Overall, it was relatively easy to put together but it was after I thought I'd finished that I started to have problems!!
Earlier this month I hosted a flat pattern cutting workshop for the members of my free facebook group Kernow Sewcial witb Jef Newsam of Spinone clothing.
Jef is an expert pattern cutter and we wanted to provide an intro to patten cutting by working through the instructions for Winifired Aldrich's incredible pattern cutting method for a basic bodice block.
My dressmaking stand - who Jef has christened 'Doris' is a standard size 12 in old sizing (before we vanity sized) which is slightly small than me in bust and quite a lot in hip, but about right in waist. I wear a UK size 8 - 10 depending on the shop I am shopping in which gives you an idea about why some of your shop bought patterns may not make up to your usual size and why you must ALWAYS measure your body and look at the finished garment size numbers to work out which size to actually make for you.
We worry about sizing - but in reality it is just numbers. I will write another post on this more another day.
So I made this pattern in a size 2 which is a size 8 even though my measurements worked for the 'made for' measurements of a size 3 (10 ).
This is because I could see there was a LOT of ease built into the garment and i didn't want it baggy and oversized. Overall this was the right strategy...
However when I made it up (in a hurry with no toile - slap wrist!!) I was rather dismayed to find that not only did it protrude flat at the shoulders (leading me to ask if I had slopey shoulders) but it also had a terrible gape around the armhole.
I am so fortunate that we had Jef and that workshop because in looking at the standard bodice block it became clear that the armhole needed to be much tighter (with more angled shoulders) and that this terrible 'make' wasn't as a result of my crap body after all.
I have said that out loud because a lot of my 'stuff' boils down to a self perpetuating inner narrative about my shape being crap - a hang over from a few years of disordered eating and a lot of other stuff besides. However I know that I am not alone in this.
The reality was that it is actually to do wit the drafting of the pattern and its relationship to my shape, which is a HUGE difference in story!
Because I had already made it - I sold the problem my sloping the shoulders more, and putting a dart into the arm hold to bust point giving a rather pleasing shape actually, which I am glad about!
A few final points on this pattern...
I think it should be lined. I am a bit obsessed with lining things because it raises something from good to lovely in terms of fit and hang and is so simple to do. It allows you to make something that truly feels like a quality garment... I might actually make a lining for this as part of a live in Kernow Sewcial, if I do that I will be sure to share it with you.
Finally - the press studs. BOY did these drive me to the edge. I had some sent by my amazing local fabric store Truro Fabrics but partially because I am cack-handed and partially because they required a bit of bulking in the seam, it didn't work out. I then tried some of the made in China variety on amazon but wasn't convinced by their rust-proof-ness and they came with no instructions and I finally solved it with some heavy duty press studs in antique brass and a fitting tool kit C by Hemline. Suddenly it all came together very easily.
Overall I am really pleased with this now - it fits nicely and is what I had hoped for. It could do with pockets, but then couldn't everything!!
Have you made this? How did you find it?
Sewing. pattern cutting, teaching, tea and Jelly Babies!