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Forum > Fitting Woes > ack. i quit. fitting is impossible! help w simple skirt ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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ack. i quit. fitting is impossible! help w simple skirt
montecore

montecore
Member since 5/31/08
Posts: 39
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Date: 6/26/08 2:08 PM

after putting aside my sundress project because of too many difficult fitting issues i decided to make a simple a-line skirt (used the sew U built by wendy simplicity pattern) hoping that this would be a simple /straightforward way to really work through getting a perfect fit. i wear skirts a lot and RTW skirts seldom fit well, so i would really like to figure out how to make a skirt with a perfect fit. i have a smaller 28 inch waist and wider hips (about 40 inches, but distributed differently in front and in back -- in back i have a high butt that sticks out a bit and in front i have a bit of upper thigh fluff, lower than where my butt is in back -- basically the fullest part in front is probably an inch or two down from the fullest part in back). both around my thighs and around the fullest part of my butt i measure about the same 40" but obviously the shape is a bit different front and back.

so. i cut out the skirt with a 14 ("medium" in her sizing) waist curving to 16 ("large") at the hip. the muslin looked good, but now that i've made the skirt and attached the waist facing, it really does not look good. i'm so frustrated i want to quit. i can't believe i can't even make a simple skirt right.

i will try to post pictures in a bit... but basically... the fit is good at the waist and good around the widest part of my hips at the upper thigh. it doesn't twist around when i walk as so many of my RTW skirts do (which often gap at the waist), so that's promising. but there are other issues. the front above the hips feels baggy as if there's too much fabric. it isn't sitting flat over my abdomen, but rather pooching out a bit, and when i walk it makes ugly diagonal gapping folds in a kind of Y shape. i tried deepening the front darts, but not sure if it helped. i feel like i always make things worse when i start playing around with things.

also the upper hip side seam seems to be too curved -- i think the curve from waist to hip (which i've drawn with a french curve) maybe needs to be a different shape, because now it seems to be belling out a tiny bit on the upper hip side seam.

and the back isn't quite right either... i'm getting some almost horizontal diagonal lines in the small of my back.

i'm seriously ready to cry and then give up sewing for good. i'm trying to be so careful and slow and systematic, and i still can't do anything right. i don't think my body is *that* weird, but maybe it is.
-- Edited on 6/26/08 2:09 PM --

Deb Thompson
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Deb Thompson
Intermediate
Alberta CANADA
Member since 7/8/05
Posts: 307
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Date: 6/26/08 2:13 PM

montecore - DO NOT GET FRUSTRATED...I know that's easy to say but I remember thinking and saying exactly the things you are right now! Sometimes it seriously comes down to the pattern itself. I've not had super great luck with most patterns from the Big 4 and now that I've found Burda Magazine, I'm almost ready to swear off Big 4 patterns. So try and use these moments of frustration as a learning tool. Sometimes you can work through it and get it to fit and other times you just have to suck it up and throw it in the bin (gasp)!

------
Deborah Thompson
www.debthompsoncollection.com

Debbie Cook
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Debbie Cook
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Date: 6/26/08 2:40 PM

Take a deep breath, scream, whatever.

Then post some pics ... full body front, back, and side ... so we can offer alteration advice based on what we see.

------
--
"I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch." Gilda Radner
http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com

bugsnchita
bugsnchita
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California USA
Member since 9/16/07
Posts: 45
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In reply to montecore


Date: 6/26/08 2:41 PM

HI montecore!

Don't despair. I know that is easier said than done. I've been despairing a lot lately, too! I feel your pain and can soooo relate!! I have numerous body issues and am not easy to fit!

What I've done lately to calm my inner storm is to put the sewing stuff away for a few days and get out a good book and absorb myself into the story. This relaxes me.

When I have the sewing machine and ironing board out of sight I feel a whole lot calmer. I get the feeling that sewing is an art and a science. Kind of like dentistry! I have been a beginner for 20 years. And I have been trying to accept that and just get on with the other things in my life. I really want sewing to be a fun thing. It's hard when so many wadders come into my life. I'm very slow and methodical but still don't get a whole lot of good results. When I do I am thrilled!

You may have seen my post in the pattern drafting category where I have been asking if anyone knows of a professional pattern drafter because I have decided that I can't get the pants I want from a commercial pattern or from the stores. I do alright with skirts but pants are out of my league.

