Finally got the guts to try out this pattern. Gertie's pattern for Butterick, the B5814. Being a full-figured girl, I was a little nervous about the neckline. I have cleavage in a turtle neck, pretty much. I tend to be 3 different sizes, depending on the pattern. One size each for chest, waist & hips. I used to hate to alter the patterns, but now I am beginning to not mind the process. I find that if I just be patient, I enjoy the process. Same with sewing. I used to be impatient for the final product, where now I do it slowly, and make sure I do it right.
I sewed my first muslin with just a little added to the sides, tapered back down to the waist, so I could see how much I needed to alter, hoping it wouldn't BE much... It fit, but not nicely. I could stuff myself in, but you couldn't see the lovely details of the bodice.
Second muslin was better, but not perfect. I did a full bust adjustment (FBA) but it wasn't enough. I marked on my muslin where I wanted everything to sit, and went back to my pattern. In all, I added a side dart to both sides, and enlarged the front dart. I also added 2" of length to be taken up in part by that side dart. I increased the size of each of the gathers on the front piece, so as to allow for the lack of a front dart. I also changed the angle of where those gathers sat, as now things had shifted a bit. I ended up making quite a few changes! More than any other pattern ever. And it's still not perfect, but pretty close. I suppose I am my own worst critic, so I see wrinkles and gathers that I don't like, but no one else will likely notice. I also had the same problem as Gertie of the sleeves not staying put, so I did adjust the angle of the sleeve where it's sewed to the bodice. I also had to change the bust point, and move the darts too. I think in all, I must have sewn 5 or 6 muslins. Some all from scratch, and others with minor changes. I didn't bother with a skirt muslin, as there was enough ease for me to be comfortable to just sew it. I also moved the drape over, so you can see the gathers in the skirt more clearly. It took me longer to draft new pattern pieces than it did for me to sew the damn thing!
But the sewing process was so lovely! I chose a wool blend in a grey-ish brown with lighter coloured flecks. I'm in love with the material. It's heavy, but not too thick. It has a slight bit of stretch, but that is taken care of with the dress being fully lined. I bought the material before I had the pattern, just waiting for the perfect moment to use the fabric. I did find the drape in the pattern to be almost impossible to sew through, but I did it... Did anyone else have problems? Maybe my material was a little thicker than I thought.
I also did the stabilizing that Gertie recommends. I might have not thought to do this, so I am glad I read through Gertie's posts. I also added tiny little bra stays (just snaps sewn to a piece of ribbon, so i could keep my straps hidden under the sleeves.
I used these other blog posts as guidelines for my process:
I had some fun with make-up too. Love the Stila Liquid liner.