Monday, March 9, 2015

A Better Second Effort

Gotta say, this project has been a fun fitting exercise. (I swear, I'm not being sarcastic.) Here's a pic of my second version:

I made it using a new blue ponte that I found at FabricLand on Saturday. Lord, that place is a squat. I half expected a rat to scurry by. There were a mere 10 fabrics - amongst hundreds - that I'd ever want to own. The notions section was wan. It's located in the basement of the former (equally hideous) Honest Ed's. Best I can say is that it's very convenient and the prices on fabric are reasonable.

But never mind that, let me tell you what I learned this go-round. It's fascinating!

Kristin's Next Version Alterations:
  • Gotta lengthen the bodice by another 1.5 inches below the waist. It makes sense really, a certain amount of length is being taken up by my bust. This length of this muslin will be fine but, because I shortened the armcye depth (last time) from both the underarm curve and the shoulder seam, I've got to add a bit more length still, at the hem. 
  • OK - this realization is game changing: You'll note that, while the jacket is quite fitted through the back body (sorry for the crap photo, but look at the waist)...
Now that I've narrowed the shoulders (re: last muslin's lesson), it doesn't fit the dress form any longer... That's why you can see pulling at the upper back. don't get any sense of that shaping from the front (see first photo). Why? well because of this:

Do you see how the top stitched vertical seam highlights that the collar panel meets the princess side front piece totally straight i.e. perpendicular to the floor? There's no shaping of the side front. That's why the front body is swimming in fabric. For my money, that's shoddy drafting cuz just about every woman would benefit from some contour there.

If I want the kind of shaping in the front that I have at the side waist, I'm going to have to shape the collar / side front seam by tapering from just above the waist to 0.5 inches on either side of the hem (1" total).

Here's what I mean:

The left piece is the altered side-front and the right piece is the altered collar.
In the unaltered version, the two pieces would touch from half way down, at the full bust point (where you see that they meet), all the way to the hem.

I took an inch of width (total) from the front seam below the waist, the net effect of which should be that the front seam will contour, like the side seam. Where those 2 seams go from the convex to concave curve is where the jacket will suck in. At least that's my theory.

This second muslin is a much better fit than the first - particularly in the shoulders - but I'm not done yet. Without side-front waist shaping, the net effect of this piece (on a full-busted frame), is sack like. That's why every finished version you find on the internet is belted. All the busty ladies, thrilled by the thought of a constructed sweater / stretch jacket that will fit over the boobs, may manage to fit this in the shoulders, but the line is still boxy.

If I've managed to create a fitted silhouette with this new alteration, I can assure you that I'll be making this thing again in every fabric - including stretch suiting.

Tomorrow it's back to FabricLand for another yardage of this blue ponte. No sense in wasting the half metre I have left. And it's a nice fabric esp. for 10 bucks a metre! Gotta see if my experiment works. I'll keep you posted...


  1. I don't see why your alterations wouldn't work. You may want to baste it out of your second muslin here and see if you want/need to make that alteration even deeper. Obviously there will come a point where it won't hang properly, but you've got a ways to go before that happens. Plus, I think it's always interesting to see how it's going to affect the final garment. Especially if I've already got a ready made test version to try it out on.

    1. So true - but I was unhappy with the back length - so I just opted to try again. And again :-)

  2. Well, you have us all curious.
    Can't wait to see Version 3.0!!

    1. Rebecca: Now you'll have to wait to see muslin 4 (which exists) followed by muslin 5 (Lord, let this be the final...)