Friday, 17 January 2014

FITTING: By Hand London 'Anna' muslin/toile - I need your help with fitting (part 1).

And here she is, my Anna wearable toile/muslin, almost completed.

Fabric from my stash, it's cotton dad got from Vietnam for me in November 2012. 
I only had 2m of fabric so the skirt neither midi or maxi - just made do with the length left over after I cut out the bodice. 
The neckline and arm holes are finished with bias binding. 
Bodice seams frenched and skirt seams serged.

It's been 44C degrees for four consecutive days in Melbourne so haven't been sewing this week. Bloody heatwave. My sewing room is like an oven. I would have died if I stayed in that room for a sewing session; someone would have noticed my absence on social media (probably my sister) and I'd be found in my bra and undies, with a yellow tape measure around my neck, holding the Anna dress.

Last night (aka day 3 of heatwave) I sat in the lounge, which  thankfully has aircon, and handpicked the zip. I tried it on one last time before hemming and found some problemos...


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Fitting issues:
  • Hem at the back is lower than the front
  • The waist seam doesn't sit 'straight', it dips towards the back
  • The front bodice seems to ride up, I keep feeling the need to pull it down

My measurements are:
  • bust 78cm
  • waist 68cm
  • hips 90cm

I cut a size 2/6 bust and graded out to a 6/10 waist. 
Even though my hips corresponded with size 2/6, I cut a 6/10 to match up with the waist. Would this have anything to do with the hem being longer at the back.front bodice riding up?

Anna size chart from By Hand London website.

I really want my Anna to be perfect the next time round, so for once I will do the right thing and fix the problem areas properly before moving on to the real version. 

I found the Anna pattern easy to make. By Hand London's patterns are superb! I read the instruction booklet cover to cover. 

The real version will be the maxi with thigh high slit. I need it completed by 23rd February to wear to a wedding, my best friend is getting married, yippee!

So, I really need your help, please comment below with what you think is wrong with fit and what modifications to make on the pattern before I cut out the next version. 

I appreciate all advice so please give me any thoughts you have. 
I reached out on Twitter last night and got a lot of helpful suggestions but I wasn't able to get gross, sweaty photos till today and I thought this deserved a blog post as 140 characters is not enough!

Is it a swayback?
Do I need a FBA?
Do I need a bigger size?
Help, help help.

Thanking you ladies in advance! 



14 comments:

  1. I get the tilted bodice problem with everything I make, it's so annoying! I've been told I have a tilted waist, not sure if that is the same thing as sway back.
    I wish I could say I had all the answers. I ended up just removing length at the back of the bodice till it was level with my waist. That would help the skirt too. hope you find some answers!

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    1. I been reading your blog today, but can't comment on it for some reason? I now realise I have the tilted waist issue all the time! Just not as obvious as on the Anna so I've never been bothered by it.

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  2. I think it could be a shoulder issue. See how the shoulder seam is sitting back from the top of your shoulder? I think some of the bodice length you need at the front is pulling to the back. Looks like your posture is very upright (good for you - mine is the opposite!). There is an upright upper back adjustment but I've left the house and my copy of fit for real people so I have no idea what it is!). Maybe try and fix the shoulder issue and see if the rest of the issues go away? They do say with fit issues to start at the top! It's hard to see with the print but the bust looks fine. I wouldn't say you needed an fba.

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    1. You're right, it is the shoulders. Gah what a pain!!! Thanks for commenting :) I've written a follow up post as well with more pics.

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  3. actually i seem to remember the upright upper back fix is a wedge taken out. like this: http://coatsewalong.blogspot.co.uk/2008/06/pattern-adjustment-for-erect-back.htm

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    1. Thanks for linking me to the post. Someone else/blog said to add length to the back shoulder seam. this is all new to me so I'll experiment with both!

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  4. Hi, it's definitely got something to do with the shoulder seam line. As Jo (Sew Little Time) mentioned too, the seam line sits too far back (towards your back). After making a muslin it's always good to check that seam line, you can pin a piece of think black elastic where you think your seam line should be (generally more central on your shoulder point). Perhaps try on some RTW dresses that you like the fit of and see where the seam is to get an idea. If you try the dress on and pull that seam line more to the centre of your shoulders, see what difference it makes to the waist line and hem line. You could unpick your binding and try and fix it but I can't tell whether there will be enough on the seam allowances. It might be easier to make another muslin of just that bodice with extra wide seam allowances and then begin a slow and gradual fitting process until the bodice hangs correctly with a straight waist line. If the neckline fits you well, don't overlap the seams here, kind of pivot them because then you won't cause additional issues there, like making the neckline too small etc. If the waist line is straight all the way round, then so will the hem be. Hope this helps! (Also, this is a really common problem. I get this a lot and also one of my shoulders is higher than the other. Lots of things to take into consideration!)

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    1. Hey Clare, thank you for your comment. I did just that and tried on RTW, had same problem with shoulder seam sitting back, but only by 1.5cm, compared to my Anna which was 3cm. I have written a follow up post. Thank you so much for your help :)

      Will have to figure out how to make those shoulder adjustments without affecting the neckline and arm holes.

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  5. See where the front darts sit to determine if you need an FBA. I need extra length in the front above the waist. You will achieve this through adding the fabric directly above the waist or at the bust which will pull the front down. Hope this is helpful.

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    1. Thanks Gail! Everyone has been saying it's my shoulder seams, so I had a closer look and the shoulder seams are sitting way back :( I don't think I'll need an FBA for this dress .... or any other cos I have the smallest boobs ever hahahha

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  6. I also think its an issue with the shoulders. The dress is pulling backwards. Hence the high-low effect. Transfer the rotation from the back to the front pattern piece should make a difference. Good luck.

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  7. I totally agree with my fellow sewistas, it's a problem on the shoulders of the dress. I have encountered this problem many times in the dresses I made for my clients, if you solve the excess fabric in the front part of shoulders, then the dress will look good on you. Looking foward to see the result.

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  8. HI neeno, I'm a reader of your blog from Melb also. Are you interested in joining a facebook page for local sewers? I'm in Reservoir btw. I'm not sewing the Anna but I'm working on the elisalex number 2.
    Annerliegh (agparkinson(at)hotmail.com

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