Showing posts with label large bust sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label large bust sewing. Show all posts

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

My V-Neck Megan

This was a project with a few firsts and it was a challenge, to be perfectly honest when I first looked at the pattern I wasn't sure whether to give it a go or not. Mainly because I don't have the figure to wear the dress as it is designed, high necks always look awful on me and straight dresses and skirts always seem to cling round my middle and make me look  like I am still pregnant despite the fact my youngest child is four. Secondly sleeves terrified me - I just couldn't see how on earth that funny shaped piece of fabric fits into the armhole. Having heard good things about the detailed instructions in the book the pattern is from (Love At First Stitch by Tilly Walnes) and having a few metres of cheap printed poly-cotton I decided this might as well be my first go at sleeves and if I adjusted the neckline my first go at pattern hacking.

The bodice on this dress caused me no end of trouble, whilst I am sure for people who can just cut out the pattern and get sewing it is a quick make for me it took forever. I started with doing a FBA which was an utter pain, it created bust darts that were nearly five inches across leg to leg on the pattern they were also in the wrong place so had to be moved. this was wear my first first happened; I made a toile. Thankfully, even though the darts were massive,  the toile did seem to fit. I was right though, the high neckline looked awful I didn't have a clue how to go about changing it. 

Knowing it needed to be a V-neck but being vaguely aware that I couldn't change it too much because the back neckline would 'go a bit funny' I put the toile on my dressform and took my chalk and scissors to it. When I had something that looked ok. I transferred the changes to the pattern and drafted myself a not quite right but the best I could do facing piece  The end result of the neckline is better than I expected and not the worst part of the bodice, that accolade goes to <Drumroll> the dart tucks. I still don't know what a dart tuck is or what one is supposed to look like, after four attempts at carefully following the instructions and leaving it overnight and coming back to it fresh for a fifth try I was ready to throw it out the window. I imagine this problem was nothing to do with the instructions and everything to do with the fact my front bodice piece was enormous following the FBA.

My Adjusted Neckline

I still don't know what a Dart Tuck is but I am sure it's not that.
After all the stomach knot inducing stress of the neckline and mostly those dart tucks the sleeves were actually nowhere near as intimidating as I thought they would be. The page of instructions explaining it really helped. You can see from the picture that my sleeves aren't set in perfectly they look a little bit puffy if you ask me; I think know why that is though I am pretty sure I put my stitching line in the wrong place meaning that the gathers were visible on the outside rather than hidden inside. Do you know what though? I like puffy sleeves so they stayed that way.

Slightly Puffy- But it was my first try.

I have worn this dress out a couple of times but I won't be making another one, as lovely as the dress looks on its designer and on many of the other sewing bloggers, it is one of those styles that just isn't me. I knew when I started the project that it wouldn't look good as it was but even with the adjustments I made on me the Megan looks matronly and that is a shame.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Jumping in.

Although this is my first post I thought I would jump straight in by discussing a make, but first a quick word about me, I am Vicki I have a tiny sewing room in the cupboard under my stairs - hence my blog's name. I mostly sew clothes for myself but also a few bits for my children and the occasional thing for the house.

So now onto my make!

New Look 6020 on my dress form (dialed up to my old size)

I have always liked simplicity/new look patterns and my dressmaking skills until recently only went as far as sleeveless sundresses (that usually didn't fit- something to do with the previous 6 inch difference, now down to a more sensible 4, between my high and full bust and my total ignorance of patterns being cut for a B cup). So anyway last year I discovered the existance of the FBA (full bust adjustment) and a whole new world of sewing opened itself up to me.

I decided to stick with what I knew for my return to dressmaking and after much deliberation I chose New Look 6020. In hindsight that was probably where I went wrong as it has a princess seamed bodice.  I traced the pattern onto paper and got cutting,  I went for view D in a size 16 as at the time it matched my high bust and the neckline the most flattering for my previously vast bust.

Having read every FBA tutorial I could find I got out my pencils and ruler... big mistake I decided I wasn't going to let the fact that the pattern piece I had looked nothing like the ones in the tutorials. Looking back I should have realized it was never going to work but carried on regardless. I wish I had kept the result to show you but suffice to say the armhole had changed from a gentle curve to a very acute angle and when I pinned the pieces together it was 6 inches bigger round the waist than I needed.

Feeling disheartened I abandoned not only the dress but dressmaking entirely; I spent the next few weekends looking for a dress like the one I had imagined when I bought the pattern.  Predictably the dress didn't exist.

I got out my pattern and pencils and tried again completely  ignoring anything I had read and using my limited knowledge of patterns to measure out 3 inches at the bust point, freehand a curve from the size 16 line through the point and back to the line on the bodice side. I then added 3 inches to the bottom of the bodice front, I know that isn't the recommended way of doing it but it actually worked really well and added nothing to the waist.

All the sewing pretty much went according to plan, despite my machine not being the best in the first place and in desperate need of a service. I have to admit I struggled with the zip although it went in it is far from perfect and if it wasn't for the fact it is at the side hidden by arm the dress probably wouldn't be wearable.

At the time the fit ended up ok, it was good around the back and bust, the neckline was flattering and was roomy enough around the hips.  It was too tight on the waist I certainly couldn't have eaten in it and the length isn't right.

A year on it fits nicely around the waist but is far to gappy around the bust, I won't be able to wear it as it is which is a shame because I like the fabric (cheapy ebay stuff) and the fact the shoulders are wide enough to cover my bra straps; it might make a reappearance if I can figure out where to adjust it. I am considering chopping the bodice of entirely and adding a black waistband, as I can see it as a nice skirt worn with a sleeveless shirt.

I shall always be fond of this dress though whatever happens to it, it was the first thing I made without advice from my Mum or Nan, the first thing I adjusted to fit me and it was enough inspiration to buy a new sewing machine and dedicate the cupboard under the stairs to sewing.  So when the urge strikes I don't have to dig out the machine and clear the table.