Friday, August 26, 2011

Maternity Sorbetto Muslin Fitting

So, aided by my trusty helper (I can trust that he will always stop whatever he is doing and come lay on my sewing) I cut the modified Sorbetto pattern pieces out of muslin and machine basted them together. I didn't bother putting the binding on the armholes or neckline because they're not necessary for fit and that's all I'm looking at right now. I didn't hem it either, just sewed a basting stitch where the hem would fall after being sewn so I would have some idea where that would be. I did sew the pleat down to just past the bust, pressed it, and basted it at the top to sort of anchor it down.

So, the first issue materialized as I was sewing the side seams.

Evidently, despite my efforts to curve the hemline back to the tip of the original side seamline, the back is still shorter than the front. So, I'll adding length to the back for sure.

Then, I tried the muslin on.

It looks surprisingly good, given all of my adjustments and the fact that I'm a novice at pattern adjusting!

The good stuff:
  • The belly area doesn't look as tentish as I feared after cutting out the modified pattern (which just means that my belly really is that big now *sigh*) although there's definitely room for my belly to grow so I will be able to wear this top for awhile (I live in the SF Bay Area, so we will be having sleeveless top weather for awhile yet).
  • I like where I ended the pleat. It gives definition to the top of and offers something to draw the eye away from the big honkin' belly below. For the real deal, I may embellish the pleat more, maybe with buttons or a little bit of lace or ribbon down the sides of the pleat? I don't know, we'll see what inspiration grabs me.
  • By not sewing the pleat all the way down the front, I did get extra room for my belly, so that little bet paid off.
  • The bust darts are at the right level, pointing straight at the "apex" of my bust (I guess it's not common in sewing to just say "nipple").
  • For the most part, I like how the shoulders, neckline and underarm fit which tells me that starting with a size 10 in that area was a good idea.
The not-as-good stuff:
  • Well, obviously, I need to add some length to the back so it will match the front
  • I'm going to add length to the front, too. I like the length exactly how it is without the hem. So, I need to add the amount of the hem (5/8 inch) to the front before adding length to the back.
  • There was a tiny amount of gaping under the arm that I pinched out.
  • The upper back feels a bit tight just above the waist. Now, this could be due to problems in the bust, but I don't think so for reasons I'll get into later.
  • The bust darts seem a little long, ending almost at the apex. I might make them about half and inch shorter.
The major issue:

  • It is way too tight in the bust.
So, the biggest modification I need to make is to add room in the bust. I first tried removing some of the stitching in the pleat so that it was shorter and left more room for my bust. But, I didn't like how that looked (there was a distinct increase in tentness) so I resewed it. So, in order to figure out just how much to add to the bust area, I needed to slash the middle of the top, to see how much it spread apart at the bust. But, of course, I had this pleat there and as soon as I started slashing, the pleat was going to have all of this extra fabric flapping around. So, I sewed down the sides and middle of the pleat in order keep it tacked down during the slashing.

I didn't take a photo of this part because I'm not keen on putting pictures of me in my bra on the internet. So, trust me when I say that I there was a gap of about 2.5 inches in the bust area after slashing. Now, I assume that if I do an FBA to add 1.25 inches (since the pattern piece is half of the front, I need to use half of the total gap distance), I will end up with a fitted bust. However, the pattern is supposed to have about 3 inches of ease (I figured this out by looking at the pattern size chart and comparing the finished measurements of the bust to the sewist's bust measurement). That's 1.5 inches of ease for the front. So, I'm trying to decide if that means I should add 0.75 inches to the side seam at the bust and do an FBA for 1.25 inches or should I do an FBA that adds 2 inches to the bust (1.25 + 0.75) in order to get the proper fit?

The upper back was still a bit tight after slashing the front so I think that I need to add some width there. Again, there should be 1.5 inches of ease across the back and at the moment, it's skin tight. So, I need to add 0.75 inches to the pattern piece (which is 1/2 of the width of the total back). I'm guessing that means that I simply need to go up a size or two in that area to get the back right.

So, more pattern modifications and a new muslin are in the works (also a trip to the fabric store because I am fresh out of muslin). Hopefully this new round of modifications will fix the current problems without creating new ones!

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