Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fabric Haul, and the FBA revisited.

In my last post, I mentioned I needed some 'me' sewing. To that end, I visited this great little boutique fabric shop that is literally 5 minutes from my house. I go there when I want something extra fabulous. I was definitely in the mood for extra fabulous. :D Thank you,Myra, for reminding me about Marisu's extra fabulous fabrics.

I picked up 5 cuts of fabric. The first two are draped on Josephine. The top fabric is for the top I am currently working the FBA on, and the light grayish sheer underneath is for the lining. The top fabric is a grayish brown, more brown on the surface and more gray on the underside. It is a very lightweight, drapey woven made of silk and cashmere. Yum! I bought this specifically to go with a gorgeous brown linen that I bought last year from Marisu, and with that, made both slacks and a skirt. The slacks I love and wear often. The skirt is a wrap, and I have yet to wear it because I don't have anything to go with it. This new fabric in a sleeveless, simple tank, perhaps with a sash at the waist, will be just the thing. Since I got a lining fabric, no need for facings.

In this next group of fabrics, the two on the right are for me. The green linen is for another simple top, that will go with my browns, my white linen slacks, and my black linen skirt as well. The other fabric in my pile - the colorful one, also with a wonderful hand - that is intended for a sleeveless wrap dress. It's a little deviant from my usual solids, but I have been trying to climb out of my box lately. I really love browns, and I don't have a brown dress in my closet.

On the left are two gorgeous rayon and polyester fabrics with the most fluid drape - just a great weight and feel. (Myra, if you're reading, go get yourself some - the price was fantastic!) The red cut is neat - it has a subtle black weave running through it. The red and blue are for skirts for Lauren that I'll make next month before school begins. The girl likes her skirts.

On to the FBA part.  Skip this if you just wanted to drool over pretty fabric.  If you are interested in my eureka moment as pertains to the FBA process, well, by all means read on.

The pattern I'm altering is New Look 6483 that I had in my stash.  I want to do the sleeveless, square neck view.

In order to make tops and a dress for myself, I absolutely had to figure out this FBA thing. I posted before that I've been reading every resource that I could find - FFRP, all the PR posts, and  Debbie Cook's very helpful compilation of FBA resources. But I was missing something in my attempt, so I started a thread and posted pics on PR asking for help.

After sleeping on it and looking at/trying on my first muslin a few times, I read where one commenter on PR wrote something that turned out to be my missing link. I felt the bust shape wasn't quite right, so I pulled out the dart and side seam on one side, deepened the dart, and - OMG - the front and back sides were even! Before, they were uneven, and I thought I just needed to lengthen the back to match. Wrong! When the FBA is done properly, the side front length matches up to the back side length, which is what the PR commenter wrote. I feel like I had this great epiphany! I went back to FFRP and skimmed it again to see if I was missing that. It doesn't spell that out. Maybe it should be intuitive, but being so new to the FBA, I needed it spelled out in black and white.

I sure miss my body of my younger self. When I was in my early 20's, I could whip out a pattern with no alterations, and have it fit like a dream. Thank God for the experts who teach these alterations!

Oh well. Here is muslin #2 that I made in a bargain bin drapey fabric. It looks so much better than muslin #1. The fabric made a significant difference in the fit and drape.

I am even happier with the armscye fit in this muslin.  The muslin made from actual muslin wasn't the best representation of the lie of the fabric on my body.  Lesson learned there.

I didn't get pics of the back, but when I made the 2nd muslin, I cut deep seam allowances on the back pieces. The fit is ever so slightly snug across the back, so I will let the SA out a little. I may finish this muslin and use it as a camisole under light tops. I am wishing now that I used white thread in the bobbin rather than black....

Anyhow, I believe I have achieved a good fit for this top, and I am ready to make it in the fashion fabric. So much for a 1 hour easy top. That's 1 hour after the fit kinks are worked out.**  I am excited to get my tops made today.  Better go wash some fabric.

Thanks for reading!  Have a wonderful Saturday,



  1. I feel your FBA pain! I too have to deal with a large FBA, and every different pattern brings new challenges (and struggles). But, boy, is it worth it when you finally get it right! Your muslin is looking great-- I look forward to seeing it in the lovely silk/cashmere (yum!!!). :)

  2. Thanks, Robin! Haven't been brave enough to cut it yet...still perfecting the fit. (Ok, maybe obsessing over the fit!)


  3. Congrats on figuring out your fit! I always say the sewing is the easy part. The fit is the time consuming, nerve fraying part!

  4. Andrea: Your comments on the side seam matching were real eye openers! That really was an important missing link. My last challenge for my basic top involves closing armscye gapping after fba. I've learned to deal with it, but maybe not in the best way. Thank you for the enlightening update. Carol

  5. Carol,
    Thank you for your comment. The side seam issue was a real light bulb moment for me, and it was a comment a PR member posted that led to the realization. I am learning a lot in the bust fitting class on Pattern Review, and hope to have more muslins to post soon.
    Good luck with your fit issues!


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