A while back, one of this blog's readers - a sewist - contacted me to suggest that we meet for coffee. Let's call her S. S recently moved to Toronto. She has been reading for a while (but isn't a blogger). She's a delightful person who makes lovely clothing and she's passionate about fit!
At any rate, she must have felt my blood pressure through the internet and she (incredibly kindly) offered to come and help me with the jacket today.
Man, what a gift! I cannot tell you what an awesome and instructional experience it has been.
We worked for about 5 hours - which flew by - and at the end of it I have another muslin. It's not a perfect muslin. There are still more kinks to work out, believe it or not.
Let's just say, at this point, I might as well have drafted this jacket myself.
Some fascinating things I learned:
- My upper bust tapers to the size 4 in this pattern. My full bust probably correlates with a size 10 - but only very briefly. We actually ended up doing an SBA (small bust adjustment) on my TBA (targeted bust adjustment) above the full part of my bust. Hilarious! (Fortunately S is all too familiar with that adjustment.) It was nice to learn that someone else concurs that my boobs are very hard to fit. The size differential between them and everything else - is really challenging. I know, cry for me.
- The side front pattern piece is marked erroneously. Either that, or it's badly drafted. My previously determined, one inch tapering of that piece is non-negotiable - no matter how I put things together. S noted that almost immediately. And I made her look at all of my cut lines to ensure I hadn't made a mistake. The error is not mine this time.
- Nonetheless, I may not need to redraft the armscye - the problem is only in one spot on the side front - and the length added to the armscye by the alteration is supported already by the original length of the front sleeve cap. It remains to be seen if it will be required, but I'm committed to that alteration too, if it comes to it.
- The back is looking good - but with room still for sleeve insertion. Tomorrow I'll fit the sleeves in again and determine what's next.
Note: We did work with shoulder pads.
I'm sort of in an altered state at this point. I can no longer manage to work up the will for a quick conclusion. I just want to get it as right as possible before I make the real jacket. I'm sorry to keep on about this but, undoubtedly, this is the most challenging sewing experience I've had to date. I don't want to deal with anything harder until I forget this - and I'm wearing a suit jacket of such fantasticness that people stop me on the street to ask where I bought it.
Let's just say I only hope I can return this favour with as much skill and patience as has been shown to me.