Subversive Sewer

{March 20, 2010}   Fitting shell and a swimsuit

Well, I’ve been pretty busy this afternoon.  First, I’ll show you the swimsuit I made for Sofia:

This is Kwik Sew 2605.  I cut different sizes for the length and width so it should fit her very well.  She’ll wear it to swimming lessons this week.  It was just as easy as I’ve read about!  This post on Dawn’s blog really inspired me to go ahead and give it a try.  If Sofia likes it, I’ll make more of them.  I also have a suit in mind for myself, but I have to modify a pattern to achieve what I have in mind.

Then there’s this fabric.  I bought it in Miami last month.  I was going to make the maxi dress in my last post, but as you can see, the print is a little weird.  I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a border print or what.  Anyhow, I don’t know what to make with it.  I really wanted to make a maxi dress.  Maybe if it’s wide enough after cutting off that brown (black?) part, I can draft something myself.

Now for the big event.  I finally took on the (boring) task of sewing up the fitting shell.  I took a bunch of pictures, so hopefully one of you nice folks can see something in them that can point me in the right direction.

First, a few observations.  I had to rip out the waist darts, but left a bit of them at the top.  This belly fat is really cramping my style.  There is definitely no ease in this thing.  I could barely move, and the neckline was choking me.  I also don’t see any indication of sloping shoulders.  Maybe this is because I’ve been improving my posture?  Well, here they are.


Colleen P. says:

One observation, as per your request-When was the last time you had a bra fitting? Your bustline is sitting well below the bustline of the fitting shell, which is often caused by a worn out or too big bra. The right bra, in the right size, can solve many a fit problem.

As far as “belly fat”-honey the clothes get altered to fit YOU, you are not required to alter yourself to fit the clothes! Never put yourself down because you’re not an exact fit in a specific size, there are SO many variables both in patterns and in ready to wear that affect the final fit and cut that it is not possible to fit everyone exactly.

subversivesewer says:

I had no idea about the bust point thing! Maybe I could go to a dept store for a fitting. I’ve always measured myself and thus have never had a bra fitting.

Sue says:

I agree with Colleen that perhaps a different bra will help.
Also, if you are sewing a fitting shell then you shouldn’t expect to be able to breathe easily in it or expect it to fit with ease. It is purely to be made up to fit you exactly so that you can then use it as your base measurements against other patterns to see how much ease, shaping etc is in them. The shell is your exact measurements, it’s you with no ease … lol
Therefore the neck will feel like it’s choking you as it is fitted to your exact neck measurement. It looks like maybe you are broader across your front than your back and also you may have to adjust for a sway back. And I think perhaps sloping shoulders too.
Do you have someone who sews who lives near you? Perhaps you could help each other out.
I hope that helps a bit.
All the best.

angie.a says:

Ok, I’m really almost no help with these but I’ll take a stab at it. Do you think you need a petite adjustment above the bustline? My buddy Shannon has to do that even though she’s not petite. (Maybe she will come along later and chime in too). The back looks a bit too large across the shoulder blades, but it looks like you need more room across the low waist/high hip area. Maybe some more bicep room in the sleeve?

I sort of suck at fitting myself though, so I’m probably not the best to judge fit on someone else! 😀

Colleen P. says:

Great point Sue-a fitting shell really is just you with no ease, I’ve never heard it put that way but it’s perfect!

anon says:

I second the bra comment. I’m going out on a limb here, and by no means want to be rude, but (and it may just be the bottom row of photos), you look as though you have bad posture, or maybe it’s a sway back? I find that if I think a garment I’ve made looks funny on, the first thing I check is my posture.

subversivesewer says:

No, not rude at all! In fact, I’ve been struggling with posture for a while. I thought it was improving, but it seems i have more work to do!

Helen says:

You do have a swayback but the swayback adjustment comes three inches below the waist so it’s irrelevant until you do the skirt part (swayback is not an insult or ‘bad posture’ by the way, I have one too and it does help to give one ‘curves’). Most of all I think you need a sewing buddy to pin out the excess about your waist at the back.

Becky Mc says:

Just a thought. A skin tight fitting shell should not fit OVER another article of clothing, just over your skin. Or is that just a really colorful slip? It looks like it is a dress and the gingham of your fitting shell is getting “hung up” on the fabric underneath. Not helpful for finding the variations and changes that need to be made.
As I understand it “sloping shoulders” have nothing to do with posture, it is just the way some people’s genetics shaped their shoulders. “Forward shoulders” is about posture. It looks like you might have a forward head/neck, which would also make you feel choky in a tight neck. And possibly a slight high round back, which would also affect the fit at the front neck. Anyway, follow the FFRP directions, do adjustments to the back first, as that affects the front. I took FFRP in Portland. Best thing ever to get fit right now that this body has had 4 kids and nothing fits straight out of the envelope anymore. those were the days….

KimB says:

Well I will chime in with my “free advice is worth what you pay for it!” 🙂

1. I don’t agree that a fitting shell should be skintight. It should have a minimum amount of ease so you can move, which is usually about an inch or two in the bust and waist (it varies based on your size and shape).
2. I recommend fitting the shell without sleeves first. Sleeves really complicate things, so make it a little easier to start with.
3. The size looks okay to me through the upper chest, but it’s really hard to tell with the sleeves on.
4. The bust darts are actually hitting you too low. From the side view, they look about 1/2″ low (i.e. I don’t think you have a low bust).
5. The waist shaping is taken out in the form of tapering at the side seam, and in the darts. I think you need less shaping in the front and side.
6. Here is where I would start again: rip the sleeves out, rip the side seams out except for the top inch or two restitch the front and back darts, pin out a 1/2″ horizontal tuck in the upper chest and back (raising everything from the armhole down 1/2″). Then see where you’re at. You will be able to check the neck/shoulder fit from there, which is the first think you have to deal with.

I know this is frustrating – I’ve totally been there, and I still struggle. But rather than fitting the whole thing at once, just start at the top, get the neck/shoulder to fit, then move down from there. You’ll get it!


KimB says:

One more thing: I don’t want to complicate things further, but have you considered trying a Burda pattern? They fit much differently, so you might want to give it a shot just to see if you can get a closer fit to start with. Whenever I am having fitting problems, my husband now automatically asks, “is that a Burda pattern?” because I have such better luck with them.


KimB says:

Alright, one more thing again! Did you cut the seam allowance off the neck? If you didn’t it will definitely choke you, and screw up the rest of the neck/shoulder fit.

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