Monday, March 05, 2012

In Progress: The Muppets Dress Pt 2

Quick update on my vintage seersucker dress!

This weekend I was able to grade up my pattern piece and muslin the bodice.   I started out with a pattern size of 34" but I need a 38" bust (with a 1-1/2" FBA).

I usually use the pivot/slide method of grading, but since I needed to add more than 2 inches to the full bust, I did this in increments. I added a 1" pivot/slide adjustment and then used that pattern piece to add another 1" pivot slide.  This isn't technically the correct way...and an incremental slash/spread would probably be better.

The pivot/slide is pretty quick, and that quickness seduced me. 

Long story short...after grading up 2", I decided to go ahead and do an FBA to add a bust dart.  I decided not to rotate this into the front bust gathers, because I usually get a much better fit with a bust dart.

And here's what we end up with...

Can't see much, huh??  Well, you could click the photo and see it larger.  It's not huge, but you can definitely see more detail.  I guess I should have chosen a solid for my muslin fabric, huh??  The darts ARE on the outside.  I typically sew them on the "right side" so I can see changes better, when I do a muslin.

Here's a closeup of the midriff band:

That's a crease in the center of the midriff, not a seam.  I didn't bother pressing anything at this point.

And here's my goof, the neckline/center front ruching:

That's a fairly high neckline, huh?  I was confused at first.  Here's the pattern envelope again:

Being a 1940s pattern, the tissue is unmarked.  I've used lots of unmarked vintage patterns before; once you get the hang of "reading" the dots and perforations, it's pretty simply.  Where I goofed was not realizing some of those dots on the bodice piece were placement dots to cut the square neckline.  Whoops.

Once I figured that out, it looks pretty good though.  The neckline is higher than I expected, even considering I was doing the more "modest" view. 

As for's close.  The back is a smidge too tight, so I'll be doing a broad back adjustment (sigh).  The bust, armscye and back neck all need lowering by about 3/4".  Pivoting/Sliding doesn't change the shoulder height of a pattern, so before I lower anything or add to the bottom anywhere, I'm going to add 1/2 to 3/4" to the shoulder and re-do a quick muslin.  That may solve all my fit issues right there! (And had I graded it "correctly" to begin with, I would have added that height anyway). 

Obviously I'm cheating again by just adding in that one place (lazy!) BUT in my defense, since I typically petite bodices anyway, I will probably find success just adding to the shoulder seam.  If I added that incrementally throughout the bodice, I would likely end up with too much length in some places.

A parting shot...still terribly hard to see anything.  Muslin Two to come later this week! 

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