i had wanted to muslin and tweak and muslin again for my plaid dress, but time slowly got away from me so i had to streamline the process a bit. i had just picked up a copy of the palmer/pletsch “fit for real people” which goes to great lengths showing all sorts of possible fitting problems and how to tweak them out. now, you know when you have a rash or some weird ailment that you are just sure is a sign of something worse? then you google the heck out of it and come up with all sorts of possible deadly diseases and you’re convinced that you are officially knocking at death’s door? that’s kind of what this book does to you. it’s a little overwhelming and quite honestly, might be the cause of so many sewists over-fitting.
not to discredit the info, but it can be a bit much. and lest the sewing gods strike me down right here and now, i should clarify: i’m all about making clothes that fit. in fact that’s what has fueled my sewing. i know i simply do not fit one size from top to bottom and unless it’s good quality RTW (i.e. the kind i can not afford), it’s difficult to make your own alterations. if i want a fitted dress, i’m gonna have to make it myself. but, i also need to remember to leave some breathing room and not reject a make simply because maybe i should have done this or that alteration. sometimes good enough really is good enough.
[steps off soapbox]
at any rate, these gals came up with the whole “tissue fitting” idea, so i gave it a half hearted try. i don’t have a fitting buddy, and i’m not enrolled in any sewing classes, so an accurate tissue fitting is pretty difficult to do by myself. it did cue me in that perhaps my sleeve fitting problems are simply due to the dreaded “forward shoulder.” curse not having good posture all my life! thankfully, this is a super easy adjustment to make, and one i will be making from now on. after tissue fitting and making several flat pattern alterations, i made up an actual muslin. turns out (other than the forward shoulder thing) i made a few too many “fixes,” solvable by tracing out a new size. yes, tracing. cuz i do that now.
so, when i declared to all the interwebs that i was going to make a plaid dress and it was going to be awesome, that clearly came from someone who had never in fact done plaid. the envelopes always warn you to buy extra yardage for plaid-matching. did i heed the warning? no. no, i did not. in my defence, it’s in tiny print.
i spent a full hour with my fabric on my
dining room cutting table puzzling out how to arrange things when i finally traced off an extra copy of each pattern piece so i could arrange and cut the entire thing as one layer. then i went back to the cutting table and spent another two or three hours arranging and matching plaids. i was determined to get this to work! ultimately i found a way with minimal compromise. initially i had the fat black stripe going down CF, but i shifted things slightly and really, it’s for the better. this is one of those uneven plaids so it isn’t symmetrical anyways. ultimately, that works out in my favor so it’s less obvious when something isn’t perfect.
to make myself feel better, i kept referring back to some online pics with way less than perfect plaid matching. that they are selling for money. i would never in my life pay for such poor matching! sewing snob? guilty!
but really to top it all off, the twill weave of this fabric caused it to constantly pull off grain. not only were my pieces butted up against each other for cutting, but the whole thing kept shifting. i kept stretching and pulling, then quickly cutting my pieces before it twisted again. all in all, this dress was not the quick make i thought it would be. i had wanted to finish it before thanksgiving, but alas it was not to be. which was okay. i was able to put it aside and come back to it without a deadline. and… it might actually be finished now. and… it might actually be pretty awesome. but more on that later.