Monday, 30 March 2015

My Holy Grail

Where dressmaking is concerned my holy grail is the perfect fit.  It is the one element that I am most interested in: being able to make clothes in a colour and style I want is great, but to have them fit perfectly: that's what I want most of all, my top concern ambition-wise.

Other elements are nice to have, but a dress that fits really well says a lot about the wearer, just like an ill-fitting garment does too.

So imagine my disappointment at not achieving great fit in my self-made garments just yet. I am finding this so very discouraging, it is really down-heartening.

I just started a second bias cut sleeveless top, for summer because I made it before and it fit pretty well. My wavy white top did unfortunately shrink a bit in the wash, which is unfortunate but my own fault (I should have washed the fabric first, I know, I know) but at least I knew that it fit well. I now have to lengthen the bust darts a bit - but I am still happy with this one.

Not so with version 2.  I am using a firmer cotton, in a blue batik, but surely a pattern that fit well before should behave a lot better than this one does?

This top shows up all kinds of fitting issues even after I lengthened these darts straight away.  The bust darts aren't deep enough this time (seriously?), the underarm seam sticks out and so does the back nape.  I am so disappointed that I can't find enough words.

I know that I didn't have the original back piece, but I re-engineered it from a cut-down version I copied out, and drew the missing outline of the shoulder from the wavy white top.  So it should be pretty close.

Perhaps not close enough for the back nape fitting issue, but the rest should be okay.

I feel really down in the dumps on this.  I have tried to make a well-fitting top so many different times now and still haven't solved the major fitting issues

I finally figured out that the bagginess at the front of the shoulder/side of upper chest is down to my low-busted shape - I also realised that I need to transfer this bagginess into the side seam, which is an issue I already know about: all those sticky-out side seams where I have to remove a wedge of at least a centimetre in width and 5-7cm in length.  So it is very good to finally know what this issue is about. That helps a lot.

It doesn't help that I often started over because I couldn't remember how far I got with a previous version, or couldn't find all the pattern pieces, or wasn't sure what pattern pieces I had. Starting over is safer, but it does add to the frustration.  I don't follow an ongoing learning curve by re-doing the same thing over and over.

I did try with my 'template' top and got to four versions. It wasn't a good pattern to alter because it started out very baggy while I was trying to achieve a close fit. And I didn't yet know how a full bust adjustment works. I do now.

What held me back from trying for version 5 was that I forgot to make some of the changes I had identified in version 3 and basically just made a second version 3. I had put this aside for too long and hadn't made notes.

The next time I will document everyone at length.  My odd dotted pink mini dress toile did show up that I do need some darts below the bust that run vertical across the waist. Just bust darts alone don't provide enough shaping.

I should show photos of the back and sides as well: very shapeless!

Onwards and upwards!

1 comment:

  1. I have the same. My versions of shift dresses have shown me that they either need to be princess seamed or have vertical under bust darts. It does sound as though you have learnt alot from this toile though.