17 January 2011

Developing a Bodice Sloper: Day 2

Before I go into details about the second day of my sloper class, I have to vent. I consider myself an advanced beginning sewer because there are some techniques that I have yet to try or master. For example, I have never sewn a collar with stand, worked more than one buttonhole on a shirt, made a shirt that fit, or sewed a decent-looking lapped zipper without help.

After today's class, I may increase my level to 'intermediate' anyway because I knew a helluva lot more than almost everyone else. There is one other student who designs clothing and she knows what she's doing. She and I worked alone for most of the time doing our own thing. Folks didn't know how to measure patterns without darts or seamlines, true seams, adjust patterns by slashing/spreading and a bunch of other basic stuff. The suggested skill level for this class is quite high, but apparently not verified. Sigh. Vent over. Now on to the good stuff...

Today we traced our front and back bodice pieces and made alterations. This table shows the adjustments on which I focused.


Body Meas.

Ease

Needed for Pattern

Actual Pattern Meas.

Adjustment

full bust

*

2

*

*

+1.75

full front

*

1

*

*

+4

bust point

*

-

*

*

+0.5

waist

*

1

*

*

+6

front waist length

*

-

*

*

+1.125

back waist length

*

-

*

*

-1

shoulder depth

*

-

*

*

0

full back

*

-

*

*

-1.75



Bust Point & Front Waist Length

bust point: +0.5
front waist length: +1.125

The first thing to do was to add length to lower the bust point so that the bust darts are in the correct positions. I found it interesting that the instructor said not to move the dart itself. Some books tell you to draw a box around the dart and lower it so that it's in the right spot. She said that darts are in their proper places upon drafting and need to be adjusted by adding length above the dart only. Interesting. The red lines show where length was added from left to right. This alteration came before the full bust adjustment so that's why the line is crooked.



The total front waist length adjustment is 1.125 inches. Since one-half an inch in length was added to lower the bust point, the front waist length adjustment is actually smaller. Instead of adding 1.125 inches, I only need to add 0.625" in length. I don't recall adding the extra length to the front, so I'll have to ask the instructor about this at the next class.

Back Waist Length
The back waist length is the length of the back from neckline to waist at the center. I took out a 1" wedge at the waistline for this adjustment. This amounts to correcting the pattern for a swayback. I think I need more than one inch; we'll see if that's the case in muslin.




Full Front, Full Bust, & Waist

full front: +4"
full bust: +1.75"
waist: +6"

My full bust measures 1.75" larger than that of the pattern (front and back). Normally, I would make a 7/8 or 1" FBA. The problem is that not all of the fullness is equally distributed in the front and back. The full front measurement (which only considers the distance from side to side across the front) shows a 4" difference. This means two things: (1) I need a 2" FBA in the front, and (2) I have to take out some of the extra width from the back. I never would have thought of taking width out of the back, but I suppose it makes sense. Perhaps this is why after completing an FBA, the back always feels too loose and the center front of the muslin never reaches my center front.



To determine the amount to remove from the back, we looked at the difference between the full front and full bust adjustment values, and divided the result by 2: (4 - 1.75)/2 = 1.125. We divide by two since the adjustment is made on one pattern piece.

The red area shows where I removed 1.125 inches by slicing from shoulder to just above the armhole-side seam and overlapping. This alteration caused the side seam to rise about 0.75 inches (top blue wedge). To ensure that the front and back side seams matched, I added extra length (bottom blue wedge).

To adjust the front, I slashed through the vertical dart, the bust point, all the way up to the shoulder seam. I also slashed the horizontal dart from cutting line to bust point, creating a hinge. I spread the pattern apart 2" at the bust point, tapering to 1.5" at the waistline.



Since I needed an extra 6" at the waist, I divided this number by 4 to determine how much to add onto the front piece. As I write this, I now question the validity of this calculation. Wouldn't the same issues about equal distribution of fullness be present at the waist too? Again, I'll have to go to the instructor on this one.

The black lines show the new size of the horizontal dart. Can you say, ginormous? Sigh.

This is as far as I got. By this time, class was over and other people consumed most of the time. I did another check of my pattern measurements and found that there are still things that need correcting:
  • The front and back side seams are off by one-half inch.
  • The waist is 3 inches too small; something has to be added to the back, apparently.
  • I have to ask about the front waist length addition of 0.625".
  • What about the full back adjustment? Wasn't I supposed to take out 1.75" or can I ignore it since I took out 1.125 inches already?
For the next class, we are to trace our "completed" bodice patterns onto another piece of paper and have the sleeve and skirt ready. Hmf. Skirts aren't my problem; bodices are. I am not going to trace anything new until I have the issues with this bodice worked out.

L

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like the last sewing class that I took a couple of years ago (we were supposed to sew a semi-fitted blouse). After that experience, I gave up on doing things "by the book" and started playing around with things on my own. FWIW, I've also found that I get better results by adding length to the CF to go over my bust than by lowering the dart entirely.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lynn try not to get frustrated. I always figure if I can learn one new thing in a class...I've gotten my money's worth.

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  3. Try not to judge yourself based on a "class". If you are sewing for the masses then yes it helps to be able to design garments that fit the masses. But if you are sewing for self or your immediate cipher, then you will learn what you need when you need to learn it.

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Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.

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