Friday, 19 February 2010

BWOF dress - fitting a bodice with neckline pleats

As I mentioned previously, I decided I am going to make one more dress in a winter fabric before I plunge into my spring sewing. After flicking through an enormous pile of Burda magazine back issues I have decided that this is the one

It’s pattern no. 111 from November 2008. I have had my eye on this pattern for a long time but wasn’t quite sure how I would go about altering it to fit. I usually need to do an FBA and the bodice pleats had me a little puzzled. However, I armed myself with a lot of tissue paper, some coloured pens and the book Fit for Real People, by Pati Palmer & Marta Alto, and came up with the following.

This is my original tracing of the pattern for the bodice front (as I usually do, I traced a size 36 round the neck and shoulders, grading out to size 40 for the rest of the bodice).

These are the alterations I made (I have given the page numbers I referred to in Fit for Real People).

I drew a line on the pattern where a horizontal bust dart would normally be (Altering No-Dart Fronts, page 147)

Then I made the usual alterations for an FBA (Full Bust Alteration, pages 142-143) but I didn’t fill in the bust dart in with tissue.

I drew a straight line through the centre of each of the pleat marks from the neckline to the point of the open horizontal dart. Then I rotated the bust dart into these by closing up the horizontal bust dart and opening up the pleat marks (Moving Darts, page 136). I filled in the gaps between the pleat marks with tissue and taped it all down.

The finished pattern piece had more bust width and bigger pleats at the neck. I also made my usual petite alteration above the waist and I raised the armhole by 1/2”. The final pattern piece looked like this

That’s quite a lot of alterations, isn’t it? But I've learnt that if that's what the body I've got needs, then that's what has to be done!

I decided to get creative with my stash and I’m making this dress up using two different fabrics – a black wool crepe for the skirt and a printed silk for the bodice. I hope to be finished and posting pictures soon ..........

16 comments:

  1. "Fit for Real People" sounds like an insanely helpful book. I will have to check it out; the only alterations I've needed to do wasadd room at the hips of skirts and dresses, which is easy, but I'm thinking of sewing pants soon, and I will definitely need help fitting those.

    Your dress sounds wonderful. I wanted to do a 2-colored dress in the fall but never got around to it. Really looking forward to seeing yours!

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  2. I love that dress, I've also eyed it up since November. I cant wait to see yours made up.

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  3. Nice work moving that dart into the pleats. IT's going to be lovely when you finish it!

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  4. I remember seeing this dress when the issue came out, and liked it. I can't wait to see your version of this dress.

    I'll have to check out a copy of Fit for Real People. I have the book The Perfect Fit.

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  5. I have that book too, but haven't used it much. Will pull it out when I start making dresses again - this is where my fit issues are the most problem.

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  6. I need to check that book out. Can't wait to see your finished dress!

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  7. I can't wait to see how this turns out for you!

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  8. Wow! I want to see this dress with your alternations! Exciting - !

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  9. I love this dress! I've made it twice and did a super lazy SBA of just shaving some length off the bottom of the bodice piece at CF tapering to nothing at the sides. FBAs are complicated!

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  10. This almost sounds like sewing-science. I think it ís, actually. So clever of you. I don't think I would be able to 'dig in' that deep, but with a dress like this it's almost a must to get the fit right. I just can't wait to see the endresult!!
    And thank you for your well-wishes!! I'm getting better (slowly).

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  11. I love that dress.It is on my list.Can't wait to see your.

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  12. Thanks for the information on the alterations! I may have to give this one a try now that I can see how the changes would work!

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  13. It does look like a lot of work to change the pattern, but it is also amazing that you know how to do all those changes. Your finished clothes always look great and It think it has to be because they always fit so well.

    Your jacket looks great btw!

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  14. Love the idea of doing the top and bottom in different fabrics!

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