I know enough now from experience, and from others' blogs, to recognise that the fit on Colette patterns can be a bit of a challenge. And although I was mentally prepared for this, my Peony was no exception.
I cut a size 4 and made a muslin of the bodice, plus sleeves. The waist darts were very odd, giving me lots of excess fabric at the bust. I moved these out (towards the sides) by about 1.75cm and also reduced the height (length?) by about 3.5cm. The bust darts seemed OK on the muslin but now that the garment is finished I think they are ever so slightly too high (probably about 0.5cm ) - this is unusual because previously on a size 4 in Colette the bust darts have always been too low - and also, I think too long. If they were at the right height, they'd go right to the nipple (sorry, "apex"), and I'm not convinced they should? Am I wrong about that?
I tapered the back seam in at the back neck - I can't remember the measurements but have adjusted my pattern piece for future reference. I did similar with my Laurel. I thought the bodice was too long, so added 1.5cm to the length, which I then had to remove on the finished garment. Clearly my long torso issue is completely imagined because this is the second time I have done this. I added 3cm to the skirt, which made the skirt sit right on my knee, which I quite like.
|Please ignore the giant crease just above my waist. It sits fine in real life, honest!|
|A seam "junction" showcasing 3 types of finish. I'll come to the elastic in a bit...|
Now, the problem with my sewing class is that there aren't any full length mirrors, so I was reliant on my teacher telling me what looked OK, and me determining what felt OK. My teacher reckoned it all looked fine, so off I went to make the amendments, sewing skirt back on to bodice and inserting the zip - this time, there was more gathering required, which made me feel a bit better. I finished the zip off at home and then tried it on again... and it was still too big! By now I was starting to get frustrated. I had just inserted my BEST EVER concealed zip and really didn't want to have to unpick it, or anything else. Then I remembered a post I'd read the previous week by Ami of The Little Tailoress, where she used shirring to add waist definition to a boxy playsuit. I didn't have any shirring elastic, but I did have some 1/4 inch elastic leftover from my 50's petticoat. So, using a 3-stage zig zag stitch, and stretching the elastic as I went, I sewed the elastic onto the seam allowance at the waist, starting as close as I could to the zip, and basically sewing a bit, trying on, sewing a bit and trying on again until I was happy. In the end, I used about 11cm of elastic on each side.
|Yes, I am aware that on one side my seam allowance is pressed up and on the other it's pressed down - the right side got caught when I inserted my zip, and as I said, I have no intention of unpicking this zip!|
|Can you see the concealed zip? Thought not!|
|You can see here that the side seams are pulled towards the back.|
You can see here that the neckline gapes a bit at the front. I'm not too sure what to do to improve this. I could obviously add some pleats next time, but if I wanted to keep the neck simple, how do I remove this excess? Any ideas? If I get the bust darts positioned correctly, is it possible to rotate this out from the neckline and into the bust dart?
I wore this dress yesterday. P and I took the day off, put the Small Boy in nursery (followed by a sleep over at Gran and Grandad's), and did some Festival stuff. In August, Edinburgh's population swells to what feels like 100 times the norm, as the whole world flocks to the Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe Festival, the Book Festival and so on and so on. Some locals hate it, and avoid town at all costs, but I love it. Although I'm not from Edinburgh, I grew up about 20 miles away and my mum always made a point of taking us to something every year - even if it was just to see the free street performers. At this time of year, Edinburgh feels so cosmopolitan. Some of the main roads are closed to accommodate temporary venues, meaning cafes and bars can spill out onto the street (weather permitting). The whole place just feels like it's on holiday. Yes it's an absolute nightmare if you are in a rush, and if you want to park your car, forget it, but give yourself plenty of time, take the bus and it's cool. Yesterday we wandered into town about 3ish, took in the Man Ray exhibition at the Portrait Gallery, followed by drinks outside the Udderbelly, Sean Hughes at the Gilded Balloon, and finally dinner at Spoon. We've taken Monday off too, and we are taking Small Boy to see Tiddler and then to see the street performers. For his birthday I got him this book, which features street performers (number 7, I believe), so he is keen to see them IRL. Last year I took him to see Hairy Maclary, and he enjoyed it so much, he demanded "again" at the end of it. And then cried for a full half hour when I couldn't make it come on again!
|Deformed foot and an interesting hat. Also, some very pretty verbena bonariensis in St Andrews Square. All the cool bloggers are featuring verbena bonariensis these days... just check out Roobeedoo!|
If anyone has any solutions or suggestions on how to resolve these fit issues, they would be gratefully received!
Next up, a Scout woven tee!