I know, I said I'd never speak of this jacket muslin again but wonderful commenter Phyllis has alerted me to a potentially huge issue with muslin 5. Remember overfit territory? Well, all of those drag lines I worked for an hour to remove on the jacket back were probably a sign of necessary ease - for when the shoulders are inserted.
Thanks to her advice, I inserted one shoulder (I used the bias strip easing method which worked beautifully) and everything fit was once again wonky. Now I've got to start all over and figure out how the pieces need to go together - AGAIN. All of this (and late-stage insertion of shoulder pad - thanks for the reminder Taran!) has fucked with the bust height. And, I think, obviated the need to cut off the tapered inch on the side front armscye. You did read this correctly. I suspect my 6 hours of work yesterday was for naught.
Honestly, I'm in a vortex of "I have no freakin' idea of what to do next." I have to assume though, if I just keep doing things, something will work. At times like this I think of my great aunt Jean who was a fancy seamstress and house designer for Saks (I believe that's where she worked) in NYC in the heyday of the mid century era. She learned her craft in Italy, where she was born in the early 1900s. (She used to make me the most perfect doll clothes when I was a young girl.) Jean would window shop at all of the chicest shops (so the stories go) and sometimes go into those shops to try on insanely expensive dresses (New Look, anyone?) and then go home and impeccably recreate those garments. She wore them well as she was beyond slender. Sadly, in later years she could barely eat because of a myriad of stomach problems and surgeries, likely foreshadowed by her youthful, stylish slimness.
I only knew her in those later years when the ravages of time and life circumstance had taken over. I wish I'd been able to have some meaningful discussions about sewing and tailoring with her. Sometimes, now, I have imaginary conversations with the only pedigreed sewist (to my knowledge) to whom I am related.
Though I didn't know her well, she has given me a great deal: confidence, ephemeral support and an awareness that I am part of a continuum, that this is something I can do because it's in my blood. The people who come before us show us what we're made of. And given that we all go back more than a thousand generations, imagine what is in all of us to be accomplished.