Thursday, 23 February 2012

Fitting Trials and Tribulations

So... it's time to show something that I've had brewing for some time now.
I've never done any in-depth fitting before, having stuck to skirts so far (and making one dress that didn't fit very well)... so I decided to take on the challenge of making myself a fitted top, darts and all.
I'm using New Look 6808:
doesn't it just look so innocent and simple?
Well, let me tell you, it sure hasn't been easy getting mine to look like a top- and I'm still not there yet!
Let me show you the horror of the first muslin I made- brace yourself!
Exquisite,  no?
So, bravely taking on the unknown, and with the help of the fine folks at the PatternReview Fitting Woes board , I began my journey...

The first step was taking out all that extra length!  I found out I have a short back-neck to waist, so 4cm came out above the waistline:
Aaah, looks more like a top already!
As you can see, there were still a lot of wrinkles everywhere.  The gurus on the board advised taking some out of the shoulder for a sloping shoulder adjustment.  Also, widening the hips (see those horizontal wrinkles across the front?  not enough width- see?  I'm trying to learn how to read those mystical wrinkles), and a small bust adjustment.  Phew, that's already plenty, but wait, there's more!

The back was really funky- not hanging low enough, so still needed more width over the butt, but also check out that swayback making dirty great pools of fabric back there!  Ick...  However, I wasn't confident with how to tackle it and went on to my second toile:
Don't I look thrilled?
Looks a bit better though, with the small bust adjustment added in.  I definitely got overwhelmed more than a few times during this whole process.  At this point it was doing my head in a bit, so I contacted Alexandra of In-house Patterns, who'd recently done an introduction to fitting, she was so kind and replied with her suggestions- not only that but she made me diagrams showing me how!  Isn't that lovely!  So now she has a dedicated fan of her emerging pattern line.  Check out her bow blouse top, so cute!... you should go buy it ;)

Now it's time for more corrections and possibly/probably a 3rd muslin/toile.  I will update with more on the epic quest for a fitting top!

Note: throughout this process, I've been trying to fit myself all alone except for the internet, no mannequin, having to pin myself in, relying on photos to see my backside... I do not recommend this!  I am scheming to make my own personalised dressform with this method.

It may be a tough journey, but I've already been learning... and I won't quit until it's right!  I will have my fitting top, mark my words!  I'm motivating myself with the thought of the various cute tops I can make with this basic pattern :)

Of course, if anyone has any advice, questions, or suggestions, I'm all ears!


  1. I don't have any advice or suggestions, just commiseration. I'm having the same troubles with fitting, and trying to learn. I've got to say, I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who's getting overwhelmed by it! Unfortunately, I don't seem to have your tenacity - when my first muslin doesn't work out, I generally just move on to a different pattern! I agree that it's very hard to do this on your own - I'm in the same boat.

    1. Thanks, even knowing someone else out there struggles with it is a help to me :) I'm sure we'll both succeed in the end (You have already made some fantastic garments!)

  2. Thanks for the shout out Jo! You can absolutely do this! You will learn so much in the process and as I have already told you-you have really good instincts for fitting so keep going! Trial and error is how you play the game unfortunately. Good luck!

  3. Wow, you did a lot of work and it paid off! The fit looks great!

  4. You can do it, Jo! Look at how far it's come! I'm so impressed with your tenacity. I get so overwhelmed and after the second muslin I start wondering whether I should just move on. However, my second (nor my first) muslin rarely looks as good as yours!

  5. Thanks for all the encouragement you guys! I will conquer this! :)

  6. Wow - what a difference in fit from the first picture to the last - it is really worth the work!

  7. Your second muslin really looks good! Good on ya for hanging in there!


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