This is the second completely different muslin that I constructed. Technically speaking, it’s the 4th effort I’ve made at making this pattern fit my daughter correctly. After the first muslin fitting, I tried to avoid doing an FBA on this pattern because of it’s cut on sleeves, and I instead cut one size up on the fronts, and attached those to the first muslin. A size blend, if you will. I blended the larger size on top to the original size 14 in the waist and skirt. When I saw it on the mannequin, and judging from the pictures of other people’s muslins on the Flickr sewalong page, I realized it wouldn’t work. It was too big. I then knew I had to do an FBA, whether I liked it or not, but what kind? I first tried the one on pg. 157 of Fit For Real People that leaves the sleeve on. I made an alteration of 1.3 in (3cm). This amount was gotten from the distance that the first muslin needed to reach center front, not the difference between high and full bust. I again cut 2 new fronts and
slapped sewed them onto the rest of the first muslin. It worked, but the problem was that the alteration it makes is only confined to the upper bodice. The rest of the skirt didn’t receive the correction in length or width that a traditional FBA makes. I had to splice pieces in to correct it (see pic). When my daughter tried it on the upper bodice closed but the lower half of the coat was still lacking in needed fabric and didn’t close right. She didn’t like the fit of the shoulders either. She thought they were too big. That’s because that FBA leaves the sleeve on and moves it over during the adjustment, which apparently alters the shoulder to make it looser. Either that or the 14 with the FBA was just too large.
Conclusion: The sleeve on FBA is only good for a shirt, and probably for only a small FBA, because of the change in the fit of the shoulders.
This brings me to the current muslin. It’s a size 12 with a traditional FBA. This time I adjusted for the difference in high and full bust, which is 3.75 in. (9.5 cm). I cut the sleeve off first and reattached it after the adjustment. It was hard to know exactly where to replace it (which is why I tried to avoid it in the first place), but I think I did alright. I closed the side dart and moved it to the flare of the skirt, which is where it was needed. I re-drew the waistline a bit with french curves. We determined that the hemline was too long and would need 3.5 in (8.9 cm) taken off the flat pattern to match the intended designer length of what looks like 2 in (5 cm) above the knee. That’s after considering the hem allowance, which for this pattern is none. The hem is bound with bias like all the other inside seams of the coat. I’m allowing anywhere from 1/2 up to one inch for that.
I’m still undecided about what size to cut the back on the fashion fabric, which is double faced wool that will also be underlined with satin. I have yet to decide, so I’ll think about it while I prepare the wool for cutting. More on that in the next article.
I’m satisfied, happy (and relieved) that I finally have the green light to go ahead and actually attempt to make this coat. The fitting alone was more challenge than I’d imagined it would be, but I’ve learned a lot. I’m already behind in the sewalong schedule but it couldn’t be helped. My daughter lives 2 hours away and I took on the task of making a couture garment for her. At this point I’m going to take the project at a slow and relaxed pace, because I want the most excellent results possible.
That about wraps it up for my current sewalong update. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!