Saturday, March 21, 2015

Updated: McCall's 6844 Muslin 3: We're Getting There...

...But there will be another muslin (which we can always hope becomes a perfectly fitting finished garment).

In the interests of following this process along, here's the latest muslin ( number 3):

By contrast, here are muslins 1 and 2.

First up, let me tell you what's still wrong with Muslin 3:
  • Had to do armscye/shoulder surgery yet again. The shoulders are still way too wide (you can't so much see it because I fixed the problem on the fly) and the sleeve head too tall. Problem with this jacket is in retaining the necessary overall length of the sleeve head while continuing to eat away at length on the armscye (by continuing to narrow the shoulders). Don't know if I've fixed this, but we're about to see...
  •  Did a 1/4" forward shoulder adjustment. I rarely do these but it seems warranted with this (fitted) jacket. This alteration always confuses the crap out of me...
  • I don't like the angled hem (it looks bad on a busty frame, IMO). Opted to straighten it for a true blazer look.
  • The back needs a wedge taken out of it (my back is small in width an length but my boobs are proportionately large.) This swayback adjustment, for a short-waisted, busty frame, acts as an equalizer of length between the front and back bodice. It's how I get the front to be long enough without having the back become too long. I do not have a sway back, interestingly enough. Note: This alteration necessitates a seam down the centre back of the garment. I'm cool with that. I like shaping and seams allow for shaping on a curvy frame.
  • But the biggest issue is still this (sorry for the bad photo - navy is hard to shoot):

See how it's shapeless below the bust? That's where we're at after removing 4 inches of fabric (2 from each side) where the princess side front meets the collar (it goes down the entire length of the garment).

Yeah - I don't really get this. In what universe is this an attractive line?

So here's my latest fix - on top of the one that removed the 4 inches from the side piece / collar:

Look at the middle piece (it's the side front). See how I've inserted 2 darts? They're not actually darts, cuz I smushed them out and trued the bottom of the piece. This is how I've opted to add still more shaping to that piece. You'll note that I actually added back a bit of the width on the collar (where it would meet the princess seam (right piece, left side). That's because I don't want it to appear to narrow (even though it does, very slightly) when you look at the finished garment.

Note: The reason I can do this is because the darts stop just below the bust point. I'm actually removing width from the straight part of the piece. If I were trying to alter over the full bust point, it would be a total pain in the ass. Here's when NOT doing a full bust adjustment works to your advantage. This pattern is SO big in the bust, for size, that it actually fits me well there. I've just got to get rid of all the excess underneath it, or I'll look shapeless and we all know I'm not that.

Why am I bothering?

The garments with the fewest pieces - and the simplest lines - are usually the easiest to alter. What I've found, in this (highly-imperfect to begin with) garment, is the ability to change just about everything without flat-out ruining anything. It's utterly malleable in a way that might be labour-intensive, but isn't hard to grasp. How often does that happen?

Futhermore, if and when I perfect this, I intend to make it with every stable knit and stretch woven in the galaxy. It will be my soft jacket sloper. Note: I've decided that I'm not into tailored suits right now. I think they feel dated (at least on me). I want a chicer, elegant line with good drape. Of course, my job requires some formal attire. This jacket will allow me to make suits (skirt or pants - using my slopers, natch) that aren't boxy or reminiscent of a uniform.

So that's where I'm at now. Fabric is cut, off to sew. Of course, if this doesn't work, I'm probably going to throw it all in the bin and say fuck it. Let's hope we don't have to contend with that in my next post, shall we?

Update: I really like muslin 4 from the perspective of bodice alterations and, overall, I'm making progress. Alas, the upper bust has too much fabric - as evidenced by a sizable bubble. And you know what that means - potentially fucking irritating alteration ahead. Here's the thing, I may be able to resolve this by going back to the drawing board with the armscye / shoulder. I've franken-worked those into a pretty nasty state, at this point. I've got to go back to my knit sloper (and some other jacket patterns) to see how I shaped the shoulder and armscye. I sense this may fix the issue - or at very least ameliorate it. I believe the hap-hazard alteration of shoulder may well have had an unintended consequence. However, you know - when I princess seam I often experience the issue of too much depth above the full bust. It's what I like to call my need for a small bust adjustment over a full bust adjustment. The projectile boobs really give me a run for my money because they're shape outliers. Literally :-) 

Can't say I'm thrilled by this outcome but I'm going to keep my cool and do a little research. BTW, I did "take out" that extra bubble of fabric, from the finished muslin, with pins. Then I transfered it to paper - it produced a vertical fish-eye dart in the middle of a sea of fabric - no seams to link it to. On paper, I removed the dart - first cutting the relevant (upper) part of the pattern piece from the bodice (which would have been totally skewed by the dart - unless I fixed that too - and I was just doing recon here, not a big alteration). Then I positioned the relevant part of the revised upper bust piece on top of the pattern piece I used to produce muslin 4. It appears that I could achieve the same outcome by narrowing the shoulder and changing the armscye. Of course, we KNOW I'm not an alteration expert - but my goal with this exercise was to see if my armscye alterations had fucked with the upper bust dimension and it appears they might have. At very least, the way the pattern is drafted, there's too much space above the bust (towards the arm). And I'm really not surprised, this pattern is drafted for a wide, thick frame and for a sewist who wants to make something quick and easy. It's a blunt instrument and I'm a special snowflake. Sigh.

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