Fitting the Easter Dress
Straight out of the envelope, I noticed that this dress had a lot of shaping on the bodice via darts. Currently, in the smaller children's sizes I haven't noticed as much shaping. Only when the patterns get to the 8-14 size do I see more bust darts.
I also noticed right away that someone had shortened the bodice - the folds were still there along with their pins from the previous seamstress.
As soon as I sewed all the darts and went to iron them, I knew there was a problem. This bodice had quite a bit of bust shaping. My 8 year old daughter doesn't have bust shape. At all. Staying true to the pattern, I completed the muslin bodice and then tried it on her. Yes, too big. After pinching out fabric in various places and doing some research, I came up with a solution. I continued the waist dart at an even width all the way from the waist up to the shoulder and left the side bust dart alone. This was perfect - all the extra fabric was gone, the bodice was smooth and still fit just fine. In an adult pattern, I would need to add back the waist dart, but in her case, it really isn't needed. You can see the the extra fabric and it being pinched out. In the next picture is the fix stitched in along the black marker line.
The other problem with the bodice was a known problem - it would need to be lengthened to fit as intended via the pattern envelope. I ended up dealing with this problem after fixing the sagging bodice. I just cut the bodice apart and inserted a piece of fabric to lengthen it after measuring the difference between the acutal waistline and her waistline. When I went to transfer the changes to the pattern, I didn't cut apart the pattern like I normally would. This is a vintage pattern, so I traced off the bodice after the first correction and then split the pattern to spread for the extra length needed.
You'll notice that I also did a partial skirt - I was curious as to how long the skirt was really going to be - it has a 4" hem allowance. The length was better after fixing the bodice length, but I took measurements to make the skirt lengths work the way I want them to.
Parting Shot: A portrait of Max, taken by my son. He defnitely looks like the wise old cat in this shot.
Tomorrow is a ski day! I will also unveil the final pictures and surprise of the SWAP!