So I have the beautiful fabric shown below that I got at Michael Levine during PR weekend. Unfortunately, I only have 2 yards and this dress takes about 2.5. Wait - I have some smaller pieces of black knit that I could use to make the bodice! Wow - I think that will look better anyway. (Necessity is the mother of invention)
After attending Linda Maynard's Fit and Couture classes at PR weekend, I decided I better make a muslin of the bodice of this dress. The skirt is pretty full, but I always have issues with the bodice so, I found some old yellow knit and went for it. I checked the pattern measurements, and I lined up with a small. I know I ALWAYS have to add length in the front for FB and often have to lower the waist in most dresses with waist seams. I added 1.5 inches in length to the front and then another 1" in length all the way around. For the muslin, I just eased in the extra length at the bust so I could see if I needed to add a dart or just leave it eased.
As you can see, other than my fat stomach, there are some problems. There is pulling at the bust, gaping at the neck and armholes, and obviously, I did not need the extra inch that I added all the way around. Also, you can't really see it, but the side seam is too far forward. I know that Peggy Sagers says that circumference is just circumference, and the WE don't have side seams, but I feel I know where my side seam should go, and it's not that far forward!
The first thing I did was to undo the shoulder seam and make the front lie flat. You can see how far off the front and back are on me in order to make that happen. I also still had to pin out a little bit at the front neckline. In order to make this alteration, I would need to redraw the neckline. I would have matched the front to the back because otherwise the shoulders would be to far out. I would have also had to redraw the armhole to make it line up. Instead, I decided to take a big dart in the front, which means basically to shear 3/4" off the CF at the neckline and taper to nothing at the hemline.
This seemed to work better (and eliminated all that re-drawing). I still had gaping at the armhole, so I will need to dart out the pattern at that point as well. I also cut the extra inch off at the bottom.
I am going to make a second muslin of the bodice, because I never know if one change will affect another, so I just need to recut the front. The back seems OK. A tiny big of gaping at the armhole, so I will see if the new front affects that before I do anything.