After a cat stealth attack on my pattern, four bodice muslins (with two sets of adjustments each, so eight in total!!!), some self realization, a lot of hair pulling – or more accurately – thread ripping… a few curse words, a ton of frustration and moments where I thought I’d never get it right…. I finally managed to fit my very first sheath dress, and I tell you this: it was all worth it, every little bit.
This dress cost me a month of my time, at an average of about 4-6 hrs a week, and about $35 in supplies (not including the book). It’s the most time, but definitely not the most money, I’ve ever spent on one garment. Despite the fact the fit is not perfect (I had to come to terms with that or it’d never have gotten done) I felt good in it, cause it’s likely one of the best fitting garments I’ve ever worn. I could never buy a dress that fit me this well…. ever.
I had come to terms with the possibility that the dress may not be wearable, due to my inexperience, because final piece aside, I learned a TON from this project. I learned:
- my body shape (thank you, croquis)
- that a full bust adjustment is a MUST for me, and that I’ve been buying pattern sizes at least four sizes too big as a result, and that is why nothing I make ever fits LOL
- how to do an FBA, and other pattern adjustments on paper
- never to install another facing ever again without understitching
These are the final adjustments I made on my pattern (there were many previous ones but these are the ones that stuck):
- 1/2″ FBA on the pattern piece so 1″ total (it would be 3/4″ or 1.5″ for the Big 4, but Colette drafts for a C, so it’s less)
- took 1″ off front at shoulder seam and 3/4″ off back
- lengthened bust darts on bodice
- graded between two sizes for the skirt
- shortened skirt by 2″ (I’m 5’9″ but for some reason, Colette patterns run long on me)
It is by no means perfect. I have some wrinkles in the back and my armhole facings are awaiting a revamp but for a first go at fitting, it works, and it felt pretty good to actually wear something I made, out on a lovely date with my man 🙂