Anyway I hope my story helps you. I tell myself to "Keep it fun!" When stress builds I have to just back off and get a new perspective and some help with the project. Good Luck on all your projects.

montecore

montecore
Member since 5/31/08
Posts: 39
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Date: 6/26/08 2:45 PM

i'll try to get pics... just i don't get good pictures when i take my own so waiting until i can find someone else to try taking them for me.

i know lots of commercial patterns aren't so great... but seriously, this is practically sloper-simple -- two front darts, two in back, dead simple a-line skirt. it can't be rocket science to make it fit... and yet it feels impossible!

shopgrrl
shopgrrl
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California USA
Member since 5/18/07
Posts: 15
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Date: 6/26/08 3:19 PM

Boy can I relate! I did what you did in reverse. Started with an a-line skirt and after numerous fitting problems, moved onto sundresses!!

Anyway, I'm not sure a simple a-line skirt is all that simple (especially if you like to wear your clothes at all fitted) if you haven't fitted your body at some point. If you have any curves at all, the waist, hip, bum area can be very difficult to fit.

With that being said, I would recommend investing in either a pattern sloper or a self-drafted sloper. I think it makes sense to take the time to learn the foundations of fit (and your body curves) before tackling these patterns. It's what I'm going to do after countless skirt wadders!

montecore

montecore
Member since 5/31/08
Posts: 39
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Date: 6/26/08 3:41 PM

ok here are some not-so-great pictures taken in the mirror. maybe someone can figure out what's wrong?

skirt picture set


the back was hard to photograph... you can see it has a bit of horizontal wrinkling / pulling above the hip.

i think the side view is where you can best see what the problems are.

in front it looks okay if i don't move, but when i walk it starts bunching up and gapping and looking weird.

and there's some puckering around where the darts end.

actually right now i lengthened the right dart to see if it would help with the bagginess in front and did not yet lengthen the left dart (since it didn't seemto help much).

any ideas?
-- Edited on 6/26/08 3:42 PM --

Pinkytoo
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Pinkytoo
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In reply to montecore


Date: 6/26/08 5:48 PM

First of all, it doesn't look so much like an A-line skirt as a pencil skirt...which would make me say, forget about what it looks like when you're walking, you are NEVER going to get something that fits perfectly while moving unless you make a spandex bodysuit!

For the back you probably need to make what I call the JLB (JLoButt) alteration: take about 1/2 to 1" , or howevermuch you need, out of the back pattern piece horizontally about an inch below the waist. Don't forget to add that amount back on to the bottom. The darts (in the back) should also be shortened when you take the piece out, as the darts need to stop where you begin to"expand".

------
Sewing is my therapy!

montecore

montecore
Member since 5/31/08
Posts: 39
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Date: 6/26/08 6:07 PM

i know, it does look like a straight skirt... the pattern / sew-u book claims it is an a-line skirt. i think my hip to waist ratio is such that a lot of skirts that are cut with a subtle / slight a-line flare actually look like straight skirts on me, because the a-line is basically just following the exact curve of my hips, which makes the skirt look straight. i don't even bother with trying to wear *actual* straight / pencil skirts since those actually make me look like a mermaid.

what my goal is really is not necessarily to turn this into my next favorite skirt, but actually to get the fit good enough that this skirt pattern could be a kind of sloper for dealing with other patterns.

i'm curious, since someone suggested drafting a skirt sloper. how would that differ from what i'm doing here? i thought slopers are pretty much based off a waist and hip measurement... and this skirt is actually hitting exactly right at the hips and at the waist... it's just what's happening in between that's not quite right.

the only thing that's really bothering me is the feeling that it's too baggy over the pubic bone / above the hip. i don't know how visible this is in the picture, but it doesn't look right to me.

and does anyone have good tips for drafting a more flattering curve to move from the smaller waist to the bigger hip? i think what i need is for it to curve out more slowly -- start out straighter coming from the waist and curve out closer to the actual hip point.

LauraM62
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LauraM62
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Indiana USA
Member since 11/17/03
Posts: 88
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In reply to montecore


Date: 6/26/08 6:08 PM

That skirt is pretty form fitting, therefore would require more fitting than a full skirt of course. I have a full tush, with a flatter tummy; I found that I like to do 1/2 measurements instead of all the way around. In other words, I measure just my back half then my front half at the side seams. I use the points within the pattern to compare on my body. I found Burda fits my body better, and I like to use a bigger size on the backside then the front. Also think about how much ease you want for movement in different areas.

------
"We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything." - Thomas A. Edison

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