My week end has been all about sewing – if you don’t count the several loads of washing, the shopping, the cleaning – and here are the results of all my efforts to get a better fitting Anna Dress.
My first Anna was a straight size 8 – no adjustments whatsoever and neither a muslin to try the fit. Of course that dress isn’t perfect, but what I dislike the most about it, it’s that I look pregnant if you look at me sideways. Look!
I swear I’m not pregnant!
The main problems was the front bodice riding up, resulting in uneven waistline and hem, a choking neckline and shoulder seams slipping towards the back. To understand why this was happening and how to fix it I bought a book! I love books and I read good reviews about “Fit for real People” by Palmer and Pletsch, so now it’s in my personal library. The photos are a bit dated but the book is full of useful examples and explanation on every sort of fitting issue and I’m very happy to have purchased it and I highly recommend it to every beginner like me – all those photos and pictures are great and you can “easily” individuate your body problems.
So …. This is what I’ve modified in my Anna Dress. First of all I’ve double checked my size and I cut again an 8 as my bust and waist fall exactly in this size. And then:
- I lengthen the front and the back bodice pieces by 2 cm as the first Anna waistline was a bit too high for my liking.
- Reading the book and comparing the pictures in the book with my photos, I found out I sadly have a very round back (I won’t give up knitting thought!). Basically my shoulders have moved forward and my upper back is a bit rounded, causing my bodice to ride to the back and making the front neckline to tight and also creating some gaping at the back neck. To alter the pattern I draw a perpendicular line to the grain about 10 cm below the base of the neck, cut all the way to the side seamline and then raising the upper back of 2 cm. This created a slightly curved centre back seamline which I can follow to fit my back curve.
- To reduce the centre back gaping issue I’ve also followed Gingermakes tutorial, slashing and overlapping the tissue of about 1 cm.
- My hem being longer at the back is also caused by my lack of derrière. Mais oui, my ass isn’t big enough to fill the Anna dress properly and I require less length at the centre back. I’ve started fixing the back bodice first and later on I’ll check the fit on the skirt panels too. I’ve basically draw another line, perpendicular to the grain, about 5 cm above the bottom of the bodice and cut it all the way to the side seamline and overlapped the bottom to the top piece by 2 cm. All these adjustments distorted the grainline – straighten it! – and also the seams – true them!
- And lastly, as after all these alteration my shoulder seams weren’t lying in a straight line from the base of the neck yet, I went for a forward shoulder adjustment too! Oh yeah! I moved the entire seam forward from the neck, removing 2 cm from the front bodice and adding an equal amount to the back.
Ok, here I look veeeery hunched but IRL I’m a bit better looking! :)
The elastic says “you’re nearly there, waistline!”
The front looks good, does it?? :))
This is my second muslin and I’m pretty happy with how the bodice is looking now, but before cutting in my lovely floral cotton voile – summer maxy dress on its way! – I might remove another cm from the lower back. Owen took these photos and he said that my shorts waistline isn’t straight and therefore the bodice doesn’t look straight either, but should I trust him? What do you all think?
Here she is! I’ve finished my Georgia Dress and I love her! Do you know why!? Because it is a knockout of a dress!
After making a muslin for the bodice only, I cut a size 6 at the bust slimming down to a 4 for the waist and hips. The bodice went together pretty easily, also thanks to the super helpful posts by the ladies from BHL (see all the blog posts about their sewalong here).
Fitting the skirt was a bit of a pain instead. The main problem is that when I sew I’m usually alone and I don’t have anyone who can help me with the fitting-pinning issues. So for this Georgia I had to finish the dress with the zipper first so I could try it on, inside out, and do the necessary adjustments. I had to take in quite a bit from the side seams – which meant removing the zipper and sew it back in again – and from the back seams.
I’m pretty happy with the fit even if maybe I could have gone for a sway back adjustment too, as the photos show few wrinkles on my lower back. Next time, maybe, for the moment I’m just to happy to have this new dress in my wardrobe to think about new adjustments!
For the hem I’ve used some black satin ribbon as I really like to have a nice detail on the inside of the dress too and I’ve overlocked all the seam allowances for a clean finish.
I’ve also stitched the back straps down onto the bodice as they were pulling the bodice piece up and it looked funny. I might do the same for the front as well, one day.
So, where is your Georgia?
The last clue of the Follow your Arrow MKAL was released a couple of weeks ago and my shawl has been sitting around waiting for a sunny day to get photographed since. Today it’s finally that day! :)
I’ve used CY Skinny Bugga in Crown of Thorns Starfish – a beautiful mix of soft magenta, purples and rusty oranges – and Bronze Moth – an unusual color for me which I surprisingly love, a semisolid gold brown. The two of them together are magnificent!
Ysolda’s MKAL has been lots of fun, mainly because you could choose every time in between two different options and this allow you to re-use the pattern heaps of times mixing the clues together and creating lots of different shapes.
