Subversive Sewer

{July 17, 2011}   Fitting shell, revisited








Once in a while I get motivated to try and figure out my fit issues. I got out my fitting shell I made last year, hoping that it might no longer be a mystery to me.

Here is the front.  I had to let out the shoulder seam by the neck because it was choking me. I seem to be kinda fleshy there. I think that’s related to the shoulder slope issue. I also can’t close this thing. I made the D cup bodice. I got a bra fitting at jc penney, and they said I’m a 34c. I was wearing that size and spilling out of it, so I’ve been wearing a 34d instead. However, one side still spills out unless I’m wearing my strapless bra. I’m at a loss.

I also had to let out the darts on the bottom couple inches. It should be apparent that I have a belly. I’m too lazy for cardio.  I’m wondering if I have a swayback as well.

I’m also suspecting narrow shoulders (tops and bra straps slip off pretty often) and large biceps. These 2 issues alone have rendered me unable to wear any jacket I’ve ever made.

So, I’ve got fast fit and fit for real people. I’ll be reading both for the umpteenth time, documenting my progress here in the hopes that it might be helpful to somebody. Any feedback would also be very welcome.


BeckyMc says:

Are you fitting it over a shirt? Fitting shells are supposed to have very minimal ease, fitting over your underwear only. I actually don’t think they help much. Kenneth King has a CD book on the Moulage. It is instructions for making a custom fit draft that fits from shoulder to below hip. I learned the very most from making one of those and comparing it to commercial patterns to see where I needed to make changes.
If you don’t want to do that, I reccommend the book Fit for Real People as the easiest solution to finding a good fit deciding what pattern alterations to make.

BeckyMc says:

Oh, and I had JC Penney fit me for bras once, as well as Victoria’s and Nordstrom. I only trust Nordstrom. They gave me a radically different size than I expected and since then my clothes fit better.
Rather than reading fitting books cover to cover, I’d choose one and go through it step by step.

Colleen P. says:

I’ve tried fit for real people and had absolutely no success with it, it’s just too difficult to do by myself, so I hope you have better success with it.

Just looking at you, here are what look like the fitting issues you might have-a low bust point and a sway back, plus you need to add just a bit of width at the front waistline. POSSIBLY you might need to add some width through the upper back and shoulder, I can’t really tell for sure from the pictures but they do look like they’re pulling a bit.

I will say, you look like you’ve lost some weight since the last time you tried this!

Best of luck to you though, I have found over the last year or so that I am having an incredibly hard time fitting my body, whereas 10 years ago it was a doddle. Not sure if it’s me, the patterns, or what, but I totally share your pain.

Lucy says:

It’s a yes to the swayback! I’d recommend as an alteration method which preserves the grainline and doesn’t necessitate a CB seam.

Oooo. Start with a proper bra fitting. You’ll feel better, look better, and the fitting will be better (and hopefully easier).

Kudos to investing your time in the fitting shell, but if you do all that work and THEN discover you’re really a 32DD and that corrects any low bust-point issues, etc., you’ll be back to square one!

Hatty says:

You need to start with a sloping shoulder adjustment. That will remove all that excess flopping about in the chest area above your bust. Then you might need a small Full Bust Adjustment, but do the shoulders first because that does alter the fir on the bust anyway. When you work below the waist you DEFINITELY need a swayback adjustment. (Do you have Irish heritage?)

You do need some stuff in the back but it’s hard to say exactly until you get the shoulders right. I am thinking a small adjustment for being short-waisted would take out the bulge of fabric in the small of your back. But do the shoulders before you try anything else. Always work downwards…

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