Saturday, February 9, 2013

McCalls 6355

I would like a slimming dress that wouldn't make me look bigger than I am. The problem is proportion .

I'm short waisted and somewhat chesty. In order to have a fitted waist, my chest sticks out more than I'm comfortable with. But still, I should be able to arrive at a reasonable compromise, wouldn;t you think?

I bought this Palmer and Pletch pattern, McCall's 6355, knowing there would be lots of opportunities to fit the pattern to my shape.

First I made an FBA using the slash and spread method as shown on the pattern. That never works for me . It always ends up being too much and I"M NEVER USING THAT METHOD AGAIN.

The dress I want to make is a sweater knit and I want to add a cowl collar.

I had pieces of a  knit very similar in weight to it and made my first muslin into a pullover. I liked it so much that I didn't want to sew in the front and back waist darts thinking they would show when I undid them. This did show me though that the neckline is too wide and the upper back is as well.  Also the size 12 would be adequate at the side seams which is not always the case for me.


On to Muslin #2. Because my "good" fabric has wide stripes like colour blocking almost ,  I had the bright idea of changing the bust dart and waist dart into a French dart!!! You know.A la Peggy Sagers Webcast. I thought this would just look better, for some reason.

Well, I've got to say. This was quite a process! If you watch the video, Peggy tells you to open the French dart 2/3 of the way down the bodice side. You cut a slanted line from the side to somewhere within the bust circle. You then close the bust dart and the waist dart and this opens up the new dart. I'm simplifying here. You can watch the webcast for more details.

    For my muslin this time I used a dark brown ponte knit that I've found to be very pilly. (Is that a word??)                              so I didn't  care  if it didn't work out. I had to make curved French darts because I had vertical drag
   lines just below the bust area. I forgot to measure the length of the dress and it is a little short. I'll add             three inches to my "good" version.

 I also lowered the neckline to a depth I know to be flattering.
     I realized early on that this would be a wearable muslin so  I made the sleeves extra long and tight and  I
      ruched the bottom  as a style element.


I ended up with a really good fit and will use this altered pattern for many other things ,I think.

After all this work, I've decided to use the original pattern with  back darts and more defined curved seam at waist level for my striped wool dress. I could have tried that in the first place but this pattern alteration was very interesting to do. I'm finding I really enjoy this kind of exercise!

I'll show you the end product next week so please drop by again to see my sweater dress
Happy Sewing from


Amanda S. said...

Very nice!

Andrea said...

Love them both, Diana. The ruching on the sleeves is a nice touch. My DD is built similarly, busty and short waisted, so I understand your challenges!

Unknown said...

I like both versions too.
Some alteration methods give me the 'willies' when I do them so I appreciate your views on making a french dart instead of the usual bust dart and also how you tackle the hurdle that come up when we sew a new project:))

Dixie said...

Both of these wearable muslins look great on you. It will be fun to see your final version!

Aminat said...

Both muslins are so cute. love them

pdiddly said...

I agree with everyone both versions and the sleeve ruching is a nice touch. looking forward to seeing the final piece.

pdiddly said...

I agree with everyone both versions and the sleeve ruching is a nice touch. looking forward to seeing the final piece.

Linda T said...

I's say that both of these "muslin" experiments were quite successful. Both came out lovely!

Jenny said...

Both are pretty! I love the argyle. I remember seeing that fabric online and loved it but couldn't envision what I'd make with it, so I passed. Now I wish I had some! I love what you did with it.

Bunny said...

The fit on this top is wonderful. She scores!

gwensews said...

Your tops looks great on you. The dress should be equally is nice fitting, now that you've tweaked the pattern. I like PP patterns.

Enid said...

Very nice a well fitting too!

What method do you use for your FBA?
I use pivot and slide and find it more suitable than slash and spread.

I really enjoy your blog and all the wonderful items you sew!

Enid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faye Lewis said...

I love your dress. I've often look at that pattern, might give it a try now that I've seen yours.

Diana said...

Enid, for an FBA my most successful method is to just cut through the front bodice at chest level. Spread the tissue one inch and then to either add a but st dart if there isn't one already or to enlarge a bust dart that is already there. That works best for me. I do own Nancy Zieman's book on pivot and slide but have never tried it. Maybe I should.
Thank you so much for your comment!