Wool Crepe Dress: Adventures in Fitting I

Tuesday, October 2

So, the drama continues.

I decided I was not taking chances with this dress, so I decided to enlist the help of Mela and Rachel with fitting. They both have more experience than me when it comes to fitting. For one, I have never really done alterations on my patterns. I either did not have any problems before Noah, or I had, but was ignorant of the fact.

So we met at Mela's place for an afternoon of fitting. Rachel led the way by preping the pattern pieces

Then she measured me.

Tissue fitting, and taking note of the gaps.

Sway back adjustment. I never knew I had one. So this was the highlight of the day for me, discovering I had a sway back.

After all that, they discovered I had a sway back, my bum and hips were too big for the pattern, and they needed to add 5cm to the skirt to make it work.  My neck was small, so I needed a size 10 at the neck, a size 12 at the bust, and a 14 at the waist. Still with me?  I lost all hope at this point.

Mela trying to stay positive despite all the changes they had to do to my pattern.

Rachel going crazy. Sorry love.

 Noah checking to see we noticed he was standing. Well done you!

Muslin all sewn up, and Rachel back to the business at hand.

A rough idea of where we are with the muslin. Can you tell I was tired at this point?

I think more fabric needs to leave the back.

 So at the end of it all, what did I learn? That I had been sewing like a blind bat. I never ever did alterations, thinking I was one of those lucky ones who could sew straight out of the envelope. While that might work with me when it comes to knit fabric, is a whole different ball game with woven. Oh, and if you want to make this dress ( Vogue 8280), bear in mind that the ease is about 3 inches. That is alot if you ask me.

I went home, and tried to make sense of all the alterations, but unfortunately I could not. It is rather sad, because Mela and Rach worked so hard. I on the other hand  found the whole fitting issue quite overwhelming, and I could not really keep up with what they were explaining, so I am quite lost. The pattern, lo and behold, has been murdered. So, this morning I rang up Sew Direct and ordered 2 sets of patterns. Size 10-14, which I will use for the bodice, and size 16-20, which I will use for the skirt.  I know this sounds like an overkill, but I do not have the time, nor the skills to go through all the changes. I shall quietly attempt a sway back alteration, then cut a 14 at the top, and an 18 at the bottom, and see how that goes. Wish me luck please.


  1. I've seen that tired muslin face looking back at me from my own mirror! Too many alterations is soooo tiring!

    It sounds like you're thinking of starting over again with new patterns? But if you take apart your muslin with all the new seams marked, you can lay it over your new pattern and transfer all your new sewing lines over onto the paper pattern. You don't even have to start making sense yet of the hows and wheres and whys to get your fabulous dress made to the same fit as the muslin!

    (You could even use the muslin itself as a pattern if you wanted to...)

  2. I must admit to also wearing the too many adjustments face. It is a sad face to have. I Agree with the idea of using your muslin pieces as pattern pieces! Keep the great work that has been done :) You can do it!!!!

  3. Leave the back, what it's pulling its because the arm cycle it's to small. You need height too... Oh darling , I know you can move on with the muslin.. It will fit so much more fitted with the extra darts we added on your back skirt... Get a real bombshell figure.

  4. Stick with it. Think of your lovely pink wool crepe. It'll so be worth it in the end. And it does get easier the more you do it.

  5. Have to reiterate the comments, keep on with the alterations, if you sew out of the packet with something as beautiful as wool crepe you will regret it, there will bits of the dress you don't like and then never wear it. I know it sucks but at least you have help, do another fitting, fine tune it and then use the muslin pieces for the pattern like Susan Khaljie says on the Couture Dress course on Craftsy, in fact watch that again. Don't go back to the paper pattern, thats a mistake I've made in the past, get the muslin right and use that! Good luck

  6. Oh Dibs! That looked like such a fun day with Rach and Mela, we must do a meetup soon! Keep on with it, Think how pleased you will be when that dress fits you perfectly! Its also great to have help like that rather than doing it in the mirror! Well done to Noah too for standing! xx

  7. I know the feeling. I hate fittings myself but having done a few I can assure you that it is worth the effort. I am always so happy to wear what I sew and to make sure that it fits properly is the best feeling. Good luck.

  8. I think if you decide to do the dress your way, leave the wool crepe alone. Use something else in your stash. Leave that wool crepe until you have figured out the perfect fitting, which might have to wait for when your mom comes in and can help you.

  9. Oh poor you. After all that work. Good luck with it. Your young Noah is a very handsome boy.

  10. what great friends they are. and how cute is noah? i feel your muslin pain - i'm on my second Anise muslin and I can't decide if it fits well enough or if i need to make more hanges and do another. i need to post some pics and get opinions i think. but i have just had a revelation of a wide shoulder adjustment - how on earth was i supposed to know that this was the reason for tight underarms? sewing is weird.

  11. That sounds like a trying day. I have no advice about fitting, as I have never really done any. Looks like you have a lot of good advice already. Noah is a good time looking boy! How is the course sleeping going?

  12. Man, fitting is exhausting and so frustrating! I'm at a standstill with my latest dress-- I pinned out the changes as best I could with hubs helping, but I can't quite work out how to fix it perfectly and I've been so tired lately that I can't work up the energy to problem-solve!

    Good luck with your dress-- it's going to look great on you, and I really think you've got the chops to make something amazing!