Here's what I can say so far:
- We both have finished muslins that, for the most part, align at all of the notch points or which are knowably discrepant at some (but which we've accounted for in terms of overall fit).
- We have the sleeve muslin sewn, but not inserted as first we need to sort out the bodice.
- Intriguingly, though we have very different body types, when first we tried on our finished shells, they fit us both, in broad strokes, very gracefully. Of course, we're going to need to adjust each, but this is a beautifully drafted pattern.
- I'd tell you that the pattern is drafted for a curvy shape, what with how it practically fit, out of the envelope, in the bust (unheard of for me!) but it also fit S's bust quite elegantly and she has but an inch of difference between her under and full bust dimensions (compared to my 7"). We were both amazed by that. On her the jacket is quite equestrian, IMO. On me it's kind of 50s-lady.
|The waist HBL is totally level (my dress form is a bit askew here) and the waist of the pattern fits beautifully. I've got the centre fronts pinned here.|
|Waist HBL on the back is also level.|
|Observe how the waist of the jacket does not sit at my waist (or that of the dress form). I will need to shorten all of the pieces above the waist by 1.25 inches - not as much as I usual...|
Adjustments to follow on muslin 1:
- Shorten all pieces at lengthen/shorten line by 1.25".
- Increase full bust at princess seam (the one currently open) by approx 0.25" on each side.
- Slash above the bust to allow the fabric to fall. In the top pic you can see how the HBL (horizontal balance line) is not level. It arches up toward the centre front on each side. Allowing the fabric to fall should mitigate that. In an irony, that means we'll probably add back the 1 inch we've removed above the waist on the front. This particular alteration will be a wedge alteration, unlike the shortening above the waist which is a tuck. Wedge alterations start at a seam (where they're closed) and end at another seam (where they're open) but they aren't even at both sides, like a tuck.
- Take in every seam by 0.25".
- Make an SBA at the princes seam. This will likely be the exact opposite of my alteration i.e. we'll subtract fabric at the princess seam and then shorten the bodice above the bust.
- We may or may not require an alteration at the upper back to account for breadth there.
When we've got the shells working, then we'll insert the sleeves. We've read a variety of reviews of this pattern which indicate that inserting the sleeves can be tricky. In certain instances puckering has ensued. Since I haven't read the sleeve insertion instructions in detail, as yet, I don't know if Claire Schaeffer suggests the bias strip easing method. If not, that might be a way to mitigate challenges. However, if she suggests that method and still people have had issues, we may have to consider altering the shape or rotation of the upper sleeve. Mind you, that's a concern for another post!
*What's walking the pattern? This is simply aligning the edges of the seam allowances (on the paper pattern) of adjoining pattern pieces. For example, your side seams on your actual garment, will need to line up when you sew that seam. Perhaps you take it for granted that this should automatically occur. However, some patterns contain drafting or grading errors.
All you do is stabilize a knowable intersection point of both pieces, one on top of the other, and then move the pattern pieces over one another, to the next intersection point i.e. a notch (noting whether it lines up). Start at the hem, move to the underarm. It's 2 parts engineering, 1 part intuition. Sometimes it doesn't work on the first try so you try again, factoring in ease, maybe sewing up the muslin (which is easier to ease than tear-able paper), and verifying how accurately the pieces come together.