Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Pattern, Seven Bloggers - Fit

Wow, week three of the "one pattern seven bloggers" project already, time is flying! Did you check out the great fabric and fitting posts from the girls last week? They're all linked at the bottom of last weeks post. This week I will discuss how I tackled fitting the pattern.

I have a confession to make, I kinda cheated when it came to altering the "one pattern seven bloggers" pattern to fit me. You see, the pattern really is quite similar to the bodice that I drafted over Christmas with a three key differences; both the front and back necklines, the cap "sleeves" on the Burdastyle bodice, and my bodice has two bust darts whereas the Burdastyle one has just one.

Burdastyle pattern on the left, my bodice pattern on the right

Rather than going through the whole fitting process again I used the pattern pieces of my bodice to trace off some of the seamlines to hopefully get a good fit straight away. I also decided to keep the two bust darts rather than convert it into one dart as I was sceptical as to the quality of the fit over my boobs if I just did one dart.

I started with the back bodice piece as I expected it would need less changes, and I could straight away see that the Burdastyle bodice is much too long for me (which isn't surprising, I had to shorten the length of the Emily Blouse when I made it too). I lined up the pattern pieces using the underarm seam and the top of the darts as reference points and I could see that I needed to remove length from both ends, so I drew the waist seam line according to my bodice pattern, and then picked the shoulder seam from the Burdastyle pattern that looked at the right height.. I then drew in the centre back seam from my bodice pattern, but extended it up to the neckline of the Burdastyle pattern and this is what I ended up with:

My back bodice piece ready to make into a muslin

Then I moved onto the front bodice piece, which needed more changes, mostly due to adding the second dart. I lined up the pattern pieces the same way, using the corner of the underarm seam, and traced off most of the shape of the pattern piece of my bodice (the darts, side seam and waist seam). It's a very different shape due to the added dart.

The shoulder seams were MUCH higher than the length of my bodice (sorry, I forgot to take a photo), so after checking that it was identical to the front shoulder seam, I used the shape of the back shoulder seam that I'd just finished to draw a lower front shoulder seam, basing the height on the height of my bodice pattern piece. I then used the neckline as per the Burdastyle pattern.

I was inspired to try it this way from the method that Carolyn has mentioned that she uses to modify patterns, where she uses her TNT pattern to get the fit and the shape right, and uses new patterns to add design features easily to the pattern that she knows already fits her.

Thankfully these changes meant that when I made up a muslin the fit was already pretty good. I made three small changes to the pattern after my muslin (which I didn't manage to get a photo of because there wasn't anyone around to take one for me, sorry!)

I lengthened the bodice by 2.5 cm - I was concerned in my muslin that it was sitting a little high, so I have lengthened the bodice and will make a final call when i've sewn the bodice together but before I attach the skirt.

I actually wore the muslin around the house for a bit (I was home alone), and in doing things while wearing the muslin I discovered a major fit problem - the bottoms of the armholes were too high, particularly at the front. While hanging out some washing I felt a rip, and the front armhole had ripped perpendicular to the seam! So I trimmed off some of the armhole so that (hopefully) doesn't happen in the real dress.

What was trimmed off the armholes

Lastly, the front neckline was gaping a bit so I took two tucks in the neckline pointing towards the bust point, which I then rotated out of the pattern piece on the paper:

First I cut out the tucks down to the bust point:

Then I rotated the pattern piece to close the space from the tucks. I also trimmed the neckline to give it a smooth line:

And so my pattern is ready to go!! Exciting.

Remember to check out the posts by the other lovely ladies involved in this project: (once again, links to the posts will be added once they're posted)
Reana Louise:


  1. Rachel, that's not cheating... That's ingenious! As long as you keep the 'feel' (vague word, I know) of the pattern I think measuring it against another, similar pattern is a really clever idea! I'll be sure to try that in future, and it will probably save me hours I'm sure! x

  2. This is a great idea Rachel and I only wish I had a pre-drafted, well-fitting bodice to do this with ;o)

  3. I think that was a super clever idea Rachel! And I am very jealous you have a self drafted bodice on hand for situations such as these! Can't wait to see your post for next week. Sam xox

  4. Wow Rachel that is such an cool idea. I didn't really see the point of making a basic block bodice unless you plan to self draft stuff, which scares me, but comparing it to pattern pieces is so ingenious! I am very impressed with your pattern altering abilities.


Comments make me smile :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...