It took a little longer to fit the bodice of the Lonsdale than I’d anticipated, but I think I’ve got the kinks worked out now. I really wanted to take my time and do it right with this one, since the fact that I’m basically building a corset of sorts into it means that I need it to fit pretty closely. I also discovered that my phone is a pretty handy fitting tool in a pinch, thanks to the camera! (And much easier to take mirror shots with than my actual camera.)
So I did the FBA as directed in Tasia’s Lonsdale sewalong, and it worked much, much better than my original attempt. But I still had a few things that needed work. Exhibit A: The back was doing this weird diamond-shaped wrinkle thing. I didn’t take any pictures of the muslin once I’d fixed it, but here’s what I ended up having to do:
That off-white bit sticking out at the side is the original muslin. I did have to take some of the slantiness out of the side to the left, where it joins the bodice. I also had to add 3/8″ at the top, because once I did all of the other adjusting, they just didn’t match up anymore. For the center back, I suspected that I needed something along the lines of a swayback adjustment, but I just couldn’t find any instructions for how to do a swayback adjustment in a dress where it actually curved in well above the waistline seam. So, in typical fashion, I winged it and just curved the actual center back seam. It seemed to work pretty well, so I’m running with it and adjusted the pattern accordingly.
I ended up having to make some pretty major changes to the front, too. This picture was after redoing the front with a real FBA adjustment, and it fixed pretty much all of the unsafe-for-public-viewing issues. But there was still a bit too much bagginess in the front for a successful attempt at using the boning, as you can see. So after some fiddling with the front and side seams, I realized that the best solution would just be to add a couple more darts.
So that’s what I did. Pretty different from the originally dart-less bodice, but I think that this will work much better for me. Makes sense, anyway….after all, this pattern was designed for women who are generally less top-heavy than me. Ahem.
But wow…the difference between the original pattern and what I ended up with is pretty crazy!
There ended up being a difference of about an inch between the original pattern width and what I ended up with after the FBA, but the dart that I needed to add in front ate most of that up. I still needed to add about 3/8″ to either side of the waistband after pinning and fiddling with the pattern pieces to “walk” the length of the waistband. So then I added half of that to all of the side seams on the skirt, as best as I could estimate between 1/8″ and 1/4″ on my gridded ruler. I’m not too worried about fitting the skirt, since that’s going to be much easier to adjust as I go.
I made three more adjustments to the pattern– I shortened the ties so it will be an actual halter dress, I split the front bodice lining so that I had a facing of self-fabric for the top and ties (didn’t have enough fabric to do a full self-fabric facing), and I’ll be lining the skirt too. I did manage to get the dress entirely cut out last night. It’s a good thing this isn’t a one-way print, because it took some very creative pattern layout work to get this to fit! I did manage to squeeze it all on with only scraps left over, so one more piece entirely busted out of my stash, hurrah! Aside from figuring out the boning, I think it will be fairly quick to sew together. I actually went ahead and cut out the pattern with my pinking shears so the seams can just be pressed open and not otherwise finished. Since it will be fully lined anyway, it will still look nice, and that will save me some bulk at the seams. I’m rather excited to see how this comes together, and am hopeful again that I can get this all done in time for the Summer Spark Sew-Along!