So, as you might imagine, sewing after having been up all night is not likely to result in the smoothest path. Add to this that I was learning all about a new piece of machinery (still very much in play), and you can up the challenge factor. What I didn't count on, with V1027, is that it would be too small in the bodice.
Don't get me wrong. I suspected, even as I looked at the pattern and cut out a size 10 (my standard size in big 4 knits). I suspected, even as I read 80-odd reviews on Pattern Review (90 per cent of them urging one to size down drastically and shouting from the rooftops that alterations or FBAs are unwarranted because the pattern is magic.) I suspected, even as I was sewing it up for the second time (having fucked up the coverstitching the first time).
I compared the flat front pattern piece against my altered Tiramisu front piece and the Vogue one looked bigger. (Intriguingly, for all of their similarities, these surplice bodices fit totally differently IMO.) I thought about it a lot and opted to cut the straight 10 with no alterations.
What I figured out, second time out (I've just cut out an altered bodice unit, maybe third time's a charm?) is that it's cut for a shallow bust. Look at the model in the cover art. Her breasts are shallow and that neckline is very low (front and back). On me, a combo of the bodice being slightly too short (it comes fully under the bust but it's just shy of being too short) and too open around the neckline left me in danger of utter immodesty. My bust is very deep, even as my torso is narrow. I know that the skirt (which is heavy) will give ballast to the fall of the bodice, but I've worn a lot of bodices like this. I sense the unaltered version ain't gonna work.
I should also mention that I'm using a 2-way stretch knit, not 4-way (which limits the drape). Interestingly, I think this is a small size 10 for Vogue. I make their 10s all the time. They're good because they tend to fit in the shoulders (or to be just slightly too big but alterable). This one's snug. I'm sure that the fabric is contributing to the issue, but how is it that I'm so against the pack with this experience? And I think it's actually verging on too small in the shoulders??
So here's what I've done (and I don't know if it's going to work, but let's hope so) to the front and back pieces:
- Front: added 1 inch of width to the front neckline, added one inch of length to the bottom
- Back: added 1 inch of width to the back neckline, added one inch of length to the bottom
On the plus side, I think that Heat n Bond iron-on adhesive is very good (maybe a bit too firm but easy to apply and strong). I can't believe I've never before tried it. I will be using it again! It seems to work well on neck-stabilizing this fabric. It's neat and it's no trouble for the coverstitch machine.
The machine, well, that warrants its own post. It's coming along, in brief, but I'm no savant. I sense it's a trickier machine to get to know than my serger was, but maybe I'm being revisionist. Once you've had a Babylock, everything else seems a bit more complicated at the get-go. I've not worked on a coverstitch or a Janome before (except briefly on a regular machine) and stands to reason that it may take a few projects before I really understand the tension. I did have tunneling, which improved with tension changes, but didn't go away (even after steaming), probably because the raw edge of the underturned hem kept getting almost sucked into that area between the two rows of stitches (hard to explain).
One things for sure, I'm getting a 1/2 inch feller foot so that I don't have to "cheat" the hem. I sense that this will align my fabric to discourage that raw edge from moving which will improve my tension in its own way. I should say, that a truly lovely element of this experience is that the topstitching is beautiful and straight, and the underside of the fabric is strong, flexible and tidy. So I'm very optimistic.
Anyway, everything is still very in process. I hope I might finish this dress tomorrow but I'd settle for a slow completion if I only knew it was going to fit.
Today's questions: Do you know what I mean about the raw edge of the hem getting sucked between the two rows of top stitching? How do you find the tension on the Janome CoverPro 1000CPX? Are you one of the 3 people who ended up needing an FBA of some sort on V1027? Let's talk!