Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Perfect Fit ( a work in progress)

My nephew is tying the knot in September and I have been told it will be a formal affair. I have been thinking and planning my outfit over the last month or so. Recently I took a class on Craftsy Sew The Perfect Fit with Lynda Maynard. I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to try out my newly gained skills or see if I actually learned anything at all. I really can't recommend this class enough. Lynda Maynard has a wonderful teaching style. She is organised and methodical in her teaching method, which makes the class very easy to follow. She clearly demonstrates different fitting woes and the way to correct them, on real life models (and they are not all Barbie doll shapes). She then, very methodically demonstrates how to transfer these changes to the paper pattern. It's almost magical.  The pattern used for this class is Vogue 8766.

I had a few patterns that I liked certain bits of. So I thought I would combine three different patterns to create my outfit. These are:

I love the princess seams and the shaped peplum of View C and the neckline of View A.
VOGUE 8766: I love the 3/4 sleeves. They have 3 small darts at the sleeve cap to shape them.

BHL Charlotte Skirt: I love the highwaisted skirt and the shaping and length.
I started off making a calico muslin of the bodice. The only drawback is that you really need someone to help you with identifying your fitting issues, once you have made up the muslin. My dear partner struggles to pin two pieces of fabric together without the pins falling out two seconds later, so I had to rope my Mum in to help. She really struggled with the idea of slashing the muslin and adding in strips of fabric to correct the fit. It took me quite a lot of convincing that it was only a muslin (never intended to ever be worn), and it was ok to cut holes in it. She was very worried that she would ruin it.

My slashed muslin with strips of fabric added.

There was quite a bit of slashing to do, to get this pattern to fit my body. I am quite rectangular, not much waist definition. I am really hoping that the peplum is going to give the illusion of a waist.

Here are the changes added to the paper pattern.

Using my altered pattern I created a second muslin of the bodice to double check that my alterations were correct. I included the sleeve this time. I had to add more circumference to the sleeve head, tapering to the sleeve hem, to fit the bodice armscye. This worked out surprisingly well.
Notice the small darts in the sleeve head.

I decided that I wanted to use a brocade fabric to construct my outfit. I had either a royal blue or an emerald green colour in mind. I should have learned by now, that the fabric shop will never have what I have in mind. It would eliminate the inevitable disappointment. Anyway, after a two hour trip to the nearest Spotlight (on route to return my daughter to the airport), I emerged from the shop with this Purple Rose Brocade.
Purple Rose Brocade purchased from Spotlight ( the colour is deeper in reality...hard to photograph)
I suspect this is 100% polyester. It is quite stiff and frays like crazy when cut. I paid $19.99 per metre which I thought was quite expensive, but I had little choice. I guess I am starting to warm to it.

Stay tuned for the next progress report.

Happy Sewing.


  1. I enjoyed seeing some of your fitting process. I too am very rectangular and always have to add to the waist. One of these days I need to get my fit down a little more professionally.

    1. Thanks Angela. I am finding "fitting" quite an interesting process and it's amazing how much better a garment looks when it fits you well.

  2. Wow! Your heroic efforts should result in a beautiful dress! The Purple Rose Brocade is lovely and will make a beautiful dress! I loved Lynda Maynard's class and learned so much, but I never thought to combine THREE patterns! I noticed you used the sleeve from the original Vogue class pattern. I love the pleated sleeve. Cant wait to see the end result!!

    1. Thanks so much Sarah. It was your posts about this class and the beautiful dresses you made as a result, that inspired me to try it. So glad I did and the dress is turning out quite well I think. Hope to get it finished this weekend and post about it. I love the pleated sleeve too and I was so surprised how well it fitted the armscye of the New Look pattern with only a minor alteration.

  3. I like that you merged three patterns together, I've seen both the Vogue and New Look patterns around and I've always admired them. I like the fabric you chose and understand about Spotlight, it can be expensive but there aren't really any other shops near enough are there? Spotlight is 15 minutes away from me while the closest (non-chain) fabric store is 45 minutes away. I only go to Spotlight when there is a sale now.

  4. Thanks Zoe. I've almost finished my outfit now, and I am quite happy with the way it has turned out. Just the hem to sew, and then to photograph it. Buying fabric is my biggest issue at the moment. I only have a Bargain Box (chain store) in town and that is very expensive and very little choice available. There is a lovely independent fabric shop in the next town but they cater mainly for patchwork and quilting...lots of expensive quilting cottons, etc. Most of my fabric is purchased online.

  5. I am just trying to muslin-up Vogue 8766 at the moment, and seem to have the same fitting problems in the bodice as you ~ so thanks for sharing this info ... can't wait to see your dress finished. Spotlight and Bargain Box are also my two closest stores so I understand your fabric buying issues perfectly ... J

    1. So glad you got something out of this post Judith. That's what I love about this sewing/blogging interface. I too have found so many other sewing blogs to be so helpful.