There’s a light….

It’s probably no surprise that I have been feeling some ambivalence about my sewing so far in 2013.  A couple of projects I haven’t been totally impressed with due to my own lack of skills has had me, at times, wonder if my successful makes last year were just an amazing streak of beginner’s luck.

I’ve been slowly slowly working on my fit “issues” with Lynda Maynard’s craftsy course, and it has been a beast, but also extremely helpful.  I’d much rather work on wearable things, but at the same time I’ve been too gun-shy about fabric ruining, I’ve had a hard time getting excited about planning future projects.

But I feel like I’m making good progress with fit.  I really have learned a lot- not only about fit, but the whole muslin/test garment practice, and I feel a lot more confident about trying things out in muslin and then altering the pattern to reflect the changes.

I recently finished my 3rd bodice muslin with the pattern altered to incorporate changes from the previous muslin.  The results weren’t really what I expected or hoped for, and I’ve spent some time trying to figure out different solutions.  Lynda has also been great about giving feedback on photos I’ve posted.

Slash & Spread on the left, Lynda Maynard method on the right

While I wait for the next round of Lynda’s suggestions, I decided to try my hand at your standard slash and spread FBA to see how that alteration measures up to what I’ve done in the craftsy class.  I’ve looked at tutorials, and have several books that go over different FBA methods, but this is the first time I’ve really tried it.  I think I just needed to build up my confidence in making pattern adjustments, and the craftsy class provided just enough hand holding to get me started.

For my slash & spread FBA, I folded the original pattern piece to the petite line, which I didn’t do with the Lynda Maynard method, but I quickly determined that since I’m fitting myself, it’s a whole lot easier to add length than to tuck it up and take it away.

I also noticed, when flipping through the fitting books, that I might benefit from a square shoulder adjustment.  The key indicator of that is gaping at the upper back, so I am trying that out on the S&S pattern as well- I slid the outer edge of the shoulder up about 3/8″.  I couldn’t find clear direction on how much to move it, but I figured that would give me an idea as to how the adjustment plays out in fabric, and I can tweak it later if it looks like the right thing to do.

I’m a little surprised by how similar the patterns turned out- especially since the S&S alteration started with a petite shortened pattern.  The largest difference is the length of the center front fold edge- the S&S is about 2″ shorter.  The side seam edge is about 1″ longer on the S&S pattern, but the side dart is about 1/2″ to 1″ wider.  The lower edge of the S&S pattern is about 1/” to 1″ wider, but the front dart is about 1″ narrower.  The front dart is also about 1″ closer to the center front fold in the S&S pattern.  I intentionally made the front dart point about 1″ shorter because I read somewhere the fuller your bust, the farther the dart points should be from the apex, and the original pattern and Lynda Maynard adjusted pattern seemed a little too close.  The side dart lengths from tip to edge are about the same.

I’m going to sew up a muslin of the S&S adjusted pattern tonight.  I’m pretty excited to see how that fit compares to the Lynda Maynard adjusted pattern.

So I’m definitely seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and know I’m getting closer to wearable.  I even woke up at 4am the other day because my brain had to let me know RIGHTTHISMINUTE that I need to use my pink toile from New Orleans for a Colette Crepe dress (non-sweetheart version).  And later that same day, it suddenly became obvious that my Enterprise fabric needs to be an A-line, non-sweetheart, Sewaholic Cambie, and I’m thinking over a couple of ideas for that.  It’s definitely nice to start having ideas and getting excited about sewing projects again.

12 thoughts on “There’s a light….

  1. You’ll figure out what alterations you need and which ones you can live without. I’m slowly getting to that point. Sewing knits has been a nice way to have something to wear without all the fiddling. Hey, I love your Sewcialist logo! Great colors.

    • I’ve had more misses than hits with knits so far. Figuring out my serger is another one of my goals for this year, but getting more comfortable with fitting was a higher priority.
      I had a stupid amount of fun playing with logo colors!

  2. Oooooh, looking good, so far, sounds like you are on to something! I have just learned the Slash and Spread method in my pattern making class. I have to make a flare skirt using it. It looks like a lot of fun to cut up and re-tape patterns! I also wanted to let you know I won a Pattern Pyramid and have posted it on my blog. There are some great patterns in it, so if you were interested, feel free to drop by and enter!

    • I just entered! That looks fun :)
      This comment made me realize I did a slash and spread for my Effie costume! I’ve never thought of using that term outside of a FBA.
      I love hearing about your classes, and a bit envious. Is it your goal to sew or design professionally?

      • I’m not sure, to be honest. I just started as ‘something to do’. And, now, though, I LOVE it so much! I think I will especially like the patternmaking aspect of it, as I have a background in math and drawing/painting, so both of these things should lend to patternmaking. The sewing although I love it, does go rather slowly, I have to line things up just so, and often change my mind halfway thru, etc. So, that aspect goes, but probably slower than most other sewists.

        I am happy to keep you updated with what I’m learning in class. I’ve just had my second class last night and already have so much homework!

  3. I have been watching Lynda’s class as well and I have to say that I’m not completely sold on the idea. It’s great if you have someone who can cut and pin your muslin for you and evaluate and fix fit issues. But, it seems very difficult to do on your own. Are you finding that to be true?
    Still, the process seems very effective.

    • Yes, it’s difficult to do solo, but I think that’s true of most fitting methods.
      I read through some of the discussions before I started, and got the idea to pin a zipper in place since pinning up the back is impossible. It was a total lightbulb moment for me.
      I also have a camera app with a timer, so I take a lot of pictures of myself with that. I do a lot of pic, take it off, pin, put it on, pic (repeat). It takes patience.

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