Bluebird of Happiness - Dress - Part II
A Tale of Two Muslins
A while back I mentioned that I discover (while looking for something else!) another dress pattern with a very similar style bodice, but yet in my size. Since the original bodice has some unusual pieces with the underarm gusset and integrated collar treatment, it is not the easiest pattern to grade down. I have partially fitted a first muslin, but it isn't quite right and I'm still swimming in it.
The nice thing about these patterns is that from mid ribcage down to the waist seam both patterns are the same. This means that I can still use the skirt pieces from the original Vogue Couturier pattern. The waist isn't the part that I'm have fitting problems with anyway. You can see in the photo below that while the pieces are not exactly the same, the total amount of fabric for the waist is nearly the same.
The real issue is through the bust, shoulder and armhole area. Because I am petite and smaller in the shoulders and waist, I usually buy my vintage patterns a size smaller than my bust measurement. I find there is plenty of ease in the bodices for the bust line, and it is easier to add at the bust line if needed than trying to subtract through the shoulders and armholes. The photo below shows the difference between the two patterns through the shoulder and armhole area. There is a french dart for the white pattern, but it isn't visible.
Here's the original muslin, even with taking it in, the shoulders are much too large. Too large that they won't stay in place and the bodice ends up around my waist. Not elegant or pretty at all. For the record, the shoulders and neck on my dressform are larger than my own, so that's why the bodice stays up and looks like it should.
This second bodice, a size smaller than the original is so much better, although it probably doesn't look like it!
Right away, it fit very well in the front, and only needing about 1" taken out at center back. The shoulder seam at the neckline was taken up 1" and tapered back to the original seam line about 4" from the neck edge. I will have to raise the neckline at center front a bit - these bodices are very low, despite what you see on the pattern envelope. They just didn't draw in the cleavage! I am hoping that I will be able to use the collar from the original pattern and make it work with the second pattern. You can see that I have some things pinned to the muslin to see how it will work Monday morning. I will be redrawing that neckline and trimming the excess muslin and then checking to see how that collar looks on me and if it needs to be trimmed down any.
While this might not seem like a lot of progress, but it really is. If you been sewing for any length of time, you know that getting the fit right is half of the job. If your pattern is pretty close to your size, it makes it that much easier.
Parting Shot: New Toy. We bought a snow blower from a colleague of mine that was moving to take a teaching position in England and was selling all his household goods. Today was the first real chance my husband had to use it (and will get to use it again for tomorrow's storm!) and he said it was worth every penny!