Oh, come on. This is a funny photograph!
So this was me about 30 minutes after getting home from work last night, still in my cycling gear. (Yes, that is a Tiny Pocket Tank I’m wearing – the make before the abomination many of you kindly fed back on. Revised make coming up!)
Much banter and laughter surrounded the taking of this snap, as my felt marker scurried to find nipplage. What are you doing, Karen? I’m marking my apex on the pattern piece, innit? Probably in a highly inaccurate and unprofessional manner – so shoot me. I’m a Home Sewist with limited means.
Thank you all so much for the incredibly generous comments on yesterday’s post. As several readers said – so much knowledge! Certainly more knowledge in the comments than in the blog post itself. It quickly became clear that a fresh toile was in order.
I traced and cut a new front bodice piece in size 4. I recommend using one of these wristband tape dispensers. It’s like a wrist pin cushion but for wrapping presents!
This time I didn’t mess about adding inches anywhere. Keep it clean and simple, I told myself. Don’t confuse matters. I marked my apex, as above and drew new slash lines that congregated at the apex point.
I was very impressed with comments yesterday that suggested I’d spread my pattern piece too much. Last time I’d spread the pieces by 1 inch. This time I spread the pieces half an inch, following the highly scientific formula of Why Not and Just Because. Below are the three pieces – the original pattern piece and my two toiles. Ignore the crazy dart marks on my new piece (they didn’t work). Just notice how much more subtle the adjustments are on round two.
So if those crazy dart marks didn’t work, what did I do? I measured a dart from the start points marked in green on Toile 2 above (remember I’d lowered my dart on the first rendition), and angled the dart upwards to stop short of my apex. I’d been really impressed by Molly‘s suggestion that this is more flattering on larger busts. This is the type of knowledge I need, people! I didn’t even realize you were ALLOWED to have slanting darts.
My other pattern pieces were cut to the same formula as last time – with an extra inch added to the depth. Guess what? They all lined up with the new front bodice piece? The only tiny snip I needed to make was cutting a small one inch off the bottom triangle of the side bodice pieces, where they met the bottom point of the front bodice piece. This must be because my slashing had already made my front bodice piece grow. I should never have added that extra inch last time!
A special thank you must go to my boyfriend who allowed me to cut up one of his old striped work shirts for the second toile. I was a bit distressed to hear that my last incarnation freaked Molly out and made her think of a surgical bandage!
Stripes really, really help because you can see exactly what’s going on. Look!
Oh! One other thing. I shaved scant millimetres off the side seams of the bodice front and bodice side seams where they met. You know how some of you suggested a concave seam line to take out the excess gathering beneath my bust? This was a teeny, tiny adjustment. I am learning that less is more with pattern adjustment!
So, what do we think? Personally, I think the fit is one million, squillion, trillion times better. If I had to tweak, I’d pinch out some excess just here:
Any other adjustments you’d make? You know how I rely on your feedback! Seriously, I couldn’t have even got to this stage without all your comments and encouragement. For a masterclass in how to give constructive feedback, I have to give special mention to Erika. She started with praise, gave constructive feedback, and ended with encouragement. That’s the way to do it! I also would like to especially thank Molly, whose comment brims with knowledge and information. But thank you, thank you all! Even if you felt you didn’t have much expertise to add, just a note of encouragement meant a lot.
Three housekeeping notes on toiles:
First of all, there was nothing particularly wrong with the back sections so I ripped them from Toile One and reused. I’m all about cutting down on the work.
Second, following Red Silvia’s suggestion, I sewed along the bottom seam line and sliced the toile open below that line. This is a tip I also learnt on Gertie’s Bombshell Course. It allows the excess fabric below the seam line to spread over your hips and stomach, which gives a much better idea of fit.
And I really recommend making the same mistake as me – sewing your zip in upside down. When you’re crawling in and out of toiles, it actually helps a lot to only have to reach to your waist instead of twisting your arm to zip from up down. It’s the small things, people, that make the difference.
Okay. Phew! Now, I need to climb into my clothes and get my behind to the office!