Half an FBA

I hoped to find an easy fix for a prominent fitting error on the Ebb. So while I was waiting for Connie Crawford Basic Block, I copied the front bodice, trimmed the button band/neck facing extension and called it one piece to be placed on the fold. I don’t think I need more circumference, ease or body width. What I need is more length  at the center front.  From my drape/HBL study, ideally extra length should be added between shoulder and apex. Unfortunately, I don’t understand how to do that without badly affecting both neck and armscye. The “experts” all add length via an FBA. I partially used Louise Cuttings Dartless FBA instructions and divided the front into 4 sections. I made my first cut from CF to apex (1), second cut from apex to Empire line.  I moved the freed section down 1″, slipped a piece of tissue beneath both pieces and taped it into place. Finally I drew a curve from the edge of the  cut piece back to the side seam (2)

In retrospect, all that cutting and sliding was not needed. I could have added 1″ length at the bottom of the CF, drew a horizontal line 4.5″ (half the distance between my apex(s) (ii?) and then drawn the curve.

What’s the #3 about?  Well I have also noticed a vertical fold just in front of the armscye which indicates too much width across the upper chest (and another reason for doing only half the FBA).  I noticed on my tissue that the original armscye swooped in a little bit more than the final armscye that I drew  using the recommended method (align french curve with original armscye; note numbers; slash/slide armscye;  align french curve with side seam and shoulder point). I redrew the curve trimming about half of the difference while maintaining a nice curve.

I walked the armscye seams before starting the above alterations. Walked  again after having trimmed the front armscye. Walked it a 3rd time to be sure. I had not altered the back armscye curve this time but found that it was short 1/8″. The front was short 5/8″ both before and after the above alteration.  I walked this seam 3 times because I had walked the seam twice before the previous Ebb and had thought the armscye was shorter than the sleeve cap. But during stitching, I had to convince the front sleeve cap to stretch to fit  the front armscye. I must have gotten my figures mixed up.  That’s all it could have been because I clearly needed a higher sleeve cap.  I considered adding a wedge and then figured it would make more since to add an even 5/8″ across the sleeve cap.

My fabric is a cotton, lawn batik. Well that’s how it was advertised.  I hesitated because I’ve always heard you want rayon batik for garments. When it arrived, it looked more like my playful efforts with color discharge than batik but the colors were even more beautiful in person than on the net.   I don’t think this is 100% cotton. I think somebody forgot to mention it had some other fiber content. It behaved on the cutting table with the exception that it didn’t want to fold crisply.  I cut fabric one day and stitched the  next. Overnight the cut pieces changed shape. The hems were especially evident.  I had to trim them back into shape and chose a rounded shirt tail which I promptly ran through the serger forming a rolled hem.   I did tape the neck and shoulders but I’m not sure it helped.  Then it again this could be my own mistake:

I’ve been seeing this cute neckline which is essentially a slit in the center front. Instead of the top of the slit standing tall and proud, the points are folded over. It maybe that I folded too far down. It may be that my fabric didn’t want to cooperate and should have been stabilized with something firmer.It maybe that the designers know something extra about drafting this neckline and I am clueless.

I know that cotton will never have the drape of rayon. But honestly, I didn’t expect this fabric to look larger, less elegant. I’m not upset. I envisioned this as a 3/4-sleeve blouse to pop over other clothing providing myself with either a little more warmth when the prairie winds blow or a little sun protection when the sun shines brightly and burns the heck out of my skin.

Just looks summery to me — hot hot summery. (Where are my shorts? Opps, not yet. We’re still due another snow storm.)

My sleep cap addition worked really well.  I didn’t use the hem vent on the sleeve. I trimmed 3/4″ (hem vent needs 2″) and then hemmed straight across 1.25″ deep. Sadly, I don’t know if my FBA worked or not:

The hem rises both center front and center back. Possibly my fault when I trimmed away the odd fabric growth.  The Empire line rises between side and apex but then drops slighty into center front. What??  Fortunately, this is not easy to see. I didn’t see it in the mirror and couldn’t see it in the pic until I lightened the pic 80%.

I almost wish I had not critiqued the Empire line.  I like this blouse. It will perform as envisioned. Also, I know for a fact most people won’t even realize this was not intended.

I don’t think I will be revisiting this exact alteration. As I type this, I’m about half way through fitting Connie Crawford basic block.  It’s my intention to use the basic block in developing patterns/clothing that fits me without all the slash, slide, smush business.


2 thoughts on “Half an FBA

  1. YAY Bev!! Looks great! I love blue and aqua and this is a gorgeous summery fabric. And it looks well-fitted and comfortable. My theory is, if you’re comfortable, people will see it and not even notice those tiny little things we’re so worried about when we sew. I’m a plus size, and still struggle to find that happy medium between “fit” and comfort.

    And I’m with you on the basic block idea. I’d much rather spend my time on design options instead of going through the frustration of a dozen attempts to tweak the fit on every single pattern.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s