Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Fitting Tribute - Butterick 5454

B5454I've been working on the adjustments for B5454 for two weekends in a row, maybe three. After tracing the bodice and skirt three times and two false starts with fabric, it's all starting to run together.  But, I think I can say the hard work has paid off - I have a correctly tissued-fitted paper pattern!!! There are two small tweaks I'd like to make, but I think I can do those in the muslin.

For the bodice, I tapered from a 14 to an 18. Then, I did the FFRP slightly round back alteration by adding a dart. I went ahead and raised the back shoulder seam 1/2" for my forward shoulders. That turned out to be a problem. Too much and I widened the top of the armhole too much.

It all started to slow down with the FBA.  First, I spent a lot of time digging around the internet for instructions on how to do an FBA on a wrap top. I found a couple of good sources here and here. I'm so special ed when it comes to sewing, I had to dig through the pattern stash and find M5974. I looked at the FBA lines on it and recreated them on my pattern.  The pattern was 2" from my CF, but  I added 1 1/2" based on the finished pattern measurements (See, I'm learning.)

I lowered the front should seam 1/2" too. After trying the pattern on, I realized two things:  how jacked the armholes were and my back shoulder dart needed to match the seam in the front tuck. Grrr...  I ended up taking a 1/4" out of the shoulder adjustment. In hindsight, I may have not needed the adjustment at all; that's one of the tweaks I want to make in the muslin. All of the lines on the altered tissue got confusing so I traced new front and back pieces from the altered ones.

On to the skirt. Let the fun begin! I consulted almost every fitting book I own, plus the internet. I tapered from the 18 to the 24. I knew I wanted this dress to be 7" longer. No biggie.  However, I also needed extra length for my rump's curve. I think 4", if I did my measuring correctly. How did I know how to measure and what to do? Click here! The file links on the page don't work, but you can access the files through the link to Yahoo Groups.

Let me pause for a sec to wax poetic about these Burda workshop files. Yes, I have all the major pattern fitting books. I'm excited about this info because it gives detailed instructions like take 1/8 hip width and add 1" etc. Thank you, Cidell!!

What the Burda docs lack is telling you the max adjustment you can make. I can't add all 4" to the skirt back by using their rising hem adjustment. Through trial and error, the most I could get was 2". I had to figure out how to add 7" to the front skirt for the length I wanted and decrease it by 2" for the rising hem (I think.)

Here's the back:

The odd angle of the hem at the side seam is killing me. That's the second tweak I want to make.

Here's the front in all of it's raggedy glory.  Adding 7" and subtracting 2" is all about where you do the adding and subtracting. I got confused during the process and decided to cheat by just taping some paper to the hemline, marking the length of the back skirt at the side seam and going from there.

My side seams were pulling backward, so I whipped out my newly-purchased Pattern Fitting with Confidence and used the pivot and slide method to add 1" to the hip line. Still not too sure about how the side seams look. Since pattern pieces were starting to fall apart from so much handling, I traced entirely new ones when I added the hip width.

The last thing I did was mark how much needed to be taken out of the skirt for my sway back. So what we have, as of now, is this:

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of attempting to re-pad Ruby a while back. The side seams swing forward on her, but not on me.We are now no longer doubles; she's bigger than me in the waist and back and I'm bigger than her in the bust. hips and butt. (I did do a pretty good job with shape of the rounded back.) I don't have the patience to pad her again right now. If I ever get serious about the weight loss, I'll make another attempt when I'm smaller.  

I am pretty dang happy with the tissue fitting. It's a good thing because I've run out of my oh-so-wonderful Swedish tracing paper! I ordered more last night. I love this stuff. I actually sewed the the bodice at the shoulders and side seam instead of pinning.

On last note on this part of the adventure. I consulted almost every fitting book I own for guidance. When it came down to the what and the how, there were clear winners and losers



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