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Forum > Fitting Woes > princess seams, FBA, kimono sleeves, small shoulders ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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princess seams, FBA, kimono sleeves, small shoulders
Massive fit issues with B5605
lalalauren
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lalalauren
Advanced Beginner
AUSTRALIA
Member since 11/1/12
Posts: 43
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Date: 11/6/12 7:57 PM

Hi everyone,

I am a relatively new garment sewer (almost a year now) and only recently discovered this amazing website! I am being bold enough to ask advice from the many experienced sewers who I have followed on the blogosphere and internet sewing worldTutorials and YouTube have got me this far, but I really need personalised advice.

I have so far bluffed my way through easy and intermediate patterns with an OK fit by sizing up for the bust. I'm no longer satisfied with ill-fitting clothing - and Butterick 5605 is going to be the dress to make or break me.

I have a relatively large bust for my shoulders (38 inches to my 34 inch upper bust). My waist is 29 inches, and hip measurement (although not so important at this point) is 40 inches.

I have been scouring the internet for tutorials on doing a FBA on princess seams and have found stacks of them, but none which would explain (or I didn't understand) how I would replicate this on a pattern where the princess seams run into the underarm of kimono sleeves (and to be perfectly honest I have no idea if this is what they are technically called, I might have read it on someone's blog somewhere!)

I have made a straight size 14 bodice and the fit is all kinds of wrong. I am half tempted to try to grade the pattern from a 14 across the bust to a 10 under the arms, sleeves and across the upper back, but I am not sure if this will throw the underarm apex out of position or what.

Here are some (dodgy) pics I just took so you can see what I mean about the ill fit. The back looks just too big and the bust seams to be OK but there is some tightness across the side bust pieces. It isn't too tight, though, so I think that is the only part that sort of fits. The back is gaping and I know from previous forays into dressmaking a size 12 back gapes on me, too.

P1100140

P1100139

I sincerely apologise for the horrendous pics. I'm home alone (hence the dodgy pinning) and I don't have a tripod. It's also a miserable day here so the lighting is terrible.

Basically I'd just love to get some advice on how next to proceed. Is there a different FBA method that will work with this type of sleeve? I'd be open to lowering the neckline (not sure how to do that either) but I think it would still gape.

I am planning on making this is a white/black polka dot taffeta. It is supposed to be self-lined but I think the polka dots might show through...

Any help would be HUGELY appreciated. Thank you all so much!

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beaglesbakinganddressmaking.wordpress.com

meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Member since 5/4/11
Posts: 733
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Date: 11/6/12 10:34 PM

Welcome! This is really a wonderful source of information. The pattern reviews are so useful and there are many helpful sewers on the boards who are generous with their advice. I know I'm always appreciative!

It is difficult to see all the details because of the lighting, but I think actually the front looks OK, though I can see a little pulling at the side bust too.

I'm more concerned about the back. It isn't pinned together all that well, so its hard to see how it actually fits you. nevertheless, I see lots of wrinkles at the lower center back as well as at the shoulders. I like to put in a quick and dirty zipper in muslins so I can really see the fit without having to try and pin accurately. I use the super easy centered insertion method and just baste it in. Also, I find that adding the skirt affects the way the bodice fits, so I add that anytime I really want to get the fit right. A vintage dress such as this wants a really good fit.

I wonder whether a size 12 with an FBA would give you a better result. You said you've tried size 12 before and still had problems at the back. Most likely you'll need back adjustments no matter what, but maybe 12 would give you a better starting point at the shoulders. The fba would then take care of the side bust wrinkles. I sympathize, I'm between a 14 and 16 and I just don't always know which one to choose.

I think you want to do an fba for princess seams that end in the armpit, even of this sleeve is a cut on sleeve. It will in fact mess with the apex, that's the whole point. Your apex may not be where the pattern apex.

It's a wonderful pattern! Is it for a special occasion? Oh, and I agree that the polka dots may show through. I would use a solid black silk for lining, or maybe white.
-- Edited on 11/6/12 10:52 PM --

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Melanie

lalalauren
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lalalauren
Advanced Beginner
AUSTRALIA
Member since 11/1/12
Posts: 43
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Date: 11/7/12 0:05 AM

Thank you so very, very much for your advice. I will trace the size 12 and attempt a FBA on it. I will also do a quick zipper insertion and make the skirt so I can get a truer idea of the fit

I am making the dress for my work Christmas party, which is at the races. It is almost summer here in Australia, hence the short sleeves and open back. I really just needed an excuse to make this dress! I love learning all the techniques along the way.

Thank you again for your generous advice - I really appreciate it!

