There’s an axiom that goes
“If you always do
what you always did;
You ‘ll always get
what you always got”
Problem for me is that I can’t keep doing the fitting things I’ve done for the last 20 years. My body changed about a year and half ago. I gained weight, but also changed shaped. For a long time I wasn’t sure exactly what had changed. I only knew that my standard alterations no longer produced satisfactory fit. Several months ago I started working with Connie Crawford patterns. I discovered the slope of my shoulder has changed significantly. The slope also affects the armscye. After weeks and garment after garment I can fit her top patterns but I do have to make an effort. Fitting is not a straight procedure. Worse for me, what works with CC patterns doesn’t seem highly effective with my other patterns. I’m still missing something. There is some bit of information or knowledge that I haven’t connected. So I can’t keep fitting garments they way I’ve always fit them.
I decided to take another ‘run-at’ The Rochelle but with a different procedure. I remeasured myself. Thankfully, my measurements hadn’t changed. But I had to know. In particular I noted my high-bust measurement and checked that against the recommended sizing. I know of the upper bust fitting procedure. I haven’t tried it in past because I’ve always been able to select by hip size, make a 1″ BWL and then a simple 1″ NSA. Those two are so much easier than having to do the BWL and an FBA. Besides, I’m not chesty. I really think an FBA should introduce too much ease across my bust. But I’ve got to try something different. So I compared my upper bust measurement with the sizing chart and found that Loes recommends a size Small. Ummm.
So I measured the pattern at bust, waist and hip. Subtracted seam allowances at all 3 and found that a size Small on me would have 3″ ease at the bust, 1/2″ ease at the waist and -1/2 (negative ease) at the hip. With no love for negative ease, I traced a small neckline, shoulder, armscye and a medium bust, waist and hip. The 1″ BWL was the only alteration I made. I almost didn’t do that since a small was also visibly shorter than the XL I traced for the previous muslins.
I selected another old Walmart Knit fabric. Frankly, I had no confidence that the little ease I added would be satisfying. I want my tops to range between semi and loosely fitted. Ading 2″ ease at the waist and 1.5 at the hips just didn’t do it for me. So I selected a knit fabric with 25% stretch. This is a poly fabric about the same weight as a good T-shirt. If this muslin works it might go-with the Late Summer/Early Autumn 6PAC I’ve been working on. If not, oh well. I cut the fabric; serged CB and CF but basted shoulders and side seams before sliding this over my head.
I have to tell you, it would not work in a woven fabric. Actually, I’m happy to know that my early assumption that the pattern wasn’t drafted for knits is correct. As a matter of fact, this feels and looks a bit like shape wear.
I wouldn’t wear this in public. Maybe as an undershirt. If it had more lycra. Once again the dart want to form above the bust and the curve of my chest is quite evident. As are the curves along my side and the shorts I’m wearing today. Surprisingly, the shoulder looks too narrow (No I promise I did not make the NSA) but the neckline fits very nicely.
The back view almost looks nice. Instead of VPL I’m seeing VBL (visible brassiere lines) and the waistband of my shorts. Even with 1.5″ ease and 25% stretch, the muslin cups just below my rear. The back shoulder width looks good but I can see that the shoulder sticks up instead of following my natural shoulder slope. I will need to adjust that shoulder.
As always the side tells most of the fitting story. An interesting note is that the hem is level. It’s probably held so tight it cant move anywhere.
This small/medium does NOT meet my fitting standards.
Fortunately. I have 3 yards of the same fabric. Back to sewing room.