Here is what I had typed out on Jan 1st.
- This year I will slow down and take my time sewing.
- I will sew quality items I want to wear and that will wear well.
- I am going to take pattern fitting more seriously instead of being lazy and just sewing up a pattern to have it done.
Looking at your body, measurements, and fit, is no easy matter. It is hard to address those extra inches, lines, and bumps. I re-took my measurements; somehow I gained an inch in the bust - I don't know how but I won't complain. :)
- My new measurements 37-29-44
- I'm 5'7" in height
- I definitely have the genetic pear shape that runs throughout the women on both sides of my family
With my trusty measurements in hand along with my Nancy Book and began the massive alterations to the Alma. Nancy suggests taking your measurements from basically armpit to armpit and using that as your "right size". I came in at 12.5" which puts me in a US 8 for my top. This will ensure the correct fit through the shoulders and neck area - the hardest place to alter. This will also prevent that terrible neck gaping I hate so much (suggesting incorrect size to fit bust, not shoulders). Now I need to compare my measurements to the size 8 measurements on the pattern envelope.
The back waist indicates my swayback issues. Each "change needed" is divided by 4
Starting with the back piece I went in Nancy's order.
1. Hem (added 1" in length at waistline indicated by my waist to hip measurement)
2. Swayback -took out 1/2"
3. Square Shoulder Adjustment
4. Full Bust Adjustment of 1/2"
5. Waist increase of 1/8"
6. Hip increase of 3/4"
Seriously this took me like 1.5 hours to trace and correct each part individually on the back piece alone. Sigh. I was exhausted. Then I went to the front which went faster at just an hour. I didn't have the swayback for the front but had to adjust the bust dart and move the vertical darts down an inch front and back. I traced my facings off the changed pieces. Then I shortened/flattened the sleeve cap by an inch. Joy has an excellent tutorial on this. I didn't want to ease in so much this time on the sleeve and also didn't want the gathers.
Now it is muslin time. With all these changes I definitely want to do a muslin. I excitedly sewed up the muslin and .... FAIL! Why am I such a perfectionist? Why did I start this from scratch? The muslin speaks for itself:
URG. Madness. The bad: sleeve shoulder is WAY too tight. There is a ton of fabric poof under my armpit. The "armpit" of the shirt is nowhere near my armpit. Poof under bust doesn't show my waist definition. Poof in the back above the swayback. The good? The shoulder width fits nicely, the hip area has more ease so it fits better than my last one.
This took any sewing mojo I had and squashed it. Seriously, my other Alma fit better and all I did was size down to an 8 and square shoulder adjust it.
What I've learned:
- overfitting a pattern is bad
- If something fits well, don't try to re-do it
- stop being such a perfectionist!
- pattern ease is not my friend; I like less ease in most my clothes
And now I've spent 3 days fiddling with this with no finished garment to show for it. Time to wallow in some chocolate and move on to the next project.
~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~