Wednesday, 27 July 2011


This makes me think of chiropractics for dressmaking - a full bust adjustment. Lo and behold, over at Sew, Mama, Sew! there is a tutorial about altering the Amy Butler Lotus Dress for a full bust (thanks Regan for the tip!)

Work has continued on my Marimekko version of the dress, I have only to complete the binding on one sleeve and work out the hemline. (Initially I thought that I would need to add extra fabric to achieve a good length but that doesn't seem now to be necessary - thankfully).

But I tell you, opening a sewing pattern has turned out to be the equivalent of opening a can of worms, and all because of one issue - fit. It turns out that commercial sewing patterns are designed with a B cup bust in mind, so if you're a size or two larger (unh, or three or four larger) buying the pattern that matches your bust measurement will give you a garment designed for a very large person with a small bust. And that doesn't fit.

I was really lucky this past weekend that a friend's mother was visiting and shared some of her dressmaking and fitting expertise with me on this toile. It's the DKNY Vogue 1573 dress, made up in some scrap fabric that I have had lying around forever. (Actually, I got this fabric for free at a yard sale; the same one where I bought the fabric for my roses quilt. It came in dozens of strips which I sewed together into sheets of fabric; hence my toiles have seams all over the place. Not to mention that sometimes I get confused when sewing and put the seams on the outside (observe under the bust).)

Susanne made some great alteration suggestions which I'm really excited to try out when time permits. I've also borrowed and requested a few books from the library and even found a couple of gems on my own shelves. I pick books up at the thrift store all the time if they are on a topic that interests me and then find them again six months later when I need them.

Getting immersed in all these fit and alteration issues has my head spinning a bit. Do you know that great sensation when you can feel your brain stretching to understand something and integrate that knowledge? It's really exciting and interesting and challenging but a bit of a distraction from the actual sewing. All for the better though if I can just get a dress that blasted well fits.

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