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PLEASE - Need your help - I'm SO discouraged!
Teacher/dressmaker throw up their hands w/fitting me.
Arline

Arline
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Subject: PLEASE - Need your help - I'm SO discouraged! Pics - Date: 7/26/09 4:28 PM

Long story short: I've been taking a weekly, free sewing class for a year now, spons. by the state thru comm. college. She's a skinny thing and it became clear that she had a great deal of trouble fitting those of us that are larger - size 18 and up, say. She directed me to another private teacher/dressmaker to make for me a custom block/sloper in an A-line dress (my preference for summers). Three visits w/ her measuring, sewing & tweaking and it's still not right. They both have clearly "given up" by saying that's the best they can do - subtly implying that I'M expecting too much. My teacher had me make up just the top portion (hip length) using my same muslin fab. & the pattern the "expert" provided but I knew it wasn't finished yet. The results are in the pics below. Basically, there are three areas where I can see need work: bust darts have a small "bubble" or fold along the entire length of the horiz. dart on the bottom side of the seam - you can see the shadow; diagonal, vertical folds coming from the apex w/too much mat'l in front - maternity-ish like - and an extra vertical fold of fabric coming up on your left side of the side seam from the rear towards the front. The right side does not have this (this has been a recurring prob. on both sides with a few of my previous attempts to no avail.) The shoulder and armscye seem to finally be quite good (I have narrow shoulders) and the sleeves are okay. Fit in the back is quite good (maybe a drop snug) - there is a center back seam. If you can help in ANY of these areas I would greatly appreciate it as I'm just so disappointed in this outcome and their unwillingness to see this through. Us heavy ones in her class have often quietly discussed her lack of knowledge re: fitting us fluffy ones. My RTW size is typically size 20 on top (very large biceps) & 16-18 on btms - little bit of a muffin top, not much. THANK YOU so much for any offers of help; I'm at my wit's end. I am an interm. beginner when it comes to this, so explain in simple terms pls. for this simpleton - lol. Notes on pics were for teacher who said "she can do no more".

-- Edited on 7/26/09 4:42 PM --
-- Edited on 7/26/09 4:46 PM --
-- Edited on 7/26/09 4:48 PM --

cindyintampa
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cindyintampa
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In reply to Arline


Date: 7/26/09 4:40 PM

Arline, I can't see the pictures, so I can't comment on the fit, but I did want to let you know that you are not alone in you fitting experiences in your class. I took a class at our community college when they were still offering sewing classes, and the teacher actually started correcting me when I started making alterations to the pattern. She wanted us to make a suit jacket based solely on our bust measurement, with no alterations, even for sleeve length. Needless to say, I dropped the class and make the jacket at home. I think that fitting skills must not be a qualification for employment at some schools.

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http://thesewingjournal.blogspot.com/

dresscode

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In reply to cindyintampa


Date: 7/26/09 4:50 PM

You may need a second bust dart from waist in addition to the darting on side. If you can contact Connie Crawford in the LA area you may be able to schedule a private fitting with her.

Arline

Arline
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In reply to dresscode


Date: 7/26/09 5:02 PM

Thank you, Catherine; I'd really like to avoid another side dart (or any further front darts) if at all possible. I've had A-line dresses that fit (rtw) in the past that only had the bust darts. I'd like to achieve that version if I can - for appearance's sake.

arline - san diego
-- Edited on 7/26/09 5:03 PM --
-- Edited on 7/26/09 5:04 PM --

Mufffet
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In reply to Arline


Date: 7/26/09 5:03 PM

Have you taken the Making a Muslin class here on PR with Shannon Gifford. It is a bodice fitting class and excellent. Then I also took her pants muslin class and a couple more. I am short and plus and those classes helped me immeasurably. And many more besides me. her classes are very good, and probably less than private fittings! I would read the reviews on Shannon's classes. Can't hurt to try. There isn't any reason why you cannot be fitted well. You might want to contact the venue in which that class is held and make a gentle statement of the prowess of the instructor.

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

Arline

Arline
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In reply to Mufffet


Date: 7/26/09 5:10 PM

Thank you; perhaps I have tunnel vision, but it's very hard to imagine achieving an xln't fit w/o having the teacher right here to physically push & pull & measure (the fabric!) where necessary. She's been teaching this class for 25 years - my name would be MUD if I complained and to what end result? She's certainly not progressive is the problem. When I've used several terms I've learned on this site she clearly didn't know what I was talking about and seemed to resent whenever I mentioned that someone here helped me w/blah, blah, blah - as though, why don't I just stay out of her class, then and stick with PRReview???? Sssttt - her claws came out a little.

Em's Summer
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Date: 7/26/09 5:26 PM

I'm not a plus, but I thought I'd chime in. The top looks much too big for you. Maybe you should ask other plus sizes if they have a fave a line darted dress pattern. You might be better off altering a commercial pattern.

Em

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From what others have said, the nasty message came from Fitting Woes, NOT Misc Hot Topics or the Civility thread.

Vibekeinyork
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In reply to Arline


Date: 7/26/09 5:26 PM

Well, its certainly possible to achieve a much better fit than the one you have in the photo. No wonder teacher is uneasy if that's the best she can do. The front looks too big from the upper bust and down. Try taking it in a bit at center front and the side front. I wonder if you're a tad bit uneven anywhere? Most of us are a bit bigger/higher/what have you on one side of the body. (For instance I have one breast a tad bigger than the other, many people have one shoulder or hip a bit higher than the other and so forth.) Do you have any of the popular fitting books? I think "Fast fit" is very helpful, for instance.

Hope one of our plus-sized sewing gurus sees this and post a comment to you.

Thought I'd add that a dress with more seams would probably be easier to fit. Burda has very good draft and this dress is a basic style that could be made up in an infinite number of ways. Adding pockets, collars, buttos, color blocking etc etc. If you go this route just trace the shoulder and arm patterns that you know fit and frankenpattern from there. Measure your front and back and maybe trace a smaller size in back. (Your measurements + preferred ease = pattern measurement)
-- Edited on 7/26/09 5:44 PM --

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to Arline


Date: 7/26/09 5:33 PM

There are many bad teachers and if no one speaks up who will be the wiser? Suffer the poor student.

I would have my say and then leave. Did you say this a free class?

I cannot see anything wrong with your proportions except, as you mentioned the full biceps.

I would think you only have to adjust commercial patterns for the arm.

I wear a 20W top and have had successful results with the Khaliah Ali/Simplicity tops. but size 18 misses for pants - women's sizes in pants are too big in the thigh for me.

------
“I don’t give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s Hell.” — Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

G_l_e_n_d_a
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G_l_e_n_d_a
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Subject: PLEASE - Need your help - Im SO discouraged! Date: 7/26/09 5:37 PM

It may be that you need a different size for the front and the back. I agree, the front is too big all the way. Also, it seems like you may need to make different changes side to side as well. Yes, you can get a better fit than that, but I agree, you may need to add some darts. It may be that the RTW that fit without that was a different type of fabric, perhaps one with some stretch to it, so it could be cut smaller?

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