This lovely pattern came with my Love Sewing Magazine this month, I love this style of dress – it seems to really work well with my figure.
Looking at the pattern I can anticipate the centre point is going to be tricky, the panel will need a little bit of structure if it is to maintain that beautiful point. I also think the neckline is going to be a challenge -either I will stitch some twill or I might consider another option – of using a contrast more stable fabric.
I have a couple of dresses in this style already, but because they are bought, I find that the bust area is not quite right- the centre rides up a little and it is a bit of a squeeze around the bust area – strong suggestions for full bust adjustment or FBA.
I am small framed, but large busted and this can be a challenge when trying to buy clothing, but not such a problem when you are making your own clothes, but you do have to make adjustments as most patterns only allow for a 2″ bust, if you are above a b cup then you may find the FBA solves a lot of fitting issues.
Most patterns will tell you to find the chest measurement, but if your bust is 2 or 3 inches above a b cup, this measurement will distort the sizing. In order to find the right size use the upper bust measurement and then add 2″ this means you will get the right size for your frame.
Example: Full bust measurement 42″ upper bust measurement is only 36, an F/G cup is adding 6″ – the pattern will add 6″ all over ending up out as a size 20! You can have all sorts of fitting issues if you do this, but the biggest indicator is excess fabric in the chest area and tightness in the bust.
Using my upper bust measurement of 36 and add the 2” b cup allowance =38 I come out as a size 14.
The first step is to produce a grain line mark along the centre of the pattern – using the CF as a guide. Then I found my own bust point – by laying the pattern across me – I discovered the apex of the bust and made a mark – this is where I need the extra inches, not everywhere!
Then I drew a line from the armhole notch to the bust point. Using a piece of sellotape snip from the outer edge at the notch to the seam allowance. Then cut along from the bottom, turn at the bust point and follow my green line, almost to the notch edge. The sellotape keeps the pattern together so that I can hinge the pattern.
As you can see this opens up the bust point area so that I can give the extra inches where I need them.
This pattern came with lots of extra unused tissue – so I put a piece under the gap, measuring between the two points pivoted them until the gap measured 1 and a half inches. (I need an extra three inches overall, but there are two sides- so that makes 1 and a half inches each). I stuck down the pattern with sellotape.
As anyone with a bigger bust will tell you clothes ride up at the front, because you need a longer length front to go over the bust from neckline to waistline, as well as the space around the chest.
I made a horizontal line across my pattern to give a little more length under the bust. I measured my inner shoulder to the waistline – I was 16″the pattern was 14″ so I added another 2″ this is mostly guesswork, because I am not really sure how much I am going to need – we are working with stretch fabrics and there will be an element of give in the fabric.
I altered the side seam length back to 7 and a half inches, normally you would create a dart, but not with stretch fabrics. I used the french curve to sketch in the lower edge.
The toile fabric is very stretchy , but I can easily see that the CF needs to be reduced by an inch. There is also a lot of bagging under the bust, so I needed to take out some of the length. If you look around the bust point area, there is a nice smooth cover without any wrinkling or buckling. I also needed to take 1/4 inch on the inside neck, so that the shoulder seam would sit on the edge. I am using fleece here to give that centre a bit more structure, and I have decided to use the neck facing on the outer edge of the neckline to mirror that point.
I made the adjustments and then cut another front bodice piece – it was important to get this right before moving on to the other pieces.
I think there needs to be more length removed from the bottom edge. The fabric is very shifty, the CF has moved even with careful pinning, I can see that I might have to hand baste the centre in order to gain some control.
So here is the finished toile, the rest of the garment has shaped up very nicely, at the front, the skirt is not gathered but flows softly. I like the two contrast edges, they mirror the point and will give this garment my own little twist.
Even though I used a 14 for this pattern the back is coming up too large, so I shall remove approximately 1″ down the centre back.
So – next to redrawing new pattern pieces. Most of this pattern is to be cut on the fold, not a great combination with stretchy fabrics so I will be creating a single fold version in order to keep at least a modicum of control.