Friday, August 3, 2012

Week 2: Tweaking the Fit (post one)

I'm doing more than one post this week, as I've already spent about five hours just tweaking fit on the bodice.  Changing design plans and then changing it back again.  How the frak do they do things so quickly on Project Runway?  In any case I think its just easier if I upload and type out my thoughts as I go instead of trying to do it all at the end of the week.  These are going to be photo heavy posts. (Also, I know this is technically two posts in one day but the other one was a serious quickie)

Back Bodice

Here's the thread traced pieces that I have started to pin together.  Thread tracing is where you machine stitch over all the marked lines so that when fitting you can 'see' with your fingers. Again, the stitching line is the most important element here, not the seam allowances.

 I decided to go ahead and use my doppleganger to start some of the initial fitting details.  While the waist is not quite my size right now, it is closer to what it will be with the copious amounts of shape wear that I will have on underneath the dress.  The shoulders could be more rounded but I'll tweak that later.  As you can see the first thing I had to do was re-draw the under bust stitching lines to accommodate the girls.  

The next thing I did was to pinch out "dead darts" where the v-neck was gaping open.  Yes, it is a very deep neckline and I want to keep it that way. We're talking about a dress that shows off the things I like most.  ;) The question marks are for posting the photo in my Craftsy Course for feedback, cause I'm not sure this is the 'right' way to do it.  Though sometimes you gotta know the rules to break them.  

 The back bodice is looking pretty good, I think.  The center puckering was where I didn't iron out the grainline stitching very well. Its usually cut on a fold but I'll be doing this as one open piece.

Ah, now here is a trick I learned about recently.  When you make changes to the back bodice, such as a rounded shoulder adjustment, you'll often get these weird drag lines up to the shoulder from the waist. This is caused by a shift in where they arm scythe is suppose to be.  The pin (and later a sharpie) marks where the arm scythe stitching lines will be. Since I'm drafting my own sleeves, changing this now is not a problem.  I also re-drew the side seams to where I will actually sew for my first on-me fitting.   On to my next design hitch. The midriff.  

 As you can see, the stitching lines on the midriff are significantly smaller than the lace I plan to use.  I thought "uh oh" and went and retraced the pieces and widened them.

back midriff widening

Front midriff widening

However, as I was doing this and then mentally putting it together in my head I realized that 5 1/4 inches was pretty damn wide, even for my long torso.  It suddenly didn't fit right in my head.  So I did what any good designer should do and pinned the lace under the bust portion, stood back and had a Tim Gunn moment.

Why does the midriff have to be the same size as the lace?  In retrospect, it really doesn't.  The lace is flexible enough that I would be organically attaching it to the mid-riff section anyway.

In fact, after writing all this and looking at the photos I'm seriously considering doing away with the midriff all together and just have the skirt fall from just under the bust.  Hmmm... That treatment would certainly be much more in keeping with the 30's styling I'm going for anyway.

What say you, oh wise sewing people of the internet?


  1. I think I'd have to see the way the skirt falls before I totally agreed, but I *generally* like that fitting on skirts.

  2. So, no seam below the midriff---the midriff becomes one with the top of the skirt, but the lace is still attached in the midriff area, right? I think it'll be gorgeous. But then an empire line that's smoothly fitted below is one of my favourite styles. :)