Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fitting the Lady Skater bodice

I mostly wear knits - I'm a big fan of comfort, and my waist size varies a lot, even within a single day.  And I'd love to have simple, casual dresses as a regular part of my wardrobe, so I'm determined to get the Lady Skater to work.  I've seen so many different versions, on so many different bodies, that it must be possible to get it to work for me.

For my first attempt - a practice bodice, as suggested by the pattern - I did a straight size 7.  That's too big based on my high bust measurement, which the pattern tells you to choose by, but maybe the right size for my waist measurement (at that moment, anyway.  The variations really are ridiculous), and I was using a printed knit that looks bad when it's stretched too much, so I wanted to be sure that there would be enough room in the bust.  Once I got far enough to baste the sides closed, it was obvious that it was too big above the bust - lots of excess fabric along the front sleeve seam, and too wide in the shoulders.

For the next attempt, another practice bodice, I went down to a size 6 at the shoulders, and used the cheater FBA method suggested on the Kitschy Koo blog to go up to a 7 at the underarm and below.  But I still wound up with a lot of excess fabric above the bust, and very prominent shoulder seams.

(And looking at this photo, I can see slight drag lines across the bust too!)

At this point, since the fit problems were hardly improved at all, I began to suspect that the fabric might be contributing to the problem.  It's somewhat stiff, as knits go - I lay down the t-shirt I was wearing on the bodice and found that its dimensions around the shoulders were just about the same, but the much lighter fabric of the t-shirt meant the excess didn't stick out sideways like it's doing on this bodice.

So my next attempt is another size 6 until the underarm/7 below combination, but out of a drapier, stretchier knit, that will hopefully handle the excess more gracefully.  But before I finished that, I also got ambitious and decided to try out an FBA, even though it's a knit, following the directions from Maria Denmark on FBAs for a tee.  I plan to sew both the cheater FBA version and the real FBA version from the same fabric - hopefully one or the other will turn out okay, because I want to make this dress for real!