So let's get going with the review.......
From my past experiences (which are limited, granted) I decided to increase the darts in the bodice and reduce the amount of material in the neckline before I cut the pattern. I was hoping this would solve my 'full-breasted' issue and help the neckline to sit flat. And it worked - YIPEE!
My first pattern adjustment and it was a success, who would have thought it.
Moving on to the dart situation.
I sewed and then re-sewed the bust dart approximately 10 times. I couldn't escape the 'cone-shaped breast' look and felt Madonna was the only person that could pull this off!
But lo and behold, a comment from Vintage Girl saved the day (thanks for that!)
I was reminded that the dart needed to taper off the fabric to nothing rather than be sewn to a point and, taking some extra care (and by that I mean sewing slowly), I finally managed it!
I also had a problem with the darts in the back of the body. Thanks to my round bottom, the darts separated too much - which meant the back of the dress lost it's shape and made my bottom look even rounder. Only way to overcome this was to sew down the darts. Turns out, this not only totally fixed the shaping issues but also looks pretty cool!
My next problem was sizing. In terms of pattern sizing, my measurements are as follows:
Bust - 12 / Waist - 16 / Hips - 16
So I sewed accordingly. My gut feeling was that the bodice was too big, especially as it needed to sit nicely under the breast in order to work as an empire line. But I didn't follow my gut and put everything together anyway.
It was definitely too big (which, to be honest, does wonders for a girls confidence!) but it also meant that, if I intended on wearing the dress, it needed further adjustments.
A call to my mother-in-law (retired designer for Jaeger and Topshop), gave me my solution - I was to pull in more material into the bodice darts and similarly, pull in the same amount into the pleats on the body. Genius. And success!
She also explained that this is probably what I should for future patterns anyway, given my measurements - apparently it's a neat way to take sizing from 12 to 16 without the excess all ending up in the side seams....
So enough of my chat, here's the final product:
So it turns out, after all the issues I had, I kinda like it.
I think the main reason for this is because it has taught me a lot! Pattern adjustments, darts, fitting adjustments....this one had it all for me.
And even though I turned a fairly straight-forward pattern into a bit of a mission, it worked. So I'm happy.
(apologies for length of post on this one - it would seem I had a lot to say!)