are drafted with bustier girls in mind if I was the B I thought I was I would be doing an SBA (small bust adjustment). As it stood I really only needed to cut the bodice pieces in a 10 and the waistband/skirt pieces in a 14. However, I needed to ensure the bodice tapered to the larger size.

So, with my french curve/ruler, some Butcher's paper (great for tracing and comes on a larger roll), and pencil in hand. I set out to make the alterations with a pattern. A quick bodice test on muslin later - I was off and sewing up the Peony pattern with a much better fit than I would have from anything ready to wear or if I had just cut the size 14 and dealt with the bigger bust.

All of my fears were laid to rest, my pattern is actually in better condition since I only used it to trace, the muslin was quicker than expected, and I should have a finished dressed in the next day or two.

Stay tuned for the finished Peony dress!

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