My new book, Fit For Real People, arrived last week. Up until now, I've been fudging my pattern adjustments or stealing ideas from other people's blogs (with mixed results).
I have to say, I love the way this book is written. Loads of diagrams, and really simple instructions - without being condescending. I also really like the real-life examples, showing fit adjustments for a wide variety of different shapes. This book was definitely a good read!
But does it work? Well, today I decided to trace off a Burda pattern. I need a dress to wear to my uncle's wedding, and I have a beautiful border-print silk to sew. Because the fabric is so amazing, I don't want to stuff this up. And while I think the pattern style will suit me, it is very apparent that the pattern doesn't leave enough 'boob space'.
Following the instructions, I traced off the pattern size that would fit my 'high bust' (i.e. measuring around my underarms). This put me at about a size 42, but with an additional 3" or so of boob to squeeze in!
There were a few differences between my pattern and the 'standard' sloper that they adjust in the book. My bodice ends at the waist, with a separate piece for the waistband. And it comes with a small dart at the bottom, not the usual side dart.
I decided to ignore the dart altogether for now. I pretended that the bodice piece was full length, and snipped away! I did the Y-shaped FBA. This was recommended for larger adjustments - I'm going for about 1.5" on each side, so I thought this might work.
The red shows where I have added width and length. Feel free to giggle at the tiny original dart (in blue). I know I did! My boobs would have smiled if they could. That dart was never going to work.
Then I started playing around with darts. The horizontal red triangle is now a dart, though slightly shorter. It's about 3/4" in width. The vertical dart worked pretty much in the same position. You can see the 3D view below! BTW, this is part of the instructions. Basically, the whole book is about tissue-fitting (which I greatly prefer to sewing muslins, for financial reasons).
But even then, it wasn't quite right. Even with the extra inch or so of length in the middle, the bodice still stops quite a bit short of covering my boobs. So, I added an inch evenly along the bottom - this meant lengthening the darts accordingly.
The final step was to add corresponding width to the waistband which joins the bottom of this piece. I've darted out the extra side length, so it should all match up to the back piece.
All that remains now is to sew up a muslin (yes, I'm doing one anyway) and see how it goes. I've got faith in this!