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Jul 3, 2015

Another Fitting with Susan: Wrap Skirt + Altered Bodice!

Susan had a fitting yesterday at that little French café that doesn't seem to mind us using their bathroom or seating area.  (We do usually eat there too of course!)

I had made a new muslin for Susan to try on -- a wrap skirt drafted according to the specifications found in Dorothy Moore's pattern drafting book.  I made sure to add horizontal (as well as vertical) balance lines as per Sarah Veblen's recommendations, which helped a lot.  The primary problem with the wrap skirt is that it doesn't extend far enough across the front, which has nothing to do with Susan's measurements, but rather with the design of the skirt itself.

Here you can see that the horizontal and vertical balance lines look pretty good.  But both the under and over (lapped) layer need to extend farther beyond the center front line, both for the look of the skirt and to make sure the opening doesn't reveal more of Susan than she wishes to share.

The back pleats could be a little shorter; there are no front pleats at all.

You can see (below) that the skirt needs to extend another 3" or so.

Next Susan tried on the bodice.  I'd inserted a 1-1/2" shoulder dart, which narrowed the front shoulder dramatically, and I trimmed the width of the back shoulder to match it.  I inserted a thin shoulder pad on Susan's lower (right) shoulder to correct a slight imbalance there.

To my eye, the shoulder seams sit where they should be.

I pinned out a little in back; perhaps a shoulder dart, similar to the one in front, would be helpful (and I wouldn't need to trim the outer edge of the back shoulder to match the front).

Some of the poofing under the armhole is due to my badly pinned left side seam.

Here's some live footage of Susan wearing bodice and pencil skirt so you can see her move in it.  (Michael just told me I should have held my phone horizontal so apologies for the big black spaces.)

I think I'm ready to make a fresh muslin and take it from there.  (Sarah Veblen recommends addressing just one alteration at a time.)  Susan called my attention to the moderate tenting of the stiff muslin in the horizontal hollow between her breasts but I think that's inevitable with stiff fabric like this, don't you?   I tried cutting a slightly lower neckline, which alleviated this issue somewhat.

I do think this is an improvement over the last fitting but I still think there's work to be done.  A princess-seamed bodice might be more flattering, frankly.

If you have any insights/ideas, I welcome them.

Have a great day, everybody!

Jul 1, 2015

More Sewing Books? More Sewing Books!

Happy July, everybody!  Am I the only one who can't believe it's already July?

Jun 28, 2015

Back to Sewing with Vintage Sheets

When I first started sewing men's shirts, I made them out of vintage cotton/poly percale sheets I found at the thrift store.

Jun 25, 2015

Peter Models the Liberty Summer Shirt! (Pattern Mixing ALERT)

Friends, I've just completed my genuine Liberty of London summer shirt for the Mood Sewing Network.

You can see me model it this instant by clicking here.

Jun 24, 2015

Daisy Kingdom Little Girl Dress Patterns -- YEA or NAY?

Friends, let me preface this post by saying that I would never say anything intentionally to offend.

Jun 22, 2015

NAME THAT PATTERN: National Onion Rings Day Edition!

Friends, I came this close to forgetting that today, June 22nd is National Onion Rings Day.  Now I must be honest: I rarely eat onion rings, subscribing as I do to the adage (attributed to Kate Moss) that nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.  But if I were to eat onion rings, this is the day I'd be eating them and I'd even share mine with you!

Jun 19, 2015

Fitting Susan's Bodice Muslin

And now onto Susan's bodice muslin.

Jun 16, 2015

Susan Models the Pencil Skirt Muslin

Yesterday I drafted a straight skirt pattern using Susan's measurements, prepared a muslin, and was able to have Susan try it on -- a busy sewing day!

Jun 13, 2015

Inside Susan's RTW Wardrobe: Exploring Seam Finishes, Facings, et al.

When Susan came over last week, I asked her to bring me samples of some clothes from her wardrobe that fit well and that she likes.

Jun 11, 2015

Sewing for Susan: Self-drafted vs. Commercial Patterns

Meet my client, effervescent New Yorker Susan D!

Jun 4, 2015

Projects in the pipeline!

I really want to make another Ivy-style summer blazer, readers -- and maybe even a vest (my first).

This time I'll be using McCall's 5051 (above, from 1959) in a Size 34 chest (the smallest men's size available).  I'm hoping it fits me better than oversized Vogue 9445, which became Michael's tropical print blazer.  I think this McCall's blazer will likely to be a solid or simple stripe -- no hibiscus need apply.

Jun 1, 2015


Friends, I'm thrilled to announce that our 5th (Fifth!) Annual MPB Day is scheduled for Saturday, August 8th!

May 30, 2015

Sonia (Mom) Models the Floral Blouse!

It's Mom's first official photo shoot! (click on pics to supersize)

May 29, 2015

Enough Muslins -- Let's Get Started!

I could certainly have made a few more muslins before cutting into my fashion fabric for my mother's blouse, but since I paid $5 for this cotton print (at Metro Textiles), the stakes aren't very high.

May 27, 2015

Mom's Muslin #2 -- Simplicity 2339

Yesterday a few of you suggested that I work from a smaller pattern to create a well-fitting blouse for my mother.
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