Thursday, April 16, 2009

Return of the wrinkle reader

Brace yourselves for the journey of "the Trench". (If you are a more of a "destination sewer" tune back in a month or so)

I am a bit of a fit nazi, not a term bandied about this household, but one nonetheless. I wanted to preserve the style details of this particular trench, which could not be done if I was to wack a great big dart in the bust. However, not wacking a great big something in the bust means this will be a cardigan coat - never able to be done up. This is Susannah's (a la Trinny et co) trick. She buys cute little jackets that fit through her narrow shoulders and tiny waist and just never does them up. Call me old fashioned but I LIKE my coats to do up.

So here we go. I could avoid the bust dart by making several alterations through the front. Now look at the way Burda have seamed this dart. Its purpose is to shape the bust, the waist and hip. It's not ideal to be shaping the bust through a slit in the hip.

Ok, so I added 2 inches flaring from the shoulder seam to bust apex, then straight down. The excess was taken out through the existing dart, and the dart redrawn to fit. (The green lines are the new dart )

Now here is the lining. It's still pretty fitted through the bust, but the front piece is looking good so I will add more to the side piece instead.

The piece fits differently on of course, there's no way to accurately replicate the 'squeezed up tea bag look' to a post-nursing bust on a dress form. The wrinkle in the armhole is more pronounced in real life, which is a by-product of not doing a bust alteration through the armhole. Bugger. You just can't have it every way.

Bit of a compromise solution. Fit versus preserving design features? I have the next couple of weeks to second guess my choice.


  1. Looking forward to seeing this made up :-) I'm most impressed with your understanding of all the fitting stuff - I think I'd just look at that pattern and be far too perplexed to do anything at all.

    Thanks for the coffee and choccie biccies this afternoon - it was lovely to have a break.


  2. I really like the fabric you have picked out for this one ... it will be worth it. And I see you are using your patented idea of lining as muslin ... such a good idea.

  3. Okay, I've got my cuppa coffee and am ready to go (read, that is)...

    Your blog reads like a P/P book sprinkled generously with smirk. Lots to learn. Lots to laugh. Love it.

  4. I am so looking forward to seeing this one made up. I love the fabric and the adherence to Tim Gunn fashion advice. I love him.

  5. Well, you are a clever thing, aren't you! I feel that we are at the start of a great journey...mostly, I am a "destination" sewer, as you put it, but i love hearing your sewing stories...perhaps you have a calling for sewing journalism? I think it would be a niche field!

  6. Is this a modified french dart? In many 60's dress patterns, there are these one-dart wonders, somehow gently contouring the dress around bust, waist, and hip. I've always thought they were interesting and def. elegant-looking, but probably tough to alter to fit. Haven't gotten around to studying them in my patternmaking book, though.

    Also, I was wondering how noticeable the dart is going to be under the pockets? If that styleline will be obscured, that might help in the debate over fit vs. design features....