Sunday sewing

Sunday afternoons, from about the middle of the Food Programme to the end of the Classic Serial, seem to have become my sewing times; T is generally watching rugby and I retreat upstairs to my craft room.

This afternoon I made a first muslin of the bodice of the Colette Pastille dress.

Pastille muslin 1

I cut a size 10 at the top of the bodice, based on my 38″ high bust measurement, and a size 14 at the waist (because my waist and hip measurements mean I definitely need the size 14 skirt), and then attempted a 1″ full bust adjustment.

Pastille muslin 2

It’s definitely an improvement on my Sorbetto attempts; the bust darts turned out pretty well (I ignored the original placing and redrew them level with the apex of my bust, following this tutorial) but I didn’t take account of the fact that this put the bust darts more or less level with the points of the waist darts, which I should have shortened. Having tried the muslin on, I think I should probably have actually cut a size 8 with a bigger bust adjustment, as I clearly didn’t add enough length in the centre front, and I think I also need to shorten the back so the back waist seam sits above the point where my bum begins. Also, next time I’m going to sew up the back (where the zip should go) and leave one of the side seams open as that will make it much easier to pin myself into it!

It’s definitely getting there, though it’s hard work and I’ve still got a long way to go. Of course, part of the problem is that until I started thinking about how to make things fit properly and took lots of measurements I was convinced I was top-heavy with narrowish hips and not much in the way of curves apart from my chest, whereas in fact my waist and hips are a good two sizes bigger than my top half would be with the ‘standard’ B/C cup and the only reason I have to buy tops the same size as skirts (or even slightly bigger) is because I’m so very definitely not a standard B/C cup. And of course, fitting issues aren’t exactly helped by the fact that I’m a completely different shape to my mental image of myself!

6 responses to “Sunday sewing

  1. Wow, a heroic venture. Learning to build your own basic pattern blocks and cut patterns is wonderful. (I can do a little bit of but don’t have the time or space right now)

    Knowing how it all works also makes it much easier to alter shop-bought items, though very few are properly constructed to make this possible.

    Good luck. Look forward to seeing your progress.


    • I knit because I love it, but with sewing it’s far more pragmatic; I am fed up of the only clothes that fit my top half properly being t-shirts and jersey dresses (which I do love, but they are invariably too low-cut and require a camisole underneath, which is less than ideal for summer clothes). I’m finding it a real struggle, but if I can get to grips with it I think the results will be worth while!

  2. That looks phenomenally complex. So looking forward to seeing the completed dress!

  3. Heroic venture indeed but I’m sure it will be worth it in the end🙂

    Fit can be such a nightmare, I realised the first time I wore it that my new monsoon dress doesn’t actually fit me properly because the bodice goes all funny when I’m sitting down – I think it needs taking up on the shoulders at an angle.

    That dress is going to look lovely when you get the fit right though!

    • It’s surprising how often clothes that fit perfectly well when you’re standing up become an absolute nightmare when sitting down! One of my big problems is waistbands on skirts and dresses, because my natural waist is so high and they always end up sliding up while I’m sitting.

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