For my shawl I’ve chosen the ABBBB combination and I’m pretty happy with the result. I really love the knitted-on border – it’s the same kind of edging used in Bristol Ivy’s Winnowing, which I’ve done twice already – it’s a bit more time consuming than a regular bind off, but certainly worth every hour of knitting. Basically the border stitches are worked at a 90 degree angle to the shawl and the border is joined to the shawl by a joining decrease as you knit the border rows. Once the shawl stitches are all been used up, you’ve reached the end of the border too and you need to cast it off. Also, Ysolda’s edging is asymmetrical and ends with a lower number of stitches, creating a lovely half moon shaped border. I’m happy to have chosen this kind of cast off as it gives some symmetry back to the shawl.
So, have you finished your Arrow? Which clues have you followed?
The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy and I’ve started (but not finished yet!) few different projects. I’ve three things on the needles and I can’t wait to get them done to show you. I’m very excited about them!! But today I want to talk about my Georgia Dress instead!
The Georgia Dress sewalong started at the end of January but only today I finally had the time to cut into my fabrics and have some fun! The fabric I’m going to use is this floral cotton sateen for the shell and some black one for the lining.
As I had about a meter of black, I thought to use it for the bodice muslin too. Thanks goddess I did it! The fabric is more stretchy than I though and I had to go down a full size to get the fit right. I’ve also to say that I’ve measured myself twice, in two different days and my measurements changed of about a full size. Is it normal or should I start to worry?? Anyhow….I decided to start playing with the biggest size first and check if I’m hopeless in taking measurements or if it is my body changing like a monster. I traced a size 8 for bust and waist, going down to a 6 for the hips. I sew the cups together and tried the bodice on: failure! It was too big in circumference and there was a bit of sagging at the bobbies. So I recut a size 6 for bust and waist, slimming down to a 4 for the hips. I’ve sewn the cups together again and the fit was way better. I had to make few more little adjustment though – the neckline was gaping so I took in about 1 cm from the top of the centre front seam tapering to nothing at the bottom and I also removed about 0.5 cm from the fullest part of the cups, along the seam and in between the notches, reducing their volume but not their coverage.
I was worried about the elasticity of the fabric so to stop the neckline gaping even more, I’ve stabilized it with bits of interfacing. Better to be safe than sorry!
Finally, I couldn’t resist so I’ve sewn together the nautical style straps too and I’ve basted them to the bodice. I’m in love with this dress already and I can’t wait to get it done!
Did you join the sewalong too? How is your bodice going?
Tomorrow is the day – By Hand London Georgia Dress Sewalong is going to start!
First thing I’ve to do is to decide which fabric to use. The girls recommend ‘medium weight fabrics with a little bit of stretch’, so I searched for those in my stash and I came up with three options. The hard part is to choose which one will best suit the pattern.
So here they are. The first two are stretch cotton sateens. One has medium size flowers in pale pink and beige tones scattered on a black background.
The other one has bigger flowers, about 11-12cm each, in gorgeous shades of blue, again on a black background. I like them both but I’m worried about the size of the flowers in the blue fabric as I think they might be a bit too big for the lines of the Georgia Dress. I was also thinking to use a plain black cotton sateen for the dress details, maybe the straps, to break a little the ‘flowers all over the dress’ feel. I don’t know…
The last option I have is a stretch black jacquard. Not much to say about this one, it’s just a black jacquard! I’m not a very black person, but who doesn’t need another LBD in the wardrobe? The problem with this fabric is that I only have 1.5 m so I will have to chose either variation 2 (knee length dress with skinny straps) or 3 (mini dress with wide collar straps), while I was planning to do the number 1 (knee length with wide collar straps)! On the positive side, I’ve seen the beautiful black version of Oonaballoonaa, with fringe at the bottom and the temptation to copycat her dress is very high (but maybe isn’t fair!).
What do you all think? Which fabric would you use?
Can’t wait for tomorrow – it will certainly be a very busy day with the release of the third clue of Ysolda’s MKAL and the first post of the Georgia Sewalong!
I knew I had to knit Svalbard as soon as I saw pattern and the color migration #2 Rosette Nebula by CY screamed to be turned into it. So I did it!
The pattern is by Bristol Ivy for Brooklyn Tweed Wool People vol. 6. The construction of the cardigan is very clever and once you understand how the increases and the cartridge rib work, it’s fairly intuitive as well. The instructions thought gave me a headache every time I read them – you have to pay a lot of attention otherwise you risk to have to go back and knit the same bit again and again, as I did a couple of times. Also there are few errors in the text: the set up row for the size I followed (45 3/4″) is wrong, just knit the cartridge pattern as established and everything will be fine. The number of stitches to pick up at the underarm was also wrong, but it has been already revised and updated by BT.
I love how the increases form a heart at the center back neck and at the underarms. I very lovely detail! At the beginning I wanted to knit long sleeves but once I tried the cardigan on I decided to follow the pattern and go for 3/4 length and I’m very happy to have done so. The open front and the longer back are balanced by the sleeves and I think making them longer would have change the look of the cardigan too much.
I’ve used 4.7 skeins of Traveller. The last skein was from another dye lot and a bit bluer and darker than the other four, but I don’t mind the difference in color as they state the origin of hand dyed yarns, which I love.
And finally I’ve been able to use my new label-button! What do you think? All I can think it’s Oh yeah!
Lastly, let me impress you with a very “diva with sunnies” pic so you can have a look at the colors in plain daylight. They are truly gorgeous.
Update: Brooklyn Tweed has revised again the pattern and now the instructions should be error- free!