Okey-dokey, here I go – diving into the unknown!
The first thing I had to do was adjust my front bodice pattern piece. I began by tracing a copy of the pattern piece in size 4. My previous version had been cut out in a size 10 at the waist, tapering to a size 6 at the chest.
Whilst doing this tracing, I added an inch to the bottom of the pattern piece, as I felt my bodice was too short on the last incarnation. I lowered the bust dart. I noted both of these adjustments on my traced front bodice piece, for future reference. (At a later stage, I also added an extra inch depth to all my other bodice pattern pieces.)
I then used blue pen to mark on the traced piece where I should be slashing with my scissors. To be frank, I just out and out copied what Symon Sez suggests doing in her blog post here! Then I set to with the scissors.
There is a two inch discrepancy between my upper bust measurement and my bust measurement. This means I needed to add a one inch gap where that piece was sliced. I put some brown paper beneath the gap, taped one side firmly down and measured out an inch across for careful placement of the other slashed side.
As soon as I started manipulating the pieces, it became clear why I’d had to slash through my dart. It allows the pattern piece to spread out without rippling or distorting – which means that it will ultimately accommodate the 3D aspects of your body. Clever, innit?
Brown paper was great to work with – those obvious lines made placement fairly accurate. Can you see how the dart has spread? Also, you’ll notice that the bottom of the pattern doesn’t line up any more. So I cut through the horizontal line on the right and lowered the bottom pattern piece to measure up with its friend.
Then, a quick trim with the scissors and I had a new pattern piece!
And how did this compare to the original?
Quite a difference, I think you’ll agree. So I made a bodice toile in some fairly heavy calico that was a near match to my fashion fabric in weight.
What do you think? I’m pleasantly surprised that the fit is pretty good. The darts are pointing where they’re meant to point, and there are no obvious pull marks across my chest. I don’t want this so fitted that I can’t eat lunch. But is there anything really obvious that I’ve missed? Any screaming errors or pathetic oversights? Shout now and help me before I slice the fashion fabric!