A comment stated and heard repeatedly by those that sew.
Included in the 2012 New Year’s Resolutions was to do “whatever was necessary” to sew a top that actually fit!
Two requirements were common themes across every website visited on pattern fitting,
1. Measuring myself with a tape measure.
2. Making a muslin.
I would not describe my reaction to these suggestions as “irate” – I was merely “indignant!”
Measure myself? What good could possibly come from that? I have worn the same size pattern since high school!
A muslin? For three generations, women in may family have sewn clothing – and I never remember so much as a mention of making a muslin – a sloper, maybe…but not a muslin.
So, those suggestions had to process for quite some time….
…while I visited the Pattern Stash for inspiration.
…additional processing was required, so I visited the Fabric Stash for more inspiration.
With pattern, fabric, and coffee in hand, I finally accepted the measuring and “muslining” might be worth the time and effort.
Butterick 5485 was the pattern of choice. Stacy and Clinton would approve of its:
- Empire Waist – is the most flattering fit!
- Deep V-neck – elongates the body
- Body – floats away from the waist band.
It is also Arizona-approved as it is sleeveless.
Bonus: The pattern is also labeled with finished measurements.
Found the dreaded measuring tape and measured away.
Bust was fine. Waist was fine. (OK, so maybe one size larger than in high school!)
Underbust – not so fine. Apparently, I have a bizarrely large ribcage. Had to add 3″.
Then on to the muslin – only muslin had nothing to do with it. It was made of a Stash Fabric that was similar to the final project fabric, but “the polyester” is just not right.
The “muslin” revealed a few suggestions:
- Lose 10 pounds
- Lengthen upper bodice 1/2″.
- Cut armholes 1/2″ higher.
- Reduce gathers by using a 1″ dart and then gathering remainder.
- Shorten band by 1.25″. It was way too wide.
- Lose 10 pounds.
Suggestions 1 and 6 aside, I cut out the pattern using the adjustments.
The fabric is a shiny slippery polyester satin, which was not easy to work with. Each pattern piece had to be “gross” cut (about 2″ extra all the way around pattern piece) and then moved to the ironing board for the final cut.
Interfacing. Sewing. Invisible zipper. More sewing. Some ripping out. More sewing…
….and it fit!
Apparently measuring and muslining are worth it!
One New Year’s Resolution checked off!
But this process leaves me with three issues to ponder:
- Did all those clothes I used to sew really fit or not???
- Is it the pattern that doesn’t fit or the body that doesn’t conform?
- What causes a bizarrely large ribcage?