The Bodice Muslin
The vest has a matching dress, so in order to get working on it I needed to make a muslin of the bodice. This is particularly important because the pattern I am working from is a bust size 30. I was a little concerned at first that it might be too small, and I was right, but it wasn't so small that I couldn't get it zipped up. I just needed some breathing room. In the end I let out the bodice a total of 3/4" and it fits exactly how I want it to.
Here's the muslin, part way through the process of fitting:
I did the muslin and fitting a little differently than I normally do. To start with, I made the muslin of two layers of sturdy cotton. This is to imitate all the layers that will eventually be in the bodice: fashion fabric, underlining and lining. All that adds to the final circumference, and too many unaccounted for layers and you'll end up with a bodice that is too small. I did, of course, put in the boning as I always do, as that will make a difference in fit, too.
The other thing I did differently was to really take my time with the fitting. This was fitted over a four to five day period. I didn't spend more than 20 to 30 minutes per day working on it. I would make one small change in the evening, and then try the muslin on in the morning while getting ready for work and note any changes. I also kept a pretty detailed log as to what I did each time. I think this helped from getting tunnel vision - which sometimes leads to over fitting. Working with fresh eyes every morning really helped. (I'm doing this now with some jeans/trouser muslins - wait till you see that!)
Here are the fit notes, right from my spreadsheet:
|bodice fit notes:|
|cut all widths to pattern widths|
|cut bodice back 1" higher|
|cut bodice side fronts 1" higher at side seam taper to normal height at seam|
|cut front with top edge even with points|
|top edge perfect; add additional 5/8" s.a. to existing changes|
|waist too tight|
|front bodice perfect with cups and boning not in|
|back too tight.|
|let out CB 1/4" both sides (3/4" s.a.)|
|not using cups|
|do not shorten between bustline/waist|
|increase back height by 1" taper up to side seams, and add 5/8" s.a.|
|split CF; add 1/4" at CF|
|CF fits perfect at bust/waist lines|
|make S-shaped seams at bust seam; take out oval shaped piece as marked|
|S-shaped seams (follow side with check); take out 1/4" extra per side (1/8" x2)|
|add boning to center front and back |
change zipper to side
I also was very careful to note on the muslin the exact changes. I drew the old seam lines, the new seam lines and noted the difference between them. Now I have a record in two places of what I've done.
Here's the front bodice piece with the S-shaped curve that I added. I felt that those seams that run over the bust line just hung straight done from the bust point to the waist and didn't curve attractively around the bust and in at the waist on my figure. This is a case where I actually took out the seam, drew the seamline and seam allowances and used that as part of the patter piece. It will be packed up along with a copy of my notes if I use this bodice again. I'm planning on it, since it is very basic and fits well.
I will try to finish making the bodice this evening and if I have time, stitch more trim on the vest. If not, there's always tomorrow evening!
Q/A: Nina wanted to know if I knew anyone who was shipping Misty Fuse internationally. Yes, there is! There is a seller on eBay. If you go to eBay and search for Misty Fuse, there is a seller in Washington State that ships internationally. She's the only one selling it on eBay, too. I bought mine from her, and had no complaints with the transaction.
Parting Shot: Rhinestones! Monday, I ordered some hot fix rhinestones for FMK from the Rhinestone Guy. He's located in Santa Ana, CA and I got the order today! I also ordered a color chart, which has actual samples of all the colors of Czech Preciosa and Swarovski rhinestones. He sells only by the gross (144 pieces), but the prices are good and he's got all sorts of sparkly goodies.