Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fitting woes - again

At first glance (earlier this evening) I thought this muslin fit pretty well. Well, except for the left sleeve which I tried to fix and made it worse. So, I went to work on the right sleeve. I think the problem is that I am really narrow in the upper back and from armpit to armpit, but nowhere else. I started this pattern with a size 10 and did a FBA using the FFRP method. Without sleeves, it looked like it fit perfectly, but I thought it might be a little wide in the shoulders. I sewed on the left sleeve to see how it fit, and it was cutting me off in the front. I tried making the armhole bigger, which would move it in narrower in the front, but that just made the sleeve tighter.

On the right sleeve, it seems to fit OK, but you can see some wrinkles radiating out from the armscye. I am also noticing that I would like more ease across the bust in this blouse, but it is already loose enough in the back. I have already added 1.5" in width to the front using the FFRP FBA method. In the shoulder seam at the armscye, I have narrowed it by 1/2" front and back. I also added 1" in width to the sleeve.

This makes the sleeve fit better, but as soon as I move my arm, it is way too tight. I'm not sure if the sleeve is too small, or if the front of the blouse is too wide and therefore cutting off at the arm.

I could cut a 12 and do the same FBA, but then I will need to take in an additional 1/2" at the shoulder seam. Also, my front would be a 12 and the back would be a 10 - I'm guessing I would need to use the 12 sleeve and still add to the width of it, but how much?

I think my other option would be to just add more at the side seams to make the front bigger below the arms, but not above it. But I still have the same sleeve problem. Do I keep working on this one, or try a different pattern?

I REALLY need a good TNT blouse pattern that fits.


heidi lynn cooper said...

I feel your pain! This exact problem has been my fitting nemesis for far too long.

It looks to me like a couple of things are happening...first, you kind of told yourself what part of the problem was when you did the opposite in making the armscye smaller and made the problem worse :~o

A restricted arm is usually due to too low of an armscye.

Second, you have wrinkles forming both above and below the bust, indicating that a larger FBA is needed as well as the possibility that the dart locations need to be adjusted. I.e. the side dart raised and the fisheye dart move a bit to CF.

You might also get a better look by shortening both darts by .5-1.0 inches. Darts do not have to end right at your BP, they can end anywhere in a 3-5" circle radiating out from your BP. Does that make sense?

Also, you do NOT want to go larger in pattern size! This one is already a little over on your shoulders and I don't *think* it is supposed to be a drop shoulder. Raising the SP first off may help some (it will also raise the bottom of the armscye a bit)

Lastly :~) If your version of FFRP is not the very latest, there is an addition that shows how to do a 'Y' FBA for larger amounts and to keep the dart smaller. If you don't have this and are interested, I can point you to it...

I hope some of this helps, I am by NO means a 'Guru' I have just run into this too many times to count!


heidi lynn cooper said...

OK, looking at the pix again, it looks like your SP's are good. It is only in the first that the right one looks a little off the shoulder...

So ignore that part, lol.


Meg said...

I just hate this whole fitting part of sewing. I wish I could snap my fingers and have all my patterns magically drafted to fit me to a T.

Birgitte said...

Nancy, you said you enlarged the front armhole. Did you then also add to the front sleeve? If not, that could be why you have those diagonal lines, and the sleeve and armhole seam does not match in distance (I see some pulling on the sleeve as well in the second picture) It looks like you have gathered the sleeve at the top of the shoulder, is that how the pattern is?

Marji said...

I'm up to my eyeballs in fitting right now, but because of that I'm pulling out more resources everyday just to check things.
An interesting paragraph in the front of the Rasband book says that Burda patterns typically allow up to 1" less in the bicep of the sleeve for wearing ease, than American patterns.
My first instinct is to say that if the blouse fit you well while it was sleeveless, then developed all these problems as soon as you put the sleeves in, that the problem is in the sleeve, and possibly where the armscye sits on your body.
In all your pics it looks as if the sleeve is straining to get across your upper arm, just under the shoulder.
Another item that doesn't help is that a too-deep armscye and a too-high armscye both cause the same thing - the inability to lift the arm.
I don't know if this is even a Burda pattern. But the sleeve def looks too tight.

L said...


You KNOW I feel your pain!! In the beginning of August, I had a 25-yard bolt of unopened muslin. To date, 22 August, there are maybe 8 yards left on the bolt. That is how much muslin I have used in attempting to get a woven blouse to fit me. =( I have tried numerous times to fit Simplicity 4077 with no luck. I thought I was close, once, but ended up with a uber-massive bust and vertical dart. I tried the methods mentioned by Heidi Lynn, but with mixed results. I posted some pictures on PR and have gotten a bit of help. I was in such a need of some sewing success, that I put the whole blouse project aside to make some pillowcases. I am going your progress and offer any suggestions if I can.