Spending an hour consulting with a master seamstress was awesome. In brief, here’s her thoughts:
1. My bodice sloper needs to be lowered in front 1 1/2 inches to hit my natural waistline and 2 inches in back. The armhole needs widening/lowering and further rotation forward. Otherwise, she said it’s nice work. She especially liked the careful draft drawings.
2. That said, she recommends not using a sloper unless I’m really going to draft my own patterns from scratch. What she recommends instead is learning how to understand/adjust Vogue patterns, the basic bodice of which can be used as a basis to make whatever I want to make, mixing and matching multiple patterns. For example, looking at V8543, she showed me how to size according to the bust (she used the high, not full bust) and use the body measurements section of the instructions to add/subtract correction measurements to make up the difference between those measurements and my true measurements. For example, since my high bust is 39″ (hers and Martin’s measurements matched and were larger than what I’ve been getting because I’ve been pulling the tape too tight), she said to cut size 18. My under bust is 36 3/4″ and my full bust is 40 1/2. The Vogue body measurements for size 18 list 40 for the bust. She didn’t recommend an FBA but did recommend my usual broad back adjustment, then an additional slash and spread in front to add any remaining difference to the waist. That should be all that is needed, although I may want to futz with the sleeves. For the armhole, she suggested making the muslin and sharpie marking in new armhole lines. For the sleeve caps she said “scoop a little in front and add a little to the back.”
3. Her take on my dimensions is that they’re “pretty normal” but that I have a broad back and weight gain at the waist.
4. She drafts patterns from scratch as a last resort. It is almost never necessary.
Reviewing the calendar and discussing MOTB (mother of the bride) outfit possibilities with the seamstress and my dear friend E. in North Carolina, I realized I need to shift gears and focus on putting together a mother of the bride outfit for my daughter’s wedding in July, in Sonoma.
Since planning my own wedding outfit a year ago, I have learned so much, about myself and about style. I am psyched about putting together a really beautiful MOTB outfit that I will feel happy and relaxed wearing on my daughter’s special day.
I expect it to be hot in Sonoma in mid-July, so short sleeves and sandals are a must. Here’s the outfit I’m planning:
1. The above pictured Vogue 8815 top. It has excellent reviews on patternreview.com and elsewhere in blog land and seems to look good on a variety of shapes, including mine. I may lower the waist shown a little to my natural waist, and slightly lower the peplum length. I will definitely lower the crew neckline.
2. I’ve ordered a swatch of this fabric to test the color. Violet is my favorite color.
3. This Wendy Brandes pendant, which will look beautiful worn over the violet top.
4. These lovely Wendy Brandes earrings Wendy suggested a couple of days ago as a possibility for me.
5. These Eileen Fisher Petite Slim Ankle Pants. Not sure whether I need Petite or Regular so I ordered both and will return one.
6. For sandals I have these two possibilities. Both were available in my 8.5 W size!
I feel beautiful just thinking about wearing these lovely things.
Some weight is coming off, slowly. I don’t like to make a big deal about these things but here’s what I’m doing that seems to be working: 1) smaller portions, 2) exercising on the arc trainer 3x per week and moving around a lot the rest of the time (the two days I was drafting the sloper I was on my feet all day both days), 3) less alcohol, 4) more hot chocolate :).
Next time I’ll tell you about this fascinating book my friend Tracey Cleantis recommended. It shows you how to reconstruct the archetypal mother for yourself. Actually, as it turns out, although there is more work to do, I’ve already accomplished a fair amount of what is suggested.
I wish everyone a beautiful weekend! Please tell me what you think of the MOTB outfit and whether you have any other suggestions or tweaks. Do you agree with the seamstress?
Update: this post has been edited for content.