Thursday, February 18, 2010

When big hips are not so big or The envelope lies

So starting with view A:

 I decided to trace out the pattern rather than used the already cut out pieces because when I looked at the pattern envelope for the measurements I noticed that my hips were significantly bigger than the hip measurement provided for by the patter.  Given that this is a straight skirt combined with my wide hips and well endowed rear end, I felt that a big hip adjustment (my words) was in order. So, I figured out how much to add to the pattern to make the skirt fit over my hips.  I slashed the pattern and followed the directions provided for a big hip adjustment.

I cut out the fabric and first put together the bodice.  It came together quickly and fit very well indeed.  The collar and facing went together with ease.  My first raglan sleeves were a joy to insert.  No puckers here. 

The skirt, likewise, went together quickly.  No problems; not even with the back kick pleat thing (yes that is a term of art in the sewing world).  It is now time to try the skirt on prior to attaching it to the bodice.  You must understand that at this point in time, I was feeling proud of myself.  No seams to unpick.  The complicated collar and neck facing turned out perfectly.  I was amazed that this dress was both coming together quickly and that it actually looked professionally made.

Then .....the horror.....I put on the skirt and...........its ..............tooooooooooooooooo....BIG.  Not by a  little bit.........but by ALOT....super huge amounts of fabric swallowing those hip and rear.  My big hips unimaginably lost in acres of fabric.  How could the skirt be this huge? 

Imagine the stunned look on my face as I gazed in the mirror.  The mixture of horror and amazement.  I checked math and no that quarter of an inch would bring the skirt to my hip size. 

Then came the next 1 1/2 hours of taking in the seams, taking in the darts, making bigger pleats.  I finally got the back of the skirt and the waist to fit.  But from the front, skirt still looked HUGE.  If the bodice did not look so perfect, I would have thrown the whole thing out at this point blessing the good that is $1 yard fabric.  The zipper could be used for something else I could rationalize.  But I loved the bodice.  I had set in my sleeves perfectly, no puckers.  Oh the frustration.

Finally, I made the drastic decision to take the skirt apart and re-cut the front piece to start with to see if that would fix this size issue. 

So unpicking began.  Goodbye nice darts.

The next night the skirt started from scratch.  First the front piece is recut and I basted it onto the back pieces.  Lo and behold, the skirt looked normal and asif it fit.  Now remember, the back pieces have darts which have quadrupled in size and huge seam allowances.  But looking at the front piece, the heavens opened up lighting up my joyous face and I knew that I had to re-cut the back pieces as well.  Goodbye basting and back kick pleat thing; the unpicking begins again.

So the back pieces are recut and then the skirt sewn back together.  At this point you must understand that matching the plaid was just not an option. Taking the skirt to the mirror once again yielded a totally different sight……a well fitting skirt.

Hallelujah… is time to attach the bodice to the skirt with the funky ribbon waistband thing.


Twill Jill said...

Found you on Sew Retro. Isn't that just aggravating! But at least you were smart and used cheapy fabric in case something went drastically wrong. I've jumped right in and used a new pattern on "good" fabric only to feel the shame when I realize I have no choice but to scrap it. Your dresses looked great on the Sew Retro site, though!

Original Mischief said...

Found you on Sew Retro. I only use vintage patterns (and fabric) also. Love your grey dress - looks fab! Come visit me when I start sewing again.