Subversive Sewer

{April 3, 2010}   a top and half a jacket made of paper

Here is what I did sewing-related today.

This picture makes me look like a damn cow.  I cropped my face out of it too, because that also looked like hell.  Maybe I should ruch the sides a little.  Anyway, this is McCall’s 6078, made from the last piece of decent fabric left when Wal-Mart decided to close their fabric department, the last one in my town.  And yes, I made a dress from the same fabric. 🙂

While we’re discussing knits, can someone tell me how to avoid this?

I believe those are known as puckers.  Yep, they’re awful.

I also undertook the tedious task of tissue fitting a la FFRP.  You may recall my mentioning that I bought their DVD, as I’m a visual learner and thus the book was no help to me.  Here is my result:

It is obvious even to me that this center front is nowhere near my center front.  This is a size 10 in the shoulders, and a 12 from the waist down.  I cut it a long time ago, and have since decided I wear a 12 in the shoulders.  That may be part of the problem, but not all of it.

Here is the back.  It seems that at the back neckline the center fronts match, but from there on out they do not.  I also see that I have some back fat.  Hmm, that’s new.  Do I also see a swayback?

Here you can see that the bust point is WAY off.  I even added about 1/2″ FBA to the princess seam, which is apparently not the FFRP way, but I cut this out a while ago.  My bust seems to be at the right height, though.  (I am wearing a new bra that is not a $10 Target bra this time.)

I left my face in this pic because it didn’t look too horrible this time!  I can’t decide if I have a high rounded back.  I do notice that my tops tend to ride up in front, which is apparently a sign of that.  Do I have a forward shoulder? My posture does look better than it used to.

If I’m right about where my shoulder begins, this shoulder seam is about an inch away from it.  I wonder if this is the cause of my inability to move my arms when wearing long sleeve woven garments.  I know I have sloping shoulders, but I don’t see any ill effects of it here.  But of course I could be wrong.

I’m thinking I need a bigger FBA, and I need to buy this pattern in a size 12.  By the way, it is McCall’s 5859.  Thanks so much to all of you for your help.


Sue says:

You are like the majority of us that don’t fit into a standard pattern. Most women will be one size at the shoulders/neck and changing sizes all the way down to the hips. If your shoulders/neck fit well then make sure your bust point is in the right place, then meausre how much extra you need to add for your bust, to get CF’s to meet, how much extra you need to get the waist to fit and then the hips. Adding to the waist and hips is easy, it’s the correct around the neck and shoulders that is hardest to adjust. Don’t forget to allow for ease also. I’m not sure how much you would need for your jacket. It’s a cute pattern by the way!
Even when I have adjusted my pattern I still cut wider than 5/8 at the side seams, just in case. I usually forget to check shoulder length, so don’t you forget ….. lol. Also check back neck to waist to make sure the pattern’s waist marking matches where your waist is.
Check the upper arm circumferance too and make sure you will have enough ease. You wondered if you may have a slighlty rounded back – looking at your photo and the way you are standing I would have to agree. Not much, just slight. The forward shoulder thing confuses me, I never know whether to add onto the front or back. Also, wearing a fitted top/jacket/coat with a set-in sleeve is always going to feel more constricting than something looser or dropped sleeve or raglan. I think making this in muslin first (once you have done your fitting changes to the pattern) would be a good idea. Good luck, looking forward to seeing how you go!!

I don’t think you have a high round back. You might have a slightly forward shoulder, but it’s not terrible. It’s weird where they put the bust point. I wonder if that is a misprint – McCalls and their divisions usually put the bust point 4 inches from the CF. You’re right – the bust height looks good. I agree that starting with a 12 will probably fix some of the problems. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Colleen P. says:

I’m going with what Sue said-most of us have different sizes depending on where on the body the garment sits-I wear a 12 shoulder, 24 in the bust, 20 at the waist and 18 at the hips, I am SERIOUSLY hard to fit and absolutely everything requires tracing off and adjusting, and occasionally buying two patterns in drastically different sizes just to fit my tiny shoulders and big boobs. It’s just something I’ve learned I have to do. Consequently I don’t make a LOT of garments because it’s impossible to make them quickly when you have to work so hard.

I think you might need to just add in a few inches at the waist and hip, possibly move that shoulder line up (I have the same problem).

Remember-no one can see what size your pattern is so do what fits, not the number you like best! If you can get the shoulder, bust and arm to fit well and work as they should (great fit does not good if you can’t move your arms, as you have found out!), your battle is nearly over because this is where it’s most difficult to make adjustments-you can add any amount of ease you need around the waist and hips easily.

Good luck!

angie.a says:

Ok goober. You do NOT look like a damned cow, or an undamned cow, or any cow of the sort. And I should know. I have cows:



I LOVE that knit top, sooo cute. And I think it would be even cuter ruched up on the sides, maybe with dangly drawstrings?? Good call!

LOVE the necklace too. There’s an etsy shop I should send you a link to. I’ll try not to flake and forget it as soon as I leave this page!

subversivesewer says:

whoa! Are you the only one who takes care of those cows???

speaking of flaky, I lost your address already- can you send it again?

subversivesewer says:

Oh, and I made the necklace that day too! I should’ve blogged that too!

Thanks for the tips, all!

Gigi says:

I think you definitely have a forward shoulder. The shoulder seam should fall where the pivot point of your arm is – move your arm around and feel for the joint. The upper back width seems okay so just let out around the hip area to bring the back into the proper position. It does look like you have a bit of a sway back but it’ll be easier to tell for sure once you’ve added some width at the side back. Once you have the back properly fitted then you will move onto the front.

I know it’s a bit of a challenge fitting yourself but once you know what you need in the back you can automatically make those alterations before you start fitting the front.

I hardly think that knit top makes you look like a cow – seriously! It’s just the wrong shape for you, that’s all. Your shoulders are narrow so you need styles to visually widen them. However, I think you can save this top by shortening it to high hip where you are narrower.

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