Here's the thing, S and I did some really good work yesterday. (S is a private person so we're not going to show pics of her, though we may talk about fit as it pertains to her shape, which couldn't be more different than mine.) Let's have a moment where we give some basic info for future reference:
Bust 37 - 37.5
Build: Small structure, narrow frame, rather prominent bust, ingrained "yoga stance" (hyper-erect posture throwing chest forward), shoulder tips rotate slightly forward nonetheless
Approximate Measurements (in truth, I don't know - we're dealing with fit, not size): B34, W25, H35
Build: Small structure, prominent shoulders leading to proportionately wide frame in that area - narrow everywhere else, rather small bust
Isn't it hilarious that two people of utterly different shapes are fitting each other? Let me tell you, I'm all cool with being me, but this process is really making me mindful of my body fat percentage :-)
S managed to intuit most of the challenges with my first muslin and slashed the side and centre back seam (a tip you'll learn in Sarah Veblen's book) which allowed the fabric to relax over my frame. I made the size 12 (FYI, S is using a Burda fitted, placket shirt and her muslin is size 36.) I continue to be so impressed by her ability to see what needs to happen. Note: S's been sewing for many years and has taken some in-person fitting courses in the past.
A brief word about the original fit: On first glance, it didn't look bad before we started fixing it because the fabric contained my breasts. Of course, that's not synonymous with "fit my breasts". All kinds of subtle arm and shoulder fabric issues present as a result... It was tight in the hips (very unusual for me) but that's cuz the finished pattern is supposed to be shorter than it was before we started altering (like 4 inches shorter). It's meant to fit high-hip and there are side notches in the pattern to provide additional ease. Unlike the pre-altered muslin (of which no photos exist, sadly), muslin 1 makes me look utterly boxy and large because there is no waist shaping to show the difference between large full bust and narrow under bust, and because there's no refinement of the fall of fabric over the breasts. As we fit, we'll adjust this.
Here are some "fascinating" things we learned about this pattern on my body:
- Thank goodness I have such a short waist or my fitting challenges would be exponentially more extreme. Right now, the extra fabric required to cover my chest is met by the length I don't need in my waist. Add this to my narrowness and I require no "standard FBA" (even despite the size of my chest). Of course, the bust area needs additional darting and all kinds of shaping, just not the requirement - or so we believe at this time - for the addition of fabric over the bust / increase of width that often accompanies the flat-pattern FBA you read about in books.
- Re: bullet above: We had to remove a RIDIC amount of length from the back waist, which proceeded to impact the flare of the opened lower back centre seam. Note: we'll probably add to the back seam and remove from the opened side seams which are now overlapping quite a bit as a result of the alteration.
- The whole idea of taking fabric away from one seam and adding it to another really blows our minds. We get that the intersection of vertical and horizontal lines means that the action yields a very different fitting end result, but it's kind of hard to understand.
- My posture is extreme?! Wow, I wasn't expecting to find out that I have what they call a hyper-erect stance. The combo of 25 yrs of Iyengar yoga and overcompensation (I'm not going to slouch just cuz I have tits!) has really influenced my shape. Add that to my forward neck (computer anyone?) and slightly forward shoulders and it's hard not to think of myself as a middle-aged disaster. Note to reader: I'm getting over myself. When we see how gorgeous I look in the finished product, all this will be water under the bridge.
|Note: It's like I'm wearing a sheet with neck and arm holes. There's nothing, except inadequately small darts, to provide even the most minimal shaping.|
I'm not going to talk about bust until next muslin because there's a whole other series of adjustments going on there (not yet shown in pics). All I can say is, now I know why people love princess seams.