fun with FBAs

You all know I mean “fun” in a sarcastic way, right? Ok, good.

I’ve finally managed to start the muslin process for The One Dress over the last two days. (My sis-in-law and maid of honor have taken to calling it the One Dress To Rule Them All, in honor of my ongoing love affair with all things Lord of the Rings related, so that’s what I’ll be going with here. Anyway.)

Cambie FBA, attempt 1First of all, I have to say that Sunni is my hero for starting to carry that waxed tracing paper, because all of the Craftsy videos and couture books were right. This stuff is amazing for muslin marking!  Secondly, I have to say that this dart is going to cause me some issues. This is what my dart ended up looking like after my attempt to work an FBA on the pattern without compromising the integrity of the design. And when I pin-tested it with the paper, it looked like it could possibly work. In fabric, it’s proving far more difficult.
Muslin 1, bust dart 1This is what it looks like after sewing the bust dart right on those slightly curved lines. Waaaaaaay too pointy.

Once I saw that, I decided to try the other side a little differently and compare them to see what direction I need to go in.

Muslin 1, bust dart 2

So this is the second one– for this one, I straightened out the stitching line overall, and tried to stitch into the point in more of a concave curve. From this angle, it definitely looks better.

Muslin 1, front

From this angle, not so much.  I realize that part of the issue is most likely that the darts just go up too high, and I’ll need to end them at least an inch lower. The far more difficult prospect is going to be how to pinch out the ginormous darts and take that big of a chunk out of the fabric without getting those annoying bubbles at the top of the darts.  I may have a bit of trouble in the center front, too, if this picture is any indication. But, to be fair, this test was basically holding it closed behind my back at what felt like the thread-traced lines, mainly to get an initial idea of what I’d need to do with those darts.

Muslin 1, side The side view looks even worse! (And, for the record, this was with me pinning it closed, though I was doing it to myself by feel and only at the very top and bottom. I was also tugging it down to try and simulate the weight of the skirt.)

I took the darts out and played around with some other solutions– just not taking out as big of a dart period, double darts, etc. So far, no dice. So I think I have two choices here: either I can try a more narrow dart and trying to taper some of the extra difference out of the side seam just in the front, or I can try to alter this into a princess seam cut to make it easier to control the curve. I’d much rather do option 1 if I can, because that keeps the design the same. Not to mention that since I plan on overlaying this entire bodice with a patterned lace, that’s one less place I’ll have to try to match up floral motifs.

I do know from this initial test that there are a few other things I’ll have to address, and a few things I don’t quite know about yet. I didn’t take a look at back fitting at all, because my first priority is smoothing out those bust darts before I even try to deal with a zipper. I’ll also need to actually put in that zipper/check back fitting and all before I can check to see if the neckline is going to gap at all  (and where it’s actually going to hit, so I can see if I want to raise or even, dare I say, lower it!) I’m also thinking I might want to make the shoulder bits a little more narrow so it fits more smoothly around my shoulders. But I’ll have to check first to see how nicely the inner edge of the neckline lays, along with the back armhole. There may be some gapping there, but it was hard to tell under the circumstances.
Muslin 1, side seamI’ll also need to tweak the waist seam a little, since the front ended up a little longer than the back. I’m guessing it’s due to my FBA tweaks. (The lengthen-shorten lines aren’t lining up either, but I’m not sure how important that actually is.) So I’ll need to see if I want to lengthen the back or shorten the front to match.

So, how am I doing so far? Are there any of you ladies that are *ahem* a bit bigger up top that have made the Cambie? If so, I’d love to hear your suggestions for that bust dart!

I’m also going to start doing a link list for these dress posts, for an easy reference to the process.
Tracing out the pattern

6 thoughts on “fun with FBAs

  1. I was going to suggest a double dart under the bust or rotating some of the dart's fullness into a second dart at the side seam. I haven't made the Cambie but I took an FBA course with Sarah Veblen on Patternreview last year and she taught that it is better to have multiple small darts rather than one big one.

    I found this blogger who did an FBA on the Cambie by adding a side seam dart:


  2. I don't envy you at all trying to work this out – I think I'd be throwing things across the room by this stage! It looks like you're doing a good job of working through it methodically – hopefully you'll find the solution 🙂


  3. I do want to avoid the side seam dart if I can (I'm afraid it might break up the lace pattern too much), but the double dart under the bust is a good idea. I'm going to be playing around with this in a couple of minutes, so we'll see how this goes–thanks for the suggestion!


  4. I don't have any suggestions with FBA 😉 but I wish you good luck! If you are interested in another resource, shams at Communing with Fabric has written lots of well received posts on FBA.
    I love your name “one dress to rule them all”, hehe


  5. Pingback: Oh, Darling… | sew adagio

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