Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The truth? I can't handle the truth.

I've been busy the last several days finishing up a super-secret project - so secret, this is the first time I'm mentioning it, although I've been working on it for the last two months.  But this morning I put on the finishing touches and packed it all up. It's the one handmade gift I'm making this year, and it's for my mother.  And after she receives it, I'll be able to share!

After I got that done, I decided to spend a little time with my Peony today.  I've had a few people express interest in how that's going, and although it may seem like I've put it on the back burner, I have been slowly working through it.  And I have to admit, it's a little frustrating.

My first go at getting the right fit in the bodice was to cut a size 2 - a size that's worked for me in the past with Colette patterns.  I did this despite having taken my measurements and come up with the following disconcerting info:  bust = size 0, waist = size 4, hips = size 8.  My foggy reasoning was that a) I was planning on wearing a heavily padded bra with this dress and b) it would be easier to adjust the fit in the bust and the waist if I cut the size between the two.

Well, that didn't work.  I ended up moving the waist darts out to the side an inch and shortening the bust darts by an inch.  The fit was OK in the waist, a little loose actually, but I don't like to be constricted about my waist.  But there was still too much poof in the bust.  So, armed with my new Colette sewing book, I decided to go for the Small Bust Adjustment:

Phew!  That was not as easy as the book made it look!  I really struggled with this, and just couldn't wrap my brain around how to get it to lay flat once I'd pinched out some of the excess.  In the end, I just ironed the thing; you can see a gap near the armscye.  Then I traced it off:

Somehow it looks bigger than the original; not sure what to do about that.  Then I realized that having done that adjustment, the front was now a good inch shorter than the back:

Gah!  What to do?  I think I need to lengthen the front, since the length on the original was good, and I'm long-waisted.  But the Colette book doesn't address what to do about the back!  I've spent hours poring over the internet, looking at blog posts and forum posts - anything I can find to help me figure out my next step.  I even bought Fit for Real People.  Which has pretty much the same directions on the SBA as the Colette book, in case you're wondering.  I haven't read it yet in full though, because I just got it yesterday.

In the meantime, one of the forum posts I read made me think maybe I should just try out the size 0 bodice - the size that is supposed to be correct for me.  So today I traced it off and cut out the muslin pieces.  I didn't move any of the darts, thinking there must be a (stylistic) reason they were designed to be so close to the center, and I wanted to see if I could get it to work.  I pinned up my darts, and before sewing them, decided to hold it up to my body just to see.

Ugh.  I think it looks even worse than my first muslin!  (The one with the darts moved and shortened, but no SBA.)  And seems like it will be small.  I'll probably end up sewing it together after moving the darts, just to make sure, but I had to call it quits for today.  I'm going to take refuge in my knitting again.

And I'm looking into signing up for a sewing class.  I need help!  Any advice on this matter will be greatly appreciated!


  1. Hmm... I could be missing something here but...
    Is the original front the same length as the back? It's likely that the front has a lower neckline than the back but I don't own the pattern and can't be certain. I would measure the original center front length and lengthen the adjusted front to match and then true the sides and go forth from there.

  2. Oh, my goodness, Lizz! You're a lifesaver! I don't know what I was thinking! The center front doesn't matter at all!! I just folded the dart and checked the side seams on my SBA/size 2 front against the back and it fits! Thank you so much! This is why it's always good to have an editor - it's so hard to see one's own mistakes!

  3. I've been there SO many times! Glad I could be of help and I'm looking forward to seeing your finished garment!

  4. Yay Peony! Can't wait to see it!

  5. Hee hee - yours was one of the blogs I trolled looking for information!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.