I’m so ridiculously happy about this top (my photography is less than stellar, but my photo assistant is relentlessly plugging away at finishing his dissertation–3 more weeks and hopefully that’s it). After trucking through another muslin I finally figured everything out. I think my back is narrower than my front, so I took out an inch from the center back and things were much less poufy and weird…and this would also explain the gappiness in my last couple of tops in the back. I think since the FBA makes extra width across the front, I end up with too much at the back…this is my theory anyhow. Sure enough, when I took out the extra inch at the center back I could eliminate some of the other things that I had tried (I tried a rounded back alteration because that was the closest alteration that could explain what was happening).
This fabric was also a dream to work with–very supple without being slippery, pretty wrinkle resistant, soft, lightweight yet somehow warming. It gathered like nothing else. I wish there were different prints of this same fabric (Vogue fabrics also has a pink colorway of this fabric, but it’s so distinct I don’t think I’ll get it). The darts I added in the back added a lot of structure, took out extra fluff in the waist and added a nice slimming detail. Shockingly too, for being kind of sort of fitted, this is a very comfortable top.
What I learned: a whole lot about altering a pattern to fit my body. All total I lowered the front neckline, added shoulder darts, 4 back waist darts, shortened the bodice, did an FBA, and made the neckline bigger in front and in back so the thing could fit over my head. Sometime in the not too distant future, I’m going to make a fitting shell so that when I make a pattern there is less troubleshooting I will have to do. In February there’s a sewing expo with lots of fitting classes that I think I’ll also take to figure this stuff out. As much as I have enjoyed this process and am pleased with my final product, if I have to do this for everything I work on, it’ll be pretty tiresome indeed. Good thing there were only 3 pieces to this top.
Grading a pattern up. I used this method outlined out in Threads. In retrospect, I don’t think I needed to. My next pattern, I’m going to cut a size smaller and see if, after I’ve done my FBA if things aren’t closer to reality than they have been.
French Seams. I’ve actually known how to do these since college when I made myself a duvet by hand (my first sewing machine was that much of a lemon), but this was the first time that I’ve done them on a garment. I figured with the lightness of the fabric, they’d be a nicer choice than my serger.
I think this is the first garment that I’ve made that I’m not nitpicking internally every time I put it on. I just feel pretty (in a cheesy West Side Story kind of way). I can’t wait to wear it out on a lovely date with my wonderful sweet husband.