|Sharon is pleased *WIN* and that pleases the dressmaker *WIN*|
|And she said she didn't like being photographed! Honey, if you've got it - flaunt it!|
|Good for spinning.|
I wanted to know if I could take measurements and make flat pattern alterations, then sew a dress without sewing a muslin first. One of my sewing idols, Ann Rowley works this way. She doesn't blog, but she is active on Stitchers Guild sewing discussion forum. If you search around there, you can find her Flickr album. Ann is a classically trained dressmaker who learned as a young woman, before women wore trousers, as she puts it. She will be the first to tell you there are multiple ways to approach fitting and garment construction; this is just how she does it. We all find what works best for ourselves as we gain experience.
Factors contributing to the success of the project:
- No shoulder fitting required for this dress style, only these torso measurements:
- upper chest
- full bust
- Easy fit model
- Sharon buys lots of clothes off-the-rack, so she is not a challenge to fit
- I see her at work and at the gym every day, so I have some instinctive knowledge of her figure. This is more important that it may seem. I had to rely on my gut while making decisions along the way.
- Love the pattern - motivated me
- Love the fabric - motivated me
- Record Sharon's girth and length measurements necessary for this style
- Compare her measurements to the actual pattern and adjust as necessary. I did a petite adjustment.
- Cut dress and baste it together, including a zipper, using a long basting stitch.
- One meeting with Sharon for a fitting of the basted dress provided this feedback:
- Size 10 was too big! Even though I had compared the measurements, and assumed no wearing ease in the bodice, I still had to take it in about 5/8" (1.5 cm) on both sides.
- The waist needed to be levelled - it was fine in center front and center back, but it dipped on the sides
- The skirt also had to be taken in about 5/8" (1.5 cm) on both sides, and tapered to the hips.
- It was way too long and I foolishly neglected to take a measurement for what the finished length should be. This is where I went on my gut and cut off "a goodly amount", as my mother would say. It worked. Oh! All except for the part where I messed up! Yeah, there was that, ha!
- There was gaping at the upper edge of the bodice, so I devised an elastic treatment to keep the edge snug.
- Adjust pattern for the alterations. (I am not sure if Ann does this part, but I wanted to record the changes back to the paper pattern)
- Remove basting stitches in dress
- Use altered pattern pieces to recut dress.
Hats off to home sewists because we indulge and appreciate ourselves, don't we?