Homework fail

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.

Patternmaking class #2

Class #2 was a revelation. The regular teacher was absent and his replacement was awesome. She was loud and bustling and chatty and, most important of all, demonstrative! She walked us through the next steps as a group, drawing up a block with us and telling us not just the whats but the whys of the process.

She took one look at my ugly, badly-fitting toile and showed me how to take up all that excess fabric in the dart. The class was really fun. And look, at the end of it, I have an actual pattern:

Something surprising to note was how rugged that white paper is. We folded and slashed and taped and pinned and the paper took it all.

At home, I made up another toile. Better, but still not good:

It’ the right length and less baggy in the armpits, but I think all those ugly wrinkles are because it’s too flat across the bust. Damn. This isn’t going to be so easy to fix – I think the next stage is to slash it open like so:

In polite circles, this is called a full bust adjustment or FBA. But that’s a bit dull, don’t you think? How about a ‘brick house renovation’ or ‘big rack attack’? Other suggestions? In any case, it looks like a drag but worth the effort. If I get this info onto my block then I won’t have to do it again.

Class #1 – the homework

Because I’m a dirty swot keen to learn as much as I can in these five short weeks, I jostled ahead and drafted a rough bodice pattern to test out the block. All I did was add in waist darts according to the handout instructions – very quick and dirty. You’re not supposed to use those honkin’ great darts from the neck to bust point in a garment. This rough test garment is called a muslin or toile.

It wasn’t great. I knew there’d be some tweaking required but the thing was just too short (which I suspected when I looked at the my nape-waist measurement taken by a classmate – I’m used to adding 7-8cm as standard to commercial patterns because I’m so tall, so the number just looked wrong. Should have double-checked). Plus there’s some truly spectacular bagginess at the armhole – the armscye on the right side of the picture has been pinned to get rid of it… it was great to have this toile at the second class to amend my block’s gross flaws before taking it any further.