Quest: Sewing a bodice that fits properly

First, meet Merv and the boys:

Turtle racers made entirely out of shells.  Best shore souvenir ever.

***

I’ve spent the past few days doing some very loose experiments re: the bodice of the Vogue 8725 dress. While the pattern comes in cup sizes, ultimately it doesn’t really help me since the darts are positioned really high and my breasts are just are not that high anymore. So to make this work, I have to somehow move that dart.

Take 1 – Sunday

For take 1, I moved the dart as best I could on the actual (funkily shaped) pattern piece. I had trouble ‘seeing the sloper’ within this pattern and I think that brought me to Level:Fail pretty quickly. It’s not horrible but it really doesn’t fit as well as I think it ultimately can. There’s such a gape just below my breast and the bust point is correct but all bunchy. Yes, it’s not ironed, but at that point, it just felt wrong so I abandoned it.

Take 2 – Monday

I continued on with my experiments with a variation based on this article from Threads. Closer. For this, I retraced my altered sloper bodice front piece onto tracing paper and played with shifting the darts. That said, I’m not sure I really followed her instructions properly as it ended up close but still not right.

Unfortunately, in a moment of non-thought, I used actual typing tracing paper which was too stiff to get a real read on a tissue fit. Lesson learned. Also, it’s extra stiff as I kept adding pieces as I moved the darts. Impossible! Still, you can see in the photo that it’s closer but still not quite there.

Today, I turned to Fit for Real People to see what they had to say as this book really, so far, has not let me down. They have you trace your sloper and cut out the darts entirely, then slice where you want your new dart to go and open the tissue to fill in the cut out parts. Brilliant. I photocopied their practice page and thus it looks like this.

Before – I’ve marked the darts I’m removing as those are the ones on my sloper:

After – Dart moved to Side seam French Dart

Photo of Vogue bodice piece:

As you can see the after looks pretty right – that said, I may try a curved french dart as that may be a better mach.  Ultimately, will these adjustments work in reality? I can only hope.

My next step is to retrace the sloper bodice again (this time on proper pattern paper) and then try their method to make my sloper into a replica of the bodice piece. Hopefully I’ll have a good result.  Once the bodice front is right, I need to add 1/2″ to the back pieces and add some fabric to all side seams, especially near the waist of the skirt.  That part should be a breeze comparatively.

For now, I’m taking a night off!  I take a brutal 2 hour dance class 1-2 times a week and afterwards I am spent. It was a fantastic class today – I love dancing in summer as I feel stretchy and less achy in this heat and thus can push myself – but as a result I am beat. Tonight, I think will be all about eating dinner, reading and getting some rest. Earned.

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