SarahLizSewStyle wrote - As you say, if you just knuckle down to it, it is not really that difficult. It's the idea of dedicating lots of time to a very boring and tedious job that is difficult.
Most sewist probably do find making a fitting shell boring and tedious. It's similar to a muslin but needs to be very accurate because you are a developing a base to measure or design with but there's not actually a lot of time involved. I've spent less than ten hours on this project so far and most likely one more version will do the trick. I've spent more time on projects that didn't fit properly, which is the point of the process - upping my success ratio.
Plus... I find the whole process fascinating. I've always loved puzzles and a fitting shell is simply a three dimensional version with the challenge of getting it correct. I get sucked right in and have to figure "it" out... which is why... LOL... I'm sewing in my sleep I'm sure. Another reader described me as a dog with a bone at one point. That made me laugh. Yes... BUT... wait until you see what I do with this.
When I was talking to my daughter yesterday, she said it doesn't look very good on you. That made me laugh too. Fitting shells do not look good. They are not pretty and not terribly sensitive of your ego. So far, the biggest new learning has been the slope of my shoulders and that they slope differently and may need to be dealt with individually otherwise I've confirmed the four B's - small b--bs, a wide butt, a narrow back, and a belly.... which I really dislike... and will begin working to get rid of... but I hear that's hard to do at my age. Darn!
I don't need a sway back adjustment. The excess fabric is due to my narrow back. In the first picture, I pinned out a 3/4" tuck (nicer on my left side) which means I can adjust the tissue by eliminating the shoulder dart and narrowing the back waist dart. The dotted line in the image above is the...
... stitching line from Butterick 5678. Since it's the most successful blouse I've sewn, I compared the armholes as a starting point. Peggy Sagers says to find the sleeve that fits and use that armhole. Sarah Veblen says to shape the perfect armhole and then find the sleeve that fits. I'm doing a combo of the two.
The smaller cup size made a tremendous difference. You still see a few wrinkles from the bust point because I let out one of the waist darts in the skirt and narrowed the waist dart on the bodice to compensate for my belly. That left part of the bodice dart unaccounted for so I'll rotate the rest to the side dart. Right now, it's a wrinkle.
This time, I left the neck seam allowance on, clipped to the line, and determined if it's the right depth for my neck. It is. I should have stay stitched the edge because now I'm wondering about those folds but I'll wait until the sleeves are on to determine if they mean anything.
Peggy Sagers is constantly saying in her videos to know your numbers. She means the numbers on the French curve for your armhole, hip line, neckline, center front and center back widths, and so on. It's really good, stop re-inventing the wheel, advice and I'm starting to learn some of mine. The numbers are measured along or between stitching lines. My hip curve is 11 at the hip line to 2 1/4 at the waist. I've been consistently drawing that shape and it makes it easy every time I alter anything to do with the hip. I'm looking forward to knowing my armhole numbers.
I pinned the sleeve in place around the bottom of the armhole just past the notches on each side. This allowed me to let the sleeve cap drop so that the bicep line was level and then I could measure the missing amount. I used the sleeve pattern from the last version of Butterick 5678 and it's 1 1/4" too short which is - ironically - the difference between it and the fitting shell sleeve. The good thing about that number is that I don't need to draft a new sleeve. I'll use the one from the fitting shell.
Before I do any more sewing, I'll make all the changes to the pattern tissue and take some notes because we're leaving very early tomorrow morning to go visit our daughter and son-in-law for the weekend. I don't want to forget what I did and have to start over when I get home on Tuesday.
Even though they're adults, I'm feel bad leaving the "boys" home alone at Easter so we're having corn chowder (a family favourite) with chocolate eggs for dinner tonight and barbequed steak (a guy favourite) with chocolate bunnies when we get back so if we mentally stretch the weekend a couple more days, I've spent the holiday with all my children and that is, in my opinion, the perfect holiday plus... if I get my work done quickly this morning... I may have time later today to start on the next shell.
I'm not taking my computer with me so I'll post again Tuesday or Wednesday, hopefully with good fitting news.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - progress