Tuesday, April 02, 2013

I Must Be Mad!

I totally distracted myself last week with making the slip to go with my Sew for Victory dress. That derailment made me feel awesome when it was finished, though, so totally worth it! Now it's time to get back to work on my Joan inspired dress for the Mad Men Challenge #2 (see button on right).
Mad Men Season 5 Cast Photo, Joan Green Dress
Last week I got a package from Amazon that had these two books in it:
Fit For Real People, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing
I really wish I had bought Fit for Real People (FFRP) when I first started sewing in 2010. It would have saved me so many headaches and heartaches over failed fitting attempts. I inhaled the entire book that same evening it arrived and thumbed through Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing. I'm looking forward to trying out the projects and techniques in Gertie's book at some point but I knew I could apply things from FFRP to my Mad Men dress right now! 
After doing 4 muslins of McCall's 2401 (View C) I've totally lost my mind and decided to start over. I'm incorporating the techniques in FFRP with the pattern tissue. The changes I had made to the back already were spot on with what they say to do. 
McCall's 2401
My front, though, oh wow... did I ever have it overly complicated! I changed my wing-it approach to their Y Full Bust Adjustment and now I have a pattern tissue that fits my bust beautifully! It took 20 minutes, not 4 muslins, too!
McCall's 2401
I have a plus sized, petite (just barely) and muscular body. I am technically pear shaped but I am almost an hourglass. My large bust and defined waist help make me look more hourglass than pear. I have a lot more front and back projection than width. Here's the fit challenges I'm dealing with on this pattern/project (bold means it's done):
  1. Very Full Bust - This has been addressed with a Y FBA from FFRP. I still need to reposition the side dart as it's a little high.
  2. Slightly Low Bust - Lowered the neckline by 1.75 inches because I prefer a bit more skin showing (but not too much). Proportionately it should make my neckline look like Joan's does on her.
  3. Swayback - This has been addressed with a 0.75 inch swayback adjustment to the pattern.
  4. Slightly Narrow/Sloping Shoulders - It seems the FBA brought the shoulder in just a smidgen on the pivot and it's right where it should be for me. Yay! Also, the changes I made to the center back fixed this.
  5. Slightly Narrow Back - I took in the center back 0.25 - 0.5 inch to accommodate this.
  6. Prominent Abdomen - I'm going to tinker with the front vertical dart for this. I might omit it altogether. I'm going to leave this to the fabric stage (either muslin or fashion fabric) because the tissue just won't lay like the fabric does and I'm very particular about how this part of me is fitted.
  7. Defined Waist - The back changes work well for this but the front will need either the vertical dart or fabric taken out of the side seam, or possibly both. I'm leaning towards the latter as the FBA added width to the hip area that I didn't need and I'd like it nipped in a little under my bust.
  8. Slightly Large Upper Arms - Going to use FFRP's tips on enlarging a fitted sleeve.
Halfway done with the fit process! I know I'll get the bust done today, and maybe the sleeve and waist issues, too.

I have the following steps to do for my dress (bold means finished) by April 19, 2013:
  1. purchase pattern, fabric, and supplies
  2. tissue fit the pattern - in process
  3. make a muslin (might skip this if I feel all brave)
  4. make dress
  5. make lining
  6. attach facings to lining
  7. attach facings and lining to dress
  8. look awesome in my wiggle dress
I have 17 days (including today)! No pressure, right?!

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