Saturday, 19 November 2011

Fitting help...

Just wondering, is it too early to start exploiting the knowledge of asking for advice from my readers?  Even if it is, I'm going to do it anyway!

I've just made the first muslin/toile/practice/mockup/whatever you want to call it of my Dream Choir Dress.  I'm using the bodice of BurdaStyle pattern 02/2011 Dress with gathered rectangle skirt and cap sleeves, with a circle skirt and invisible zipper.  It's going to be black haven't quite decided what type of material  yet - any suggestions?  And I'm also wanting to make a teal petticoat (using this tutorial from Sugardale) and a matching teal belt using one of the belt kits from A Fashionable Stitch.  So many new techniques to try out!

So, specifications for the dress - it can't have too low a neckline or too short a skirt, so I can still wear it to performances at fancy places or more conservative places like nursing home concerts.  Also can't be too tight, as I have to (obviously) be able to take full, deep breaths while wearing the dress, and not too tight around the sleeves/armholes so I can still move my arms around.

Here's pictures of the first go - with the seams/darts on the outside, then with them on the inside.  I've turned the neck seam allowance down, but I haven't done it on the armholes.  Also, please excuse my belly poking out (the top of my shorts doesn't quite meet up with the bottom of the bodice, haha) and the strapping tape on my shoulders.

I'm reasonably happy with how it's fitting, but I'm not entirely sure if that's how it's supposed to fit!
My wishlist of alterations so far is:
  • Raise the front of the neckline about an inch
  • Move the inside edge of the shoulder seam inwards (or something) - it keeps slipping off my shoulders!  What's the best way to fix this problem?
  • Somehow make the bust darts less pointy-outy - they look quite weird!
  • Something to make the back less weird - no idea what!  It could just be the material or the way I'm standing though
I'm very open to suggestions on what else you think needs to be done - this is the first time I've tried to fit a pattern before, normally I just jump in and fix it afterwards!!  So any input would be welcome, and I'll try to incorporate these changes.  Also, if you'd like to see any more photos to help with a diagnosis, I'm more than happy to oblige.



  1. Have you checked out BurdaStyle yet? They have EXTENSIVE resources! Pinterest is also a great resource. I found these on Pinterest:

  2. Thanks Tina, I'll have a look! :)

  3. Hi Megan,
    thankyou for your message - what a surprise to find so many comments on my project. Tess does look wonderful in that dress. It is a bit sad that the rest of the family (not in Townsville) have not yet seen the photos as that one was a sneek preview of the portfolio her photographer has promised...
    Anyhow, about your bodice - perhaps you could shorten the front darts a fraction so they end below the point of your bust. Is the dress to be off the shoulder cap sleeve effect? That does mean you have to keep the fullness in the back for room to move your arms up and forward. Fitted sleeves allow a more fitted back. I'd just ease out the side seams and back darts a tiny bit so it doesn't fit so snugly and tend to ride up. Then you can ease it into the skirt and the belt will help keep it sitting snugly.

  4. I hope the portfolio turns out the way you would like - it looks pretty amazing though!
    I've made up a second draft of the bodice, I moved the tip of the darts down about an inch, and shaped them differently, and that seemed to have worked. It's supposed to be cap sleeved, but not so much off-the-shoulder, it was just fitting in a very bizarre way. I'll post another picture of the second draft soon, before I cut into my proper fabric!
    Thanks so much for the advice :)