Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Fitting Post: Vogue 8469

I was glad to hear you guys comment that you enjoy posts on fitting.  They are a bit of work to put together but I think they're a good way to learn!
Get ready, cos this one is a long 'un!

I'm working on Vogue 8469.
I have made 3 muslins for this dress.  But my first was a complete dud.  I made it a little while ago, and I like to think I'm now a little wiser....
Here are the sizes I would be based off the pattern envelope:
Bust:   Size 6
Waist:  Size12-14
Hips:   Size 14

Here's my poor logic:  Okay, size six in the bust, so I'll make the bodice size 6 until the waist.  WRONG!   What was I thinking?  My shoulders and frame aren't tiny, just my bust!  This resulted in a stupidly tight top half (duhhhh)!

So that was a complete waste of time...

Next muslin I got wise and made the whole bodice the same size as my waist size, with the intention to do a small bust adjustment.
I also measured the pattern pieces and determined to make the size 10, ( 1 1/2 sizes smaller than the pattern's indicated measurement).  Again with the unnecessary ease, pattern companies!
I graded out to a size 12 at the bottom of the midriff.  I don't think this was necessary...okay get to the pics already!

(The bow peeking out below is from the yarn I had around my waist to mark it)

Issue number one:  Too long!  This bodice has an interesting feature, the horizontal seams are slanted.  It's designed for the bottom of the midriff to hit the waist at the centre back, but be higher by a few centimetres at the front.
Mine was 4 cm longer than my waist!  But I didn't want to take it all out from the lengthen/shorten line on the midriff pieces.  Why?  Because I think that would destroy the style of the dress.  The midriff would be so small it wouldn't have a good balance.  Besides, I like making things harder for myself....Here I sewed out two tucks of 2cm, one in the bodice, and one in the midriff.
Much better balance.

Issue two:  Gaping back seam at waist.  I pinned out 2cm extra on each side.  Now my back seam is rather curvy!
Originally gaping at the back at the waist.

Issue three:  Gaping underarms.  I took in the side seams at the top by 8mm each seam. You can see the gaping in the front-on picture above.

Issue four:  Wrinkles in the back armholes (and front shoulders too).  I addressed this with a sloping shoulder adjustment- this took me a while to figure out!

Can you see the drooping wrinkles at the armholes?  I made pretty arrows for you.

I remembered reading on the In-House Patterns blog that you need a 90 degree angle at the shoulder/armhole seam intersection.  (Described here.)

Here, have some pictures to explain.  Watch the armholes!

Here are the unaltered pattern pieces.
Here it is after tapering the shoulder seams for sloping shoulders.  See how the armhole is messed up?
And here is how I redrew the armholes to get 90 degree angles at the seams.  (The red line).  The blue line is where I was lowering the armhole to match the lower shoulder seam ie. the new cutting line.  Hope this makes sense!
 It turns out my armhole redrawing still needed more tweaking but we'll get to that in a bit!

Okay, Onto the next muslin- looking better!  But still a few things to fix:

 At this point, I was helped by a new fitting friend!  It was brilliant.  Emily of Calico Stretch and I met up with MrsC at The Hectic Eclectic at a regular meet up she has at her shop, Made on Marion!  (More on that to come.)

MrsC is a bit of a fitting guru.  She helped so much!
The final tweaks will be redrawing the armhole outwards in some places (I took too much out and it was looking a bit 'sporty'), adding shoulder darts (there was a bit of gaping at the back neck), and taking out some at the neckline at centre front.  That is to address the slightly loose neckline.  It's just like what Gertie did recently here, but in reverse!  Most of these issues didn't show up well in these pictures, unfortunately...

In the end I don't think I'll need to make a SBA since the gathers have more leeway than a close-fitting darted style.  I'm sooo tempted to make another muslin, but perhaps I should move onto the actual garment.  I'm in no rush though, since I don't know what I need a Summer dress for in Winter.... lol.

So that's my journey so far!  I am slowly gaining understanding....I hope! :)  And I hope this helps someone else out there!


  1. Very well explained, Jo :) One hindsight tip - if you had fixed the armscye on the second muslin by adding to it instead of carving it out, it would have been almost spot on. ;-) So, the good side of that is that you totally got what to do, just did it in the wrong direction hehe

  2. You're really starting to master fitting! I'm impressed that you were able to identify so many problems and solve them! Great job, girl!

  3. Jo, you're my hero. Not only did I get a complexity rash just looking at the images for this post (the sewing skills needed were so WAY over my head!), but I noticed your dress form and then saw your post on how to make it with paper tape!


    I was going to do one using duct tape, but this will be MUCH cheaper (especially as I already have the tape, which I use for stretching drawing paper!). Also, figure this will last much longer as there is no acid to break down.

    Thank you!

    1. Oh I'm so glad you're going to give the dress form a go. I love mine!!
      I know what you mean about fitting being mind-boggling. It definitely still boggles mine but I'm determined to get there!

  4. This is amazing, Jo! I'm so impressed!

  5. The muslin's looking good. It's going to be a lovely dress. You really are going for it on the fitting front!

  6. I need to take a lesson from you in patience! It's going to look great when it's all finished!

  7. Interestingly, and somewhat associated with this, Andi S just wrote a post today about the pluses and minuses of creating tutorials. Very useful info here. Thanks!


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