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beaglesbakinganddressmaking.wordpress.com

Courtney Ostaff
Courtney Ostaff
Intermediate
West Virginia USA
Member since 11/23/10
Posts: 664
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In reply to lalalauren <<


Date: 11/7/12 9:53 AM

I would suggest that no matter your height, you're a bit short-waisted, hence the wrinkles at the lower back. That would mean that making the adjustments for a petite may make a positive difference in your patterns.

I agree that a smaller size with an FBA may be more flattering, in the end.

-- Edited on 11/7/12 9:53 AM --

lalalauren
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lalalauren
Advanced Beginner
AUSTRALIA
Member since 11/1/12
Posts: 43
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Date: 11/7/12 5:19 PM

Great - thank you so much! I have often wondered if my waist was shorter than normal... now I know. Thank you both for your generous advice!

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beaglesbakinganddressmaking.wordpress.com

meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Member since 5/4/11
Posts: 733
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Date: 11/8/12 2:03 PM

Yes, short waist is a possibility. It will be clearer if there's a skirt and zip. Keep us posted! It's such a great pattern I'd love to see how it works up.

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Melanie

lalalauren
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lalalauren
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 11/1/12
Posts: 43
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Date: 11/19/12 8:09 PM

I'm back

I have taken your advice and this is attempt no #2. I am MUCH happier with it and I think a couple of tiny tweaks are all that is stopping me from snipping into that polka dot fabric :)

Here is muslin #2. It is a size 12 with a full bust adjustment and about 3cm taken in at the centre back tapering down to 2.25cm at the waist.

front
back
front - gaping neck
front - bad lighting but more of dress
Please excuse the dodgy bits. I basted everything together so some of the seams came unstitched when I was trying to get the bodice to fit the skirt (it doesn't).

I think I am going to have to take out about 3cm from the side front seams under the bust (you can probably see my dodgy scribble lines).

I also think I need to take out some fabric at the neckline. It just seems to gape and I am guessing (which is never a good idea) that altering the pattern at the centre front would fix that.

I also intend to cut the skirt front on the fold next time because I did that with the bodice front because I didn't want the pattern dissecting my polka dots.

Also, it is REALLY long. This might be because I didn't shorten the pattern at my waist. Is this a real no-no? I don't mind where it sits, and when I alter the bodice it will be nicely fitted (I think). I measured the length and I will be taking it up 15cm-18cm to just below my knee.

I might be completely wrong in all my observations, so please let me know what you guys think.

Thanks again for all your help - I am enjoying the fitting process (at this point)

PS. My Flickr photos haven't come up in the preview. The links should still work, though.
-- Edited on 11/19/12 8:19 PM --

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beaglesbakinganddressmaking.wordpress.com

lalalauren
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lalalauren
Advanced Beginner
AUSTRALIA
Member since 11/1/12
Posts: 43
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Date: 11/19/12 8:48 PM

As soon as I posted that message I tried to transfer that tuck to the neckline of the bodice and encountered a problem... I can't take width out of the neckline without altering the centre front line, and if I alter the centre front line I can't really cut my bodice front piece on the fold (as it is not a straight line).

Any suggestions, or am I better off putting up with the gaping neckline rather than trying to muck with bodice... again?

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beaglesbakinganddressmaking.wordpress.com

Nancywin
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Nancywin  Friend of PR
California USA
Member since 7/25/06
Posts: 932
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Date: 11/22/12 7:04 AM

On your first muslin it looks like you have a CF seam, but not on the second. There are a couple of things you can do. first, you could put in that CF seam, and taper in at the neck. I would probably not do that. You could also take two small darts from the collar bones out to the point where the princess seam meets the armscye. That will probably be your easiest fix. Don't leave the gaping neckline, because you will never wear it!
It looks like you probably need to start with a smaller size and do a larger FBA. I always had this problem until I started going down a couple of sizes. I have a 35-1/2" bust, but start with a size 10 or even 8 depending on the pattern.

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blog: encue.blogspot.com

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6)

lalalauren
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lalalauren
Advanced Beginner
AUSTRALIA
Member since 11/1/12
Posts: 43
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Date: 11/23/12 0:48 AM

Thank you so much for your generous advice

In the interests of saving time (I have ONE week to do this thing... not looking good..) I will make a third bodice muslin (which I can maybe recycle as a lining?) with the tucks at the collar bone. I just want to check all the pieces fit each other after I take in the width at the waist because the muslin #2 bodice was miles too big for a size 12 skirt.

Thanks again! I will continue to share my progress.

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beaglesbakinganddressmaking.wordpress.com

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