I have been obsessing about sewing, dressmaking more specifically, for the last 3-4 years. And yet: I just didn't get anything done. Not finished I should say.
But look at this:
I broke through the block, I got out from under the jinx! Yes!
I am so pleased.
It is by no means perfect, in fact the photos are very useful so I can tell where this pattern needs to be adjusted. My plan is to get this right as much as I can - and then to put the two pieces onto some stiff paper (like wallpaper lining paper, that should do the trick) so I can use this as a template for all sorts of other designs: different necklines, with sleeves, buttoned at the front, wrap style, you name it. I can embellish this by adding roses, origami shapes or flounces to the neckline, I can add a collar, or piece it together out of different fabrics, I can crop it or lengthen it - lots of possibilities.
Best of all: once I get the fit of this right I should never have another fitting issue as long as I want to make this simple style. And I think simple suits me best.
I can see from the frontal photo above that this drapes well from the shoulder (thank goodness! That's the most important aspect that I think needs to be right first, everything else is secondary) - but I might tighten the side seams near the armholes just a little bit, lose maybe a centimetre at most.
The side photo: I am really aghast at how overweight this makes me look, I'm not that big! So perhaps the side seams do need to be just a touch tighter down to about half way? I'm not sure if this would work, I need to try that out.
I can see here that I need to make the centre front longer but keep the side seams the same length. I want to shift the bust dart at least an inch (bit more) further down - it's just plain wrong for it to end half way between the bust point and the armhole seam (who are these patterns made for?). The front shoulder can be a bit less broad if I want a more close-fitting style.
I guess I need to look into a swayback adjustment (I think that's what it's called. Not sure what it is nor what it does) and I can see from this photo that the back piece is much, much too wide at the waist. I think I applied my bigger waist measurement all the way around but I need to keep the front piece as is but use a smaller dress size (or two!) for the back.
The shoulders at the back are way too wide, they make me look rather broad-shouldered. Carrying on from a slimmer shoulder at the front, I will probably want to go a lot further in - this will probably end up as quite a rounded armhole shape for the back whereas the shape at the front needs to remain quite straight down.
I am not sure if I am keen on the shape of the back neckline but I think this is quite easy to change.
I used this fabric because I have plenty of it and can't think of a suitable project, it seemed perfect to use it for what is really a muslin (or toile). I didn't appreciate that the fabric is quite soft and is quite easy to pull out of shape - I would much rather use a plain cotton next time I do a muslin.
Now I just need to look for another piece of suitable fabric from my stash (I got plenty!) and then I can go for version number 2.
Oh, this is fun!