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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Oh hell view one and two


First off feel to add to the Cool Clothes list, I am going to post a master list in a few days.

Now on to my actual sewing.

My Chanel jacket has hit a brick wall. This particular brick wall is called Poor Fit.

I have had a hell of a time with this pattern. Big all over. I am a 16, cut a 14, which I took in inches on, should have started with a 12. Who was to know?

I usually do OK with fit, having been adjusting patterns for so long. It is not that common for me to really bomb one - I usually know my shape well enough to stay clear from that particular ledge.

I also made a muslin for this jacket and spent a week on it. I used a fairly heavy muslin to replicate a jacket weight. It wasn't flawless but I signed off on it as good enough with some minor tweaking.

OK so here is what the hell view one:

This is my what the hell face, this is me in a well coordinated bathing suit - you know the one I sew in here.
It actually does pull together at centre front and I did quilt it, but the fabric is obviously more a textured wool than a boucle (I ordered it from Fabricmart where it was advertised as a boucle since the local stuff at home seemed to be the kind of polyester stuff you would use to cover foot stools for the rec room in the basement).

So there is a fabric issue, although Angela Wolf did say in my online class that any fabric that could hide the quilting stitches would work.

It looks pretty limpo to me. The silk lining isn't giving this enough body.

That's issue number one.

Next issue is the excess under the armpit. This is the Real Issue.

Now this is interesting as I have my own excess under the armpit. In fact after you get to a certain stage in life one of the places you really collect fat is under your arms. 

This is quite weird. It's as if the body says "We need to put away something for the winter, now where are we going to hide it? The belly is packed, the inner thighs are done. Hey I know under her arms, we can get a lot in there and no one will notice."

All I am trying to say here is that I am not skinny under the armpits and I do know  did know how to fit. So what's with this excess?

Now the pressing has yet to be done well. The local iron produces about as much steam as having a tired mouse stand on the ironing board and spit at it.

Of course the whole body is all stitched up and quilted etc. so the fitting fixes are minimal ( I am not undoing that).

What are my options:
  1. Give up sewing after decades of doing nothing but and become an outlet shopper and free up vast amounts of time for whatever people who don't sew do with their time.
  2. Throw the whole thing in the garbage and email Stylearc and see how fast they can get their pattern to me. Also go online to Gorgeous Fabrics and get real boucle.
  3. Decide I am not as smart as I always thought I was.
  4. Implore you folks to help me out and give me some fitting advice.
  5. Plow ahead and try to make something with nothing.

Situation critical.


Dinah said...

I vote for Option #2. Trying to fiddle with a pattern that does fit and fabric that isn't what you wanted is a perfect combination that would take me straight to Option #2! Consider it a learning experience and move on :)

Dinah said...

Sorry.. I meant to type a pattern that does NOT fit.


Nancy McKenzie said...

The fit is really not all that bad. Put the sleeves in. They'll give that front excess some support and you'll have a better evaluation. Finish it regardless, while waiting for the StyleArc and new fabric to come. Go with a great summer colour! You might want to throw a little extra support to an extended sleeve cap as well. It might help the limp fabric put on more of a statement.

LinB said...

Oh, dear. Had you not hand-quilted that fabric, I'd say "take a pair of shears and whack off the excess fabric around the armhole, and set the sleeve into a properly-fitting armsceye." This may be a "put-all-the-pieces-and-the-pattern-into-a-sack-and-throw-it-at-a-thrift store" moment. Chalk it up to experience, and move on. You are too beautiful to willingly don an ugly garment.

Bunny said...

Measure the seamlines on the bodice and on the sleeve. You may be able to cut this back a bit and ease it in. Just a thought to try before you chuck it. You can also do a sleeve head and/or slim shoulder pad that you cover with lining fabric to pick up some of that slack. I am not a fit expert but that is what I would try. Does the area between the shoulders and the apex need to be shortened? That would also eat up some of that slack. Don't give up. I really think this is fixable.

annie said...

I might put it aside for a few days and just let it percolate in your subconscious. Also, I think it was Bunny who used cotton cording as a softer sleeve head. You might consider that. Totally understand the frustration after a lifetime of sewing. You do wonder sometimes what is has all accomplished. Just one of those moments.

sharon said...

Women of a certain age - ahem - develop a slight inward curing upper chest. Could this be the problem? I have no idea what to do at this point. Usually extra interlining at the upper chest, out here; dart out a small amount - that actually might work. Could you rip the shoulder seam and and make the front armscye smaller?

Anyway, life is to short, etc ....

Good Luck

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem, and a pair of thin shoulder pads pulled up the shoulder enough to get rid of that wrinkling. I had hand quilted the fabric (Linton!) as well, and there was no way it was going into the trash.