Pattern surgery

I seriously hope this Simplicity 1945 crossover top turns out to be fantastic and I make six of them (even sixteen). The idea behind this sewing for myself lark is that clothes fit me. It's not that shop clothes never ever fit me; but it is hardly ever and actually then it is a matter of them mostly fitting me rather than a really good fit. Somewhere along the last year or two, I came to the conclusion that it wasn't 'my fault for being fat' in terms of finding clothes to fit but that sewing for myself could deal with some of this. After a bit longer and more experimentation, I realised that fat wasn't necessarily the most salient issue either.

Which is how it came to be that while I currently measure 45-38-45 (inches are more appealing), which technically (as in according to the pattern sizing instructions) puts me at a size 22W, I am actually cutting a 16 at the neck and shoulders and an 18 everywhere else except grading to a 20 from the waist to the hip on the back piece. And then adding just under five inches of full bust adjustment, divided between the two front pieces. The idea behind this rather complicated task is that the garment doesn't either fall off my shoulders or refuse to go over my tits, which is what shop tops tend to do. I have had some successful experience with full bust adjustments, but tonight, working on the right front, I rotated a dart for the first time. I've been consulting Fit for Real People intensely, with the book open beside me as I measure and cut and paste and make some visual leaps which do not come easily to me. Judging by my final result, I haven't got the rotation exactly right, though I suspect the large size of the initial FBA may account for the problem.Picture A: The traced pattern piece, unaltered except for tracing the 16 across the shoulder piece and grading to an 18 thereafter.

Picture B: What I hope is the final altered right front. It took the best part of an entire evening (my evenings start when Brighid goes to sleep, so probably just short of two hours). There is another front to go yet. I haven't worked out how I will account for the extra fabric at the pleat markings - either fatter pleats or an extra pleat.

Picture C: Close up of the rotated dart at the shoulder. Things didn't line up perfectly after the rotation, so I added another wedge of paper in to make things line up. Fingers crossed, because I couldn't see another way.

The fabric arrived yesterday. It is a beautiful navy jersey knit, quite different to anything available locally and yet not more expensive than local fabric stock. I see further experimenting with phone orders and postal fabric samples in my future.

Comments

HaggisMummy said…
Wow- that's like PHD pattern cutting. I'm exhausted reading it. But I'm totally impressed at your proactive clothing stance. There's a special kind of joy in finding something that fits PROPERLY all the way up, down and around.
Christopher said…
You said: "The idea behind this sewing for myself lark is that clothes fit me. It's not that shop clothes never ever fit me; but it is hardly ever and actually then it is a matter of them mostly fitting me rather than a really good fit."

That is the strong pull of sewing for oneself, or at least knowing a tailor who can put together clothes that are shaped for you. I'm very tempeted to learn to sew if only to make a) shirts that are interesting b) shorts that fit comfortably and c) jeans.

I'm still tempted, but I need to create space in my life for it!
Christopher said…
This is the guy in southern States who has inspired me to make jeans.

http://www.taylortailor.com/2010/03/mens-jeans-sloper-and-pattern/
Sandra said…
Thanks for your comments Laura and Christopher. Laura your comment rang true - it does feel like the PhD of pattern altering. Christopher I think you are the verge of catching the sewing bug. I have no time in my days to sew, but as I mostly refuse to do paid work or housework in the evenings after the children are in bed, that is when I sew.

Tonight I finished the pattern altering and cut the fabric out. The fabric feels so lovely that I quite nervous about sewing it up successfully. I think it might accurately be termed 'sewing machine stage fright'.

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