Knowing that this fabric makes tight curls, I serged all the edges immediately after cutting. Then did I drew the HBL’s on the fabric. My HBL’s are estimated as Otto didn’t place any indicators. The only reliably placed HBL’s are the turquoise marking narrowest/widest. I basted the shoulder and side seams with water-soluble thread and started the fitting process.
First up, is the armscye the right depth? May be a curious question but I’ve noted that nearly all the pattern companies assume that as I get wider I’m getting proportionately taller/longer. Fluff does take a little extra length, I admit that, but not as much as the patterns give me. Also, since I’m sewing, I get to choose; and I choose to make my armscye the length I like it. I take a 1/4″ tuck above the bust. Try it on and decide I want the armscye just a little higher so I make that a 3/8″ tuck . I think this will be good. It covers my underwear by about 1/4″. I may want to increase the tuck for slinky or even moderate knits in the 40-60 stretch range. (My fabric is in the 20-25% i.e. just barely moderate.)
Next up is checking the position of the waist and possibly correcting the hip. I wasn’t entirely sure where the waist or hip should fall on this muslin. I was sure that I’m short and always have to take a tuck above the waist to pull waist and hip shaping into place. Usually once I’ve placed the waist is in the right place, the hip is also positioned correctly. To my surprise taking the 3/8″ tuck across the upper chest may have fixed the waist and hip positions. I make no further length adjustments.
I basted the side seams with 1/2″ seam allowances. I now increase that to 5/8″. At the same time, I add 1/2″ dart at the armscye which will be the needed Narrow Shoulder Adjusment.
I make the first depth adjustment by making a 1/2″ dart at the shoulder seam. I’ve made several changes now, taking pictures after each one, looking into the mirror and then proceeding to the next. I need to look at these pics on the desktop instead of the 2″ camera screen. So I straighten things and shut off things and trot up stairs.
Two things catch my eye. Well 3 really. Yes the fit has been improving. But the 1/2″ dart at the shoulder seam has made the armscye look odd. I also notice that the HBL marking the widest point is about 2″ below my widest point. I return to the sewing room and move the darts which are equivalent to pinching at the shoulder seam down to the 3″ HBL increasing their depth to 3/4″. Then I make a full 1″ tuck slightly below the narrowest HBL (the one 4″ below the armscye). And you guessed it, take more pics.
I’m amazed at how many of the wrinkles have now disappeared. The back is almost devoid of any. I’m looking at it and saying, what RBA? I had thought I would need a Round Back Alteration. I’m wondering if placing darts at mid-armscye vs shoulder seam has substituted for the RBA.
The front is not quite as pleasing. It is too wide across the upper chest as shown my the fold at the neckline. I can pinch that out now and move it to the CF seam I added. However that’s not going to help those drag lines from bust to side seam which are much more evident in the side views:
My right side left side
They are much more evident on the front than the back which tells me I’m probably going to be adding a bust dart and later rotating it away. Of course, I could just keep the bust dart, if that’s the answer. Important to me now is that the hem appears to be level. Often the CF hem will rise and sometimes the back will too. Right now that’s not happening.
I am concerned about the depth of the changes I’m making. These really aren’t little tweaks. They’ve become weighty. I mean I can feel the heaviness. But compared with Fit00, the one traced from the book and seam allowances added, this muslin has come a long way.
I took a break at this point. My back got to hurting and after all I’ve spent 3 hours. When I type about what I do, it doesn’t sound like it should take much time. I also spend some time cropping photos and today I wrote my post as I was making my alterations. So yeah, 3 hours can go pretty quickly. I’m just glad I have something to show for it.