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20 August 2010 @ 03:46 pm
Fun with Costuming  
I think I'm going to gut the last dress I made. I'm still... really not happy with it. Obvious I need to fix the sleeve bottom that's the wrong way round (hur), but the messy lace at the neckline is annoying the heck out of me too. Not to mention, why is every single dress I make too big on me? I make the top to my size, and it's still not fitted (this being on any regular patten, not counting Truly Victorian ones).

Which reminds me, after having modified the Pink/Marie Antoinette dress to fix the gaping neckline, I realise that this happens in most things I make... even though I make the pattern to my exact bust measurement. Maybe my shoulders are too small in relation to my chest?


Any suggestions oh great sewing buff friends?

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squintywitchsquintywitch on August 20th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Do you fit your pieces on you before you sew them? It makes a big difference I find. Also pattern sizes seem to bear no relation to real world sizes!

But doing a fitting is the only way. Or doing a muslin. Aaaarg.
kurenai_tenka: Pink Heart Lollipopskurenai_tenka on August 20th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
Do you mean making a mock-up? To be honest, I've never had that much patience (probably my downfall...) I try it on as I go along, and it all seems to fit fine until it's completely together, and then it's always right enough to look okay, but it's just not fitted.

As for pattern sizes, I go off the size that matches my measurements, or do you mean even that isn't accurate?

(Thanks for the reply!)
squintywitchsquintywitch on August 20th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
I hardly ever make a mock up but fitting as you go should work. Hm. I wonder why not for you.

If they're laced dresses, they do need to be a bit neat as as soon as you lace them you suddenly realise they're too big...
kurenai_tenka: Coconutskurenai_tenka on August 20th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
Heh, maybe I just have no sense of whether something's going to be too big or not. :) I tend to expect that there will be less excess by the time it's all sewn together, and then there isn't.

I think with laced things I need to make them smaller in general... since as you say, I end up lacing it to maximum and realising it's too big.
squintywitchsquintywitch on August 20th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
Another thing I found was that my seam allowances were tiny compared to what the pattern suggested. 3/8 in is quite a lot actually... And also the fit on the simplicity etc patterns isn't historical at all - it's far looser.
kurenai_tenka: Maelstrom - 2kurenai_tenka on August 20th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah I've been thinking that my seam allowances may have something to do with it. Perhaps not with the neckline issue, but certainly with the slightly baggy fitting.

I hadn't considered that they may be looser by design though... I suppose it's so that it's more accommodating to variations on the base size?
gargoyle_addictgargoyle_addict on August 21st, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
I was going to say the same thing - it took me a while to work out why my making stuff from patterns was a baggy failure til I realised I was consistently doing 3/8 seams when they were made with 5/8, so adding 1/2 inch for EVERY seam.

If you are narrower in the shoulder than the pattern or shorter over the shoulder (bust to same level on back, over shoulder) that will also make it bag on you. The latter is a bit of a pig to adjust tho as you have to move armholes and stuff.

If you don't want to do mock ups, but the patterns have a lining, make that first and do any alterations, then transfer them to the outer fabric before you sew it. There's also a lot to be said for running it together then trying it on inside out with someone on hand to pin the adjustments - once you've done that a few times, you'll learn where patterns are wrong for you and be able to adjust as you go.

kurenai_tenka: Coconutskurenai_tenka on August 21st, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
Might be a common error then... I used to be constantly worried that I'd end up making the seams too big and it not fitting, but I'm yet to make anything too tight, just too baggy!

Moving armholes... eek, that's probably going to be far above and beyond my pattern modifying abilities, though I suspect you may be right that the issue is something like that. =/

I've been given the advice about lining, yes! :) I think the issue there is a lot of the patterns I've done lately aren't lined, which is... odd. But I guess there's nothing stopping me making one on a trickier pattern and using it anyway? :)

Thanks a lot for the help! :D
gargoyle_addictgargoyle_addict on August 21st, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Dunno if we'd have time but I'd be more than happy to have a look at something at an event and see if I can offer any ideas in the flesh.

Also bear in mind that the things you are making are quite tailored styles, even if they're simple patterns/construction. For tailored stuff, even the pros don't expect to get it spot on first time, so would have a fitting to make adjustments before finishing. Making stuff for other people myself (and I'm certainly not a pro), I have done long distance without fittings but only for going over a corset so you have very definite measurements, and then I was making my own patterns to the measurements I had.
kurenai_tenka: Stockingskurenai_tenka on August 21st, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
I'd really appreciate that, thanks! :)

Oddly, I've had more success with the very tailored stuff (The 'Truly Victorian' patterns), than with the more commercial patterns... so it may well be that I'm some dodgy shape that doesn't lend itself to standard pattern sizing. Admittedly though, the one that came out the best was one that I made a partial mock-up of...

I can't imagine having to make something for someone else long distance! I wouldn't even know how to utilise their measurement's to make the more subtle adjustments!