In which our heroine changes the FBA yet again! And other fitting tales

I have to say, Craftsy classes are awesome. I’m currently doing the Couture Dress class, along with reading the Bridal Couture book (both by Susan Khalje). I’m on the Muslin Fitting video section (obviously), and posted a picture of my muslin so far with a question about when in the process I should start dealing with the boning. And I was quite pleasantly surprised that Susan wrote back the very next day with some excellent constructive criticism!So I’ve been tweaking the muslin as I could over the past two days, as per her suggestions.

As I reminder, this is what I had at the beginning of the week:

Dress Bodice 3.0

And this is what I have now:

Muslin fitting, 10/25

  1. For the back, I took a horizontal tuck across the upper back, I think about a total of 3/4″. (The seam was about 3/8″ from the foldline.) Goodbye, weird saggy armholes!
  2. Susan pointed out that the side seam was pulling to the front a bit, which I hadn’t really noticed before. She suggested taking a bigger dart and letting the side seam out just a bit. I think I’ll still have to let it out a bit in the middle–I actually ended up pinning on the side seam again after deepening the dart (about 1/8″ out from the original stitching, for a total of 1/4″), but it definitely looks better than before.
  3. I also took a nice big chunk out of the center front, by starting the seam for that about 3/8″ out from where it was.
  4. It’s just folded for now, and I’ll need to play around with it some more, but I did fold the sleeve caps under further so the edges would be on my shoulder instead of hanging off the edge. I like this look much, much better.
  5. Susan also mentioned that the shoulder seams were pulling too far towards the back, so I tried to center them up. Which basically meant shortening the front sleeve section a lot–I just checked the outer edge on the one side, and it’s nearly a full 2″ shorter than before!
  6. The biggest change: After all of that FBA work, it looks like I’m going to have to turn this into a princess seam bodice after all! I just could not get it to lie right, and it was still gapping in the front, even after I played around with shifting the inner edge of those sleeve cap strap things. And the only way I could get it to lie flat was to pin a dart out, about 3/4″ total on each side. You can see this best in the side view picture–I know it’s still bubbling a bit funny at the bust, but keep in mind that this is only pinned in for now. I hate to say it because I really wanted to avoid altering the basic design lines too much, but it really does lie much better with the princess seam. So now I just have to figure out how the heck to make it work. I’m hoping that those side dart bits will just function as a flat piece, because I’d really like to avoid the look that I had to resort to on this blouse

I’m definitely going to have to lengthen this bodice some now, because there is absolutely no way that waistband is going to hit anywhere close to the right place now with all of that darting and tucking I’ve had to do. I’d say that I’d have to patch on some muslin, but in all honesty, I’ve made so many changes to the darts and all by this point that I might be better off just re-muslining the whole thing, if I can just transfer the changes to the pattern right. (Especially since I need to change the back anyway to split that into two pieces.)

The part I’m not so sure about is that neckline–I think the shape of it is great, and it’s good to not have it gapping now! But I feel like it’s maybe a little too high now–I’m not looking to flash a bunch of cleavage around in front of all of my relatives and friends, but I think the sweetheart would be a bit more flattering if it were maybe an inch lower.  Plus then I can have more fun with jewelry, because I still want a fun, sparkly (and possibly green) necklace! The only thing is, I’m not sure how to lower it, since letting out those shoulder straps will just shift the shoulder seam backwards again. Do I just need to redraw it a little lower or something?

I actually get nearly an entire day to sew on Saturday, which is super-exciting because this hasn’t happened in months! I’d like to get the skirt muslin pieces traced and cut out, finally, but I’d like to do some tweaking work on this bodice as well, if I have time. We’ll see, because it’s looking likely that Hurricane Sandy Frankenstorm of Halloween Doom is going to hit my tiny little state pretty hard. I’m just hoping that if it does, I don’t have to go to my retail job, because I do not want to sit at an outside register in all of that nastiness. And hey, if I lose power, I can baste and thread-trace by hand to my heart’s content! As long as it’s daylight out so I can actually see what I’m doing…

Previous wedding dress posts::
Tracing out the pattern
FBA attempt, part 1
FBA attempt, part 2 (with diagonal tuck adjustment)
FBA attempt part 3 (Bodice 2.0)
FBA attempt part 4 (Bodice 3.0)

13 thoughts on “In which our heroine changes the FBA yet again! And other fitting tales

  1. Wow, that fit is so much better! I see what you mean about the neckline though – the proportions aren't quite right. I think your best approach would be to redraw it lower.

    I'm pretty sure I've got a couple of books with info on converting darts to princess seams – if you like I could hunt them out and see if there's anything that might help you?


  2. That definitely looks like a good fit now. If you want to drop the neckline, I would redraw it a bit lower. As you said, your choice of jewellery will impact on exactly where you want the neckline to fall. Can you try a few things on and snap pics so you can see how it looks with different necklace styles?


  3. It looks better and better for each time I pop in here and your patience is admirable! The neckline shape is great, but I think it would be even better lowered that inch.


  4. That would be great! I have a couple of books on fitting myself, but I'm not sure if the whole dart-to-princess-seam thing is covered or not. I'll have to do some research and see what I can find in there (another good hurricane day activity!)


  5. I probably have some stuff I can play around with, once I get the neckline to a better place. As Jessica said earlier, the proportions just look off. I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing for jewelry yet–I still have to decide if it's something I'm going to make myself, or whether to buy something. I do have a pair of earrings already that will work nicely for a wedding if I get stuck on time, but no necklace to go with as of yet. And I need to figure what to do with the bridesmaids too, but we haven't even started shopping for dresses yet, so that would be the more important thing atm.


  6. She really is! I would highly recommend her Craftsy class–though, tbh, all of the classes I've done there so far have been great! (And the interactivity is perfect, since I have about zero chance of ever getting a decent sewing class around here, unless I want to trek up to Philly or down to Baltimore.)


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