Fact is, I ran out of the burgundy fabric. Instead I used some butterfly charmeuse, alotted for lining. It has about the same stretch and it's drapey - but in every other way it's all wrong. It was a bitch to sew, it's shiny and slippery. Ugh. Really, 90 per cent of the time, one should use stash fabric for the purpose intended.
Needless to say that the butterfly fabric version is yet another muslin. Which it would have to be, even if I liked the fabric, because the fit is nightmarish in a whole new series of ways.
Seriously, when I read posts about pants-fitting, and the fitee in question is losing her mind because the scenario (given her proportions) is so challenging, I feel nothing but empathy. That sewist's developed upper legs or wide derriere or shelf-hips or sloped waist or thick calves are analagous to my boobs (which seem to pop off the front of my chest like alien creatures as soon as a woven fabric is involved) and my super short/high armscye.
People, this is painful and I don't know how it's going to end. I can simply say that I'll keep going...
So, what happens next?
Well, I just spent 45 minutes on the phone with Fabrications (best customer service ever, not joking) ordering 5 yards of silk crepe and rayon challis (both of which have the same amount of stretch as the burgundy fabric that is, so sadly, gone). That's enough to make 3 more Rosies. Theoretically, two will be muslins and one will be a beautifully-fitted, finished garment. But I'm prepared to accept that they may all be muslins. I have to wait for my fabric to arrive before I can make another of these - a week I suspect.
(Side Note: My sister is in the wedding party of a mega bridezilla who made her buy a dress on Etsy that is a) hideous and b) horrendously fitted. My sister's hysteria, bolstered by photos that show the truth of things, has inspired me to refit the dress in advance of the upcoming wedding. Point is, as soon as that dress, and a bit of extra fabric, arrive in the post, it's going to be all sewing for others, all the time - if with short turn-around.)
What I've Learned from Muslin 4:
- I had to lower the bust apex by another inch. Ahem. Let's not discuss this.
- I had to do my ever-present "small bust adjustment" above my "large bust adustment". That means that, given my full bust is 38" and my upper bust is 33.5", I get a lot of fabric pooling above the full bust to the neckline. I've had to take 0.5 inches off of each princess seam above the full bust. Don't know if this will be enough but it's a start.
- I had to adjust some seam lines - I forgot that darting the side front would shorten the armscye. Given that there's a kimono sleeve, I've just opted to shorten the back sleeve at the underarm. Of course, this might not be optimal, but we'll have to wait and see.
- I also might have a big problem - but I'm not going to know until I make this round of revisions: I might need to pull out more fabric from the armscye in a dart that, currently, goes to the bust apex - effectively spanning 2 pieces. I don't know how I'll do this on the front piece in such a way that I can actually close the dart. This would be less concerning on a garment that doesn't already have a (conflicting) princess seam joining two pieces together.
- I suspect I'm going to need to make the waist smaller again.
- I might need to make the peplum longer.
- And finally, those princess seams really are trickily positioned. I might have to realign them (closer together - by removing width from the front piece, Lord help me).
I should disclose that I'm not looking at fitting books during this process. I find them confusing. I've come to realize that I need to make things and fit them on my body, as many times as it takes. Flat pattern alterations are meaningless to me if I can't see how they come about by draping the fabric over my own body. I'm pleased to say, though, that I've picked up a lot by reading when I'm not in the sewing fray: lowering the bust apex, for example. (Well, I'll disclose that I didn't look it up but I remembered how to cut the too-high apex out of the pattern piece (in a little box) and lower it to the desired height.)
If I choose to view this process as a weird experiment that takes a bunch of fabric, lots of time and the creative impulse, well, then I cannot lose. I promise I'll keep you posted.
Till then, I've got a knit to sew up.