I was really happy with my Connie Crawfords 0456, especially about the fitting process. I wanted to tweak a few style lines and I wanted to get to the point of duplicating my new maxi dress without its fitting errors. I worked on Burda #124 Mar 2009, because I wanted to know if the armscye princess seam was my magic wand i.e. the tool that would make fitting quick and easy. Then,one day I was knocking around on Pattern Review and found Connie Crawford’s 6299.
I said “WOW. That is exactly what I’m working towards”. I want a View B maxi-dress and a View A tank top. So why am I tweaking CC0456? Because I didn’t know 6299 existed.
I usually order Connie’s patterns in the range which includes the XL. For this pattern I had the choice of either 8-16 or 18W-24W. I had to think about that. When I started working with Connie’s patterns I tried the W sizing. It went badly. I had to change shoulders and bust point; armscyes, waists. I mean every line had to be changed, usually considerably and still didn’t fit nicely without 3-4 test garments. For an XL I do my RBA, BWL, adjust the shoulder angle, add to the side seam allowance and basically I’m done. Point is, I don’t want to use the W draft and make all the changes but I think a size 16 will be too small . Sigh, you seldom get to make the ideal choice — it’s just not in the running– and so you choose 2nd best or 3rd or 4th. Sometimes you’re even faced with choosing between bad and worse. Fortunately, sewing patterns aren’t that critical a choice. I mean if you start somewhere and work at it, you can get to a good fit.
I had Pattern Review send the 8-16 pattern to me.
I’m expecting this pattern to work for me and will want to make more copies in the future. I made the BWL to the tissue. It’s a simple fold and tape and I always need it no matter the size so why not make it to the tissue? I drew a new hemline on the tissue 12″ up from the drafted hem and labeled it “Blouse -12”. Then I traced the size 16 bodice and fitted skirt pieces down to my new “Blouse -12″” line. I rough cut around the pieces of my tracing and arranged them to take a few measurements. I can’t find the default seam allowance. I’m sure it’s there in the guide pages some place but I can’t see it. So, I’m assuming 5/8″ SA. If using a 5/8″ SA, 6299 size 16 is going to be close. I add 1.25″ to the side seams and leave the rest alone. Thank heavens, Connie marked the bust point and waist. I was able to measure and determine that the shoulder to BP was going to be too long. I will cut the test garment as drafted, but I’ll stitch the shoulder seams at 1.” Thankfully, Connie also made notches along the princess seams. So much easier to stitch those correctly when I have the notches.
I chose, I think a 100% cotton fabric. I purchased this some 10+ years ago from the drapery section of Mill Ends Sioux Falls. It’s a sweet print and will make a lovely but comfortable summer top. Since the length is 2.5 yards, I can totally screw-up the test version and use the rest of the fabric for a ‘real’ top.
I pressed the fabric with lots of steam; laid out my pattern pieces and carefully aligned grain lines. I stitched the pieces together using 1/4″ seam allowances and water-soluble thread in the bobbin. I was not planning to take pictures of the first fitting but it was so much better than I expected.
I was absolutely relieved that the blouse was too big. Yes there’s still things to be done but I’ve got the fabric to work with.
I did many small fittings, all in front of the mirror. I’d pin a change, then run to the SM and stitch the 3-4 inches involved. Thing is, after the tissue alterations, I was making tweaks not major changes. I started at about 10 in the morning. Worked most of day (seldom am I able to do that) and finished up about 5 PM. The final garment really pleases me
The side views, both left and right are pretty good. I tend to think that I over shortened the upper bodice. I lowered the armscye 1/2″ just before applying bias tape.
The front looked dern near perfect with the first few changes. I did need to sew the princess seams (both back and front ) at the full 5/8″ and then an additional 3/8″ front (1/2″ back) from armscye to mid-point of the princess curve.
For this pattern, I worked the most on the back
and I agree it still needs a little help. I wasn’t sure exactly what was wrong and kept making small tweaks. In the end, both the princess seams and the center back needed to be 5/8″. This was very surprising to me because initially I thought the size 16 would be too small. I thought using a narrower SA would be the key to fit. I need to burn this in my memory : for Connie Crawford trace either size 16 or XL add 1.5″ to the side seam allowances for fitting; trim the rest to 1/4″.
I copied the fitting changes to my tissue. Even took the time to true the princess seams (cutting that much off really mucks up the line). I need to test my pattern one more time. I’m eager to fully fit this pattern. I think it is going to be my TNT T-shirt/Tank top. I have a dozen fabrics waiting for it.