This is NOT a close-fitted bodice.
I could store a spare tyre or seven in here.
I’m feeling a bit hang-dog that this is my third bodice and they’re getting worse! I can’t understand where all this extra room came from, since it certainly wasn’t in its predecessor. Bah. I’m supposed to test out my sleeve pattern now, but it seems pointless when (desperately-needed) changes to the bodice will demand changes to the sleeve.
Most frustrating is that I have two classes left – not time to fix this, check sleeve, and draft skirt. Grrr.
You’re definitely much closer than before, but it looks like you’ve over-fitted the armhole. Before you put a sleeve into that armhole, you’ll need to swing some of the huge dart you’re about to achieve into the armhole. Otherwise you won’t be able to move properly. Or even worse, you’ll get blacmangue boobs. You know the sort, the big round blobs that seem to be spreading sideways. You see, vintage patterns could be fitted closer through the armhole because bras gave us pointy boobs that had forward projection – ie flat from side seam to point. Modern bras make us rounder, so instead of our side seam being the furthest from our centre front, the sides of our boobs are.
If you are lucky enough to find a copy of Practical Dress Design by Mabel D Erwin, there’s a really fantastic section on ease. There should be what she calls a “blade” of ease in the hollow between the chest and bust. It should be about 2.5cm.
What a pity I found your blog too late – I was in Melbourne 4 weeks ago and would have been happy to have helped you. Block fitting is my specialty, and is actually what I flew over for.