Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cross - Post from Vintage-Sew-Along 2011

Hi everyone! I am perplexed. I probably could have sewn this dress up as-is and had it mostly fit OK, except that I have large arms and bust. *sighs* This is for a 42" bust and I'm a 44. And in the light of full disclosure I'm 37" in the waist, 45" in the hips, and I'm 5'8" and a lot of that is in my torso (these are empirical[is that the right term?] measurements as I'm a USAnian).

So I've done a slight FBA, and I did a rounded shoulder adjustment (I work in the IT industry, slave away at a computer all day). I also did an adjustment for full arms. The sleeves themselves fit but the fall off the shoulder is just... weird. Also... excuse the construction issues I was sleep deprived when I put it together and it just didn't seem that important to have all the seams the right way on a test muslin. But honestly, I'm not sure what to do at this point. I need to add length, since the dress is suppose to belt at true-waist and there are half inch seam allowances. It falls about an inch above my belly-button so 1.5 inches added in length?

So here are some pictures. As you can tell I totally did my hair and makeup for these (not).

(Design on this calls for some gathering at the lower back into the skirt. See weirdness of shoulder and set-in sleeve.)

(exhibit A of need for more length in the torso)

(outside of the weird way the shoulder falls, I kind of think this looks OK here)

I swear my shoulders aren't that lopsided, it has to do with the only one sleeve.

I had to take out some gaping in the back bodice but wasn't sure how to take the volume out of the sleeve cap to match, especially considering I needed to make the sleeve wider for my sausage arms. Please help! Suggestions, point me toward some tutorials? I realized this is my first real foray into a woven top. All my tops have been knits so far because they are so much easier to fake good fit. The sad thing here is that despite all the issues it STILL fits better than RTW wovens. *sighs* I think that once I can get the top of this dress to fit I'd really only need a couple alterations to make it a plain shirt pattern as well. That would be awesome.


  1. Ok, I am not an expert, but here's my thoughts: shoulders are too wide by a good inch, google narrow shoulder adjustment. Next: are the sleeves really to narrow or just binding when you life your arm? If the latter, the solution (as I was instructed for my 70s dress, check comments on the second fitting post there for a link) is to raise the bottom of the armscye, and then alter the sleeve correspondingly. Super easy. You may need a forward shoulder adjustment, too, but I would try to get the width/armscye worked out first. oh, yeah, and has a post from last fall on reshaping sleeve caps when you don't know what you're doing that might be helpful. I think she has wide arm issues too. But again, I think it may be an issue with the armpit, nit the sleeve, because it looks fine when your arms are down. :)

    As to the bodice length just remember that your waist and your navel may not be the same point---mine is a good inch above my navel. It's looking good, though!

  2. Hi! I think you are right about the shoulders issue, that is my biggest point right now. My natural waist is definitely right at my belly button, so its a good marker for me.

    As for the arms it was a case of I couldn't fit them IN the sleeve. I did a lot of heavy lifting in my younger years so they got bulky, then I injured my back and they went form being bulky to just being fat. *makes a face* The armscye seems to be fine with a good range of motion and doesn't really lift the bodice too much.

    I've got work the next three days and then a personal project deadline for Thursday morning (career related). No sewing stuff from me until probably Saturday!

    (Oh hey, my comment got really long)