As always I started with a muslin anyway, so no biggie, I would just work out all the fit issues at that stage and then enjoy the construction.
I started by cutting out a size 12, but reduced seam allowances down to 3/8" rather than the recommend 5/8". It all went together pretty well, except for where the cup hit the top of the side front. The pattern says "turn down upper end of bra along fold line, as shown, baste." The picture below mimics what the pattern illustration shows - but how bloody weird is that!
So I pretty much ignored that part of the instructions - although in truth I only used the instructions as a general guide rather than following them step by step. So rather than turning the bra/cup under I extended the side front up to the top of the bra/cup - as you can see in the photo below, the red line was the original stitch line.
Actually the lifting of the side front to meet the top of the bra/cup side gives a much better look, and snugs up under the arm for a better fit as well.
I had to make a bunch of adjustments to the front pieces to get better portions and have the princess seams hit the apex, as they should.
Please note that I always work with the stitching line rather than the cutting line of a pattern - for all these adjustments I've identified the stitch line by working from the cut line. So the blue dotted line is the cutting line of the original pattern (size 12) and the pencil/pink pen indicate the stitching line that I will be sewing along (sorry if this is a bit confusing - it all made perfect sense at the time!)
Let's start with the centre front ...
- The stitch line for the top and bottom are 5/8" in from the cut line.
- Only came in 1/4" from the cut line at the bottom and curved it up to the existing cut line at the top - meaning that I had to add a full 5/8" to the top. This resulted in moving the princess seam out towards the armhole, to be more in line with the apex.
- Added the 1/2" to the top side of the bra/cup, from the previous stitch line.
- Reworked the side seam by adjusting where the stitch line would be from the original cut line - at the top of the side seam I allowed for a 5/8" seam allowance and at the bottom is moved the stitch line in by 7/8".
- Reworked the princess seam to also have a 3/8" seam allowance at the apex end and a 5/8" seam allowance at the bottom.
- reworked the side seam so the stitch line would be in 5/8" from the cut line at the top and 7/8" at the bottom.
- The back princess seam stitch line would also be 5/8" in from the cut line.
- The bottom would be same as the front with 5/8" seam allowance and 3/8" at top.
- The princess seam stitch line would come in 5/8" form the cut line
- The centre back would only come in 3/8" from the cut line
After the adjustments the back was a much better fit and the straps that would be attached at the princess seam mark pretty much fell in line with bra straps. Yay!
All adjustments done and muslin fitting nicely it was time to start with the real fabric :-) I started with the red and white version first. The outer shell fabric was a cotton voile that required an interfacing as well as the lining. The interlining and the lining would be the same fabric - a cotton lycra in an off-white. This is the same fabric that we'd planned to the be contrast colour for the second dress.
I pinned each pattern piece to the interlining and traced off the STITCH LINE, and the grainline plus all notches. All these trace marks would end up on the inside, hidden by the lining, so it didn't matter that I did this with red tracing paper.
I cut the outer shell fabric in a single layer, as the outer layer and the interfacing would all be hand basted together.
With the construction - the basted line on each pattern piece is where the two pieces will be sewn together. For me this provides a much more accurate fit in the end and is well worth all the additional work. As you can see the seam allowances are big and random, they really no longer matter.
Well I think that's enough reading for one post - I'll continue on in my next with the construction, where it will start to look like a dress :-) Hopefully this is helpful if you are considering making this dress.
More soon -->